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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Using an Extract process for an AG brew
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Old 01-19-2007, 04:07 PM   #1
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Default Using an Extract process for an AG brew

I'm pretty close to my first AG and this weekend I hope to convert my once-every-two-year turkey fryer to a brew kettle.

Question: Is AG brewing only effective if you boil the full 5 1/2 - 6 gallon volume, or can I boil less (say 3-4 gallons) and then add cool water when transferring to my Primary.

The reasons:

1) I don't have a wort chiller but I do have large enough sink in my basement to bathe the pot to a cooler temperature.
2) I'm a little hesitant to try and manage 5 gallons of hot wort from outside, through the living room and down the steps to my basement.
3) Splasing the extra 2 gallons of cold water into the fermenter always worked well towards aerating wort.

Thoughts?

Kalvin

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Old 01-19-2007, 04:14 PM   #2
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Full boils are a natural result of the sparging process. If you only collect 3 gallons of wort, you will have left a huge percentage of the sugars behind in the mash.

What you could do until you get a chiller is a partial mash. Do maybe five or six pounds of grain, you'll collect probably three or four gallons of runnings (which will boil down to 2.5 - 3.5 gallons), which you'll then supplement with some DME or LME in the boil.

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Old 01-19-2007, 04:20 PM   #3
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I'm w/ Birdman. I did partial mash for a long time, just because I didn't have a true MLT. I still do PM about 75% of the time, actually. You get alot of the benefits of AG without all the hassle you talk about.

As for aerating, I've never found adding water to be sufficient. Like a broken record, I am...but, get the $30 aeration kit from AHS. Or get the oxygenation kit if you don't mind going to the welding supply place to get o2 bottles.

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Old 01-19-2007, 05:52 PM   #4
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Unfortunately until you can handle 7-8 gallons of wort, you can't do 5 gallon AG batches. The sparging process always produces extra wort & has to be boiled down. The alternative is to under sparge & throw away half or more of the sugars in the grains.

Partial mashes produce very good results and you can manage them in a smaller pot.

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Old 01-19-2007, 07:59 PM   #5
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You could split the 6 or so gallons between two pots if you wanted.

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Old 01-22-2007, 07:02 PM   #6
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I was thinking about this and wondering why you couldn't do a mash with more grain(and higher OG) to compensate for the water you add to the primary later. Still cheaper than adding extract I would think and you could still do your stovetop boils.

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Old 01-22-2007, 07:06 PM   #7
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You could look at some of the no-sparge techniques that have been discussed in various places, but your efficiency is going to be so low that you really aren't going to be saving much money. 50%, IIRC.

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Old 01-22-2007, 07:15 PM   #8
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The problem I have is that the DME in my area is crap, I haven't been able to ferment it down below 1025. If I could do a low efficiency mash with a smaller sparge, it would hold me over until i can get my hands on a wort chiller and turkey fryer, which will be soon I hope.

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Old 01-22-2007, 10:25 PM   #9
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To tell you the truth, I'd wait until you had the it. Stick with min mashes and steeping until you get the kit to do it. Or try a 2.5/3 gallon brew first

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