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Old 07-21-2009, 07:28 PM   #1
BubbaK
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Default 1st partial mash

I'm getting reading to do my first pm brew. They recommend using a grain bag for the mash. Can I use a paint strainer sock for it? I use them now when I pour my wort into the primary when I do my extract brews and they work well.

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Old 07-21-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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i'm sorry i cannot completely answer your question but off the top of my head i know it will need to withstand temp of 170 degrees and i sure wouldn't use one that has served any other purpose. most grain bags are made of nylon so if the sock is also you may be just fine. my only concern would be plastic or something like it leaching into the beer.

another alternative for PM is to get a collander. Simply put the grain directly into the pot, conduct your mash, then empty the mash into another pot through the collonder ( like straining pasta) and run some sparge water through the grain.

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Old 07-21-2009, 09:07 PM   #3
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Several members here sucessfully used paint strainers like found at big box home improvement stores. I have used the smaller 1 gallon ones a couple times for hops and they seem to work fine. They will discolor a bit from the wort, but haven't had one melt from the heat. Just try to keep it off the bottom of the kettle while the heat is on.

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Old 07-22-2009, 10:48 AM   #4
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OK.. Thanks.. I am planning on converting a 3 gal water cooler to a mash tun. I wasn't going to put the grains in a pot and cook. I've got the jug just about complete. I was planning on putting a stainless braid strainer inside. Do I still need to use a grain bag then? Is copper tubing and brass valves ok to use or will it react with the grains?

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Old 07-22-2009, 11:06 AM   #5
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If you are going with an SS braid inside the cooler and then are going to drain out through a valve then no, you don't need a bag.

Why only a 3 gallon cooler? Since you are picking up the hardware to do the SS braid and drain valve anyway might as well have something you can go the rest of the way to all grain for many styles in 5 gallon batches. The 5 allows you do all grain on a whole lot of light and medium body beers. Of course as many will tell you stepping up to a 10 gallon lets you do all grain on any 5 gallon batch and not have to upgrade again later. Most recommend the 10 gallon right up front. The 3 gallon will let you play with partial mashes, but gaurantees you will have to upgrade if you want to try anything all grain in a 5 gallon batch. I just hate to see you do all the work and then wish it was bigger a batch or two from now.

I went with a 5 gallon myself to start and am still enjoying it. When I hit a heavy grain bill for a heavy beer I just have to add a couple pounds of extract in the boil to make up for it.

The copper and brass will be fine. No need to worry about reactions.

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Old 07-22-2009, 11:47 AM   #6
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Through my business I have access to all the SS hoses, pipes and valves I need without expense. I just happen to have a 3 gal water jug sitting in the garage now not being used for anything else. The spigot is the same for the 3 and 5 gal jugs, so I can always remove the bulkhead fitting later on and put it in a 5 gal. For the rest of this year, I'll probably do either PM or extract. I don't think I'll step into AG until I've got a few PM's under my belt.

I just ordered 2 PM kits from Austin. One has 3.25lbs of grain, which would only require about 1gal of mash water if I'm reading right so far. The 5 gal jug would have too much headroom I think.

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Old 07-22-2009, 07:43 PM   #7
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I thought it might be that you had a spare 3 gallon sitting around. You could do your partial mashes in a 5 gallon. Yes you would have headroom in a 5 gallon, but the solution to that problem is pretty simple if you decided to go that route.

You take a piece of flat styrofoam and cut it into a circle just a smidge smaller than the inside of the cooler.
You poke 2 small holes through the round piece and put a tie wrap through them and close on the other side to form a loop too use as a handle.

Once you have your grains and water at the correct temp and all stirred up you put the round piece of foam inside the cooler and slide down to just above the level of the grain.

At any rate since you have access to all the hardware on the cheap it's only an investment in time to do the assembly so that's not so bad I guess.

Enjoy.

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