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Old 11-11-2008, 05:09 AM   #1
goodbyebluesky82
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Default A question for AG-ers (stovetop brewing)

Is it possible to brew all-grain on my stovetop with a 2.5 gal pot if I contain my self to doing 3 gallon or smaller batches? It would essentially be like doing partial mash recipe except I'm not adding extract later, and the final volume and the hops would be adjusted to reflect that.


Like mash and sparge 6 pounds of 2-row, then do a 2.5 gal boil on my stovetop, then top off with another .5 gal water for a 3 gallon batch? Can this be done?

I like brewing in my kitchen as opposed to outside, don't want to shell out for a turkey fryer, or fool with propane tanks. I don't mind building a mash tun I guess, and I don't mind the extra time or brewing more often since it would be smaller batches. I really do want to save money on ingredients though. I built up a recipe and calculated it out on beer recipator, looks like I can make 3 gallons of a 6% APA with crystal 10L and cascades for under 15 bucks. Thats a lot better than brewing 5 galloon extract batches for 35 dollars from the same brewstore.

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Old 11-11-2008, 05:33 AM   #2
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You shoul be able to do this, I have often thought of it myself. Personally, though, I would just go ahead and to the PM if you're going through all the effort anyway (might as well get that extra two gallons).

That being said, your motivations are your own and I think this is totally feasible.

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Old 11-11-2008, 05:34 AM   #3
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I have done a few full boils on my stove top. It sure does take a while, but my electric range *will* get all 8 gallons boiling. It just takes time.

Your idea would work, but why not go on up to 5 gals? I fly sparge, and collect the wort about 1/2 a gallon at a time into a platic bucket, then add to the stove top pot with it cranked on 10 the whole time. Sparge for an hour, then while I'm still sparging, start heating the wort, little by little... Make sense?


Re-reading your question: didn't read the 2.5 gal pot. forget everything I just typed. It's been a long day. Yeah, your way will work, cept its gonna be hard to boil 2.5 gals in a 2.5 gal pot. I can just barely hold 8 gals of rolling boil in my 10 gal pot.

Zac

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Old 11-11-2008, 05:46 AM   #4
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I have done a few full boils on my stove top. It sure does take a while, but my electric range *will* get all 8 gallons boiling. It just takes time.

Your idea would work, but why not go on up to 5 gals? I fly sparge, and collect the wort about 1/2 a gallon at a time into a platic bucket, then add to the stove top pot with it cranked on 10 the whole time. Sparge for an hour, then while I'm still sparging, start heating the wort, little by little... Make sense?

It sounds a bit complicated, but thats an idea I hadn't even remotely thought of.

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Re-reading your question: didn't read the 2.5 gal pot. forget everything I just typed. It's been a long day. Yeah, your way will work, cept its gonna be hard to boil 2.5 gals in a 2.5 gal pot. I can just barely hold 8 gals of rolling boil in my 10 gal pot.
You are right about the pot size. I wasn't figuring enough for the displacement of the grain itself. You need about about 1.25 gal for each pound of grain right? If I had 6 pounds of grain that means I would need 7.75 qt or about 2 gallons water PLUS maybe another 1 gallon for displacement.

I can go get a slightly bigger pot. SLIGHTLY. Still not keen on the idea of trying to boil more than 3 or 4 gallons tops on my electric stove, hence my idea of doing smaller batches. Which I don't mind, it will mean brewing more often and having more variety in my pipeline. (I'm the only person who drinks my homebrew) But is this doable even if it sounds strange to you guys who brew 10 or 15 gallon batches over propane burners or single tiers structures?
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodbyebluesky82 View Post
Is it possible to brew all-grain on my stovetop with a 2.5 gal pot if I contain my self to doing 3 gallon or smaller batches? It would essentially be like doing partial mash recipe except I'm not adding extract later, and the final volume and the hops would be adjusted to reflect that.


Like mash and sparge 6 pounds of 2-row, then do a 2.5 gal boil on my stovetop, then top off with another .5 gal water for a 3 gallon batch? Can this be done?

