The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash Tun too small?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
jrubins
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 86
Liked 5 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default Mash Tun too small?

I looked around and didn't see an answer to this question: What do you do if your mash doesn't fit in your mash tun?

I have a 5 gal beverage cooler I picked up from Home Depot for $10 (it was missing the spigot, which I intended to remove anyway).
So for my 2nd AG batch ever, I wanted to do the Stone Ruination clone from last month's Zymurgy.
Unfortunately, BrewTarget is telling me to put in :

  • 4.87 gal for mash in
  • 1.5 gal for mash out
Obviously, that's not going to fit, even before I add my 13lbs of grain.

So, how do I handle this situation?
  • Mash in twice with 2.4 gal each, then mash out, and one sparge after?
  • Separate mashes with 1/2 the grain and half the liquor? That would also require two sparges, right, which seems ... like more work than I want to do


I like the first one, because it seems easier, but will it work?

Thanks
__________________

In bottles: Last Day IPA, AAPL American Pale Ale
On deck: Some sort of porter type thing

The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything? 42. The number of bottles in my first batch of homebrew? 42. Coincidence? I think not.

jrubins is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
stratslinger
Brewing Thespian
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
stratslinger's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Terryville, CT
Posts: 1,821
Liked 105 Times on 91 Posts
Likes Given: 81

Default

Get a bigger tun?

OK, for a serious answer... I haven't figured out how to do this in brewsmith yet, but go with a thicker mash. 4.87 gallons is about 1.5gts/lb of grain, which is a pretty thin mash. If you went closer to 1qt/lb, you'd be going much thicker and you'd be likely to lauter much more slowly, but you'd be talking 3.25 gallons of water for mash - you'll be very close to the full volume of your tun, but you should just make it. You cannot split your mash into two volumes - the chemistry involved in conversion just won't work that way.

As for mash out, you can certainly do your 60 minute mash, lauter, and THEN go ahead and add your mash out volume, lauter, and proceed to go through your batch sparges (assuming you intend to batch sparge rather than fly sparge).

__________________
stratslinger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 05:26 PM   #3
jrubins
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 86
Liked 5 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Thanks Strat.
The recipe calls for 1.41 qts/lb in the mash tun.

Just so I understand your suggestion though: I could mash with less water and sparge with more?

If the case, doesn't having less water in the mash and more in the sparge fiddle with the chemistry a bit?

__________________

In bottles: Last Day IPA, AAPL American Pale Ale
On deck: Some sort of porter type thing

The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything? 42. The number of bottles in my first batch of homebrew? 42. Coincidence? I think not.

jrubins is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
NordeastBrewer77
NBA Playa
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 7 reviews
 
NordeastBrewer77's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 7,933
Liked 1074 Times on 782 Posts
Likes Given: 3977

Default

I used a 5 gal tun for awhile and it just wasn't big enough for many 5 gal batches. I've done split mashes, done smaller batches, supplemented with a few lbs of DME, and finally broke down and got a ten gal tun. The most I ever mashed in the 5 gal was ~12 or so lbs and that was pushing it big time.

__________________
The Polk Street Brewery

Brewin' 'n' Que'n - YouTube Shenanigans

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
NordeastBrewer77 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
Sarge
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Sarge's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Sherman, Tx
Posts: 90
Liked 4 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

You could go with 1.2 quarts per pound of grain.

Green Bay Rackers have a handy "Can I Mash It?" calculator to help you play with the numbers.

__________________
Sarge is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 05:39 PM   #6
stratslinger
Brewing Thespian
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
stratslinger's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Terryville, CT
Posts: 1,821
Liked 105 Times on 91 Posts
Likes Given: 81

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrubins View Post
Thanks Strat.
The recipe calls for 1.41 qts/lb in the mash tun.

Just so I understand your suggestion though: I could mash with less water and sparge with more?

If the case, doesn't having less water in the mash and more in the sparge fiddle with the chemistry a bit?
Not really - the chemistry that's important is what happens during the mash. So long as you have your grains in 1-1.5qts of water (at the appropriate temperature!) per lb of grain, the chemistry should pretty much take care of itself. And then yes, make up for the extra volume of water in your sparge, and you'll be good to go.
__________________
stratslinger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2012, 01:02 AM   #7
TrubDog
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Cle Elum, WA
Posts: 388
Liked 33 Times on 28 Posts

Default

How large is your grain bill? I have a 5 gal rubbermaid cooler and a larger 8 gal cooler. I can get 14 lbs max in mt 5 gal cooler and its a pretty thick mash. About 18 lbs in the 8 gal cooler. I'm getting a much larger cooler!

__________________
TrubDog is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2012, 01:19 AM   #8
duboman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Glenview, IL
Posts: 5,956
Liked 450 Times on 419 Posts
Likes Given: 200

Default

If you were planning on batch sparging IMO get a bigger cooler. Your mash will be very thick and hard to stir and you will not fit all your sparge water needed without multiple steps. Your efficiency will suffer and you won't have fun!

It's all about the fun

__________________
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 09-05-2012, 03:13 AM   #9
ipso
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 73
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

I handled this exact situation thus: I demoted the 5gal mash tun to my hot liquor tank. I purchased a 10gal mash tun.

If you’re doing anything else, you’re cheating the must-buy-more-equipment homebrew Goddess. SHE does not like that, and will severely punish you for your disobedience - again and again.

You've been warned.

__________________
ipso is offline
NordeastBrewer77 Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2012, 03:50 AM   #10
cockybitz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 294
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

Mash thicker.

__________________
cockybitz 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
Question about a very small Mini Mash tcbucher All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 02-22-2014 01:40 AM
Mash Tun Too Small... What Would You Do? huge1s All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 13 01-25-2012 12:29 AM
First AG Batch...and my mash tun is too small... TwoWheeler All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 10 09-10-2010 09:58 PM
Mash tun too small Homebrewcrazy All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 10-05-2009 12:57 AM
double mash of sorts--MLT too small nosmatt All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 10 02-24-2009 07:57 PM