All Grain Brewing Equipment

>> Saturday, November 25, 2006

Here's the list of parts I used to build my all grain system:
(2) 5 Gallon Rubbermaid coolers from Sam's Club @ $18.64 each
(2) 1/2 stainless steel ball valves from Badger Tools @ $7.03 each
(2) Stainless steel couplers, part #4464K214 from McMaster-Carr @ $4.19 each
(2) Stainless steel nipples, part #4830K171 from McMaster-Carr @ $2.01 each
(2) Brass locknuts, part #50785K144 from McMaster-Carr @ $1.92 each
(2) Kynar barbed fitting, part #53055K221 from McMaster-Carr @ $2.75 each

Lessons learned: The nipples were too short so I wasn't able to use the locknuts. As a result, the bulkhead wasn't as tight of a fit as I would have liked. Occasionally I'll get a drip or two leaking past the bulkhead assembly. Not a big deal, but I'd recommend using a slightly longer nipple, perhaps part #4830K172 from as I think this would probably provide a better seal.

Assemble the parts per the diagram below for both your hot liquor tank (HLT) and your mashtun. You'll also want to install some kind of false bottom in your mashtun. I use a section of stainless steel mesh (from the outside of a stainless steel water supply line) attached to a 1/2 male threaded copper fitting. The copper fitting is screwed into the coupling and the stainless steel mesh is attached to it.

After you figure in shipping costs, you should be able to build these for pretty close to $40 each or $80 for the whole system. Most of the comparable commercially available systems sell for about $180 and up, so there's potential to save quite a bit of money by building this yourself.


Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone 1

>> Saturday, November 11, 2006

I've picked up some new equipment. I broke down and purchased an 8 gallon stainless steel kettle and an oxygen system both from Beer, Beer, & More Beer. The kettle is great because now I'm able to do a full boil resulting in better hop utilization. The oxygen system is used to oxygenate the wort after the boil. This helps the yeast get off to a better start decreasing the lag time between pitching and active fermentation.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone:

9 pounds, U.S. 2--row pale malt
1/2 pound, crystal malt (60L)
1/4 pound, cara-pils malt
1 ounce, Perle (alpha 6.5), (60 minute boil)
1/2 ounce, Cascade (alpha 6.3) (15 minute boil)
1/2 ounce, Cascade dry hopped in the primary
Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast

Mash at 153/5 degrees F. Hop according to schedule above. Chill and pitch. This batch spent about 4 days in the primary, 5 days in the secondary, and now it's been kegged and primed with 2/3 cup of honey.

Recipe Feedback 12/06/2006
Sierra Nevada Clone - I liked this one quite a bit. It wasn't quite as hoppy as I would have liked, but it is really good. This is probably my favorite brew so far. I'll definitely make this one again.

Rating: A-/A