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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Is is possible to do 5 gal. AG with one 7.5 gallon kettle?
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:32 PM   #1
neb_brewer
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Default Is is possible to do 5 gal. AG with one 7.5 gallon kettle?

I'm trying to figure out if I can do my next batch AG or not. I can probably afford to buy a cooler and make the mash tun, but I can't afford to buy larger kettles/another burner.

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:37 PM   #2
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absolutely. look up "brew in a bag" or "stove top brewing" or "BIAB"

All you need is a big nylon bag and crushed grain.

I've made dozens of batches using a single 7.5 gallon turkey fryer kettle and burner. It works great!

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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One kettle and a mash tun will work okay. You'll probably have to batch sparge so you can use the kettle to collect the runnings.

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:41 PM   #4
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You'll need a mash tun of course and something to sparge into. You can accomplish this with three food grade plastic buckets. A bucket in bucket MLT/LT (see pic), and another food grade bucket to sparge into. This way, you can use your kettle for a HLT while you sparge and then transfer the wort into the kettle. A 7.5 gallon kettle is a bit small though, it'll work but you'll have to be super careful about boil overs.

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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EDIT: Now that I think about it, with only brewpot/kettle, its easier to fly sparge. Because you can heat your mash water, do the infusion mash. Then while mashing you heat up all your sparge water and then move it to a bucket/another cooler to sparge with (as in the pic above, but the sparge bucket isn't shown). Then you can start your runnings in the now-empty brew kettle.

You could do at most 6.5 gal of wort in the 7.5 gal kettle. After 60 min boil, its going to be like 5.5 gal. And then you will loss some vol to hop material and/or shrinkage (not that kind of shrinkage, cooling of the wort).

So you will end up with a bit less than 5 gal of beer in the end, but it will still be YOUR beer.

Then you can get a larger kettle or a keggle later.

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:51 PM   #6
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With the system I mentioned you could fly sparge as well. You don't have to batch sparge.

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Old 12-15-2010, 06:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcibiades View Post
absolutely. look up "brew in a bag" or "stove top brewing" or "BIAB"

All you need is a big nylon bag and crushed grain.

I've made dozens of batches using a single 7.5 gallon turkey fryer kettle and burner. It works great!
I just did 2 batches BIAB in 40 qt pot and even that its too close to the top for my comfort. I though that with BIAB mashing really thin is a key to good efficency. So for 5 gal batch you need to start with 7.5 gal of water + 10-12 lbs of grains. How you going to fit that in 7.5 gal kettle and then not worry to splash it around when stirring and such
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:49 PM   #8
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Ok so its possible, albeit maybe a little tricky. What about this: the recipe I'm going to do, Black IPA from NB http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewin...act-kit-2.html, requires a mashout. How could I handle that?

My only thought was to use my kettle for heating the water for the mashout and the sparge. Then use some buckets to catch the wort while sparging, after sparging is complete, transfer the wort back to my kettle and do the boil like normal.

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Old 12-15-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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JohnK can you explain that bucket idea again? I see the picture but I don't know what is going on there exactly? It looks to be very smart and innovative to me.

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Old 12-15-2010, 07:18 PM   #10
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I have a 8gal pot, and have no problem doing AG batches with full boils. I can even do high gravity 90min boils and end up with 5.5 gal, but those are almost all the way to the top, and i have to watch them very carefully to avoid boilover.

For 90% of the beers out there, you'll have no problem doing full boil AG batches.

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