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Approx. Cost To Go Ag

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morry

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Hi guys,
With exams nearly over for the year, I will have a lot more time on my hands. I enjoy brewing and am getting a bit bored of kits and bits. I will be trying extract brewing soon, but I was thinking about maybe giving AG brewing a go. Can you guys give me a rough indication on how much a setup would cost me?
Sorry if this has been asked before, but nothing came up in my search.

Cheers,

Sean
 

nonicman

Slack Brewery
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Maybe you can learn from my mistakes. I spent up big and after joining this site learnt what mistakes I'd made.

You will need an esky and may I suggest a home made manifold as per Sosman's excellent site.

I paid around $300 for a 36 litre esky (round because that is the best for fly sparging, but I can't see why I would bother as batch sparging works very well) with SS false bottom. It is a shit (mind the french) , stuck sparges being the norm untill I learned to use what I had purchased (a lot of stupidity in the first uses, turning the plastic tap twists the plastic tubing connecting the false bottom, thus blocking the mash tun, stupid in hindsight, frustrating at the time). But the beer was worth the frustration.

You will need to boil a full wort, I use a 30 litre fermenter and an imersion heater. Not the best but very cheap. Just go for it, you're perfect the rest over time.

You will also need time, not just on brew day, hours of obsessive searching the net. But the results are worth the effort.

Whilst I did spend more than I should I do love my system (ever evolving) as it gives very drinkable beer IMHO.
 

Linz

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The cheap alternative for the mash tun is the bucket in bucket mash tun, wrapped in 2 layers of bubble wrap.

Outer bucket, attach a snap tap as low as possible on the side, to the bottom. The inner bucket drill hundreds of tiny holes in the base of the bucket, See mine in the gallery here

http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/gall...Name=album07&s=


The bubble wrap does keep the heat over 90 minutes too.

Speak to your local take away, they are usually throwing them away(25 litre)
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Mash tuns cost say 200 bucks for esky + manifold + ballvalve etc

kettle, forget an old brewery 50 or 80L keg, buy a decent 50L ss kettle, say 150 bucks +50 bucks to drill and weld plug to fit pick up tube inside and ballvalve outside, whatever for 9Kg gas bottle, 20 bucks for burner, 70 for regulator and hose

after that, 10Kg grain costs 25 to 45 dollars, add 9 bucks cost of hops and you make like 3 normal batches out of that, 75L of beer for 44 bucks


It is cheaper than kits, even cheaper than bulk extract but if you go from kits to AG that initial investment is steep. but, oh baby, is it ever worth it

Jovial Monk
 

pint of lager

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There is no simple answer to this. Depends on how tool challenged you are, how good you are at scrounging, how big a batch you want to brew, has the ag bug bitten you big time, how much you love ss, how deep your pockets are.

You can buy an off the shelf setup for a bomb, or build it from scratch for next to nothing.

You need something to mash in, something to sparge with, something to boil with and in and then someway of cooling.
 

morry

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Thanks for the input guys. Looks like Ill be doing a fair bit of research ones my exams are done. I think Ive been bitten by the bug. I can see myself brewing a fair bit in the future, so it will pay itself off. Im a bit of a retard with tools, but Ive got a couple of mates who arent, so Im sure theyll lend a hand if I offer them some beer at the end. :D
 

big d

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hi morry
some excellant answers to date.as lager said there is no simple answer.most of the brewers on this site have great set ups made from scrounged and bought stuff.
at times we all help out with various bits and pieces due to our unique cicumstances.(work)
i think the main way to go about it is to put on the beer glasses and look at everything thing and think has that got a place in my brewery.you will be surprised what you come up with.
as for cost well that depends on what you buy.most of my gear has been scrounged so it has been relatively cheap.mind you the cost of burners,immersion heaters and an a/c to have a cool room has taken its toll.then theres the keg setup which is more bucks.the 100kg grain orders plus freight. :(
think i will stop know im scaring myself ;)
read heaps.check the gallery.do research and scrounge and amaze yourself.and ask for help on this site.it will come together.


cheers
big d
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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I found that drilling holes in a manifold is way easier than trying to make clean slots in the copper tubes making up the manifold. I am SO tool challenged you would not believe but a manifold and a CFC made from copper tube, garden hose and Phill Chill fittings took barely a couple of hours

Jovial Monk
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Morry,

I guess that you have realised by the comments that there is no simple answer.
Your decision on your equipment is governed by the amount of money you want /or are allowed to spend, the space you have, the level at which you want to take your new hobby, the space you have, the time you have on brew day, etc, etc,
Search the gallery, attend as many brew days as you can before you start to build your brewery, ask as many questions as you can, then after all that you will still need to form your own opinion and make your own decisions.
There are many good sites on the net so do a search but remember the KISS principle.

