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Old 06-16-2010, 07:57 PM   #1
bigliver
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Default Brewing pots.

Good afternoon,

I have done one or two all grain brews, and I am looking at simplifying the process somewhat, and I wanted your opinion/advice.

My current process is:

1. Start heating my water, up to about 70C. (Using my cajun cooker)

2. Place my SS mashing vessel (big pot) in my "insulator", and add my cracked barley to the vessel, then strike the grain with my warmed water. Cover the vessel with its lid, pack the top with towels and then seal my insulator.

3. I come back every 20 minutes or so and check on the temp. If its dropping, I scoop out a saucer pan full, re-heat, add it back to the mash, stir, and reseal.

4. After 3 hours I pour the mash through my lauter tun and give it a sparging, into another large, stainless steel pot.

5. I then start the boil and toss in a measure or two of bittering hops (I like a good "medium-bitter".)

6. After I've boiled off a good inch of liquid, I stick my wort chiller in and drop the temp to proper pitching temperature and then I filter the hop muck through my "hop stocking" <- horrid process, into my primary fermenter, pitch my wyeast, seal and let it sit.

Like anyone who brews, brew day is a fun day, but I would still like to stream-line it somewhat.

I've been looking at a Polaris brew pot. Its a 10 gallon pot with a ball valve and built in thermostat. It also comes with a false bottom. And I thought I would mash and sparge using the same vessel.

So, for those with a one of these brewing pots, would my new process be:

1. Place the brew pot with the false bottom, on my cajun cooker, fill it with water, raise the temperature to 70C, reduce the output of the cooker, add my cracked barley, stir, cover, monitor the temperature for 3 hours.

2. Open the valve and drain the brew pot into another vessel and sparge.

3. .... as per current sequence, hop, boil, chill, filter, pitch, seal.

Is that about the size of it? Are these brew pots real time savers? Any other suggestions to improve my process? I had though about using a hop bag next time...

Thanks for you help.

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Old 06-16-2010, 08:20 PM   #2
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That method isn't far off from what I do with my cooler and a single pot:

- Heat water using my pot on my Turkey Fryer
- Pour into cooler with grains
- Move cooler up to raised surface, runoff into bucket
- Heat sparge water in kettle, pour into cooler
- Pour bucket into kettle, finish filling kettle from sparge water
- Profit

The advantage of having the brewpot would be that you could directly control the mash temps, but without adding some additional electronics it wouldn't be a completely hands off thing to control the temp. It seems the main thing you'd gain in your setup is a more direct control over the mash temps, but I doubt it'd save you much time/effort without adding even more gear.

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Old 06-16-2010, 08:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigliver View Post
4. After 3 hours I pour the mash through my lauter tun and give it a sparging, into another large, stainless steel pot.

...

Like anyone who brews, brew day is a fun day, but I would still like to stream-line it somewhat.
Well, you can EASILY knock 2 hours off your day my mashing for only 1 hour instead of 3!

Even 1 hour is arguably longer than necessary, but 3 hours is DEFINITELY way too long.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munche View Post
- Pour into cooler with grains
- Move cooler up to raised surface, runoff into bucket
- Heat sparge water in kettle, pour into cooler
Thanks munche,

With the cooler, do you find that you have to be vigilant to maintain the mashing temperature? And have you ever noticed any "plasticy" flavors in your beer?
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Well, you can EASILY knock 2 hours off your day my mashing for only 1 hour instead of 3!
Really? I always figured the longer to mash the more malt you extract, but if full extraction is obtained in one hour ...

Does it matter how the grain is milled? My mill just cracks the grain open, it doesn't really destroy it. Would that have an effect on malt extraction rates?
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:54 PM   #6
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It's not the extraction that takes time it is the conversion of starches to sugar that require time and as Walker mentioned, even an hour is overkill with the modified grains that we use. But 1 hour is the norm.

Your process of recovering the wort and sparging determine the extraction of the sugars, not the length of time.

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Old 06-16-2010, 08:58 PM   #7
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Damn sweet. Subtracting two hours from the process would definitely be considered a cheap stream-lining process.

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Old 06-16-2010, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigliver View Post
6. After I've boiled off a good inch of liquid, I stick my wort chiller in and drop the temp to proper pitching temperature and then I filter the hop muck through my "hop stocking" <- horrid process, into my primary fermenter, pitch my wyeast, seal and let it sit.
How long does this normally take? The norm is a 60 or 90 minute boil. 90 is more usual for AG. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, just an extract brewer for now.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:18 PM   #9
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How long does this normally take?
My cooker is basically the engine off an SR-71, so to boil off an inch it took about an hour. I do between 10 and 15 gallon brews.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:19 PM   #10
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AG you want at least 60min, to cook off the DMS. For me, the only time i boil for longer is when i know i need to reduce my wort to hit my target volume and gravity, which is usually just the high Gravity brews.

Are you using a count down timer for your hop additions or just winging it?

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