Quantcast

Basic Mash Starter Kit

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

Beer

Active Member
Joined
6/10/05
Messages
42
Reaction score
0
Anyone got any opinions on the Basic Mash Starter Kits (the ale one) from ESB?

I am tossing up buying one of these, or spending the $500 on a keg system.

What would be more benoficial for me?.. I am a newbie at HB, but am thoroughly enjoying it.

Just would like some ideas...


Cheers,

Beer
 

Samwise Gamgee

Well-Known Member
Joined
27/1/05
Messages
538
Reaction score
0
Buy the keg system and build your mashing gear.

There is a heap of info on here in regards to making your own manifolds for mash tuns or doing a bucket in bucket mash tun and so on.

you'll need to buy a couple of things but building parts yourself will make it a lot cheaper depending on how fancy you want it all to be.
 

T.D.

Hop Whore
Joined
28/4/05
Messages
2,214
Reaction score
1
I got one of these kits from ESB. I know they are relatively expensive, but at the time I just wanted to do the whole movement into AG brewing properly and I didn't mind paying a bit more to make sure I had the right equipment. Its a good kit - it has everything to get you going right away. But it is expensive.

For example, you can probably put the exact same kit together for way less but buying the bits from different people.

For example:

36L KeepCold cooler (mash tun) $90
False bottom from Grain and Grape ~$40
25L pail (use for HLT & boiler) ~$25
Immersion Element ~$80
Boil proof taps, ball valves, fittings etc etc ~$20
Incredients for first brew ~$20

That's a grand total of $275. Basically half price. Where the ESB starter kit comes into its own is its all ready to go - if you are still learning about AG brewing it can make for a smoother transition. But I doubt that convenience is worth $250.
 

WillM

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/9/05
Messages
152
Reaction score
1
If you get a chance, have a look at how a few people are doing it. It can be done pretty simply, without the elegance of the setups seen on the web. Most of them appear to be the dream setups that I aml envious of.

You can start with and esky and couple of buckets, then add bits and pieces and you go. The most tricky part is getting something that will boil 20 - 30l for a least 60 mins.
 

tangent

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/1/04
Messages
3,826
Reaction score
1
yeah, i'm trying to plan my AG setup at the moment.
It's going to be a slow and tight arsed approach.
I've been using the side burner on the bbq but it's mind-numbingly slow.

T.D. is the immersion element used for the boil or the mash/sparge water?
 

T.D.

Hop Whore
Joined
28/4/05
Messages
2,214
Reaction score
1
Tangent,

The immersion element is used for both the boil and heating mash/sparge water. You can move it around if you like - if you have a separate hlt and boiler, but I do all my heating/boiling in the 25L plastic pail that came with the kit. Then I transfer the mash water from the pail into the mash tun (duh), and the sparge water into another pail I have spare. Then I sparge in a typical 3-tier type setup with the sparge water in one pail sitting above the mash tun, and the other pail (which has a boil-proof tap - that's the only difference) sitting under the mash tun collecting the wort (see pic). Then I put the immersion element into the wort and get the boil under way. Its a pretty easy setup.

The_whole_thing.jpg
 

T.D.

Hop Whore
Joined
28/4/05
Messages
2,214
Reaction score
1
Oops, I forgot the immersion chiller that comes in the esb kit. You can make one of these yourself for bugger all. I have never looked into it, but I would be surprised if it cost you any more than $20.
 

WillM

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/9/05
Messages
152
Reaction score
1
I bought the copper tube from bunnings for about that and just bent it around something.
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
Joined
18/12/02
Messages
3,699
Reaction score
11
get teh keg system from me - cheaper and better - then wioth the savings - start getting your own AG Gear.

Can be done very cheap..

First and foremost - decide on the kettle - best bet is an old 70ltr Copper washer - mine is electric - great and cheap.
Or if u want gas then "find an old Keg"

Mash tun - bucket in bucket will do that - drill lots of 1.5mm holes in a large white bucket and slot this inside another bucket the same - add a ballvalve and done.
Buy a cheap foam camp bed mattress 7.00 for insulation to wrap around it.

HLT - i use a 30ltr Urn - but a fermenter with an imersion element works great.
If u go for fly sparging as i do - get some copper tube 1/4inch anealed and make a spiral - drill some holes and done.

Go fro 3/4 inch BSP ball valves and u can screw male pope garden push fittings into them - then just make up hoses - raiwater with female connectors.

U can always leave the wort overnight to cool/placed in a bath of cold water until u get a chiller - or for 85.00 brew goliath makes a couterflow.

