Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > General All-Grain Setup and Equipment Question
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-05-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
BlackRock
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 115
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default General All-Grain Setup and Equipment Question

I've now got a dozen or so extract batches under my belt and I'm ready to move to all-grain. I cook a lot and so far brewing has turned out way easier than I imagined, especially simple from extract. A well planned recipe, a bit of style, some common sense and good note taking with close temp control has given me some awesome beer.

So I'm piecing together a 10 gallon cooler mash tun but now I'm questioning the size of my current 8 gallon kettle for making 5 gallon batches.

If I'm doing 1-1.25qt water/pound grain for mashing and 2qt water/pound sparging as a general starting point... That means for a 10lb grain bill I'm using 10-12.5qt of water to mash and 20qt water to sparge which yields 8.1 gallons of wort and has just hit the limit of my current 8 gallon kettle.

I'm sure I can do 5 gallon all-grain batches in my 8 gallon kettle but if I want to do a couple of the big recipe's I've been eyeing they call for 17lb or more grain which means 14+ gallons of wort.

What am I missing? Do people really mash 17lbs of grain and make 14 gallons of wort that they then boil off down to 6.5 gallons or so? Palmer's example for your first all grain batch says an 8 gallon kettle should be fine for a 3 gallon mash and 4 gallon sparge, but his grain bill is about 8lbs.

I don't discount buying a larger Kettle, I'm just kind of wondering how far I can go with my current 8 gallon kettle. I've got about $100 cash to spend which was going to go toward a mash tun.

__________________
BlackRock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-05-2013, 07:00 PM   #2
jflongo
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,231
Liked 64 Times on 57 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Remember the grains absorbe water as well. You could easily do 7 - 8 gallons of water to mash and sparge with, and may only end up with 5 - 6 gallons for the boil.

__________________
jflongo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-05-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
duboman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,336
Liked 502 Times on 464 Posts
Likes Given: 226

Default

You should be perfectly fine using an 8 gallon pot for a 5 gallon batch. You are merely looking at numbers and not all the variables that go into the process

For example if you know that you only have 1 gallon per hour boil off and want 5 gallons in the primary then your volume of wort only needs to be 6 gallons pre boil.

Example for this:
13lb grain bill
1.25 qts/lb for mash=4.06 gallons strike water
.12gallons/lb absorption=.12x13=1.56gallons lost
First runnings then equal 4.06-1.56=2.5 gallons
6 gallons pre-boil volume-2.5 gallons 1st runnings = 3.5 gallons sparge water (There is no further absorption for sparging)

Hope this helps. If you plan on continuing AG brewing I would highly recommend getting some software and you can search and scroll through the brewing software threads for what's recommended.

__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010
duboman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
BlackRock
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 115
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Definitely. I figured I'd lose some water during the process, my estimates were more as checks since I wasn't sure I'd lose that much. Good point.

So maybe with an 8 gallon Kettle I could do a recipe that called for a bit more than 10lbs of grain. Obviously there is efficiency to account for, but I figure it's not worth starting a batch if I can't fit it into the kettle in the first place.

__________________
BlackRock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-05-2013, 07:48 PM   #5
BlackRock
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 115
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Nice Duboman. I'll have to look into the software portion. I've only been doing chicken scratch calcs on junk mail so far. It never hurts to plan. I'm definitely going to get a mash tun setup. I cook everything else in the house from scratch. I especially want to do a Rye IPA but it calls for a 17lb grain bill which I don't think will fit exactly.

If I used your break down for a 17lb grain bill:
1.25qt/lb mash = 5.31 gal strike water
.12 gal/lb abs. = 2.04 gal lost
First runnings = 3.27 gal water

Now correct me here... My current setup I find I boil off about 1.5-2 gallons liquid over a 60-90 minute boil. So should I consider my pre-boil volume more like 7.5 gallons instead of 6?

7.5 Pre-boil volume - 3.27 1st runnings = 4.23 gal sparge water

So that right there keeps my kettle from over filling, but 4.23 gal sparge water isn't probably enough to achieve a good efficiency since 17lb grain* .5gal/lb sparge = 8.5 gal sparge water needed.

I guess I can do a lot bigger beers than expected in my 8 gallon kettle, just maybe not a 17lb grain bill unless I started manipulating numbers with efficiency, water and pounds of grain used.

__________________
BlackRock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-05-2013, 10:04 PM   #6
duboman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,336
Liked 502 Times on 464 Posts
Likes Given: 226

Default

Quote:
Now correct me here... My current setup I find I boil off about 1.5-2 gallons liquid over a 60-90 minute boil. So should I consider my pre-boil volume more like 7.5 gallons instead of 6?
Yes, figure out close to what you boil off and what you want in the primary. If you want 5 finished gallons after fermentation plan on 5.25-5.5 as you will lose volume to trub.

