There are many different options when choosing equipment for
all grain brewing, such as using a grain bag and a boiler fitted with a thermostat. I decided to use a cool box
fitted with a strainer and sparging arm for a mash tun, a 10 gallon boiler without a thermostat and a counterflow wort
cooler in addition to my fermentation buckets, hydrometer, etc which I use on kit brews.
The above photo shows the boiler, mash tun, CFC cooler, sparge
arm, plastic tubing, thermometer, hydrometer, test jar and the milk bottle fitted with an airlock. The milk bottle is
used to make the yeast starter.
Another photo of the equipment used, this shows the strainer on
top of the mash tun lid.
This photo shows the inside of the boiler which is fitted with
a hop strainer.
Before brewing commences, I sterilise all the equipment which is going to be in contact with the
brew, e.g. the boiler, mash tun, CFC, fermenting buckets, paddle, plastic tubing, etc. It is not necessary to sterilise
the boiler or anything
else which is used in the process before the boil. I do so simply because the boiler is large enough to hold all the
fermenting buckets, plastic tubing, wort cooler, plastic paddles, etc. I use Ritchie’s combined steriliser and
cleaner, add the steriliser at the rate of 1 teaspoon of the powder to 1 gallon of hot water. After around 30 minutes
drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. A simple way of doing so is to place all the smaller buckets and equipment
into the boiler. I always sterilise my all grain equipment the evening before I brew, I always put the smaller equipment
into a fermenting bucket and snap the lid down tight. Although it is better to sterilise the equipment shortly
before you use it, I have had no problems doing this, I always brew first thing the next morning. I also perform
the yeast starter the evening before if using dried yeast, if I use Wyeast or Whitelabs I activate it using a starter about
36-48 hours before I brew.
Please go to the next page to see how I make a yeast starter.