Welcome to the Apocalypse Ales Blog!

This is the first step of documenting the journey from simple extract kits to full All Grain custom recipes.  It has been exciting along the way, but the equipment upgrades have slowed it down a bit.

One of my goals will be giving a detailed list of parts and equipment used with links to the items (if possible) in hopes of possibly making this easier for brewers in the future.

So far, we are working on the following:

Portable Brew Cart so that we can brew in the driveway on nice days, in the garage when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Keggles – I would love to have one for the HLT (Hot Liquor Tank) and one for the BK (Brew Kettle).  So far, I have been able to source only one 15.5 Gallon Keg, so it will be used for the BK.  I’ll add pictures in an upcoming post.

Mash Tun – We will be using an Igloo 10 Gallon round cooler for the Mash Tun.  Instead of the false bottom, we are building a CPVC manifold to help with draining.

Conical Fermenter – Found a great Food Grade plastic conical tank to use for this.  The one I purchased is sold as a 15 Gallon tank, but has markings up to 17 Gallons. This thing is huge!  I will detail all the fittings used in building this as we go along.  We also need a stand for the fermenter as well as a fermentation chamber.  This will go in my garage and I do not want to take up a lot of floor space, so we are building a vertical unit which will allow for yeast harvesting and bottling straight from the fermenter.

Since we are going to start brewing 10 Gallon batches, we NEED an immersion chiller.  I’m going with simplicity on this one.  I found a smoking deal on a 50′ 1/2″ copper Immersion Chiller.  The link will be up soon.  I’ve already used this on two 5 Gallon extract batches and cooled to 80 degrees in about 7 minutes.  I’m super excited about this!  No more ice water baths!

Of course, we are also thinking about pumps so we do not have to lift ANYTHING with 10 Gallons of liquid in it.  I love what I have seen of the Chugger, but am thinking about using some food grade 12v pumps.  At 2.4 GPM, they are plenty fast to transfer from the Mash Tun since we are fly sparging.  Hopefully, it will also be powerful enough to pump from the BK to the Fermenter.  If it’s not, then we may just use the 12v pumps to transfer the strike/sparge water to the Mash Tun and then from the Mash Tun to the BK.  Still, a LOT cheaper than three Chuggers!

I would also like to hear which grain mill/barley crusher gives the best bang for the buck.  This will likely be one of the last things we do, but unfortunately, I will over-think it until it is done.

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