This edition was written by Brandon Jones; a member of Music City Brewers.
Cheap and Easy All Grain
(LTS Editor’s note: The Score is a publication of Music City Brewers, where this article first appeared.)
I had another article written for The Score but at the last minute I decided this maybe more helpful to the club in this economy.
You don’t need me to tell you how tight money is these days. You also don’t need me to tell you that in most cases all grain brewing will produce better beer than all extract brews and extract kits. Those are two very good reasons to go all grain right now. The misconception with all grain brewing is the cost and the level of difficulty. Going all grain can and will save you money while producing the best beer possible on your brew day. You do not need a giant stainless brewing sculpture or to spend thousands of dollars on equipment. In fact you can start saving money on your first batch and the equipment needed will probably cost less than an extract kit.
Just searching around and looking at 4 different home brewing shops I found the average price for a 5 gallon extract Pale Ale kit was around $33.00. The average price for an all grain Pale Ale was $27.00. Both prices include hops, fermentables, and dry yeast. As you can see the extract is costing around $6 more each time it is brewed, with lesser quality results.
Nobody has come up with a cheaper and easier way to all grain than a brewer named Denny Conn. The name may sound familiar to you, Wyeast released his strain of yeast about a year ago called “Denny’s Favorite 50.” Denny is also on the AHA board of governors. He has a very easy to follow method of making a mash tun with a cooler and the parts needed from your local hardware store. I will make the suggestion though on coolers that Big Lots seems to always have very inexpensive ones, but as always shop around. I would also suggest getting one that is at least 30 quarts.
So here is Denny’s website to show you how to make the mash tun and the very easy process of batch sparging.
Here’s to making the best quality home brew and saving you some money at the same time!