Equipment for all grain brewing

Buying, building and using brewing equipment and apparatus. Product reviews and questions.

Moderator: slothrob

Equipment for all grain brewing

Postby cyto » Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:47 am

I have been extract brewing for 6 years. I was curious about how much of an investment all grain brewing requires.

thanks :D
User avatar
Light Lager
Light Lager
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 10:09 pm
Location: Columbia, TN

Postby JPinAZ » Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:54 pm

It depends on what you already had & how much you want to spend. You can go the cheap route & use a cooler for a mash tun, or spend big bucks on a nice RIMS system. If you want to ease into it cost wise, start by picking up a turkey fry kit & then you'll have a burner & kettle to do a full boil. You'll also need a chiller of some type. You can build your own immersion chiller by wrapping some copper tubing around a corny ket (or something similar).

If you already have a burner & kettle, then get a cooler to build a mash tun. I made mine out of a 10 gallon drink cooler & a SS false bottom I purchased on line. If you're handy with welding, you can use a rectangular cooler & build your own manifold to keep the grain out of the sweet liquor. I'd avoid the 5 gallon coolers as you'll have a hard time fitting 16+ pounds of grain plus mash water if you ever want to do a big beer.
Light Lager
Light Lager
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:25 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Postby cyto » Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:03 pm

Thanks for the reply, and please excuse my ignorance, but what do you mean by "corny ket"

Also, how do you keep the mash temp up with a plastic mash tun?

User avatar
Light Lager
Light Lager
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 10:09 pm
Location: Columbia, TN

All grain equipment needs are ...

Postby Azorean Brewer » Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:56 pm


Pickup a copy of Charlie Papazian's "New Joy of home brewing", and read it, esspecially the "Advanced all grain section". You will learn a lot, about the techniques, and equipment necessary. I have been doing all grain for three years and still use my "Zapap" lauter tun which is outlined in this book. I read this book and the all grain section 1 year before taking the leap. I collected everything BEFORE I did my first batch, I was well prepared and it paid off BIG TIME. The equipment part was easy, the rest was formulated by the group of great guys and gals here helping me along the way, I read, asked and listened ...

You can get off pretty cheap if your are willing to do some work, and make some stuff your self, esspecially if money resources are low, like my situation :D

As for keeping the temp. where you want it, I use a large rectangular cooler for my mash tun, and generally I will lose 2-3 degrees (F) in the summer over 90 minutes and 5-8 degrees (F) in the winter, so I wrap it in a heavy blanket in the winter lowering my lose to 2-3 degrees per 90 minute mash, you can adjust by adding 2 cups of boiling water every so often, and stirring vigorously so is not to creat hot spots to assist in raising the temp back to target.

BTW, I know JP meant "Corney Keg" simple typo ... Corney Keg is a 5 gallon keg, about 8" in diameter, and 24-30" tall (somewhere in there).

As for how much do I have tied up in this hobby, this is for non required replenishment equipment ...

10 Gal. Brew pot $130
Turkey Fryer burner $50
Wort Chiller (counterflow - home-made)$60
Mash Tun (Cooler) $15
Grain mill JSP Maltmill (non-adjustable) $115
Zapap Lauter tun $20
Various brewing hoses $25
Primary Fermenter $10
Secondary Fermanter $22
14 cu. Ft. Chest Freezer (dispensing, used) $150
Kegging setup $180
4 Extra kegs $105
Assorted Keg items $100

Grand Total (approximate) $982

I may have forgotten a few items, but you get the gist ...


"I drink therefore I am"
Azorean Brewer
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 2:31 pm
Location: Greenville SC

Some more all-grain ideas..

Postby jeff » Tue Dec 21, 2004 4:33 pm

I'm not sure if you visited this page yet, but the article there explains how I got started with my 3 tier system:

Previous to building the system I had done successful all-grain brewing with much lower tech equipment. I consider the 3 tier system a luxury; but having a big pot, a wort chiller and a powerful source of heat are indespensable.
Jeff Staff
User avatar
Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout
Posts: 1494
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2000 9:16 pm
Location: Hollywood, SC

Cheap all grain equipment

Postby Mirabeau » Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:33 am

You may prefer to have a first 'test' experience with all grain before spending money in more expensive and effective equipments.

What you will need :
1- a grain crusher,
2- a mashing-boiling tun
3- a filter tun
4- a fermenter.
5- bottles (and a tube for bottling)

1 : Start with a manual coffee crusher, or ask a farmer to crush it for you. You can also find already crushed grain.

2 : Start with any tun you find, even aluminium wich is so cheap...

3 : Try this : only two cheap plastic boxes, one perforated (2mm every cm), the other one with a tap.

4 : Start with any plastic recipient you can easlily close, and install an airlock. (I personnaly use plastic 5 gallons water bottle like the ones on office fountains)
5 : i guess you have some... ;)

here a page (in french, sorry) with images describing my first equipment :

Another solution is to give a try with some 'starter's kit', which is supposed to include all basic equipment needed.

This just to say that if you wan't to give a try, it won't cost hundred dollars to take pleasure with homebrewing.

Next, you'll be able to begin to learn the tips, tricks and secrets of this fabulous alchemy...

Next, there's allways a reason to improve your equipment... chillers, recirculating systems, gas burners, controllers... but i'm not sure the knowledge of brewing is only in the quality of equipment or the money you spent.

Enjoy !

Webmaster of a french speaking homebrewers forum
User avatar
Light Lager
Light Lager
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 8:31 am
Location: Paris France

Return to Equipment

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests