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Old 11-05-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
indigo
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Default First AG, Small setup...

Hey, all:

So, I'm planning to do my first all-grain batch this weekend, and frankly I was unprepared with how much grain is involved. This is going to be a much more voluminous batch than my 3-gallon kettle can handle. SO, I'm going to pick up a 5-gallon kettle this week so at least I can do that.

The question I have, really, is about the rest of my process. I'll describe what I'm thinking of, and ask you all to show me where it will fail miserably.

I'm thinking of striking the mash in my new 5-gallon kettle, using about 3.5 gallons of water (or so). Then sparging the grain bag into my 3-gallon kettle.

While I boil the wort in the 5-gal kettle, adding my hops and additives when appropriate, I'll put the 3-gal kettle into the fridge to cool. I don't have a cooling coil, so I normally do a cold-water bath in my kitchen sink, but I don't think a 5-gal kettle will cool as effectively this way. I'm hoping that I can use the refrigerated water in the 3-gal kettle (probably only 1.5-2 gallons of actual weak wort) to cool the wort down after it's boiled.

So, that's the plan. It seems too simple to me, and I know a single-kettle setup is generally a bad plan for an AG brew, but I don't have any other alternatives at this point.

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
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That weak wort is going to need to boil to make sure all the lacto from the grains gets killed off unless you want a sour beer... I just do an ice bath to cool and it can take 30+ minutes for a 5 gallon batch, but a full boil is a better option. You could also search the "no-chill" method as well.

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Old 11-05-2012, 07:05 PM   #3
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If the sparge water is boiling when I add the grain bag to it, isn't that enough to kill off the lacto? If I let it boil for a bit before refrigerating it, just separate from the main wort, would that be safe, or am I still opening myself up to infection?

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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If you boiled it for a short period of time, that should elminate risk of infection, but certain grains like Pilsner need to boil for a minimum of 90 minutes to remove DMS.

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Old 11-05-2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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Ah, okay. So if I boil the mash for 90 minutes in the bigger kettle, then soak in the smaller kettle for a while that sounds like it should be enough.

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