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Old 01-02-2013, 06:27 PM   #1
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Default "Mashing Made Easy" - Any Expert Thoughts?

I am moving towards all grain after finding this process online. Would love to hear input from some seasoned all grain brewers as to if this process is good, or if I truly need to move towards a mash tun.

This site has a process for using the brew kettle and a bazooka tube for all grain brewing. I have searched HBT but have not found a review of this process. Am I missing out on anything if I use this approach instead of a mash tun?

I did two batches...still not sure how to measure efficiency, but they seemed very close to the recipe OG. Even if I had to add a little more grain, seems like the simpler process (less equipment in my full garage) would be worthwhile to me.

Thanks for your input!! I also have a few more brewing books on order to better understand the more advanced brewing processes.

Here is the link:
http://morebeer.com/brewingtechnique...chmidling.html

Here is the general process using the bazooka tube:

Mashing: The first step is to dump 8 lb of crushed pale malt into the kettle. Don't forget the strainer! Add 3 gal of warm tap water and mix thoroughly. Apply heat and raise the temperature to 155 °F (68 °C). Stir frequently to avoid caramelizing and to distribute the heat. Hold this temperature for 30 min by heating and stirring as necessary.
After 30 min at 155 °F, crank up the heat and continue stirring until the mash reaches 175 °F (80 °C). This step is known as mash-out and is difficult or impossible to do with the plastic bucket approach. This step eliminates a set mash - a cessation of flow not caused by a blockage in the spigot, which can be a common problem with first all-grain batches. Set mashes are frequently caused by allowing the mash to get too cool. By raising the entire mash to sparging temperature, you eliminate this potential source of trouble. Hold this temperature for 10 min, then turn off the heater and let it rest while you bring 2 qt of water to a boil in a separate kettle on another burner.

Sparging: Sparging allows you to get 6 gal of wort out of a mash that started with only 3 gal of water. This is done by slowly passing hot water through the grain bed as the sugary liquid drains out of the bottom. After mash-out, the grain will settle to about 1 in. below the liquid level. Lay a small bowl on top of the grain and pour the hot water directly into it. This distributes the sparging water and minimizes the disturbance of the grain.

Open the spigot just a trickle and run the wort into a cup until it runs clear. Pour the turbid runoff back into the kettle; it will run clear after a few ounces. By way of comparison, it sometimes takes gallons with other systems, and all this turbid runoff must be recycled back into the mash until it runs clear.

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Old 01-02-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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The problem with mashing in a kettle over direct heat is keeping the temp. stable for the time needed. It looks easy in theory, but really it's not. You can cheaply and easily turn an old cooler into a mash tun and save yourself some headaches.

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Old 01-02-2013, 06:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchurch View Post
The problem with mashing in a kettle over direct heat is keeping the temp. stable for the time needed. It looks easy in theory, but really it's not. You can cheaply and easily turn an old cooler into a mash tun and save yourself some headaches.
In my first two runs (in the garage), I wrapped the brew kettle with two beach towels and it held the heat within 2 degrees for the 30 minute mash. I think it was holding in some of the heat from the burner (turned off).

As long as I can hold my mash temp constant, is there any other benefit of a mash tun vs. the brew kettle??
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
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It sounds a lot like Brew in a Bag, which is a very solid method. I have no trouble holding temp for a 60 minute mash. If I don't touch it, it climbs 2 degrees after I turn the heat off, and then drops about 3 over 60 minutes. I used a data recorder and plotted it and it averages right at my target temperature.
I've tried a few different methods and BIAB was my choose.
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/09/biab.html

The only limit is batch size by your kettle. I loose efficiency if I try to put more than about 9 lbs of grain in my 16qt kettle.
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...ore-sugar.html

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
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Do you know what your efficiency was on th 30 min mash? I drain right to my boil kettle and don't have an extra pot to spare. If you don't need the boil kettle right away there really isn't any further benefit to use a cooler for the mash tun. Maybe actually the opposite, because you can step mash with direct heat if needed.

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:19 PM   #6
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This is the principal behind the 3-tier, direct fire systems. The LHBS here in Santa Rosa does everything this way. Top tier is the HLT, direct fired. The middle tier is the MT, also direct fired mainly for temperature adjustments. The bottom tier is the BK.

Gravity is used to fly sparge, trickling the top tier into the MT at the same rate as the runoff from the MT into the kettle.

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchurch View Post
Do you know what your efficiency was on th 30 min mash? I drain right to my boil kettle and don't have an extra pot to spare. If you don't need the boil kettle right away there really isn't any further benefit to use a cooler for the mash tun. Maybe actually the opposite, because you can step mash with direct heat if needed.
I'm sorry, I do not know for sure. Beersmith is saying that I had a 72.3% efficiency on my first brew (California Common). I need to learn the calculations behind that number to better understand it. However, I ended up with the proper batch size based on my boil off and my OG was in line with the recipe's. I do not know what the recipe efficiency called for.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:29 PM   #8
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I believe BeerSmith defaults to 70% for it's recipe calculations

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
It sounds a lot like Brew in a Bag, which is a very solid method. I have no trouble holding temp for a 60 minute mash. If I don't touch it, it climbs 2 degrees after I turn the heat off, and then drops about 3 over 60 minutes. I used a data recorder and plotted it and it averages right at my target temperature.
I've tried a few different methods and BIAB was my choose.
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/09/biab.html

[/url]
Since you tried a few different methods, was BIAB primarly for convenience? Do you find that your wort is cloudier with that approach? I tried a small BIAB on the stove and my gallon primaries have a lot more trub than I see with this approach.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the replies!! Sounds like efficiency is the big issue, so I will make it a point to learn how to measure that more accurately and decide from there. I'm tight on space, so the less equipment the better for me.

Thanks again!!

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