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Old 02-09-2014, 05:17 AM   #1
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Default First 3 Gallon Batch

Hello all..

I'm about to start a 3 gallon batch of all grain. I want to steep the grains instead of creating a mesh. Normally all the 5 gallon kits I've done have called for steeping in 2.5 gallons of water. How many gallons would be good for a 3 gallon?


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Old 02-09-2014, 11:52 AM   #2
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First off, mashing and steeping are not interchangeable. They are different processes with different goals that require different ingredients. I'll assume your kit/recipe requires steeping.

It doesn't matter what your volume is for steeping. You can steep in 3 gallons, but of course your grain will absorb some water and you'll have to top it up.

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Old 02-09-2014, 12:00 PM   #3
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I would recommend that you read through www.howtobrew.com to learn the need for mashing versus steeping. Then you can decide how to proceed with your all-grain brew.

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Old 02-09-2014, 01:13 PM   #4
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Could it be that what he is referring to as "steeping" might actually be Brew in a Bag?

If you post the all grain recipe and list what equipment you have (pot size, for example) we would be able to assist you better.

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Old 02-09-2014, 01:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teromous View Post
Could it be that what he is referring to as "steeping" might actually be Brew in a Bag?

If you post the all grain recipe and list what equipment you have (pot size, for example) we would be able to assist you better.

I have a 5 gallon pot. And I was referring to just steeping. This would be my first al grain batch so I'm still considered a newbie and def. might be going about it the wrong way by steeping. I thought the only difference between the methods was worrying about the PH level. I would love to hear what you guys think the best way is and more about what brew in a bag is.


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Old 02-09-2014, 01:36 PM   #6
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if all grain you must mash
if extract you can steep
check palmers book on line for free (first edition)

* you can do 'full mash/allgrain' batches using BIAB and you are simply mashing in the sames vessel (in a bag) that you will boil in when the mash is done

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Old 02-09-2014, 01:40 PM   #7
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If you are doing all-grain, you have a base grain which is unconverted. To convert the starches in the base grain, you will need to conduct a mash, which is holding the water and grain at a temperature range from around 145 F to 158 F until the enzymes in the grain can convert the starch into sugars that the yeast will be able to consume.

The book that I gave the link to will explain the process of conversion and the conditions which are needed to convert.

Unless you have a water supply which has a very high alkalinity, I would not worry too much about your mash pH for your first brew. Grains will naturally produce a pH range which is favorable for conversion.

If you have the capability to measure the pH, you can adjust the pH once you have mixed in the grains, as explained in How To Brew.

If you post your recipe and instructions, we can be of more help with your process.

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Old 02-09-2014, 01:50 PM   #8
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Basically when you do an extract batch, you already have your malt extract that you've been adding to the water. The steeping grains don't provide a lot of sugars, their purpose is mostly to add color and different flavor to the beer.

When you do an all grain beer you're basically creating the malt extract from scratch. The malted grains (your base grains) have to be mashed. The mashing process takes the starches in the grain and converts them to sugar. The grains that you used to steep are also added to this mash which provides the same color and flavor components that they did when you were doing extract brewing.

When people do all grain beers they usually have a separate vessel that they mash in. It has to be capable of holding all of the water and the grain. After the starch to sugar conversion is complete, it's drained through a screen, false bottom, or anything else that can keep the grains separate from the wort. The wort is drained into your brew kettle and the grains are left behind in the mash tun to cool off and be cleaned out. From here you would proceed the same as extract brewing, adding hops, etc.

Brew in a Bag is a concept where you take your brew kettle and place a large bag in it (similar to a very large steeping bag) full of all of your grains. You fill the pot full of water and mash directly in it using a stove or propane burner to keep the temperature level. At the end you simply pull the bag out and let it drain, then (if you choose) you pour some hot water over the grain bag to rinse the remaining sugars off the grains. What you are left with is a pot full of wort, and from here you would proceed the same as you would with your extract batches, adding hops, etc.

The advantage to Brew in a Bag (BIAB) is that you can do everything in one pot without needing a mash tun.

The main disadvantages I see are:
-You need a brew kettle that can hold all the grains and water (might be possible in your situation with a 3 gallon batch).
-You need to be able to lift the heavy wet grains out (depends on your resourcefulness or health/fitness).
-You might get a lower efficiency (lower gravity) because you aren't fully sparging, but I'm not a BIAB brewer so I'm sure they could chime in here and commend on that.

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Old 02-09-2014, 04:49 PM   #9
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I do like the idea of BIAB and going to look more into it. The reason mashing is hard for merit now is because I don't have the necessary equipment to do it. I have one kettle and one 5 gallon pot (if my wife lets me use it for brewing that day lol). I'm looking into purchasing an igloo jug and making it into a full mash jug with a filter. So until then ill look at the BIAB or stay with extract/mash until I'm have the equipment needed.

How does that sound to you guys?

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Old 02-09-2014, 05:26 PM   #10
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easy to make a 3 gal BIAB in a 5G kettle with a paint strainer bag

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