Quote:
So that right there keeps my kettle from over filling, but 4.23 gal sparge water isn't probably enough to achieve a good efficiency since 17lb grain* .5gal/lb sparge = 8.5 gal sparge water needed.
Not exactly.
7.5 gallon pre boil volume
17lbs x 1.25 qt/lb = 5.31 gallons strike water
17lbs x .12 absorption = 2.04 gallons lost
First runnings =3.27 gallons

7.5 gallons-3.27 gallons=4.23 gallons required to sparge (There is no necessary ratio to calculate. The amount of sparge water used is the amount needed to get your pre boil volume after 1st runnings, nothing more. Pretty simple.

Now a couple things: Because you would be pushing the limits of your kettle you should consider an anti-foaming agent like Fermcap-S which will reduce/eliminate boil overs.

Losses. there are always some losses in the tun and the kettle that need to be taken into account when calculating your volumes and every system will be different, There will always be a little liquid left behind somewhere.

Ability to boil full volume. It is quite difficult to bring 7.5 gallons of wort to an adequate boil on a indoor stove so keep that in mind. Most people move boiling outside on propane burners. Those that stay inside sometimes will split the wort into two separate kettles to use 2 burners and then combine the wort into the same primary. Some will also span 2 burners with one kettle if the stove/kettle allows for this.

a 10 gallon mash tun can accommodate up to about 23# of grain for some really big beers although my experience is mash/lauter efficiency will suffer a bit as the grain bill increases in weight.

Keep in mind that I used 1.25 qts per pound for the mash. This would be on the lower end. Most that I know, me included go 1.5qts/lb so that will change some of these example numbers.

Good Luck!
__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010
duboman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-05-2013, 11:49 PM   #7
BlackRock
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 115
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Thanks Duboman. Great info. I'm definitely at my limit for indoor boiling. My stove can boil almost a full 8 gallons and my last six or so batches have been right at the limit. I've been preheating maybe 3.5+ gallons on the stove top while I steep grains so that once I add that I can add the extract and get it boiling again quickly. I'll maybe pull it off the heat while I add the DME but I've gotten it dialed now.

I'm more encouraged by the info for sure. For my first recipe I think the grain bill will be about 10-12 pounds and I'll make the same IPA recipe I've made four times but without extract. I was also thinking of trying an even simpler SMASH with just 2 Row and maybe some Warrior hops. Maybe toss a bit of citra in a tea ball in the keg for aroma.

It's good to know a sort of limit on the grain bill too for the mash tun. I don't foresee many 23# grain bills, but who knows. I figure with the mash tun my limiting factor becomes the kettle and as you mentioned with it a way to heat it. I bought the 8 gallon because I thought it was the biggest I could get to actually boil on stove top. Once I go beyond that I will have to find a propane burner and move outside.

__________________
BlackRock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 03:30 AM   #8
TrubDog
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Cle Elum, WA
Posts: 390
Liked 33 Times on 28 Posts

Default

I have a Bayou Classic 8 gallon brew pot and regardless whether I brew with 10 lbs of grain or 16-18 lbs, I always sparge till I hit the 7 gallon mark in my kettle then stop. I usually hit about 6 post boil gallons in the bucket, 5.5 into secondary (if dry hopping) and 5 into the keg.

__________________
TrubDog is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 03:39 AM   #9
eric19312
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: , NY
Posts: 774
Liked 71 Times on 57 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

Do you have another pot? Even a 2-3 gal pot? You can start your boil in2 pots and then combine after hot break clears.

__________________
eric19312 is offline
norsk Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 04:03 AM   #10
billl
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,984
Liked 286 Times on 241 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

I've got an 8 gallon kettle, and it is kinda pushing it. I need just shy of 7 gallons of wort pre-boil to end up with 5 gallons in the keg . That is on a pretty high IBU gas stove in the house. That is for a 60 minute boil. For a 90 minute, I need about 7.5 gallons. It fits, but there isn't much room to spare and obviously I need to babysit it.

If I was buying new equipment, I'd definitely go with a 10 gallon kettle. I don't strictly need the extra room, but the boil over protection is worth it.

__________________
billl is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need Advice for an All-Grain Equipment Setup bmw0086 Equipment/Sanitation 2 07-09-2011 02:08 AM
For Sale - For Sale - All Grain - home brew setup lots of equipment ipatch For Sale 26 06-21-2011 05:24 PM
1st All Grain Keg Setup Question reLAXin230 Equipment/Sanitation 4 12-13-2009 06:39 PM
Newbie Question About Equipment Setup Bean Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 03-02-2009 05:06 PM
Bottling Setup/Equipment question grace1760 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 06-14-2008 03:53 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS