First off let me introduce myself, I’ve been a brewing for almost 2 years and did one batch of Mr. Beer, two batches with extract + special grains steep and I immediately wanted to get more control over the beer I made but I am not ready to commit lot of money into an all grain system (welded pots, HLT, mash tun ect.) and have since done over 25 batches using this system or earlier versions of it. Since adding the sparging bucket system I now consistently get 77-80% brewhouse efficiency.
Here is my 4 Gallon Stovetop All Grain on a Budget setup. Its upgraded from most budget brew system is that it has a real sparge step and it doesn’t mash in a bag.
(1) 5 Gallon Stainless Steel Pot ($30)(Mash Tun and Boil Kettle)
(1) 4 Gallon Aluminum Pot ($12)(HLT)
(1) 6.5 Gallon Bottling Bucket w/ Spigot ($14)(already owned from extract brewing for bottling)
(1) 5 Gallon Walmart Bucket (With holes drilled in bottom)($3)
(1) Large Nylon Bag ($8)
(1) Accurate Thermometer ($15-100) (I happen to have a nice one I bought for cooking but a $15 one should do the trick, just takes longer to get results.)
Plus additional supplies associate with all grain/extract brewing including carboys (I use 5 gallon glass carboys and 5 gallon HDPE buckets), racking cane, bottling wand ect….
For this I’ll refer to temps and targets of my recently made Black Rye IPA:
Total Grains 10.25lbs
Target Mash temp of 152F
Target OG – 1.072
Efficiency – 77%
Pre-Boil Volume – 4.5 Gallons
Volume into Fermenter – 4 Gallons
1. Heat water (12 quart or about 1.2qts/lb) in your “HLT” to temp of about 170F
2. Dump or siphon water into your 5 gallon SS mash tun, place lid and let mash tun get warm.
3. Preheat oven to 200F
4. Once water drops to temperatures at your strike temperature (165F) dough in your grains and make sure they’re thoroughly mixed. Don’t put nylon bag into Mash Tun, this allows grains to more freely be stirred. Only use bag in sparging step.
5. Assuming you hit target temp of 152F, lid and let rest for an hour. Check every 15 minutes and stir thoroughly. If temp is too high add a little cold water or stir with lid off. If temp is too low then turn off pre-heated oven and place pot inside the oven
6. About half water through mash, measure and heat sparge water (2.75 gallons in this recipe) to 180F
7. Place 5 gallon bucket with holes in bottom inside 6.5 gallon bucket with spigot and you have a “mash tun with false bottom”
8. Place nylon bag inside of the 2 buckets and dump in grains. (make sure your spigot is closed)
9. I batch sparge by pouring out 1 gallon of sparge water at a time into a 1 gallon pitcher and then trickling over grain bed. Then directly from HLT once I use gallon pitcher to catch runnings. During sparge I stir a lot and near end I pull bag up to help drain the grains.
10. Dump runnings into pitcher to measure or directly into boil kettle, I filter through an SS screen into boil kettle due to coarse grain mill and start heat. For larger boilings 4 gallons or more I heat past heat break in seperate kettles and then combine.
11. Following boil schedule and pitch yeast accordingly, for this recipe I use around 6oz of hops in boil (Warrior, Fuggles, Cascade and Northern Brewer) and pitch us-05. I then dry hop with a total of 3 oz of hops (Cascade, Northern Brewer, and Mosaic)
Additional notes on brewing cheap:
Buy hops in bulk
Don’t buy 6.5 gallon bucket carboys, use 5 gallon for $3 and drill your own hole in a lid.
Harvest yeast (Yeast Harvest: A Novel Approach?)
Comments are welcomed