Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway - Last Chance to Enter!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Mash Tun / Small Batch
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-17-2014, 04:13 PM   #1
Owly055
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 692
Liked 90 Times on 66 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default Mash Tun / Small Batch

I'm fairly new to all grain, and thus far have used a brew bag. I was frustrated in my mashings with temp control issues, and so bought an Igloo 5 gallon cooler. I purchased the 5 gallon one because it is the same diameter as the smaller ones, and thus expandable to larger batches.

Looking at my grain bill......... a total of 5 lbs for a 2.5 gallon batch, it looks like it would be a really shallow grain bed in the cooler. Obviously a 10 (or more) pound grain bill would mash better in this cooler.

My question is should I try to do a conventional mash and sparge, or should I use a grain bag and treat it like a BIAB, or do a hybrid... mash it and sparge it, opening the bag to sparge. Or just do a BIAB in an insulated container???

Which makes the most sense?


H.W.

__________________
Owly055 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2014, 04:19 PM   #2
wilserbrewer
BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 9 reviews
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jersey Shore, Jersey
Posts: 7,000
Liked 506 Times on 420 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

IMHO, the best and easiest method for small batch brewing is to mash in a pot, then stick the pot in a warm oven to maintain heat.. The 5 gal cooler will also work, either with a bag or braid / manifold.

All the methods you mentioned will work well with a bit of practice. Grain bed depth does not matter if you batch sparge, which I assume you will batch sparge.

wilserbrewer is offline
iijakii Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2014, 04:40 PM   #3
Owly055
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 692
Liked 90 Times on 66 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default Tried the oven

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
IMHO, the best and easiest method for small batch brewing is to mash in a pot, then stick the pot in a warm oven to maintain heat.. The 5 gal cooler will also work, either with a bag or braid / manifold.

All the methods you mentioned will work well with a bit of practice. Grain bed depth does not matter if you batch sparge, which I assume you will batch sparge.
I tried the oven trick....... at your previous suggestion, last week. Unfortunately my gas oven is not highly accurate, and while it was less radical than trying to maintain temp on the stove top, it was still a problem. My hope is that by preheating and calculating the strike temp according to one of the tools for that purpose, I can get a decent mash process without a great deal of trouble. I'll probably boil up a considerable amount of water, and use a portion of it to preheat, and the remainder for the mash, keep an eye on temps, and add water if the temp drops significantly..........it really shouldn't........ The problem is going to be to keep track of how much water I'm working with.

This is going to be a very simple recipe using what grains and hops I have remaining from previous adventures. About 4lbs of two row, and half a pound each of melanodin and crystal 60. Some Northern Brewer for bittering and East Kent Goldings near the end of the boil for flavor / aroma...... I have slightly under 1.2 oz of the Goldings left. Those are the grains and hops I have....... and that pretty much governs what the beer is going to be. Any comments and suggestions would be appreciated. More or less of various grains / hops, etc..... to refine it into something interesting.

H.W.
__________________
Owly055 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2014, 04:54 PM   #4
Oginme
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Oginme's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: , NH
Posts: 412
Liked 36 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 81

Default

The key to using the oven is to make sure it is pre-heated for at least 30 minutes, put the mash pot in and after 5 minutes for mash temps 148 to 150, 10 minutes for 152 to 154, and 15 minutes for mashes 156+, turn the oven off. This should help maintain the temperature fairly consistent (+/- a couple of degrees).

I have a gas oven and ran into the same inconsistency in temperatures until I realized that the whole oven needed time to reach temperature, not just the air inside. The mass of the oven then helps maintain the temperature much more consistently.

__________________
Oginme is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2014, 05:45 PM   #5
wilserbrewer
BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 9 reviews
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jersey Shore, Jersey
Posts: 7,000
Liked 506 Times on 420 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Don't preheat a cooler with boiling water, add your strike water 10-20 degrees hot, and let that preheat the cooler, after 20 minutes either stir to cool to strike temp or add an ice cube or two to reach proper strike temp.

wilserbrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2014, 11:28 PM   #6
Owly055
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 692
Liked 90 Times on 66 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Don't preheat a cooler with boiling water, add your strike water 10-20 degrees hot, and let that preheat the cooler, after 20 minutes either stir to cool to strike temp or add an ice cube or two to reach proper strike temp.
Thanks for the tip............. I'll give it a try.


H.W.
__________________
Owly055 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-18-2014, 02:50 AM   #7
wilserbrewer
BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 9 reviews
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jersey Shore, Jersey
Posts: 7,000
Liked 506 Times on 420 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owly055 View Post
Thanks for the tip.......
Yea man, boiling water can be a little hard on a plastic cooler causing the inner liner to expand rapidly and pull away from the cooler shell causing warping and cracks, rather than adding water twice, easier to just add once and let it do it's thing....cheers!
__________________
wilserbrewer BIAB bags
custom sized BIAB Bags, hop bags and ratchet pulleys at reasonable prices


Http://biabbags.webs.com/

Corona Mill Bucket System V. 2
wilserbrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-18-2014, 02:33 PM   #8
Owly055
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 692
Liked 90 Times on 66 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default BIAB again

I just mashed in using BIAB in a canning kettle 2.5 gallon batch. I'm saving the Igloo for next time as my fittings are leaking so far. I have to do a rethink. At almost half an hour into the mash, I'm within a degree of my target temp (152). I mashed in a bit too hot and had to add some cold water......not much.

Heeding all the excellent advice on using the oven........... it seems to be working this time.

My fermenter for this batch is a 3 gallon Walmart acrylic ice tea jug. The lid fits very nicely, and I "drilled" a hole for the fermentation lock using a soldering iron, as well as sealing up the tiny vent hole. Clear, with a slight greenish cast, it has a spigot, and it's own acrylic stand. It didn't get much "love" when I described it.......... I like it, and that's all the really matters.......... The advantage of a brew bucket with spigot, with the advantage of being transparent so I can see what's going on.......... and a HUGE and very snug fitting lid making cleaning a breeze. I think I'm going to like it......... perfect for small batches, though I think the 2.5 gallon ferment may be just a tad much.......... We'll see. I'm hoping I don't have blow off problems.

H.W.

__________________
Owly055 is offline
Oginme Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-18-2014, 05:51 PM   #9
Owly055
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 692
Liked 90 Times on 66 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default Electronic Scale WRONG

I just finished mashing a BIAB brew, and am 2/3 of the way through the boil. My pre-boil gravity was 1.053 (temp adjusted). My target OG is 1.055, and I'm at 1.057, and approaching the end of the boil........... Something's wrong here, and I think it's my scale. If not, I'm getting incredible mash efficiency ;-)............


H.W.

__________________
Owly055 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Small Batch Mash Tun DIY manifold. Clintaurus All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 02-10-2014 11:48 AM
Mash tun design - small batch Beestin Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 03-08-2013 05:54 PM
Mash Tun design - small batch Beestin All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 03-08-2013 01:45 PM
Partial mash vs. AG small batch? PattyC All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 10-17-2011 04:07 PM
First AG Batch...and my mash tun is too small... TwoWheeler All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 10 09-10-2010 09:58 PM