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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > All-Grain Brewing with Extract Brewing Equipment (pics)
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:52 PM   #11
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This is exactly what I was looking for!

I desperately wanted to try my hand at all-grain, but I dont have the room or money for any additional equipment. I will be trying this on my very next brew.

One question - If I were to buy an all-grain kit for AHS, that is intended for a final 5g, how can I calculate appropriate measurement for a partial boil? My small electric stove can't handle much, so I was hoping to somehow do a 2g all-grain partial boil and top it off.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for an awesome tutorial!
I'm glad I could help.

Your plan is exactly what I started off trying to do with this method. I wanted to take DeathBrewer's method (which uses a 6.5 gallon kettle for a full boil) and make a partial boil in my 5 gallon set up.

Thinking along your lines, I sent him a PM for advice, and he responded honestly (and in my research since, quite truthfully) that you really can't get the efficiency you want out of AG using partial boils, especially partial boils as small as 2 gallons. That advise is what drove the decision to do 2.5 gallon batches, and I got very respectable efficiency because of it.

If you have an electric stove, I would suggest you invest a little money in getting a turkey fryer kit Bayou Classic 3066A 30-Quart Outdoor Turkey Fryer Kit. I have a nice natural gas stove with Power Boil settings, so this is a little beyond my needs right now, but I may have to consider it when I get all of my AG equipment.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:01 PM   #12
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Thanks for the quick reply.

I figured I might be limited to 2.5g batches. If thats the case, then, assuming a recipe calls for a 5g boil, all that I need to do use half the ingredients, correct?

The electric stove works alright for 2-3 g, but anything more than that and I am waiting for a long time. I'll have to invest in that turkey fryer soon...

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Old 10-21-2009, 07:28 PM   #13
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As far as the recipe goes, yes, all you have to do is cut the ingredients in half. However, your mash process will change slightly when compared to the originally posted 5 gallon process (assuming that is provided to you in the recipe).

Make sure you calculate the strike water and sparge water temperature for yourself. This is because your water to grist ratio is going to change. For example, the strike water temperature for the "full" mash was 10 degrees hotter than my 2.5 gallon mash. Refer again to the formula I posted in Step 3.

Let me know if you have anymore questions.

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Old 10-21-2009, 08:40 PM   #14
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that you really can't get the efficiency you want out of AG using partial boils, especially partial boils as small as 2 gallons. That advise is what drove the decision to do 2.5 gallon batches, and I got very respectable efficiency because of it.
Hmm, I think this thread has been getting the issue of partial boil confused with brewhouse efficiency. They are not related. Partial vs full boil only affects hop utilization (and a couple other minor effects). Your efficiency is determined by how successful your mash is, and is set in stone before you even start the boil.

I think what DeathBrewer was getting at is that you can't get good efficiency using a 5 gallon pot if your goal is a 5 gallon batch of medium to high gravity wort without using any extract. The issue is that the volume of water needed to mash a lot of grains would be bigger than your 5g pot. But you could do a 5 gallon partial boil AG stove-top batch if your goal was a relatively low gravity beer.

Basically there's a maximum amount of grain+water you can fit in a 5g pot and if you try to squeeze in more grain by lowering your water to grain ratio, you'll get worse efficiency. But that just means you need to figure out what your max grain mashing capacity is (for me it has been about 6 lbs with 2.0 qt/lb water ratio in my 5g pot) and then decide how you want to use that wort... your options are: A) medium gravity AG 2.5g batch, B) low gravity AG 5g batch, C) medium or high gravity partial mash 5g batch.

I've chosen (C) on all my stove-top mashes so far, since I don't have a 3g carboy and am not sure I want to do anything smaller than a 5g batch. And I don't like low gravity beers (so I haven't tried (B)).
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:26 PM   #15
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Sweet! I dig the sign!

Wasn't sure how it would go with the temporary wort-holding vessel. Looks like it went well!

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Old 10-21-2009, 09:31 PM   #16
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Hmm, I think this thread has been getting the issue of partial boil confused with brewhouse efficiency. They are not related. Partial vs full boil only affects hop utilization (and a couple other minor effects). Your efficiency is determined by how successful your mash is, and is set in stone before you even start the boil.

I think what DeathBrewer was getting at is that you can't get good efficiency using a 5 gallon pot if your goal is a 5 gallon batch of medium to high gravity wort without using any extract. The issue is that the volume of water needed to mash a lot of grains would be bigger than your 5g pot. But you could do a 5 gallon partial boil AG stove-top batch if your goal was a relatively low gravity beer.

Basically there's a maximum amount of grain+water you can fit in a 5g pot and if you try to squeeze in more grain by lowering your water to grain ratio, you'll get worse efficiency. But that just means you need to figure out what your max grain mashing capacity is (for me it has been about 6 lbs with 2.0 qt/lb water ratio in my 5g pot) and then decide how you want to use that wort... your options are: A) medium gravity AG 2.5g batch, B) low gravity AG 5g batch, C) medium or high gravity partial mash 5g batch.

I've chosen (C) on all my stove-top mashes so far, since I don't have a 3g carboy and am not sure I want to do anything smaller than a 5g batch. And I don't like low gravity beers (so I haven't tried (B)).
That's pretty much exactly what I was trying to get at, you just did a much better job of explaining it.

When I was setting this up, I originally intended to use all of my grains for a 5 gallon batch, with a water to grist ratio of 1.25 qt/lb and do a 1 gallon batch sparge and fit it into my 5 gallon. After the research I did, I found that I would end up with lower efficiency than I wanted, and I ordered my grains assuming 75% efficiency (ambitious, I know). So it wasn't worth it for me.

So, I suppose, it is possible (especially with lower grav beers) to accomplish this. Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:26 PM   #17
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Looks great! The one thing I'd say (perhaps) is that on step #14, I'm not sure if you really need to pour the sparge water slowly over your grains, stirring while you go.. Unless you're worried about splashing water out of the pot, it seems like you could just pour it all in at once, stir for a little while, let sit 10 minutes, then remove the grain bag and drain.

Not a big thing, but might save a little bit of time. And it might be one less thing for people starting out with this method to get worried about!

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Old 10-21-2009, 10:53 PM   #18
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Nice work documenting what you did! Definitely should be a help to other newer extract guys looking to try all grain.

Also good job on not destroying your kitchen as I used to do while doing AG in my apartment!

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Old 10-22-2009, 02:18 PM   #19
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Agusus + DRoyLenz, thanks for the clarification - I understand the process a lot better now.

Putting in an order for my first all grain - should be an interesting brew day coming up.

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Old 10-22-2009, 03:39 PM   #20
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Nice work documenting what you did! Definitely should be a help to other newer extract guys looking to try all grain.

Also good job on not destroying your kitchen as I used to do while doing AG in my apartment!
Who said I didn't destroy my kitchen? That picture was actually taken BEFORE I started brewing, it was a complete mess afterwards. Hell, it's STILL a complete mess (one of the advantages AND disadvantages to not having to answer to a SWMBO).
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