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Old 01-18-2014, 11:10 AM   #1
kharper6
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Default Brew planned this weekend, realized grain bill is not going to fit

So I made a session ale as a giant starter for my double jack clone, have everything ready, then realized I have never brewed a bill this high and it's not going to fit in my 5 gallon bucket, not even at 1.25 mash thickness.

I have a few options, I can switch to brew in a bag and do about 5lbs of the grain bill in that (I like to use 1.5-2qt/lb as I feel the efficiency is better in my experience) and do the rest in the cooler, or I can do a very thick mash, and a two-step sparge, but I feel I will get some serious dough clumps from this, plus it will take all damn day to sparge that much.

What do you guys think I should do? Not really interested in lowering my brew volume, it's already at 4 gallons, probably 3.5 total after all of the trub.

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Old 01-18-2014, 11:37 AM   #2
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If dropping the batch size is out of the question, I think I'd just plan on doing a double mash.

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Old 01-18-2014, 12:10 PM   #3
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What LL Bean said. I've had to do this in the past on very large brews. Just split the grain in half and do two mash/sparges like you normally would do. Makes for a very long brew day, but what cha gonna do?

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Old 01-18-2014, 12:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
What LL Bean said. I've had to do this in the past on very large brews. Just split the grain in half and do two mash/sparges like you normally would do. Makes for a very long brew day, but what cha gonna do?
+1 drink a beer while you wait. I ran into this problem when i started on 10g batches of bigger beers. Found a cheap 5g cooler and now i use 2 for mashing large grain bills.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:18 PM   #5
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I'm considering it, I might do the BIAB for half, then lauter the mash into it from the tun.

I'm sure both will work quite well. I used to BIAB and got good efficiency.

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Old 01-18-2014, 12:40 PM   #6
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You can also sub some of your base malt for extract (assuming the base and specialty malts aren't all mixed together.) I've done that when my grain bill is too big to fit in my 5 gallon mash tun.

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Old 01-18-2014, 12:47 PM   #7
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It sounds to me like you NEED a bigger mash tun. Go get a 40 quart cooler, some pipe and build one.

Here's a good thread about how to do it.

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Old 01-18-2014, 12:53 PM   #8
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Bioguy I'm well aware of how to build one but I really don't brew big beers often. out of my 30 batches this is my first actually, I like to stick to around 1.065. This one will be about 1.089 or so.

I think I'm going to go with BIAB at 2qt/lb and hit my mash tun with the remaining 1.75qt/lb. Sparge the mash with 168 degree water and "sparge" the BIAB with 168 degree water and stir vigorously.

It should go well, but in case I'm going to increase my grain bill by 5% to make up for any lost gravity. Worst case scenario I come out stronger than needed and I will just add some boiled water to top it off.

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Old 01-18-2014, 03:03 PM   #9
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I just like it when I get to NEED a new piece of equipment

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Old 01-18-2014, 03:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bioguy View Post
I just like it when I get to NEED a new piece of equipment
I know this feel.

I'm currently working on my Keezer and I can't wait for my perlicks to get here. My semester starts on Tuesday for my last go-around with college before I get my bachelors. It should be done by next weekend and I'll have 3 kegs to put in it for the semester.

Going to be a very (un)productive last semester.
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