Author Topic: Getting Started  (Read 8385 times)

Offline ckpash88

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Getting Started
« on: April 17, 2011, 05:43:11 PM »
So I am trying to get into all grain.
So most likely i can find the answer to all my questions through reading other peoples post but to be honest i am lazy lol.

So should I go with a direct fire set up for mashing with a low btu burner and a pot with a screen flase bottom  and valve set-up?

Or a cooler mash tun set like http://www.midwestsupplies.com/single-infusion-mash-tun.html

And i have been looking at recipes i am interested in and they have set set temp like 120 degrees for 30 min then 30 min at 150 degrees and so forth. how do you do that and what is the point of doing that?
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 05:49:02 PM »
Easiest way to take care of the mash portion of going all grain is to batch sparge in a rectangular cooler.  A great example of such a setup is at http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/.  No need to go with those way too expensive round type coolers.

As for step mashing (the mashing at different temperature steps that you mention), it is almost never required.  A single temperature infusion mash works just fine.
Joe

Offline gmac

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 06:49:07 PM »
I can't agree enough with Hokerer.  Look at Denny's site and go from there.  I was going to go with a more complicated plan and I was talked out of it and I'm happy I was.
I've done 6 all grains with the Coleman Extreme mash tun and they have all gone amazingly well.  My efficiency on the last batch was approaching 90%.  Follow Denny's advice to get started and you'll do fine. 
I'm doing single-step infusions, no decoction, no step mashing or anything like that and it couldn't be easier.  Start this way and then move to something later if you think you want to experiment.

Offline jayoun

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 07:37:31 PM »
Absolutely agree, there is no reason to spend lots of money on a round cooler, a rectangular one will work just as well if not better.  There are quite a few cheaper rectangular coolers that have better insulation which will help to maintain your mash temperatures longer.  The dennybrew link is a fantastic resource to get started in all grain brewing.

I too am doing only single infusion mashes and batch sparging.  Like hokerer said a step mash is almost never required as most of the malts we can buy in America are fully modified.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2011, 01:22:28 AM »
Edited to remove link to stolen How to Brew
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 11:32:28 AM by denny »
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Offline ckpash88

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 11:59:16 AM »
Ok i normally do 5 gallon bataches at around 6% i think i might try going higher on the abv but i saw this Cooler http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-70-Quart-Xtreme-Cooler-Blue/dp/B000G64I1A
Onsale on amazon does it matter it my mas isnt deep?
So would it matter if i had a small batch in a big cooler like this?
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 12:02:38 PM »
Ok i normally do 5 gallon bataches at around 6% i think i might try going higher on the abv but i saw this Cooler http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-70-Quart-Xtreme-Cooler-Blue/dp/B000G64I1A
Onsale on amazon does it matter it my mas isnt deep?
So would it matter if i had a small batch in a big cooler like this?

You'll be fine.  Tons of folks on here use that exact cooler for 5-gallon batches.
Joe

Offline ckpash88

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2011, 02:57:54 PM »
...Another question.

So i dont think i need a 70 quart cooler quite yet.

So my question is this. I either want to do 5 gallon high gravity likr 8-12% brews so all i would need is atleast a 40 quart cooler right?

And would i be alright with a 20 dollar target cooler or do i "need" to have a cooler like a coleman extreme?
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Offline gmac

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2011, 03:18:29 PM »
...Another question.

So i dont think i need a 70 quart cooler quite yet.

So my question is this. I either want to do 5 gallon high gravity likr 8-12% brews so all i would need is atleast a 40 quart cooler right?

And would i be alright with a 20 dollar target cooler or do i "need" to have a cooler like a coleman extreme?


I'm no expert but for another $20 you can get a cooler that will do everything you'll probably need.  The Coleman Extreme is highly rated by most because it holds the heat so well which is imporant and also because the drain is perfect for converting to a mash tun with practically no dead space.  If you leave a quart of good wort in the bottom of the $20 cooler, it won't be a very good investment after a couple batches.  I'm sure the cheaper one will do the job, especially if you put a blanket over it but for $39 for the one you listed, why worry about it?  Amortized over 500 batches, it's pennies a batch difference....  Plus, if you keep the drain parts and if you decide to quit, you'll still have a darn good cooler.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 03:22:09 PM by gmac »

Offline euge

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2011, 04:02:51 PM »
Get the 70qt Coleman Extreme. You will be able to do a lot more with it than a 40qt.

I didn't remove the drain at all with mine. Just shoved the tubing through the drain and it fits snug with no leaks. It's almost as if they had homebrewers in mind when this was designed. Virtually no dead space.

The beauty of it is I can pull the tubing out and then have a cooler to take anywhere such as the lake. A real multitasker!
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Offline denny

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 04:04:41 PM »
...Another question.

So i dont think i need a 70 quart cooler quite yet.

So my question is this. I either want to do 5 gallon high gravity likr 8-12% brews so all i would need is atleast a 40 quart cooler right?

And would i be alright with a 20 dollar target cooler or do i "need" to have a cooler like a coleman extreme?


I use a 48 qt. cooler.  It's a plain old Rubbermaid, no "extreme" anything.  I've used it for just under 400 batches oif beer, so it must be OK.  I can fit in about 28 lb. of grain at about 1 qt./lb. which allows me to do 5 gal. of beers up to a 1.100 OG.  OTOH, if I was gonna do it again, I'd get the 70 qt.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 04:09:27 PM by denny »
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Offline tygo

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 04:07:02 PM »
I'll add another vote for the 70 qt.  Like Denny said you can do it with less but the bigger one gives you a little more breathing space and the flexibility to go with bigger mashes with a little higher water to grist ratio to make the mash easier to work with.
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Offline ckpash88

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 04:23:05 PM »
I went with this cooler
http://www.target.com/Igloo-Family-Cooler-Red-Quart/dp/B002VPSTYQ/ref=sc_qi_detailbutton

Hope this one will work for the time being.

My thinking was.
I am a poor college student so i am trying to stay on the cheap.
And if i use this cooler for the time being later down the road i can buy the one you guys been talking about and change this cooler back and just using it for camping and such.

I have all the other parts so all that's holding me back is the cooler.
Will this one hold temp and could i get a alteast a 5 gallon 10abv beer out of this.

What abv does 1.100 get me?
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Offline ckpash88

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 04:25:27 PM »
Also i had a 20 gift card to target and i cant justify paying 80 dollars for a cooler at the moment. If the 20 cooler doesnt work then i am only out 20 dollars.

Thanks so far for helping out
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Getting Started
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 05:53:00 PM »
I have all the other parts so all that's holding me back is the cooler.
Will this one hold temp and could i get a alteast a 5 gallon 10abv beer out of this.

What abv does 1.100 get me?

That cooler will be good. You'd have fewer problems if you mashed in a blue one, but nothing serious.

1.100 would be an 8-12% ABV beer. A 52 qt cooler should get you up to at least 1.120. http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml
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