It's an exciting time when a brewer decides to switch from extract to all-grain brewing. Brewers just make wort while yeast actually make the beer and all-grain brewing allows you to produce your own wort instead of just boiling up malt syrups. Some beers will turn out much better and you can actually design your own recipe based on what you want it to taste like instead of what the malt syrups taste like. the main change that will stick out to many is that you need to boil 5-6 gallons, instead of 2-3 gallons, so that is the main equipment change that is required. All of your fermenting equipment remain the same but you will need some additional equipment to perform the mash, sparge, and boil. Consider checking out our all-grain equipment starter kits or even the all-in-one advanced systems, but the basics of a traditional method are covered here.
A traditional set up requires:
- 8 gallon Boil kettle or larger
- A mash tun, 7 or 10 gallon cooler, or kettle with ball valve
- A hot liquor tank
- False bottom for mash tun
- High temp tubing for transfers
- Heat source like a propane burner
- A sparge arm is used to divert the sparge water over the mash tun, so you are not channeling a direct stream into the mash as you rinse, or sparge, the grains. You can perform a batch sparge or use something simple like a sparge sprayer.
- A pump is a tool of convenience which will make your brew day quicker and easier. No one wants to pick up a heavy cooler/kettle full of hot liquid.
- A propane burner is optional but will make your brew day much faster than your stove top. Drastically cut down your time spent heating water to make your all grain brew day 4-5 hours instead of 6-7 at minimum on your stove top. There are many options for heat sources but the best option has long been the propane burner.