Set up question.

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by [email protected], Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Stout@TheDevil

    [email protected] New Member

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    Hey, guys, I haven't started brewing yet, just saving my money and researching, but I have a few technical questions I need answered to point me in the right direction with regards to my gear.

    So, my plan is to extract brew for a few batches until I feel confident enough in my set up and sanitation to try extract with specialty grains. Once a I nail that, I plan to give all grain brewing a try. I'm hoping I can get from A to C in about a year.

    What I don't want to do now for my initial set up is buy anything that won't carry over through all three phases I'm trying to get through. I can't brew inside for a few reasons so I need to get some type of burner. My first question is this. Should I save to get a multiple burner set up? If I buy a single burner, will it sit unused once I make it to all grain brewing? I just think it would be more cost effective to buy a triple or double burner from go.

    That brings me to my next questions. Why do I see three burner set ups for all grain? This one has me confused. I see all grain set ups where water is heated and then put into plastic insulated mashtuns but I also see set ups with three pots apparently being heated for all grain set ups.

    I'm thinking i need two minimum for all grain. One to heat water for mashtun and one for sparge water. Once I lauter it, I can use one of the two for my boil.

    I know I'm totally overthinking this (it's my special trait, lol), but to keep the domestic peace at home, I need to have the least amount of "used it 5-6 times and now it gathers dust" in my garage as possible. Help me out, peeps!

    Thank you.
     
  2. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    I have brewed all grain for years and I only use 1 burner. I have one kettle for my hot water (HLT) and one to use as a boil kettle. Because I don't need to heat water and boil wort at the same time, I can easily get away with one burner. Having multiple burners makes it possible to brew larger batches and not have to worry about moving large kettles of hot liquid around. It also makes it possible to have more control over things such as mash temp.
    Any equipment you buy for extract brewing will find a place in an all grain brewery.
     
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  3. N0mad

    N0mad Well-Known Member

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    I have only brewed all grain making fantastic beers for over a year... I don't have any burners... now if I were doing 5 gallon batches I would have to move it outdoors for sure... my kettle volume starts with 4.75 - 4.5 gallons and I end up with 3.5 gallons ending kettle volume with 2.8 gallons (10.5 liters) going into the 3 gallon carboy leaving all the trub, hops and anything else I don't want behind in the kettle...

    BIAB 6 gallon kettle tri-clad stainless steel induction ready, electric stove top with overhead vent that vents to the outside... more than one way to skin a cat... SS kettle + BIAB Bag $90 get a 5# CO2 tank $55 and either a used or new keg you need something to put it in after you brew it... or you can put it in bottles like I do not that difficult... all you need is table sugar and sterile water...

    My advise start low tech no need for a large investment, get your process's down make a consistent good product and if you still enjoy it after you know what you're doing... upgrade your equipment...

    You will need some gadgets like hoses, siphons, large spoon, hydrometer etc...

    All grain is not difficult your LHBS can set you up with an all grain kit most of them give classes once a week or so maybe take one of those...

    1) Heat kettle with strike water
    2) Add BIAB + grain
    3) Mash for 60 minutes
    4) Lift bag and place into colander... fly sparge... remove bag and colander
    5) Crank up heat and boil... adding hops and anything else your recipe calls for
    6) Chill wort... I use my large SS double kitchen sink... 2 bags of ice and 30 minutes later down to 65°... I live in Texas ground water is warm
    7) Transfer wort to fermenter of your choice and pitch yeast... wait 2 weeks
    8) Bottle or keg to carbonate... then drink it

    @[email protected] - Don't overthink it... think about your home environment and what you can make use of to accomplish your goal

    Search YouTube "All Grain BIAB" watch and listen
     
  4. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, there are as many answers and solutions as the number of people you ask.
    This isn't a 1 size fits all hobby.
    My suggestion would be to get involved in a local brewing community and Home Brew Shop, and start to gather information there.
    Most folks will be willing to share their brewing experiences with you, and also you may offer to "Help" them with their next brew session.
    The more you experience, the more you'll see how you'd like to set yourself up and what equipment you need.
    Starting off with a complete starter kit like the Brewer's Best 1003 would be a good start and you'll use all the equipment going forward.
    Also, Pick up "How To Brew" by John Palmer. This will be the 1 book you should have a hard copy of.
    Good Luck and keep us posted,
    Brian
     
  5. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Learn to homebrew day is Nov. 3. Most local homebrew shops and clubs will have gatherings to brew that day. If you can find one in your town you can see what equipment they are using and get a good idea of what you want/need for how you want to brew.
     
