From Stove Top Extract To All Grain Outside

Want to go from extract on your kitchen stove to all grain outside?  This post walks you through one possible upgrade path.

Assumptions: The quoted cost assumes that you will batch sparge and that you have a reasonably sized extract kettle that you can use as a hot liquor tank.  Also assumed… you’ll use the propane tank from your gas grill and you already have a way to cool your wort.  HLT/Fly Sparging and Wort Chiller Upgrades appear at the end.

There are a million different ways to do this.  I’ve just put together one possible strategy.  If you go with this, you’ll be placing three orders – at Amazon, More Beer and Wal-Mart.  All orders qualify for free shipping.

Amazon Order

Brew Kettle:


Winware Professional Aluminum Stock Pot 40 qt 

Wal-Mart Order

10 Gallon Cooler for Mash Tun:

Igloo Beverage Jug – Orange and White, 10-Gallon

More Beer Order

Cooler Conversion Hardware:

This replaces the stock spigot in the cooler.  It has a 3/8″ barb to attach to high temp tubing.

Weldless Cooler Kit (Stainless) WL151

This connects to the barb on the cooler kit and will allow you to drain and recirculate wort.
Tubing – Silicone (3/8″ ID) – By the Foot

Hose/Tubing Clamp (Large) H960

How would you brew an all grain batch using this equipment?  Here’s a general outline for batch sparging.

  1. Figure how much strike water you will need and at what temperature.  You can do this calculation by hand, by using brewing software (like Brewer’s Friend) or you could use my Brewing Spreadsheet.
  2. Heat up the required amount of strike water to the necessary temperature in your existing extract kettle.
  3. Drain or dump that water into your newly converted cooler mash tun.
  4. Stir in the grain for your recipe.  Ensure clumps are broken up.
  5. Check the temperature of your mash.  If your temperature is high, add some ice.  If it is low add some boiling water.  It is better to shoot a little high with your strike water as it’s easier to cool the mash down than it is to heat it up.
  6. Put the lid on your cooler and wait for your mash to complete.  Usually 60 minutes.
  7. Start heating up the required amount of sparge water to your desired temperature.  I heat this water to 185 or 190 F.
  8. At the conclusion of the mash, recirculate pitchers of wort until your wort is husk and debris free.
  9. Drain all of the wort into your boil kettle.  These are your first runnings.
  10. Drain or dump your sparge water into the mash tun.
  11. Stir the mash.
  12. Recirculate pitchers of wort until your wort is husk and debris free.
  13. Drain all of the wort into your boil kettle.  These are your second runnings.
  14. Bam you’re done.


Add on a Hot Liquor Tank Upgrade:

I’d say a 5-6 gallon kettle will suffice for a HLT.  How did I get that?  I plugged the numbers into my brewing spreadsheet and a 5 gallon finished beer using 12 lbs of grain, needs 4.5 gallons of sparge water.  That’s using my system parameters, so it’s an estimate, but should be close.  If you do not have a suitable extract kettle to use for a HLT (for batch sparging) or you want to fly sparge and need something with a spigot to control flow or you just want a new HLT, here’s what you’d need.

Wal-Mart Order

Additional Cooler:
Igloo Beverage Jug – Orange and White, 10-Gallon

More Beer Order

Additional Cooler Conversion Kit
Weldless Cooler Kit (Stainless) WL151

Additional High Temp Tubing

Tubing – Silicone (3/8″ ID) – By the Foot – Suggested 3 feet.  Adjust length as you see fit.

Hose/Tubing Clamp (Large) H960

Wort Chiller Upgrade:

Wort Chiller – 1 (25′ x 3/8” With Tubing) WC20

Other Upgrades:

Food Service Quality Pitchers:

I have two of these pitchers.  There are several equipment purchases that I look back on and say… I’m really glad I got that, it’s made a big difference. This pitcher, is one of those. I went from a mish-mash of too small plastic pitchers, found around the house, that bent under the weight of wort, dripped and leached who knows what into my beer to two of these babies! What a difference.

These sturdy pitchers hold a full gallon and are food safe at high temps. The lip around the top minimizes drips.  I use these for vorlaufing/recirculating, topping up water, collecting wort from my mash tun, holding utensils on brew day and more.  I like these so much, they are on the Top Finds list!

Winware Aluminum Measuring Cups 1 Gallon

Quick Read Digital Thermometer:

Waterproof, Instant Read Digital Thermometer from CDN.  Check out my hands on review here

CDN DTQ450X ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer

2 thoughts on “From Stove Top Extract To All Grain Outside

  1. Will

    For your upgrades, I would recommend a 5-Gal Igloo Cooler instead of the 10 gal. The 5 gal will hold heat a bit better since you have less headspace, and is easier to move around and store!

    I have never had a need to use a larger HLT for 5-gal batches!

    1. Chris Brewer

      I started out with a 5 gallon cooler and used it for several beers. I was regularly filling it up to the brim and I ran into some recipes early on that I didn’t have enough room for. I moved to a 10 gallon cooler and because of that I generally recommend a 10 gallon cooler. It’s got enough room for bigger beers and you can also brew 10 gallon batches, should you choose to do so. I know 5 gallon coolers work for people too though.


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