Getting started with AG on budget

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Equipment Discussion' started by robjmills, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Nov 16, 2016 #1

    robjmills

    robjmills

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    Hi all,

    I've been brewing for a few years with a friend - always using malt extract - and we've done some pretty good beer. I'm wanting now to move in to AG and want to pick up some of my own kit to get things started. I'm wondering about what the best way of getting started is on a relatively small budget of around £150.

    I've read a bit on BIAB and this seems interesting, as I only have limited space and these kits look ok
    http://www.geterbrewed.com/biab-all-grain-starter-kit-includes-a-mash-kit/

    However, I wonder if i'm better with a separate boiler and mash tun. Maybe even a stovetop boiler as i've read about various issues with the electric boilers maintaining a rolling boil.

    I suppose the question is whether i'm better focusing on a good quality boiler than I can initially use for BIAB, before maybe getting a mash tun later on, or whether something like the full BIAB setup i've posted is going to keep me going for a while regardless.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Nov 16, 2016 #2

    wfr42

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    I ( and several others) have either this or the home brew company version.

    I believe most boiler cut outs issues are converted tea urns, I've not had any issues (barring a wet lead...which needed replaced) in my ag brews (all bar my 1st two have been on this kit).

    I'm more than happy with the beers I make, may need to borrow a mash tun and see if it makes any difference, but don't see me upgrading this kit.
     
  3. Nov 16, 2016 #3

    darrellm

    darrellm

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    Unlike kits, with AG you can brew any volume you like, it doesn't have to be the "standard" 23L.

    Quite a few of us brew smaller volumes, I do 10-12L brews. The advantages are cheap (can do it on the hob with a 15L stockpot) and I don't get too much of the same beer. Disadvantage is that is takes the same time to brew 5L or 10L or 23L.

    So something worth considering if you have a gas hob: with a cheap eBay stockpot and grain bag you can be off and going. Raw ingredients are cheaper than buying kits, with base malt just over a pound a kilo. This is a good place to start and got me going, although I thought I may as well do 10L rather than 5L
    http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=51779
     
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  4. Nov 17, 2016 #4

    robjmills

    robjmills

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    thanks for the feedback guys, I do have a gas hob and have considered the stock pot approach which is what we've done with our extract brews. On that note - is there a forum thread or post anywhere about BIAB kit you'd need and the kind of thing on eBay which would be suitable?

    Also very interested in the ACE boilers I saw mentioned on another thread here - something like this looks pretty good and seems people on here have had pretty good experiences with them?

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-BEER-...all-with-BOTTOM-FILTER-HOPS-BAG-/391218805137
     
  5. Nov 17, 2016 #5

    Lowcliff

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    Bought one recently, nice bit of kit. You would not be disappointed with it if you bought one.
    Cliff
     
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  6. Nov 17, 2016 #6

    robjmills

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    an ACE boiler?
     
  7. Nov 17, 2016 #7

    jayjt29

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  8. Nov 17, 2016 #8

    Bigjas

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    I was in your position a few months ago and not sure how to progress in to AG brewing on a budget. For £150 you can set up a 3 vessel system if you don't mind a bit of DIY......

    You can see my first go at AG brewing here http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=63111


    You can see my second brew day with my first home made boiler here http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=63498

    I have now made 2 boilers and use one as a HLT to heat up strike and sparge water. I have completed 8 AG brews so far with this set up and it works really well. You can see how I made them here http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=66587

    I bought a cheap Cool Box from Tesco and added a load of insulation to it along with a tap and it works really well as a mash tun. Mine is a 24 litre one and is a bit small really, better off with a 30+ litre one.

    Jas
     
  9. Nov 17, 2016 #9

    robjmills

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    ...this is where you lost me :lol:

    thanks all the same!
     
  10. Nov 17, 2016 #10

    monkier

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    This is the route i have gone down. I started doing small 5l batches on my stove but bought myself a ACE boiler. I've only done 2 BIAB brews but the results have been fantastic. Initially i wanted to go down the 3 tier system, but i think just doing BIAB is going to suit me down to the ground for a good long while.
     
  11. Nov 17, 2016 #11

    neal

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    I bought the very same kit a month ago, busy planning my third brew with it atm, no troubles at all with a rolling boil even outside, I did have to buy a bigger bag though with my second grain purchase (Maltmiller) as the supplied one (although works) was a tad small to fit around the rim and clipping it to the sides wound me up, the chiller coil even came with hose connectors on too which helped, totally converted to grain now :grin:
     
  12. Nov 17, 2016 #12

    robjmills

    robjmills

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    which one did you go for out of interest? I started going through the thread on them but got lost after a while. Seems there's been a new version here and there. This is one I spotted which looked good but not sure if this is *the* one?!

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-BEER-...7?clk_rvr_id=1125005989766&afsrc=1&rmvSB=true
     
  13. Nov 17, 2016 #13

    Bigjas

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    Haha no worries, I like DIY and making things but appreciate its not for everyone :thumb: Good luck in sorting something and in your position I would look at a BIAB set up....
     
  14. Nov 17, 2016 #14

    monkier

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  15. Nov 17, 2016 #15

    robjmills

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    great, definitely tempted by this. Peco boiler looks fine but just have the feeling this will last a bit longer and retain heat better. Could be total nonsense though!
     
  16. Nov 17, 2016 #16

    monkier

    monkier

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    Can't tell you how it compares to the Peco, but i really like mine. Does a great job of maintaining a rolling boil and (sufficiently wrapped up in an old sleeping bag) keeps temperature well too (only a degrees lost on these cold days)
     
  17. Nov 17, 2016 #17

    Dads_Ale

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    I have put together a quick guide on brewing AG on a budget.
    pm me an email address and I will send through a PDF copy
    Cheers
     
  18. Nov 17, 2016 #18

    robjmills

    robjmills

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    Thanks, I've sent you a pm
     
  19. Nov 18, 2016 #19

    robjmills

    robjmills

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    Out of interest has anyone documented their method for a full brew using an ACE boiler?
     
  20. Nov 18, 2016 #20

    pms67

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    My 30l Burco was £71
    Grain bag was £5
    Tap was £5
    Hose was £2
    Rolling boil no problem at all
     
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