This one is not a bad as a start but remember it is USA based.

http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/index.html

Cheers
 

MAH

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Hi Morry

Going AG can be very cheap, or if you like SS it can be very expensive. My advice is start off with small steps.

I'm guessing that your at Uni and money isn't exactly flowing freely, so maybe you could hit up a few family and friends for some gear. Get them to buy a couple of items as a group present if it helps.

If buying off the shelf you can still do very well, and a few suggestions would be a 36litre round cooler from Goliaths for a mash tun - $90. Also at Goliaths is a CFWC for $80. Team the mash tun up with a SS false bottom from Grain and Grape for $42.95.

So for $212.95 you have a mash tun and CFWC that will be more than enough for a start up kit, and will suit an expanded system further down the track.

Your choice after that is whether to go electric or gas for the boiler.

I would suggest to leave all the fancy ball valves, disconnects etc until you decide on a more permanent system and know exactly what bits and pieces you need.

Cheers
MAH
 

Justin

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Wow. Some of you guys spent big dollars on mash tuns. I'm dumbfounded at the $200 tag you've put on it. I would have put the mash tun as the cheapest bit of equipment. Get an esky (20-40L), they're pretty cheap-look for specials. Buy some 1/2" threaded shank ($8), a stainless strainer to make a bazooka ($5) and a nickel plated ball valve ($8). Done. Don't scare Morry off before he's started.

Find 25L plastic buckets, put some kettle elements in them. Cheap HLT and kettle (a ferment is a good idea for a bit of extra capacity, ie. get a 30L one).

You will need to make a chiller of some sort, immersions are cheap and easy. Or buy a CFC for roughly the same price premade.

Only my opinions. There are heaps of options, my recommendation like those above is start out small and cheap-otherwise you'll end up buying stuff for $$ that turns out to be no good or you out grow it and never use it (would have been better to hold onto that cash and buy that pump you wanted or the nice stainless kettle you've been eyeing off when you know thats what you want). Yes it's all fun and exciting and you want to leap right in but it's worth taking your time, brewing a few batches and really work out what you want.

Cheers, Justin
 

pint of lager

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Try and link up with other mashers in your area and make a brewday visit. Seeing different setups in action will help you scrounge your own brewery.

If you have already been mini mashing, try and push it to the limits and make an all grain brew.

A good place to start scrounging, your local scrap metal yard in the copper box and in the stainless steel section. Always bits and pieces there you can use. Taps, pipes, vessels, false bottom material. They often have 50 litre brewery kegs, and that way you get a reciept for it.
 

Kellermeister

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For a budget all grain brewing system, start with a stainless hose braid mash tun:

http://cruisenews.net/brewing/decoction/page1.php

While I discuss decoction on my site, I now would recommend doing simple infusion, current malt quality is high enough that decoction is not needed. Likewise, fly sparging is a great skill but you can make excellent beer by batch sparging. I would recommend going with a bigger cooler, I have a 5 gallon, but a 10 gallon would be better.





Howdy from Detroit USA
 

ausdb

Copper kettles don't kill people....
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Great minds think alike!! cheap foolproof and portable

I just use a pair of long nose vice grip pliers on the plastic tubing to regulate the flow when sparging. Does anyone know where to get those roller tube clamp things like they use for IV drips? that would be perfect and also take away my fear of dropping the vice grips into the boiler!

I have it in a 25L esky at the moment but my next brew will be a step mash so I wil be plugging it into my 44L esky through the drain hole.

EZ_manifold.JPG
 

sosman

beerling
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Jovial_Monk said:
Mash tuns cost say 200 bucks for esky + manifold + ballvalve etc

kettle, forget an old brewery 50 or 80L keg, buy a decent 50L ss kettle, say 150 bucks +50 bucks to drill and weld plug to fit pick up tube inside and ballvalve outside, whatever for 9Kg gas bottle, 20 bucks for burner, 70 for regulator and hose

after that, 10Kg grain costs 25 to 45 dollars, add 9 bucks cost of hops and you make like 3 normal batches out of that, 75L of beer for 44 bucks
Jovial Monk
Hey Monk,

Where the hell are you buying your stuff, they are ripping you off!
 

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