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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > BIAB & Boil Pot size
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
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Default BIAB & Boil Pot size

Hey Everyone - first post - been checking out these forums after getting back into brewing.

I've been brewing for about 10 years or so on and off - kits, extract, all grain. I sold all of my stuff at one point b/c I had a small apartment.

Right now I've been doing partial mashing in the 1.035-1.055 range and have been happy with the results - generally I only need about 3lbs of DME - and everything is on the stove.

I have a 5 gallon pot, and a 2 gallon pot - it works.

I've been reading alot about BIAB and was wondering about pulling off a 5 gallon batch in the 5 gallon pot. I don't want to buy any more gear as it is.

I will do high gravity or partial boil brewing similar to Guiness or Bud (even when I was all grain I did) and find the beer just as good if not better (better clarity) - just bump the hops up a bit.

So do you think I could do the mash of say 9lbs of grain BIAB in my 5 gallon pot - mash thick, then maybe pour some water over the bag (after its pulled out) to do a somewhat sparge? Get the 3.5 gallons I need - then cut it with water as usual after the boil?

Would that mash be too thick?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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My math says you need about 11.25qt of mash water, just under 3 gallons. My thought was to pull the bag up near the top some after mash, then slowly add another gallon to the top, let it settle out for 10 minutes.

You'd be boiling just under 4 gallons, probably doable if you're careful.

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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The Green Bay Rackers' "Can I Mash It?" calculator says that 10lb of grain with 1.5qt/lb is 4.55gal of volume. Thats 3.75gal of mash water, of which 1.25gal will stay in the grain so you'll have 2.5gal of wort. You could always sparge with another 1.5gal (heated in your 2gal pot) in a plastic bucket (#2, HDPE) and add that to your first runnings to get 4gal total. That'd give you a decent enough efficiency. Fermcap S is great for preventing a boilover in a full pot. Then you just top up for your 5gal.

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info - I didn't even think of using the bucket - I've got a http://morebeer.com/view_product/165...ucket_6_Gallon that I could use.

So heat that water up to 165 and the "sparge" in that bucket and add it to the boil....nice!

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Old 02-01-2012, 05:47 PM   #5
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Yes, you can certainly plan a "work around" for a five gallon batch w/ your 5 and 2 gallon kettles. You can easily mash in the 5 gallon pot gravities up to about 1.060. Mash full volume (so the pot is nearly full) in the five gallon, while heating additional sparge water in the 2 gallon. When your mash is complete, conduct a dunk sparge of the bag in either a bucket or your 2 gallon pot. Distribute runnings b/w the two pots and proceed w/ the boil, or just fill the 5 gallon and top off post boil. you can also consider reserving some of the runnings and adding them as you boiloff. You could even consider cold sparging if required to get more runnings.

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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I just did my first partial mash on Sunday using a 5 gal pot and a 4 gal pot, 6 lbs of grain and 3 lbs DME. I ended up with a 5 gallon fermenter @ 1.050...not bad for a crap efficiency I got (55%).

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
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I can't post yet...what's up?

I guess I can - I put up a few of lengthy posts here that never showed up b/c they needed to be approved? is that a n00b restriction?

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:25 PM   #8
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I just got 1.06 for a 5 (or 5.5, I don't remember) batch mashing in a 5 gallon pot. I tried to hit 1.25 qts/lb but if you go thicker it'll fit better, then just heat up more water for a sparge, which is key to good efficiency, and squeeze those grains out!

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Old 02-01-2012, 11:16 PM   #9
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So I have an extra morebeer bucket - are those safe up to about 180 or so I guess?

This is great information - thanks everyone.

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Old 02-01-2012, 11:47 PM   #10
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HDPE is good up to boiling temp although I would be careful with the handle at that point.

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