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-   -   Using Grains in a Coopers kit. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/using-grains-coopers-kit-353286/)

BadBeagleBrew 09-09-2012 09:03 PM

Using Grains in a Coopers kit.
Alright so I have been doing some coopers kits lately to get a cheap pipe line built. The kits call for 1kg of dextrose so I have been substituting half of that for DME which is almost $8 a pound around here. What I would like to do is substitute the dextrose and DME completely with grains. I understand that say with an efficiency of 70% I would need roughly 1.7lbs grain per pound of dme. What I'm wondering is:

1. Seeing as I'm topping the kit up with tap water, do I need to boil the Wort after the mashing/steeping process.
2. For light ales would 3lbs 2 row and 1/2lb crystal be good. Also for stouts would 3lbs 2 row and some chocolate or roasted be good.

I'm not looking to go all grain just can get grains cheaper than DME and would like to make these kits as cheap but as good as possible. Thanks in advance.

RobertRGeorge 09-09-2012 09:13 PM

You do need to boil the grain part of the wort, but the Cooper's kits are engineered so that minimal boiling is necessary (the instructions say no boil).
Seems to me though that if you are going to the trouble of a partial mash to enhance a cheap kit, you might consider the value of your time. I've found that even a partial mash takes me a good 4 hours including set up, mash, sparging and clean up.

Where I live DME is available in 50lb sacks for about $4 a pound, so you might plan ahead!

BadBeagleBrew 09-09-2012 09:32 PM

I'll just be doing the partial mash BIAB style on the stove top so I'm not to worried about clean up and all that. Only way I can get that much DME is online and than the shipping charge pretty much makes it as expensive if not more than the $8 a pound I pay now. Why would I have to boil the partial mash?

RobertRGeorge 09-10-2012 12:22 AM

What I mean is you will have to do the mash and then boil the wort for an hour ideally with some hops to help coagulate the proteins. BIAB will certainly reduce clean up time. I've done this and used a big commercial strainer to drain the bag and poured some hot water over the grains to rinse them out. Add the Cooper's kit about 5 minutes before the end of the boil to sanitize everything. That should work out.

Are you pretty far from a homebrew supply store? I've found that if I give my "local" store a call a week or so in advance they will order an extra box of Munton's DME for me, and sell me 25 kilos for about $225. The store is actually 130 miles away, so I bundle my DME order with a trip to the Big City for other stuff too (eg CHEAP Clothing!)

jamesharder 09-10-2012 02:10 AM

You'll definitely need to boil the wort after you mash, just to make sure it's sanitized. I think you could do a short boil though, say fifteen minutes. Also I wouldn't worry about adding any extra hops; think of it this way, you're not putting any hops in with the DME or dextrose, so why would you hop the extract from your mash?

To add to what RobertRGeorge was saying about time: I bought a 20 minute boil kit from midwest, and then decided to do a mini mash with some oats and two-row. it went from a two hour brew day to five hour brew day. It turned out great, though!

BadBeagleBrew 09-10-2012 02:19 AM

Oh I get what your saying, I'm off on parental now so I have all the time in the world. Even if I could get cheap dme, I would like to start playing with grains. So 20 minutes should be long enough of a boil and throw the can in last 5 min to mix everything together and sanitize. sounds good to me.

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