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Old 11-04-2008, 03:18 PM   #1
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Default small batch AG / Partial mash with strainer

I have been looking at Deathbrewer's easy partial mash thread. I was thinking it would be easier to use a large stainless steel collander or strainer if I could find one.

Does anyone think this would work as good / better / worse than the nylon bag, or where I could find one?

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Old 11-04-2008, 03:22 PM   #2
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Large strainers are everywhere- Target, Wal-mart, etc.

I would hesitate to use one for a PM batch rather than a bag, though. I think the grains would be better contained in a bag. In a strainer, they would clog the holes and then float right up and out, I'd think. I know that someone (MLynch?) did that complete with pictures, and it worked great for him. I will see if I can dig up that thread.

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Old 11-04-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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I use the strainer technique, it is actually a multi-pot like this: http://slimages.macys.com/is/image/M...0.5,0&fmt=jpeg

When I first pour in a few pieces of grain do make it through, but the wet grain packs in and overall very little falls into the pot. I rarely end up with more than a few pieces of grain in my brew pot.

Works fine for me...though I know it is not ideal.

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Old 11-04-2008, 03:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for that link. What I had in mind was a finer mesh strainer. It almost looks like window screen. I was thinking if it was tall enough, then nothing could float out.

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Old 11-04-2008, 03:36 PM   #5
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As long as your grain bill didn't exceed the capacity of the strainer, you'd be fine. I've done 2 gallon experimental batches that way. However, do NOT try sparging by pouring water over the grain as it sits in the strainer. It's about the least efficient way possible. You'll want to heat sparge water then dump the grain back into it and stir.

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Old 11-04-2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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I was planning on initial mash with 2 gallons, then sparge in another pot with 1 gallon. Just move the basket over. It might have to be 1.5 and 1.5 though.

Either way, you would end up with 3 gallon total boil, which would probably boil off to a 2.5 gallon batch that would fit into a 3 gallon fermenter. Thats the way it works in my head anyway. Does this seem feasible?

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Old 11-04-2008, 04:37 PM   #7
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i used a strainer in the past. it works just fine. i think the bag is 10 times easier, tho. plus you won't get small pieces of grain coming through like you would with the strainer.

however, using a colander in addition to a bag will allow you to let it drain without holding it up, which in turn will give you higher efficiency.

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Old 11-04-2008, 04:38 PM   #8
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really, tho...why use the strainer? it seems like it would be more expensive for something less effective.

i'd really recommend just buying the bag and a colander to allow it to drain.

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Old 11-04-2008, 04:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
As long as your grain bill didn't exceed the capacity of the strainer, you'd be fine. I've done 2 gallon experimental batches that way. However, do NOT try sparging by pouring water over the grain as it sits in the strainer. It's about the least efficient way possible. You'll want to heat sparge water then dump the grain back into it and stir.


This is how I've made my last 5+ batches and the OG has generally been in the range as I was expecting give or take a few points when measuring the full volume prior to snapping the lid closed.

My PM is usually ~3 lbs base malt and 1-2 lbs specialty grains then 3-3.3 lbs DME or LME depending on the recipe and gravity.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:59 PM   #10
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Thanks Deathbrewer. I was hoping to get your opinion on this. I don't know why I the strainer. I saw a large strainer at Target and it got me thinking. (Often a dangerous endeavor.) I'll get one of those grain bags and just use it.

I need to research more about 2.5 gal batches, but does the 2 gal mash + 1 gal sparge = 3 gal total boil seem about right? 3 gallons is comfortable capacity in my brew pot.

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