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  6. JT_YYC

    JT_YYC Member

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    Like some others here, I have one burner I use outside. As I do not have any garage or over head cover, my brewing goes inside during the winter. My setup has 2x5 gallon igloo coolers, and 1 kettle/HLT. I find I only need one kettle as I have the 2 coolers for my sparge water and mash in. That said, I was not aware of having a tall narrow kettle so as to have a more efficient boil.

    I work in liters, so I was starting my boil with approximately 18L (4.8 gallons). Based on my kettle and boil off rate, I had to start at around that volume to end up with approximately 13L (3.5 gallons).

    I spoke with a former brewer, now homebrewing teacher, who advised me that was close to a 20% boil off from original volume, and also seemed way higher than it should be. He advised that changing to a tall, narrow kettle, would increase energy efficiency, and reduce boil start volume.
     
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  7. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I first started brewing with buying a 5 gallon extract kit which came with a small amount of specialty grains for steeping.This was this past February. Since then I have been brewing all grain BIAB (brew in a bag). I have upgraded and added equipment as I have progressed, burner, kettle, etc., but still use just about everything that came with that initial kit. To each his own, just sharing my initiation, and progress.
    Cheers, and good luck!
     
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  8. Stout@TheDevil

    [email protected] New Member

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    Thanks, guys, great advice!
     
  9. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    My first kit was literally a 23L West Coast IPA kit that i poured into a bucket and added yeast.
     
  10. Bierman707

    Bierman707 Member

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    You're a f****** mad man!! Love the simplicity!! true... but not as easy as it sounds.
     
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah in general it's as hard or as simple as you wanted to make it. I use propane as I don't have power for electric but for a long time it was just a decently sized kettle, a coleman cooler with a brew bag in it, and a burner. I would heat the water, dump it into the cooler, add the grain, let it mash, heat more water if I needed it, I got a couple 5 gallon food grade buckets cause 1 kettle wasn't always enough, drain into the kettle, boil it, add hops, figure out how to cool it (I eventually got an immersion chiller), put it in a bucket or carboy, toss some yeast, stress out for most of a week, then package it.

    That run on sentence isn't as complicated as it probably sounds. If you can find someone who does all grain go do a batch with them, that did a ton for calming me down when I got into it.
     
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  12. JT_YYC

    JT_YYC Member

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    Clarifying question, maybe i'm confusing it as well...it sounds as though using other buckets to collect the wort that wouldn't fit in the kettle for the boil. Does this mean that the boil would start with what could safely fit in the kettle, then the remnants would be added to that as room became available?
     
  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Hmm? Oh no they were temporary storage, if you need to sparge and you only have one kettle you need somewhere to put the wort. They get pretty hot, hence food grade.
     
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  14. JT_YYC

    JT_YYC Member

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    Makes sense. I just ordered a 30L kettle from OBK to replace my current kettle which is 22L...i never knew the diameter of the kettle would play such a significant role. I just thought, i need a massive pot to boil the wort...
     
  15. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Kind of crazy how much it makes a difference. With the second kettle you can use that to heat your sparge water too. Or just go no sparge if you have a big enough mash tun. I have 2 of the cheap 16 gallon ones they sell. Not the best but they work and should last a long time.
     
  16. JT_YYC

    JT_YYC Member

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    I was advised that it would drastically affect my boil off rates, so i'm excited to try it out. I'm a little concerned that my hop basket wont reach the wort though. Most of the time i do first wort hops anyways, and very few boil additions. That said, I now have 2 kettles, and 2 coolers. So i'm thinking of doing a pumpless continuous sparge. It's all gravity and lifting so i can't see it being a problem, but the pump will certainly help the process! I also added an immersion chiller to my process this summer. It's been cool seeing the difference that makes in cooling down the wort. I use a cooler with 5 or 6 ice packs in it, and it works amazingly!
     
  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    And down the rabbit hole you go. Diameter is the big boil off culprit.
     
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