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Old 09-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #1
Fat_Maul
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Default 2.5 Gal Dunkelweizen Batch

I was thinking after more reading and questions on these wonderful forums that I would try with a half batch with my existing equipment.

I have a 4.5 gal pot and a 3 gal pot (that also has deep strainer and shallow steamer) link to 3 gal pot

Based on the recipe here, (10.67lbs of grain) I was thinking of mashing with the paint strainer in the deep basket of the 3 gal pot in 1.5 gal of water. Then lift the deep strainer out, place the shallow strainer in, put the deep strainer on top of that and sparge with the 2.5 gallons from the 4.5 gallon pot and then dump the wort back into the 4.5 gallon pot and boil. Will that work or am I over-complicating this? Should I just use the shallow steamer to sparge and forget the deep strainer all together?

Do I still need rice hulls with BIAB or is there no concept of a "stuck sparge" with BIAB? I assume it wouldn't hurt to use them regardless.

lastly is it ok to ferment this in a 6.5 gal bucket or should I seek out one of those mystical icing buckets people talk about?

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Old 09-09-2013, 05:30 PM   #2
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I just put a dunkelweizen in the fermenter last weekend!

I used a similar BIAB system. Your plan sounds good, the only part that I do a little different is with the strainers.

The easiest way for me is to mash in one pot, lift the bag of grains out and slide an oven rack under the bag. (I happen to have a small over and the rack is a convenient size. A cookie/cake cooling rack works as well.) Let this drip for a while then move the bag of grain to the second pot. Fill the second pot with hot tap water with the bag of grain in it. Heat the second pot to 170 degrees. Then pull the bag out and let it drip through the oven rack. Once it is mostly done dripping the bag of grain goes in the sink and I combine the two pots of wort.

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Old 09-09-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
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thanks, I guess part of what I am missing is knowing how big 5.3 pounds of grain looks after it has soaked. How do you keep it from dripping outside of the pot? The only reason why I suggested switching was due to the smaller pot having the nice steamer basket which should work like your oven rack. How can I tell if my pre-boil gravity is right?

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Old 09-09-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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Up to 8 or 9 pounds of grain is reasonable for a 4.5 gallon pot. 5.3 will be okay in the smaller pot. I twist the top of my brew bag and tie the draw string around it to keep it from spreading out while dripping.

To check pre boil volume I made a dip stick for my large pot. Gravity I check with a refractometer. (I've found even if it's labeled as ATC you'll get more believable results if you let the sample cool)

Most of the time I try to get as much sugar out as I can and adjust the final water volume to match what I extracted. Although if you are going for a 2.5 gallon batch you could easily have too much wort. You might want to measure the volume of the first runnings and then just add the appropriate amount of sparge water.

There is a nice table in my book, but just going by memory here, you should be able to hit 70-80% efficency in a 4.5 gallon pot with 5.3 lbs of grain (no sparge)

My blog and book have more details.

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Old 09-09-2013, 06:02 PM   #5
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Thanks. The good thing is if I screw up, it's only like $15 worth of stuff, not a $50 extract kit.

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Old 09-09-2013, 06:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat_Maul View Post
Thanks. The good thing is if I screw up, it's only like $15 worth of stuff, not a $50 extract kit.
Ha ha. Don't get me started.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:01 PM   #7
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I am getting ready to do this and am now unsure what is the best thing for me to do. Based on your recommendations, would this be the process assuming 6.375 lbs of grain and 4.5 gallon pot assuming 1 gal boil off. I don't think I can get all the water and grain into that one pot for a 2.5 gal batch so I'll have to sparge...

  1. Mash in 2 gallons in large pot
  2. Measure level of water after removing bag then let bag drip over mash pot
  3. Add enough sparge water to come to 3.5 total gallons in second pot and heat to 170
  4. put bag in sparge water and stir and let rest for 10 minutes
  5. add sparge water to main pot and boil
I was confused by you saying to put the bag in the empty pot and add hot tap water (I'll be using bottled) and then heat it up. Doesn't this scorch the grist on the bottom of the pot? Shouldn't I just add the bag to the 170 water?

If I measure my pre-boil gravity, will that let me calculate post boil gravity? I can squeeze the bag if I need to get more gravity, right?
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:55 PM   #8
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That sounds like a good plan. I haven't had trouble scorching the grist, but I do have a screen at the bottom of my kettle.

I've never been able to get much more out of the bag by squeezing it. Maybe a few cups of liquid and the seams of the bag start to pull apart. To get more sugar you can sparge again, but then that means more boiling.

Your system is likely different than mine, but I only get about a half gallon of boil off on my stove.

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Old 09-12-2013, 07:44 PM   #9
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thanks

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Old 09-12-2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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It looks like to me you can almost do a full volume mash.

Hold back a half gallon of water.

Start with 3.75 gallons of hot strike water and then add your grains (5.34 pounds). Your mash volume will rise to 4.23 gallons.

After your 90 mins. mash and mash-out, squeeze the bag and add your .5 gallons as a pre boil dilution.

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