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Old 11-28-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
bauerd
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Default marsh sparge and boil in one pot???

Hello,
Been reading the site for a long time and finally had a question I couldn't find answered already. I have been brewing whole grain batches for about a year and just use one pot for everything due to $$. I heat the water and mash directly in pot. filter it into a fermenter pail then add water to mash grains to get up to temp and let it basically mash a second time as my "sparge" then pour it off to get 6 gallons of wort. Clean out my pot and put the wort in it to boil. Seems to work well with good results but I haven't read anyone else doing a similar thing and wanted to get feedback and or share my experience.

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Old 11-28-2012, 01:32 PM   #2
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Sounds like a lot of work. look into the BIAB method.
are you hitting your numbers consistently?

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Old 11-28-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
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People do this but they do it with a bag which eliminates the filtering of the grain. As suggested look into BIAB. I'll break it down:

Heat water to strike temp, drop in bag, pour grain into bag, adjust to mash temp if needed and hold for an hour, pull grain bag out, optional: pour water over bag to sparge or dip it in a bucket of water (I skip this step), boil as usual.

The bag makes life easier.

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Old 11-29-2012, 01:31 AM   #4
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Numbers are pretty consistent. Occasionally I overshoot and add ice to compensate. My SG seems right on where the recipes say it should be. It really isn't much work to use one brew pot. I would think the BIAB method wouldn't allow full use of the grains since they would be bunched up in a bag. My concern is more on the idea that between the mash and the sparge the mash sits in a bucket at room temp and is cooling the whole time. Will that negatively affect the enzymatic activity to have it sit at a cooler temp in the bucket while I wait on the sparge?

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Old 11-29-2012, 01:36 AM   #5
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You're doing it the hard way for sure, but if it works for you and makes good beer then it's all good.

BIAB is about 100 times easier. Add the mash water to the grains. Stir. (use the full volume, no sparge). The grain is loose in the bag, not tight, so you don't have any issue with it not being in contact with the water. Let it sit for an hour. Then pull out the grains and squeeze. Boil. Add hops. Chill. No transferring to buckets, no lifting and pouring. But the BIAB bag does get heavy when you lift it out and squeeze.

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Old 11-29-2012, 01:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bauerd View Post
Numbers are pretty consistent. Occasionally I overshoot and add ice to compensate. My SG seems right on where the recipes say it should be. It really isn't much work to use one brew pot. I would think the BIAB method wouldn't allow full use of the grains since they would be bunched up in a bag. My concern is more on the idea that between the mash and the sparge the mash sits in a bucket at room temp and is cooling the whole time. Will that negatively affect the enzymatic activity to have it sit at a cooler temp in the bucket while I wait on the sparge?
Hey, who's to argue with something that works? That said, the bags are fine mesh so the water can flow in and out and you can get them to be made to the size of your pot. They are not tied up but rather open over the lip of the pot and since they are so big nothing is bunched up. I hold mine open with clothes pins. Not my pic but check it out.
images-1-.jpg  
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bauerd View Post
Hello,
Been reading the site for a long time and finally had a question I couldn't find answered already. I have been brewing whole grain batches for about a year and just use one pot for everything due to $$. I heat the water and mash directly in pot. filter it into a fermenter pail then add water to mash grains to get up to temp and let it basically mash a second time as my "sparge" then pour it off to get 6 gallons of wort. Clean out my pot and put the wort in it to boil. Seems to work well with good results but I haven't read anyone else doing a similar thing and wanted to get feedback and or share my experience.
I have been doing something similar for the last couple batches. I mash/sparge/boil all in my 10 gallon kettle.

First I mash using 0.125 qts / lb of grain using a large, fine-mesh bag. Then I drain out that wort into a cooler and batch sparge. That gets drained to the cooler as well. I collect plenty of wort this way and the ball valve on the kettle makes this easy to do.

Next I get rid of the bag and grains. The wort, hanging out in the cooler, is drained back to the kettle and I am off and running. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I didn't like the BIAB method straight up because the bag is really heavy. holding 19 lbs of grain PLUS the absorbed water for my stout, waiting for it to drain all the way, was hard and I didn't want to necessarily start cutting my batch sizes from 5 gallons down to 2.5 or less to make it easier.

Yes, I am hitting my #s but I cheat. I use about 10% more pale malt and I mash about 5 degrees higher to start with because the metal kettle looses some heat during the rest. I brewed a Chimay Blue clone two weeks ago looking for 1.089 and I hit 1.087. Last weekend I brewed a clone recipe for Alpha King with a target of 1.062 and I smacked it square on the nose. These last two batches were my closest ever.

One day I will turn the cooler into a mash/lauter tun, but that day will be after x-mas when I can cash in the gift cards from the lhbs that a jolly fat elf will inevitably be leaving in my stocking this season.

Mashing, spraging, and boiling can definitely be done in the same kettle and you can hit your numbers fairly well. It is more work but it is doable. Good luck.
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