I like brewing in my kitchen as opposed to outside, don't want to shell out for a turkey fryer, or fool with propane tanks. I don't mind building a mash tun I guess, and I don't mind the extra time or brewing more often since it would be smaller batches. I really do want to save money on ingredients though. I built up a recipe and calculated it out on beer recipator, looks like I can make 3 gallons of a 6% APA with crystal 10L and cascades for under 15 bucks. Thats a lot better than brewing 5 galloon extract batches for 35 dollars from the same brewstore.
i'm doing 5.5g for about 20 bones here...your better off collecting 3.5g and boiling down to 3 need at least a 5g pot for this to contain boilovers. get a pot splatter screen that just fits the inside diameter of your pot then skim the protiens as they collect at the start of the boil.
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grains in pounds(G) X 36(average points per gallon of grains) / batch size in gallons(g) = maximum efficiency(ME)
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:04 AM   #6
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Anywhere you can refer me to read a more detailed description of the process you're referring to?? I've read John Palmers chapters on all-grain and don't remember him getting specific about different techniques, just the science of it all.

I was figuring 3 gallon batches for under 15 bucks by building my own recipes. Now that I bothered to look on their website, I realized my LHBS sells all grain kits in the $17-23 range and that includes white labs yeast. That seems the way to go.

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Old 11-11-2008, 05:50 PM   #7
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Unless you have the room to store the grain, and a mill to crush it, the kits are the best way to go. Of course you give up some control, but any LHBS or on-line place will custom mix orders for you.

If you really want to lower that per batch cost, check out yeast washing, or pitching on a yeast cake. That right there will save 6-8 bucks a batch. All that being said, I still haven't started this. Just havent had the time. I plan on starting very soon though.

I only brew 5 gals at a time, and really have no thoughts of stepping up to 10 gal or more at a time. I try to stack up beers where I have more than one to bottle/brew at a time. In my mind, it'd really suck to drag out all the stuff just to do 3 gals, but hey, nothing wrong if you wanna do that.

Pot size: Yeah, bigger is better, no question on that. 1.25 quarts/pound is the general rule, but I have done anything from .75 to 2 quarts per pound. Don't worry about the stove not being able to boil larger amounts. It can boil 2.5 gals can't it? You add enough heat over time to the pot & it will boil. My stove is a 25+ year old sears model. The large burner can have hot tap water to srtike temp in 30 minutes, and while I mash, it will heat up my sparge water over 170. By the time I'm done sparging, I have had the collected wort boiling, add the last few quarts & then it only takes a few minutes to get the whole she-bang to a boil.

Brew on & enjoy! Where is Mt Holly?

Zac

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Old 11-11-2008, 11:32 PM   #8
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In the dead of winter, I'll do smaller batches using two 12qt stockpots on the stove. gets me to 3 gallons.

just split the runnings evenly (half of each running into each pot so the gravities are similar) and split the hops evenly too.
recombine in the fermenter after chilling (15 minute ice water bath since these are little stock pots).

it works well. just another option for you.

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Old 11-12-2008, 05:29 AM   #9
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In the dead of winter, I'll do smaller batches using two 12qt stockpots on the stove. gets me to 3 gallons.

just split the runnings evenly (half of each running into each pot so the gravities are similar) and split the hops evenly too.
recombine in the fermenter after chilling (15 minute ice water bath since these are little stock pots).

it works well. just another option for you.
That idea sounds like a winner. I'm probably going to pick up an additional pot and try this method. How would mashing in a grain bag (like you would for partial mash) work versus building a MLT from a cooler?

Quote:
Unless you have the room to store the grain, and a mill to crush it, the kits are the best way to go. Of course you give up some control, but any LHBS or on-line place will custom mix orders for you.

Brew on & enjoy! Where is Mt Holly?

Zac
My LHBS sells american 2-row in 50 # bags for 33 bucks. Once I fork out for a grain mill I will go that route, but yeah the kits look pretty good.
I'm eyeing their SN Celebration Ale kit for $23. What irritates me is that their kits have the specialty grains measured in "cups" and not be weight. Makes it hard to translate recipes/idea over and impossible to use software to calculate anything without just guessing.

Oh and Mt. Holly is right outside Charlotte. Several hours from VA.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:41 AM   #10
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go ahead and make a 5g mashtun,a 5g round cooler runs @ 20bones at wallyworld right now and the braid/parts to convert will run another 10 or so. it's easier than messing with keeping temps steady in a pot and batch sparging(drain tun, add sparge, stir, repeat) is pretty straightforward as opposed to flysparge(constantly adding water and draining mashtun at the same time usually taking @1hr to complete)

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extraction calculator
grains in pounds(G) X 36(average points per gallon of grains) / batch size in gallons(g) = maximum efficiency(ME)
OG / ME = brewhouse efficiency

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