Going All Grain

CrealCritter

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Bet THAT set you back a few bucks. I'm jealous.
I'm kind of jealous of myself honestly. But I got a great deal on it and would have been foolish to pass it up. It's never been used, but was a display item at my buddies home brew store.

I was doing some calculations, the kettle it'self weighs 30 lbs empty, water weighs 8.34 lbs a gallon, so totally full to the brim with water, it would weigh just shy of 200 lbs. The bulk head is most definitely required for transferring liquid into smaller easier to handle vessels. Although I don't ever envision it would be full to the brim, but still that's a lot of weight.

Also, It won't fit on the kitchen stove of course, but I do have a very nice heavy duty Bass pro shops propane stove that we'll use to heat it.

Besides for beer, It should be great for canning and frequently family gatherings.
 

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My wife was checking out the new kettle today. Upon showing her the inside and the stamped gallon markers and the trub screen, I handed her the lid. The weight of the lid took her totally by surprise and she said what's in this lid gold? I said, nope... It's just American stainless steel there honey. Then I told her the kettle it'self weighs 30lbs empty. She said that pot is heavy duty. I'm so glad the USA is making steel again, if you look for it, you can actually buy quality stuff again. Instead of being limited to flimsy junk made across the big pond.
 

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I really should have paid more attention in high school chemistry classes, instead of being the teachers pet and being her gofor.

After much study and breaking complex chemistry language into something I can understand I "think" I got a basic understanding of the infusion mash process for beer. Like I said it's basic, very basic but now I feel I'm armed with enough information to be really dangerous.

Up until now my goal has been to create an ideal environment for yeast to be happy and produce a tasty beer and alochol. Although there are many details behind the science of how this works it is pretty easy to fall within the margins of error and create a tasty beer with extracts and mini mash speciality grains and hops.

But now that I've taken the leap of faith into the world of all grain brewing. in addition to creating an ideal environment for yeast to be successful, I have to create an ideal environment for both alpha and beta enzymes to do their work. So I came up with a "primer" on the infusion mash process.
 
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CrealCritter

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I inlayed a good quality thermometer into my converted 10 Gallon Rubbermade Mash Lauter Tun (MLT).
IMG_20200207_111606124.jpg


I also ordered another 10 Gallon Rubbermade cooler to be converted into Hot Liquor Tank (HLT). A HLT is nothing more that a vessel to hold large amounts of heated water. It should be able to hold the water temperature for an extended period of time, the same as is required for a MLT. That's one of the main reasons these 10 gallon insulated made in the USA Rubbermade coolers are great for all-grain brewing.plus the are very easy to convert into MLT & HLTs

With a HLT I can Fly Sparge. Sparging is the simple act of rinsing the grains after the initial mashing and draining.

There are two main ways to sparge. The goal is to rinse the grains of sugars that has been converted from starch by the grain ensymes (Alpha and or Beta) that occured during mashing.

1) Batch Sparge is where you soak the grains in heated water all at once for an extended period of time and then drain them. Like you would when you take a bath.

2) Fly Sparge is where you shower the grains with heated water and drain them at the same time. Like you would when you take a shower.

Now if you want to get really clean fast, you take a shower. Although a good long soaking bath is refreshing for us humans and all. If you want to get really clean, It's quicker and more efficient to take a shower than a bath.

The same kind of principal applies to sparging. The more sugars you can extract and rinse from the grains, the more there is for yeast to convert into alcohol. And the more efficient your brew house will be. The more efficient your brew house, the less amount of grains will be needed to hit your original gravity targets for different styles of brews. Ain't Math and Science wonderful?

I hope all that made sense?
 
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CrealCritter

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This will make mashing and sparging so much easier, but more importantly safer. No more amazing dangerous climbing a ladder with several gallons of 170 plus degrees hot water. I also have a pump and silicone tubing to pump hot water upto the hot liquor tank (upper 10 gallon cooler). Then it's up to gravity takes over from there.

10 gallon Hot liquor tank (HLT) Top, 10 gallon Mash Lauter Tun (MLT) middle, 20 gallon Kettle & Burner bottom.
IMG_20200216_170445.jpg


HLT sits on the 6' high shelf, MLT on the 4' shelf.
IMG_20200216_170412.jpg


Water weighes 8lbs per gallon, so at full capacity that would be 80 lbs sitting 6' high. I built the shelf extra stout out of 2x4' and 3/4 AC plywood.
 

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This evening I made a homemade stainless steel vorlauf sparge assembly. It one piece of fairly thick stainless steel. I cut it out with my jig saw and finished it up with my bench grinder and belt sander. It's a single piece with lots of bends. It should spread out the wort enough while vorlaufing, lautering and sparging. The idea is to make it rain, like a shower over top of the grains to rinse them of sugars and not tunnel into them with a powerful stream.

This is the inside of the mash lauter tun converted rubbemade 10 gallon cooler lid. I think it will work well, but we will see this weekend, when I try it live for the first time.

IMG_20200217_183943882.jpg
 
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