What was your first step towards AG?

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BeerMe

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For those who started on the kits. For a newbie like me who is still waiting to bottle their first kit, what equipment did you buy first to make the jump?
 

dwhite60

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I did a couple partial mashes before going all grain. Three pounds of grain in place of three pounds LME. You might try just making a gallon of something to try the process. SMASH some Marris Otter and some Fuggles for a basic Pale Ale.

You'll wish you had done it sooner.
 

Polcho

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I was cleaning out ready to move. I still had all the home brew equipment that we brought with us when we moved to Doncaster (1999).

I used to brew the kits (when we say kits, do we mean the tins)? Before that, never did start again though.

I did a job just around the corner from the home brew shop and thought I would pop in to see if it was worth starting again.

I got talking to the owner, he recommended a box with two packets of malt extract etc. Festival golden stag ale.

I had left everything clean, so it wasn’t a major job to give it a go.

The only thing I did was to renew the rubber on the King Kegs (the new ones are a square profile),
and replace with the new type taps.

I still had two gas bottles, which he exchanged, even though they were not from him.

I made the beer, couldn’t believe how good it was to be honest. One thing led to another and I became interested in the all grain process, hence joining this forum.

Even though I haven’t actually made a brew with grain up till now, I’m hooked. So much to learn in so many directions.
 

Covrich

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THink I did two or 3 kits to start and then I did an extract from there I did a partial mash and then looked at it and realised the cost of grain vs DME and then just bit the bullet for me I jumped to a 50L and a gas burner (now have a 45l hopcat).
 

Polcho

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Does the 45 litre Hopcat pull more amps that the 35 litre types all in models?

I saw one advert, can’t remember what company saying that they take no responsibility for overloading electrics on a bigger model.
 

Covrich

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I dunno to be honest.. I just plug it in as I would normally and it works fine.. It goes up to 2500W and you can adjust it.. but I only do normal 23l brews in it which I have to say given the slightly bigger basket I just do a single infusion and no sparge job
 

Polcho

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Thanks, I did consider getting a 45 litre model having seen the boiling over on some videos. I though it might be better. What do people think about that?
 

smcc

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I never did extract brewing, I just thought if I want to make my own beer then do it properly. I started with BIAB but it just became so much of hassle that I just made an investment on an all in one system, stainless fermenters, keg and fridge and havent looked back. Its really amazing that you can make beer as good as the pros, my system isnt really that much different just much smaller scale
 

Covrich

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Thanks, I did consider getting a 45 litre model having seen the boiling over on some videos. I though it might be better. What do people think about that?

Well you are no where near a boil over on that. but you can of course do a bigger brew if you wanted..

For me it is simple I put all the water in.. get to mash dump the grains in the basket raise it to 75 for 10 mins after mash (I recirculate throughout). Remove the basket and boil with hops.. Couldn't be easier
 

Deadhead

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I bought a wort pan and a big bag to partially mash, then did BIAB. Then used a coolbox mash tun. Bought a Grainfather (before all these cheaper systems came), and I have been very happy ever since.
 

Cwrw666

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We're on untreated spring water here so all brewing water has to be boiled even for kits. I did many years just using the kitchen kettle but eventually was tempted to buy an Ace boiler (£84 if I remember correctly). After a few more kit brews and lurking on the forum for a while it just seemed I had to give AG a go. Just needed to buy a BIAB bag.
 

Galena

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I did a lot of reading up on brewing, reading How to Brew twice etc and then decided the way I wanted to go. I bought klarstein Fullhorn and a plastic insulated drinks chiller for a HLT and went the BIAB route.
I did not do any kits and went straight for All Grain, though the first brew I did was a partial grain (if thats what it is called) so 2 tins extract and some flavouring grains. This was mainly to get used to the process without the added complications of mashing.
Then it was straight into AG and developing my own recipes and also one or two from Greg Hughes book.
All good so far.
 

An Ankoù

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I did AG then had to take a bit of a break due to work and kids and stuff like that. I restarted using plastic jerry-cans of malt extract and I was perfectly happy with the beer. Then there was a massive price hike on the extract, I think they put VAT on it and so I went back to full grain. I've never been really happy with any of the few kits I made.
 

Hanglow

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I did about five coopers/woodford/brewery kits, then used a large jam pot for a couple of extract+hops brews, then got a proper boiler and used a cool box mash tun for all grain. It's well worth going all grain if you have the time to do so imo
 

Racehunter

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After 6 kits and after reading the now famous 'Have a go' thread, I moved to the dark side. I am only 2 brews in but so impressed with the end results.

I do full volume BIAB aiming for 11.5L into the fermenter.
 

paintingken

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After 3 extract kits I planned on doing a stove top/ partial mash set up but the pandemic kicked in. The equipment was selling out in the shops I was looking at so I went straight into all grain.

I don’t have a fancy set up, I batch spare with the big cooler mash tun, no all in one. I have tried to invest wisely at every step, mainly in stainless steel and I have no regrets. I quite enjoy the brew day process but this hobby will try and turn all of your money into shiny kit for brewing.

Good luck.
 

MickDundee

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I was looking on Gumtree and stumbled upon someone selling her late husband’s brew gear. She was more interested in it going to someone who would make use of it than she was about the money. I got about £60 or £70 worth of equipment for £20.

The boiler blew up after 4 brews (which luckily was about a month before my birthday so I got a replacement boiler) but it set me on the journey.
 

phettebs

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My first beer was a kit beer. My second beer was all-grain. I opted to go with the (in my mind) easier method of batch sparging. So I needed a 48qt cooler with a hose fitted to it, a large brew pot, and then a propane burner to boil it all. It's pretty low-tech but it works for me.
 

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