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The Brewery Takes Shape….

November 8, 2009

Over the last few weeks, I have been doing a lot of reading and browsing of other brewers setups in preparation for beginning the journey to brewing my beer from scratch; otherwise known as All-Grain Brewing.

Bit by bit, I have been collecting the required (and some not really required 🙂 equipment to being brewing all-grain. I have found this the best way to get into this aspect of brewing as it didn’t feel like a huge chunk of funds were being taken from my back pocket in one-go, and I was able to fit out my brewery with some little bits and pieces that would be considered ‘not really necessary’ to brewing all-grain beer (things like stainless steel fittings).

Lets start with the first purchase I made…

The Mash Tun (Sorry – photos on the way)

My mash tun consists of a 55L esky that I purchased using frequent flyer points (a great way to spend them!). I fitted it with a ball-valve and created a DIY bulkhead using some threaded piping and home-made washers (from Silicon bakeware). I used compression fitting with a small piece of copper pipe on the inside of the tun to attached a 30cm length of SS braided hose with a hose-clamp. For the end of the braid, I just neatened up the wire with scissors and folded it back on itself, and secured it tightly with a cable tie A couple of weeks later, I decided to purchase and install a Mashmaster Mash Thermometer. I picked a spot on my esky and drilled a 1/2 inch hole to install the thermometer. Everything was going great until I realised on small, annoying little detail – I had installed the thermometer too high on the tun. Whilst it was a great looking spot for it (right between the handle, directly above the ball valve), a standard 1-batch mash would not reach that high up in the tun. So, I reinstalled it much lower down where it would definitely be fully submersed in the mash.!

Now I have the issue of patching a hole in the esky….that will be for a future post!

All in all, it probably cost be about $70, which is by no means the cheapest build that I have seen


1st AG Brewday 08-11-09 048

In looking for a burner, I wanted something that was going to be able to boil 50L with no problem, and would be able to upgrade in the future if I ever wanted to go into larger batches. I also wanted something that wouldn’t wake the neighbors or feel like I was launching a surface-to-air missle.

After much investigation, I went for an Italian Spiral Burner which I purhased from BeerBelly.

This thing looks great – with the low pressure, adjustable regulator that I purchased with the burner, I should be able to boil volumes of up to 70L without breaking a sweat.





A lot of people have suggested that anyone looking to buy a pot to start out in AG should get a larger volume than they think they will need. That is, if you only want to brew single batches (36L pot) then you should go for a 50L pot or larger, just in case you want to brew double batches down the line.

Whilst I agree with this ‘spending  little more now will save you in the long run’ type thinking, I really can’t afford to buy a really large pot at this stage. I personally need to prove to myself that I can make really, REALLY good beer before I start investing a mint in my brewery.

Thus, I have purchased a 45L pot from Pat at  Abolute Home Brew. This pot comes with a SS bulkhead with SS ballvalve. 45L will give me the ability to do a good size, single batch. Also, the price of this pot is cheap enough that, further down the line if I want to upgrade, I won’t feel like I wasted a huge amount cash. I also purchased for this pot a SS pickup tube and SS hosetail barb from Beerbelly. The pickup tube is something that I felt I needed in order to stop so much trub from entering my fermenter. The hosetail just makes emptying the pot a little neater (and it looks good 🙂

So…now all I need is to stop writing and start brewing! Next on the to-do list…..putting together the recipe!


From → Brewery

  1. padden permalink

    Looking Good Matt! Can’t wait to see that spiral fired up at the xmas party! Going to put my 4 burner to shame 🙂

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