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-   -   alternative to grain bag? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/alternative-grain-bag-141986/)

andrewp 10-16-2009 04:03 PM

alternative to grain bag?
hi, tried searching for this. ready to add my specialty grains and realized i am short a grain bag. can i use any other common house item as an alternative?


david_42 10-16-2009 04:11 PM

Knee highs work.

andrewp 10-16-2009 04:18 PM

dont have those...

this is what i'm going to try to do:

in a seperate pot of water steep the grains free floating at 155 for 1/2 hour. i'll have a separate pot maintained at around 155 also. after a 1/2 hour pour the grain pot through a strainer and into the larger pot. i will then rinse the grains through the strainer and then start to bring that pot up to boil to start my DME addition.

will that work? advice? is this what is called a partial mash?

jvlpdillon 10-16-2009 04:28 PM

Yes this will work.

This is sort of like a partial mash. Similar steps could be used. Mashing is converting sugar from starch in grain. Without seeing a recipe I assume you are using crystal, or caramel or some form of "steeping grain". There is a slight conversion from starch to sugar that can take place. Mostly this is sucking different levels of flavor from the grains not sugar.

andrewp 10-16-2009 04:31 PM

this is mostly for flavor. its only 1/2 lb of crushed wheat grain. i'm making a summer ale type beer with wheat and light DME. thought i would add another dimension by having wheat specialty grains.

jvlpdillon 10-16-2009 04:41 PM

Wheat usually needs to be mashed with something that helps conversion like 2 row. You might still get the flavor you are hoping for. Expect your ABV may come in lower than expected based upon your recipe. In the end you will still make beer. So enjoy, and learn.

Palefire 10-16-2009 04:48 PM

It'll work fine. That's what the instructions from my LHBS say to do. I'm personally not a big fan of this method, since the sparge is about as inefficient as possible here, but if you don't have a grain bag then go for it.

Or, if there's a hardware or paint store anywhere near you, you can buy a paint strainer bag. Lots of people (including me) use those as grain bags and they work great. And are pretty damn cheap.

andrewp 10-16-2009 04:55 PM

thanks for the tip about paint strainer bags.

i know this is inefficient. i didn't even put this 1/2 lb of wheat into my OG calculation since this is an extract recipe. just hoping for some of the flavor characteristics to come through. especially since i am doing a late extract addition of the wheat DME to help my color. OG is supposed to be around 1.050 anyways. pretty low.

thanks for all the advice. perhaps a partial mash is in my near future.

KCBrew 10-16-2009 07:29 PM

I used a cheese cloth folded over a bunch of times to 3'x3' square, layed it over the top of the pot and then poured the grains on top. Put the lid on to hold the edge out of the pot and just gathered up the cheese cloth and drained after an hour. Worked like a charm.

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