I've taken a break and now I'm back. I sold my old brew kettle and king kooker and now have a wooden brew stand. So far it's taken me about 5 hours of building and I have taken my time. I used 6 2x4's and some scrap plywood that was in my garage.

I spent $25 on wood and screws and $30 on the GFCI box. I also added a chugger pump. I had a 20% coupon so It was $95 on northern brewer shipped! I also scored a damaged keg at the scrapyard for $10.

All that's left is to run copper for the gas line.

 
 

This is the 3rd brew I've done in my new house. I've been doing 11 gallon batches lately but decided to do a 5 gallon batch today. This beer is based on a recipe from Dave Millers "brew like a pro" book named 3 rings Blond ale. I added flaked wheat and subbed crystal hops instead of cluster.

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6 lbs 2 row 1 lb flaked wheat 1 lb flaked maize
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Water filter setup
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My brew notes.
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Heating up the mash tun
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Mash water at 168. This will allow me to mash the grains at 154.
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Mashing the grains.
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Mash at 154 for 60 minutes.
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Mash out! I use a gravity fed system so I collect the wort in a bucket then add it to the boil kettle. I've thought about buying a pump but I'm very happy with the way this works.
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Grain bed after mash out. I then sparged at 170 for 10 minutes.
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I was afraid that I didn't collect enough wort so I heated up 1 1/2 gallons more water just in case. It turned out that I didn't need it. I hit my target of 7 gallons. Sometimes you just have to trust the numbers.
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1 oz crystal hops and safale us05
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Hops added directly to the boil kettle
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After I added the hops I stirred it well so they didn't stick to the side of the kettle.
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I put the immersion chiller in at 15 left in the boil to sanitize it. I added a half tab of whirlfloc at 12 minutes.
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Once chilled I opened the valve and put it in the fermenter. This works well and oxygenates the wort at the same time.
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Check out the foam. That's not from Star San. That's from the transfer from the boil kettle. I sprinkle the dry yeast directly onto the foam and seal the fermenter. Once the airlock is in place I fill it with a clear alcohol like vodka.
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Swamp cooler at 64 degrees. I don't have a fermenting fridge yet so this will have to do for now. The OG is 1.042 so it's going to ferment out around 4% abv. I will ferment for one week, then cold crash for 1 week. Then I will transfer to a keg with unflavored gelatin and put the gas on 15 psi for 5 - 7 days.

That's it! About 4 hours from start to finish.

 
 
I brewed a version of the first all grain beer that I ever brewed with my friend Dave. We bought the kit from northern brewer back in 2011. I wanted to brew it again but increased the grain and added Munich malt to create a beer similar to Bells Oberon ale.
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Filtering the water
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5lbs Rahr 2 row 5lbs white wheat 1lb Munich
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Crushing the grains. Thanks to Dave for letting me borrow the barley crusher!
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Taking detailed notes
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Homebrew!
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Mash water
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Mash at 152
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Mash out. What a nice Caramel color!
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1oz willamette at 60 min 1oz cascade at 15 min
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Chilling the wort.
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My homemade wort chiller. 50 ft of copper.
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The wort cooled down in 15 minutes. I transferred to the fermenter. I had to much boil off and ended up with only 4.5 gallons of beer. I was shooting for 5.5. Original gravity is 1.061, a little higher than I wanted.
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Draining into the fermenter and helping oxygenate the wort! Next pitch the yeast and wait!
 
 
Here are a few pictures of my King Kooker. I used a plywood box to raise the 2nd tier so I could transfer hot water to my mash tun without lifting. I've used it a couple of times and it works great. I also raised the whole cooker so I could put my fermenter under the boil kettle.
 
 
This is my 10 gallon, gravity fed brew rig. It is a King Kooker that I bought from amazon last year. I modified it by raising the 2nd tier burner so that I can heat my strike water and transfer it to the mash tun without lifting it or using a pump.

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10 gallon brew system
 
 
These are pictures from my brew day on 4/4/12. I took step by step pictures to help Mr. Beer brewers convert to All Grain brewing. I used the brew in a bag technique for this brew. In my opinion, it is just as easy as extract brewing and a great way to go to all grain brewing. The best part is that this batch only cost around $8 to make one case of beer!
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Grain bill for a Blond Ale
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This is my fermenter filled with sanitizer. I use Star San.
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I heated a pot filled with 3 gallons of filtered water to 160 degrees
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Once the water is the right temperature I add a paint strainer bag. I bought this one a Lowes in the paint department. This will hold the grains.
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Slowly add the grains and stir. The grains must be cracked or milled before mashing. You can order grains pre-milled. I use my friends Barley Crusher
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Thoroughly stir the grains so none stick together.
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Cover the pot to hold in the heat. I mashed at 152 degrees for 1 hour.
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I also covered the pot with a towel to hold in the heat. I usually lose 2 degrees in 1 hour.
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These are the hops. I used Centennial hops for bittering and Cascade for aroma. Since I am only making a 2 gallon batch, I am using .25 oz of each hops. I have them divided in half so I can add them at different times during the boil.
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After 1 hour I pulled the grain bag from the pot and placed in a colander. This allows me to start the boil while all the water drains from the grain bag.
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I left the grain bag in the colander for about 15 minutes.
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I boiled the wort for 60 minutes. I had 4 hop additions during the boil. I do not use hop sacks. I feel that I get more from the hops if they freely boil with the wort.
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I chilled the wort with a wort chiller. I usually use on ice bath in the kitchen sink but I borrowed the chiller from my friend Dave! After the wort is around 68 degrees I put the wort in a sanitized fermenter and place in my fermention fridge. I use a Johnson controller set at 68 degrees and usually ferment from 10 to 14 days. I use Safale US05 yeast. I reused yeast from a pale ale for this batch. More on reusing yeast later.
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This is the finished product! Brewed on 4/4/12 Bottled on 4/20/12 and the first taste test on 4/30/12! This beer was fantastic and will be brewed again soon!