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Old 09-20-2013, 04:23 AM   #1
bigskygreg
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Default I will make this work somehow :)

I have a 12# grain bill, a five gallon pot, a 2 gallon pot, paint strainer bag, 2 buckets, and fermenting equipment.

I am planning to stuff that 12 # into my 5 gal pot and fill with strike water around 3.75 gal. I will remove the grains and sparge in a bucket. My intent is to come up with 4.5 gal in my brew pot. I will add additional wort back to the pot as needed, A the end, I will likely have to top off with water to make batch size and/or gravity.

I'm really winging it,to try to find what is going to work fot ME best. seems everyone has experiencve/opinions. I read them all and they hep tremendouldy, but I DON'T WANT TO UPGRADE my equipment till I know I will use it all the time, I don;t like clutter that isn't being used

Thanks!

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Old 09-20-2013, 07:40 AM   #2
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Take good notes at all steps so if needed you can adjust. Don't rely on memory, specially if you drink and brew. LOL

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Old 09-20-2013, 01:30 PM   #3
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This shouldn't be that difficult....

Mash a little thick in the 5 gal pot with say 3 - 3 /12 gallons strike water for a mash thickness of 1 - 1.16 qt/lb (ref rackers calc http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml ) It can be very difficult to mash if the total volume of mash is at the pot limit without spilling the grain all over, so mash intentionally thick to compensate. I would mash in a couple of paint strainer bags, make a bag, or buy a bag, if you desire but not required! This post is meant to be helpful and not a sales pitch, sorry, but just had to say.

After the mash, top up your kettle to the rim with hot water and stir well, and stir well again...or even boiling water if available to raise the temp.

Remove grain bag(s) and sparge / rinse bags in your bucket or 2 gallon pot, even with cold water if that's what you can manage. Using a bag or two will make removing the grain much easier with less mess!

Combine runnings and boil...you can even get 4 gallons boiling and slowly add runnings to max out your small brew kettle so you can finish the boil at say 4.5 gallons.

Top up your fermenter to make your 5 gallon batch...

There is usually a work around when you are under equipped, not a big deal you just need to learn how to "run what you brung" as they say in car racing....cheers!

ps edit...if you want to complicate further, you could boil the batch in both the 5 gallon and the two gallon pot by just distributing the runnings in both pots, and roughly splitting hop additions b/w the pots. This is more like spinning plates but can also be done. Between the two pots you have 7 gallons capacity, you should be able to generate 6+ gallons of wort. I admire your fortitude...cheers and happy brewing!

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Old 09-22-2013, 06:22 AM   #4
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Just finished up brew day and it went pretty well. This is how I made my equipment work:

1. Mashed in 5 gallon pot. 12# grain in paint strainer bag with 3.75 gallon strike water x 60 min at 153 degrees. I used my warm oven to maintain temp.
2. sparged with about 2 gallon 180 degree water using double bucket method (bucket with holes in bottom nested in another bucket).
3. I ended up with 4.5 gallon boil volume. 1st runnings at 21.2 brix, 2nd runings at 10 brix. Boil gravity was 1.069. Efficiency was 68%, slightly better than I was expecting with my setup.
4. I used several drops of simethicone in the boil to prevent boil over.
5. Ice bath cool for 45 minutes, transfer to carboy and top off with 1 gallon cold distilled water.
6. 5 gallon in fermenter at 1.060 gravity.

The only "problem" I had was that there was a lot of hot break that ended up in the fermenter. I used a strainer, but it didn't work as well as usual. Not sure why. Hopefully it will all settle out in primary and I am going to try biofine for the first time. I won't be able to cold crash as I don't have the setup, but will swamp cool the best I can.

I wanted to try a few all grain batches before buying a lot of equipment. I figure doing it this way will give me a chance to see what I really need, and what methods I think I want to continue. Next purchases will be 10 gallon pot with valve and immersion chiller. I will probably continue to tweak my BIAB methods.

Any advice anyone has to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

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Old 09-23-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
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A few things to help with minimizing the trub into your fermenter:

1) Use a hop spider to keep almost all of the hop trub from going into the boil pot. They're cheap and easy to make, I can post photos or send via PM if you'd like.

2) If you're fermenting in a bucket, buy a set of EZ Strainers from Duda Diesel. Search eBay for 'EZ Strainer', you can get a set of 600, 400, 200 & 100 micron for about $25 shipped. They fit perfectly in the top of the bucket, nest them with 600 on top through the 100 on the bottom. They work fantastic keeping the fine BIAB crush out of the fermenter.

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Old 09-24-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the help. I will be making a hop spider straight away. I must have 4-5 inches of trub in this last batch in my 6 gallon carboy. Hopefully it will settle out/compact some. I may transfer this one to secondary to try and clear it up a bit more.

I have always just dumped most of the kettle trub into the carboy. This was my first AG batch, so I am assuming that's the main difference here. I will definitely have to find a process that works better to minimize trub.

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