Hope this helps you out..

If u want and are interested - i can post some pics tonight.
 

tangent

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/1/04
Messages
3,826
Reaction score
1
T.D you're doing an hour long boil in a plastic tub??
 

Beer

Active Member
Joined
6/10/05
Messages
42
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the fast replies.

Ken, have emailed you.

I will take your advice and set my sights on the keg system first, i already have an old fridge, so thats a bonus.

I have a 2nd job at a Mitre 10 store, so I get everything for cost price, so alot of stuff I will be bale to get cheap :)

I just figured the ESB kits http://www.esbeer.com.au/category32_1.htm would be around the same pricing.. but if I can save $250 or more.. I will build it myself.

So I guess I do some more searching on the forums for what exactly I wont to setup.
 

T.D.

Hop Whore
Joined
28/4/05
Messages
2,214
Reaction score
1
Yep, sure do. I don't imagine the plastic pail will last forever, but it holds up surprisingly well. I haven't really noticed any deterioration after 15 AG brews using it, but they will never be as durable as s/s. Definitely a good cheap option though.
 

T.D.

Hop Whore
Joined
28/4/05
Messages
2,214
Reaction score
1
Beer, if you work at a hardware store, you may be better going with the esky option for a mash tun and a copper manifold. All that stuff plus fittings should be available through your store. There is also the option of putting in kettle elements into your hlt and/or boiler, which should also be available at Mitre 10. I don't have any experience with this though so I don't know if you can do it with plastic pails etc.
 

johnno

It's YUMMY
Joined
15/7/03
Messages
2,800
Reaction score
6
For me it was more important to get the AG gear right first.

I wanted to be able to make a good beer before getting into kegging.

I have kegs but no regulators, hoses etc. that will come in time.
I dont mind bottling and I dont drink too much so its ok with me.

johnno
 

muga

Well-Known Member
Joined
16/7/05
Messages
408
Reaction score
3
I'm looking at getting into AG but would like to watch someone do it first hand before getting into it. I have seen a couple of videos of it but they have not been very detailed.

I think once I finish off my bar I'll be able to save the cash to spend on getting AG setup, could take some time.
 

T.D.

Hop Whore
Joined
28/4/05
Messages
2,214
Reaction score
1
People tend to do mash demos every now and then. Keep your eye out and see if you can attend. Personally, I was also a bit nervous doing my first one but I just wrote out extremely detailed step by step instructions I got from John Palmer's "How to Brew" and followed them by the letter. I had never seen anybody mash before but using the instructions I got through without much of a drama.
 

Beer

Active Member
Joined
6/10/05
Messages
42
Reaction score
0
Cheers T.D

Yeh I am just gunna try to make up a shopping list now..

I have tried searching, but no luck.. so if I missed it, is there a detailed list of what is needed for a basic setup? GMK's was helpful, but I probably need more detail as to what I can source from the hardware shop (sizes etc)

Any help appreciated, if not will try to google it, and see if there is a better list.

Cheers

Beer
 

T.D.

Hop Whore
Joined
28/4/05
Messages
2,214
Reaction score
1
Doing a seach will help you get a good idea of the gritty details of an AG setup. Try http://brewiki.org/wiki/homebrew/moin.cgi/FrontPage for some good pics etc of different peoples' setups.

But basically you need:

Hot Liquor Tank (HLT): some kind of pot or drum that you can use to heat and store your mash and sparge water in. Plastic is fine but you will need an immersion element or such to heat them.

Mash/lauter Tun: some kind of insulated vessel like an esky or a gatoraide-style cooler. You will need a false bottom / manifold / stainless steel braid for it though so you can separate the wort from the grain. The pros and cons of these different lautering options depend on budget, sparging technique etc, so you'll need to do some a bit of research on it.

Kettle: Again plastic will suffice, but stainless steel is probably the go. try to get one that is around 50% bigger than your boil volume so you have some capacity up your sleeve (and also to minimise the likelihood of boilovers etc). You can use a gas burner or electric element - whatever floats your boat.

Chiller: Either an immersion chiller (see the link above for some good pics) or counter-flow chiller. The immersion one is more simple to build out of copper piping (which you should be able to get from the hardware store).

Fittings etc: a half-inch ball valve is a good thing to have on your mash tun so you can regulate the run-off rate (if fly-sparging). If you have a s/s pot you will need to get a ball valve for that too. You will need pvc racking tubing as well.

As usual I have probably forgotten something, but that should get you started anyway. Its great fun putting together an AG setup. Good luck! :super:
 
Top