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Old 03-18-2013, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default I need some help deciding on brewing techniques. . . .

hey everyone

I am brewing using malt extract, but I would like to start brewing with all grains. However, I don't know what equipment to start with. I have a 5 gallon fermenting bucket but I need to understand what equipment I will need to create the mash.

I was kinda thinking of simply getting the grains and boil the water and put the grains inside in something and let it linger.

is that an option? how big of a pot will I need for a 5 gallon batch? And where do I find info on pots and techniques?

thanks

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:27 PM   #2
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Youtube has alot of brewing videos that show the different styles of brewing.
You could look at some of those to narrow down how you want to proceed.
I moved from extract and did one partial mash and moved to BIAB next batch. I'm going to do this until I want to tinker more.

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
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There is a sticky on this forum called BIAB brewing - that's an easy way to start doing all grain or partial mashes and is how I transitioned to all grain. Minimal startup cost as well!

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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Sounds like "Brew in a Bag" is kind of what you are describing. Traditional mash tun with sparge setup being the other all grain technique.

With BIAB, you usually just need a bag. Fine mesh voile material works better. But $5 nylon paint strainer bags from home improvement stores can get you started. You also need to have a large enough boil kettle. Usually the minimum size for a 5 gallon batch is 7-7.5 gallon kettle. But bigger kettles are definitely desired here, a 10 gallon would be perfect.

Other useful items to have are immersion chillers (for quickly cooling full volume boils), a grain mill (could double crush at LHBS for first few batches), and a digital scale that measures down to oz's.

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Old 03-19-2013, 08:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solbes View Post
You also need to have a large enough boil kettle. Usually the minimum size for a 5 gallon batch is 7-7.5 gallon kettle. But bigger kettles are definitely desired here, a 10 gallon would be perfect.
Thanks to everyone for the information.

Solbes, do you think I could use a 4-5 gallon kettle to make my wort for a 5 gallon batch...and then simply use water to top up to 5 gallon? Is that something people do?

I really dont wanna buy/have massive kettles at home. I live in a small flat.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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It's not quite ideal, but definitely doable. The less you top up the better. I usually err on the side of under-sparging, so I often top up a half-gallon or so, and have no issues.

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Old 03-19-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
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If you have a 5 gallon kettle, start by doing a BIAB 2 1/2 gallon batch. That way you aren't trying to get a concentrated wort that you have to top up. It will let you learn the process and the pitfalls without requiring a big investment of equipment or supplies.

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Old 03-19-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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Unless you do small beers in a 5 gallon kettle, I don't think BIAB all grain is possible (talking 1.040 or less). There is simply not enough room for the necessary grain and mash volume of water.

You could do partial mashes in that size kettle though (using half the sugar from DME or LME). I did 4 partial mash batches to get things optimized. You get a much bigger variety of grains to mash, so recipes can be much more rewarding. But you still have to buy the extract, so it is more expensive than all grain.

Agree that small batches are possible in a 5, but then you put more work into each beer produced.

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Old 03-19-2013, 11:12 PM   #9
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I would not suggest trying to do 5 gallon batches in a 4 or 5 gallon kettle. You really want to boil all of the wort at once to get the hops correct.
Either do smaller batches, or two smaller batches added together to equal 5 gallons.

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Old 03-19-2013, 11:48 PM   #10
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What about BIAB with a 6-6.5 gal turkey fryer??? I have thought about trying this.

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