My cheap, simple AG setup

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by karloz, Jun 10, 2017.

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  1. Jun 10, 2017 #1

    karloz

    karloz

    karloz

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    So after using kits for a while, I decided to attempt AG. Not wanting to spend a fortune, I thought I would build my own equipment and upgrade as I go.

    I am a total beginner at this so I watched a lot of videos and set at it. Yesterday I completed my first AG and it seemed to go ok (apart from the few lessons learnt found here http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=71663)

    Boil kettle:

    Equipment used:
    30l FV
    2x Tesco value kettles (£6 each)
    15mm Compession tank connector (£2.32 toolstation)
    Copper pipe (B&Q £6.24 3m x 15mm - This is enough for the mash tun too)
    Ball valve to fit 15mm copper pipe (I liberated mine from work)
    40mm & 20mm Hole saw (these were my measurements)
    Sandpaper
    PTFE tape (use it on every thread throughout)

    First I took the kettles to pieces and removed the elements to fit. I measured the elements and found I needed a 40mm hole saw. There is a small metal disc inside that has to be removed, otherwise when it hits boiling it will cut off.
    I then drilled, sanded and fitted them:

    EDIT: I had a few problems with leaks from the kettle elements when in place. The wall of the kettle was slightly thicker than the FV. I ended up doubling the seals with some spare bits I had kicking about.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I then drilled a 20mm hole, sanded and fitted the tank connector, small length of copper pipe to a valve and another piece of copper pipe (followed by jubilee clipped hose)

    [​IMG]

    I took a small length of copper pipe for a 'false bottom', however this proved a problem so I am going to change this to a 'flexible tap connector' with the rubber hose taken out of the middle (just leaving the mesh)

    [​IMG]


    Mash Tun

    Equipment used
    12l Cool box (£9 poundstretcher) I may get a bigger size though
    15mm Compession tank connector (£2.32 toolstation)
    Ball valve to fit 15mm copper pipe
    15mm Copper pipe 't' pieces and elbows
    Copper pipe from above
    16mm & 20mm drill bits/hole saws
    1mm drill bit or similar

    Firstly, I drilled through the bottom corner and fitted the tank connector, connected to ball valve (same as for boil kettle). I did have to make a bigger hole on the outside to fit a spanner in.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I then created my inner piping for the grain bed and drilled lots of small holes in it. This just slots into the tank connector. I didn't weld it together for easy cleaning:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next, Sparge arm. I drilled a 16mm hole in the top of my cool box and poked a small length of copper pipe through.

    [​IMG]

    Inside, push fitted together i created the sparge arm by drilling 1mm holes.

    [​IMG]


    Wort chiller

    Equipment used:
    Wednesbury copper compression tube 8mm x 10m (£14.78 B&Q)
    Hose pipe
    Jubilee clips

    Easy one. Just wrapped the copper pipe around a paint tin and connected the hose pipe to each end.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Final set up...

    [​IMG]

    I hope this is of some use to someone...
     
    Llamaman, Pavros, ScouseBrew and 2 others like this.
  2. Jun 10, 2017 #2

    Martybhoy

    Martybhoy

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    Excellent post.

    And even better handiwork.
     
  3. Jun 10, 2017 #3

    karloz

    karloz

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    Thankyou.

    However handiwork wasnt that good... there were mistakes made along the way:lol:
     
  4. Jun 10, 2017 #4

    Alside101

    Alside101

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    is that mashtun a coolbox from tesco? if so how well does it hold temps
     
  5. Jun 10, 2017 #5

    karloz

    karloz

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    It's the same as the tesco one, but a pound cheaper :whistle:

    I started at 65.5'C and an hour later 63.7'C. I did have a blanket around it, but it wasn't very thick.
     
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  6. Aug 8, 2017 #6

    britton

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    What size hose are people using to connect onto 15mm copper pipe?
     
  7. Aug 9, 2017 #7

    chewie

    chewie

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    Something about 15mm inside diameter, heat it up with hot water if its on the tight side to expand the hose. If you need to connect onto 10mm copper with a garden hose you can solder on a 10mm x 15mm reducer onto the 10mm end, that will give you a clean 15mm copper pipe end to attach the hose to.
     
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  8. Jan 23, 2019 #8

    Davewhit

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    Awesome. Great pics and write up.
    Wanted to respond so can easily find this in the future when the inevitable happens and I move on a level.
    Dave
     
  9. Jan 23, 2019 #9

    Soyyojuli

    Soyyojuli

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    I did something similar with mine, I both mash and boil in the same fv. No need for mashtun, I only loose about 0.5 celsius in 60 min. I made a element protector out of some aluminium I had around. I also made a place to put the mashbag when draining and I cut out the bottom of a second fv to avo7d spilling. It works great! 68%-73% efficiency on 3 brews so far. I sparge with about 10 liters.

    Kettle elements are from eBay for about 5pounds each and came with rubber fittings. No leaks so far! I get a really good boil, so good that I have to disconnect one of the elements after start of boil
    IMG-20180821-WA0007.jpg IMG-20181109-WA0023.jpeg

    Mashing!
    IMAG2611.jpg IMG-20180820-WA0009.jpg IMG-20180822-WA0004.jpg
     
  10. Jan 23, 2019 #10

    Davewhit

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    Another great looking setup
     
  11. Jan 23, 2019 #11

    Soyyojuli

    Soyyojuli

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    Thanks. Ive been thinking about adding a tap, but haven't really found the need yet. Would it be easier? Probably! Is it worth the extra $? No, not really.
     
  12. Jan 23, 2019 #12

    Gulpitdarn

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    I gotta lotta respects for guys who make up their own brewing kits, it's all part of brewing a great beer! To say that you made all the kit and completely brewed from scratch is admirable. You can really sit back and enjoy a home brew and say "I did all that". There are even guys on this forum who cultivate their own yeasts, grow their own hops, condition their own water, I'm now waiting for someone to actually grow their own barley and process it, bet It wont be long before someone chimes in and says they've done just that.
     
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  13. Jan 23, 2019 #13

    Soyyojuli

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    Ive seen some post here in Norway about people doing exactly that.
    It's fun to make your own stuff! Fun and a lot cheaper. Cultivating yeast is not hard, making a magnetic stirrer for the yeast is not hard, top and bottom cropping yeast is not hard. Just try it. You'll save money and in the end you'll have a &#%@load of different yeast to choose from.

    Here is easy version magnetic stirrer
    IMG-20180925-WA0005.jpeg
    Here is my newest one, a little more but still easy. It was made from 2 wooden napkinholders and some cheap China parts. Total cost about 15 pounds
    IMAG2967.jpg
    IMAG2971.jpg
    IMAG2958.jpg
    IMAG2973.jpg

    Here is a pic of some kveik yeast that I cultivated.
    IMAG2745.jpg

    Beer is awesome. Making it your own is even better! acheers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  14. Jan 25, 2019 #14

    Victor Churchill

    Victor Churchill

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    Really fascinating and inspiring posts! I am so looking forward to having the space & time to move on to AG, and although shiny
    Grainfathers etc look gorgeous, the home brewed hardware has a charm all of its own - and saves hundreds of ££!

    btw @Soyyojuli - what method do you follow to make the yeast stirrer? Looks sweet :-)
     
  15. Jan 25, 2019 #15

    simon12

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    My setup is very similar to the OP's but a bit simpler, I used a bazooka filter both as the hop filter and in the mash tun, I didn't bother with a sparge arm and just batch sparge and used plastic taps. I think I used exactly the same cool box but used the thicker PP 33l bucket which is thicker, batch sparging I don't need any hose which I prefer. Your setup looks better than mine but I am worried you may have some brass fittings on the tank connector which could leach stuff into the beer.
     
  16. Jan 25, 2019 #16

    Soyyojuli

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    Glad you like it :laugh8: I've been told its a bit flashy haha.

    It basically a pc fan hooked up to a potensiometer and a switch from there. It's all hooked up to a 12v phone charger I had laying around.
    The box is just two wooden napkinholders that I put together with some screws. I burned in the drawing with a small welder. Used some left over cables I had from other pc parts.

    The China parts are from Jolly. Really cheap and free shipping. (if you can wait a month)

    If you want a part list I'll gladly post it.
     
  17. Jan 25, 2019 #17

    Soyyojuli

    Soyyojuli

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    Ahh! And some rare earth magnets. I used the ones from an old hardisk but you can use any strong magnets. I glued some under the lid to hold the stir bar. I also have a small loose one to get the bar out of the yeast after.
     
  18. Jan 26, 2019 #18

    pottsworth

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    Do either of you guys use any sort of temperature controller?

    I have an old fermentation bucket that I was thinking about using to make a ebiab setup, but it would be handy if I could hold a mash temperature.
     
    Soyyojuli likes this.
  19. Jan 26, 2019 #19

    Soyyojuli

    Soyyojuli

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    I use a digital thermometer. I put it in the hole on the lid of the bucket. I've thought about installing a thermowell but haven't really gotten to it. I just stick the thermo in and let it sit there during the wholeash
    Never had more than 1 Celsius drop
     
  20. Jan 26, 2019 #20

    MyQul

    MyQul

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    here's steve's guide to making a magnetic stirrerhttps://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/how-to-build-a-stir-plate-for-less-than-ten-quid.65471/
     

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