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Old 04-13-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default Brew Pot too small, can I make an AG? (cheapskate post)

Having made 5 PM brews, I think I am ready to make an All Grain batch. My problem in that my boil kettle is only 5.5 gallons. I have a 5 gal MT (drink cooler conversion) and I was thinking of making an English bitter, OG around 1.040.

Here's the plan, I will use a single infusion mash and batch sparge. I want to collect enough wort for 4.5 gal to boil and then add the necessary water (about 1.5 gal) in the ferm bucket to get me to 5.25 gal. for the finished batch. Does anyone else do this and is it successful? I need to break down and buy a bigger boil kettle but I can also buy 6 or 7 recipes for the cost of a good 10 gal kettle. My PM beers have all been pretty good, I just cannot resist the allure of AG.

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:25 PM   #2
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Nothing wrong with scaling down a recipe to less than 5 gallons. I make 2.5-3 gallon AG recipes from time to time when I'm in an experimental mood.

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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I very often make ~4 gallon AG batches when I want to brew inside (as that's about the limit my stove can bring to a good boil). works great.

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:41 PM   #4
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Buy the bigger kettle. It'll be worth it.

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
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4 gallon batches should work fine.

Aluminum Stock Pots, Tamale Pot 32 qt (8 gallon) pot for $38. You can often find similar deals locally.

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:55 PM   #6
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Yeah, partial boil beers really don't stand up to full boil beers. Go bigger kettle, it makes a world of difference.

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Old 04-13-2009, 07:08 PM   #7
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I use this technique as do some of the largest breweries in the world. I have never had a watery beer from it. However, it has its limitations on amount you can do and gravity you can accomplish. It basically lends itself better to smaller lagers and ales.

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Old 04-13-2009, 07:22 PM   #8
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I appreciate the bigger kettle comments, I want a 10 gallon SS pot with a valve attached but that runs about $150 and up. Given that I have spent about $500 on equipment and recipes since December, I don't want to push my luck with my wife.

I would like to thank Wortmonger for the link, I am going to try that route and scale a 4 gallon recipe into a 5 gallon. This hobby is great, I really enjoy the creative part and it goes to all aspects. Techniques, equipment, ingredients, all them can be "tweaked" for my purposes and they all yield a great beer. My worst beer to date was pretty good, it just didn't carbonate as much as I would have liked. It still tasted good and it was gone in two weeks.

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Old 04-13-2009, 07:27 PM   #9
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I've used 2 pots to do full boils on a 5 gallon batch.
I have a 5 gallon and a 4 gallon pot.
Once I collect the wort, I put half in each pot and start them boiling. I split the hop additions and throw half in each pot. After I cool the wort, I put the contents from both pots into a single fermentor and pitch the yeast.
Might work for you.

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Old 04-13-2009, 07:39 PM   #10
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Rubberband, just make sure you don't go over 1.060 on your OG of the pre-blended wort/beer. Also, make sure you don't cut it too much with water at the end or you will end up with watery beer. This technique has a sweet spot, otherwise the other's comments are 100% correct. So... don't over do it.

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