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Basic Ag Questions?

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wardy

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hi everyone, i've decided it's time to go to AG. i have read hundreds of pages/threads on AG procedures and setups... which has left me confused!!

First things first... the mash tun. Going to make one out of an esky according to John Palmers guidlines.

What i'm not sure on is how big will my grain bed be? what quantity of grains do you usually (typically) mash to brew wort in a 32 litre fermenter (ie to make 22-24 litres)??

The question of size/qty of grain leads me to my next question, how big should the esky be? Now i don't have a clue about quart sizes, but i think my esky is around 30 or 40 litres, is that big enough?

Also, do i need a sparge arm? or can i just redistribute sparge water with a pot and some good judgement?

anyone have any good sources of info on complete methods of AG mashing and setup?

cheers
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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I made my MLT out of a 25L flour bucket from bunnigs. Just to give you an idea it is about 32cm diameter and about 38cm deep. Fine for up to 30L batches although I aim for 23L as I keg and don't want to have to bottle too much after the keg is full :rolleyes:.

For me a typical brew is between 4 - 6 kg of grain depending on what gravity I am going for (6kg would be around 1.065). I get a nice deep grain (about 25 - 30cm) bed so I don't ge too hung up on the sparging ... I just use some tin foil bent up like a bowl with lots of holes in it and pur the sparge water in that to stop it making a mess of the grain bed. If you get a really big esky you may not end up with a very deep grain bed and sparging could be an issue. But I have 25L of volume and it is fine for single batches so at a guess an esky of about 30 - 40L should be fine (unless you want to get into double batches). I am sure others that actually use eskies can help you more.
 

wedge

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my esky(tun) is 45ltr igloo! Which is great up to 6kg batches. If i was to buy another esky though i would try and buy one with square siges such that the surface area on the bottom is largeish.

as for sparging, just buy a foot length of copper and drill some holes in it. Or alternatively use a shower rose.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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30-40L is a good size, can make some pretty big beers with that, 8-12K of grain

Amount of grains depends on the OG of the beer you want to brew. You don't want too much airspace in your tun so if wanting to brew a Mild or small bitter either brew a double (46L) batch or cover the mash with 1" of uncrushed pale malt or a rectangle of strofoam.

Congrats on going AG!

Jovial Monk
 

wedge

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my esky(tun) is 45ltr igloo! Which is great up to 6kg batches. If i was to buy another esky though i would try and buy one with square siges such that the surface area on the bottom is largeish.

as for sparging, just buy a foot length of copper and drill some holes in it. Or alternatively use a shower rose.
 

GMK

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Mash Tun

I use a 10 Gallon Rubbermaid Cooler with a 20.00usd St Pats SS false Bottom - has 1mm holes on 2mm centres as recommended by Wes from Maltcraft....

I use ss fittings, gate valve, elbows and nut & Tail....

Buy at least a 30ltr - 40ltr is better - esky. There will come days when you want to do double batches.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Wedge, don't go taking offense, but are you sure your igloo is 45L?? You should be able to use much more than 6K grain. I think you have a 20L Igloo cooler

Jovial Monk
 

pioneergangsta

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I havent done an AG brew yet...my setup is 90% complete.

For my Mash tun im using a 54Litre Igloo.

Cheers
 

Jazman

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well mine a 25 ltr square esky with a manifold i hoep i can get up to 7 kg of gain would be nice if not i just use a bt of lme
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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i could fit 6.5Kg grains in my 20L Rubbermaide esky tun
Jazz, you can fit in 25% more, another 1.4K or a total of 7.9Kg

but keep looking for a bigger esky, present small esky will be great HLT then


Jovial Monk
 

big d

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my mash tun is a 20 litre rubbermaid and to give you an idea of its limitations i did a mash of 6.750kg and filled it to the brim.good efficiency but non the less very full at 2-2.5l per kg.
as for sparging wardy im doing batch sparging and so far my efficiency is in the 80s.i havent done fly sparging yet but for my money i reckon batch is easier and a bit quicker.
if i can remember the articles ive seen with pics i will post when i find them.

cheers
big d
 

wedge

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i'm pretty sure it is JM. It says it on the side, will check again tomorrow though. I think i could do up to 7kg with minimal head space, but that's it.

Of course i don't really need any more space and it was one of those birthday presents. (i got three eskys at one birthday) :p
 

wardy

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thanks for the tips everyone. i'm now working on the manifold for my esky.

Also, i've seen many of the pics of your three-tiered AG setups.... what is on the top tier? My guess is that it's a hot water urn or boiler or something? is that correct?

Crown industries do a 30L or 40L stainless steel urn with thermostat from 30 to 110C for around $230. Is this the kind of thing you would use?
http://www.crownindustries.com.au/content_urns.html
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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Yep I use an urn, cost me $15 at an auction, needed a new element but I got that fixed at work for free :D
 

wardy

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ok, that sounds like a better option, thanks JasonY, will lookout for one
 

Doc

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Yep I use a 30 litre urn for my HLT.
Would love a 40 litre one but all the ones I've seen so far are 15 amp jobs :(

Mine is a Roband.
Don't judge temp by the temp setting on the thermostat though. Measure the temp manually. ie I set mine to 95 deg C to have the temp at ~78 deg C after 45 mins.

Beers,
Doc
 

Batz

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Jasony

Have a look at Bills Machinery site they have a few , one 6 gallon that you may be interested in , looks as if it needs a good clean up but would be good.
I rang about it sometime back but it's impossiable for me without looking at it

Heres the site , just do a search for 'Urn'

http://www.bmms.com.au
 

wardy

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thanks guys, those links are really helpful :)
 

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