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Old 01-30-2014, 11:05 PM   #1
natural
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Default Almost have all my equipment, few questions though

Hey,

So I've been building up my equipment, at least for what is available this time of year where I'm from. I have a 5 hgallon home Depot cooler for my Mash tun, turkey fryer 28 litre, still have yet to build my wort chiller and everything else is good to go. I'm looking at making edworts IPA and requiem raspberry as my first two brews from this site.

My main question is regarding my brew pot. It does not have a valve on it. I'm curious how well of a deal I'll get using a bulk head on a curved wall of the pot?

Instead of installing a valve is it fine to just put hope in a muslin sack and pull them out when I'm finished? It would be easier to just open up a valve and drain the wort into my primary however rather then siphoning or pouring it in haha.

Questions about the Mash. Some recipes are 5.5 gallons and I dont the k I'll fit that in my Mash tun. When sparging how much water are you using for the sparge? I suppose I could just convert the recipes to adjust my grains etc. I was under the impression I would fill my Mash tun as much as possible and sparge with the additional liquid I was missing but I don't think that would be as effective. Currently I can't find a larger cooler to make into a Mash tun since it's winter so I'llhave to wait until early next year.

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Old 01-30-2014, 11:59 PM   #2
JimRausch
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I've been working with equipment just like you have for my AG recipes since I started with AG this past summer, after 1 1/2 years of PMs.
So, here's my $.02:
1.A 5G cooler for a mashtun is very doable for up to 10 lb. grain. Less than that I can do a stepmash with 2 infusions, but with 10lb, it's a one step, or if I really want two temperature steps, I do a decoction. I've done 3 batches with more grain than that, and for those batches have worked up a hybrid with a regular rectangular cooler and 2 BIAB bags.
2. You figure out your mash volume(there's a couple of online calculators) so it fits. It's OK to fill the mashtun right to the top. Drain that, after your 60 minute or so mash, = 1st runnings, which typically will be between 2-3 gallons. Then sparge with enough water to get the volume into your brewpot that you want. With me, it's usually about another 3G. With a 7G pot you can boil 6.5 G if you're careful- one hand on the heat control to kill the heat as soon as it starts to foam, another hand on a spoon, and a 3rd hand on a spray bottle. Once you get the hotbreak, then turn the heat back on low to maintain a slow rolling boil. A 60 minute boil starting with 6.5 G should get you around 5-5.5G into your fermenter. And Fermcap is definitely a big help in preventing boilovers.
3. A valve in the brewpot would be nice, but not really necessary in a 7G pot. 7G=56 lb. so it's heavy but not impossible to lift. You can always dip out of the pot until it gets down to a weight you're comfortable lifting.

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Old 01-31-2014, 12:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRausch View Post
I've been working with equipment just like you have for my AG recipes since I started with AG this past summer, after 1 1/2 years of PMs.
So, here's my $.02:
1.A 5G cooler for a mashtun is very doable for up to 10 lb. grain. Less than that I can do a stepmash with 2 infusions, but with 10lb, it's a one step, or if I really want two temperature steps, I do a decoction. I've done 3 batches with more grain than that, and for those batches have worked up a hybrid with a regular rectangular cooler and 2 BIAB bags.
2. You figure out your mash volume(there's a couple of online calculators) so it fits. It's OK to fill the mashtun right to the top. Drain that, after your 60 minute or so mash, = 1st runnings, which typically will be between 2-3 gallons. Then sparge with enough water to get the volume into your brewpot that you want. With me, it's usually about another 3G. With a 7G pot you can boil 6.5 G if you're careful- one hand on the heat control to kill the heat as soon as it starts to foam, another hand on a spoon, and a 3rd hand on a spray bottle. Once you get the hotbreak, then turn the heat back on low to maintain a slow rolling boil. A 60 minute boil starting with 6.5 G should get you around 5-5.5G into your fermenter. And Fermcap is definitely a big help in preventing boilovers.
3. A valve in the brewpot would be nice, but not really necessary in a 7G pot. 7G=56 lb. so it's heavy but not impossible to lift. You can always dip out of the pot until it gets down to a weight you're comfortable lifting.
Thanks a lot for the response. Very helpful. I didnt even realize that the amount of water you got from the first runnings was less then what you put in there but that absolutely makes sense. This will be my first all grain brew. I'm not too concerned about the weight of the pot so i'll pass on the valve for now unless I change my mind later on. The recipe i'm looking at doing is calling for 12lbs 8oz total. So it's definitely above the 10lb cap. I would definitely like to pick up a 10 gallon cooler when I can just so I dont have to worry about it all that much.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:22 PM   #4
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You're welcome. As you probably figured out, the grain absorbs some of the water we 1st add, so we get less out than we add. With the sparge though, the grain is saturated, so it's pretty much what you put in= what you get out.
There is a neat little website called 'greenbay rackers mashin calculator'( or something like that). I plugged in your #s. For 10lb of grain, mashing in with 1.5qt/lb, which is a pretty standard thickness, you get a total volume of 4.55 gallon- doable in a 5G cooler.
For 12.5lb grain, there's not enough room. But if you cut down to 1.25qt/lb,(adding 15.6 qt. water) your volume is 4.91 gallon. Right up to the top. If you do, add about 1/2 the water and grain, stir vigorously, then gradually add the rest. And hope that you got your mashin temp correct, because there will be no room to adjust. Greenbay rackers also has a calculator to help with what temp. strike water you need. Good Luck!

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Old 02-03-2014, 05:31 PM   #5
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I only have a 6.5 gal turkey fryer, so I fill it up to about 5.5 gal and put the rest in a small pot on my stove. I think this helps me a lot because I like running more water threw the tun, it gets ur eff. Up, but my turkey fryer only boils off about half a gal in an hour. Most of my pre boil vol. is around 7 gal. I boil the pot on the stove a little longer to get rid of excess water and add the leftovers at my 5 min. Mark to bring my final vol. to around 5.3-5.5 gal. That way I get an actual 5 gal batch bottled with the turn left over.

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