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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Mashing, sparging and brewing in a single pot?
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:01 AM   #1
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Default Mashing, sparging and brewing in a single pot?

I'm about to brew my first batch, and it's a partial mash. After buying all of the equipment, I only had enough $$ left for one 5-gallon stainless steel pot. I'm wondering if it's possible to mash, sparge and boil in that single pot.

The instructions for my Oatmeal Stout from Seven Bridges Collective suggest that it is. Here's the relevant section:

Quote:
1a. Heat 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 gallons of water to 160-165, then turn the heat off. Add the grain bag and stir well. The temperature should be 150. Adjust if necessary by adding heat, hot water, or cold water.

1b. Allow the grains to soak for 40 to 60 minutes at 150. Do a starch test to see if the mash is done.

2a. Heat 1 1/2 gallons of water to 170 in a separate pot [my note: I have an 8 qt. pot that can handle this much water]. Sparge the grains with this water when the mash is complete.
[Here is the technique they recommend for sparging in the mashing pot]



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First, heat your sparge water (1 to 2 gallons, depending on your recipe) to 170 oF. Open the top of the grain bag and hold it up so that the level of the grains inside the bag is slightly higher than the level of water in your brew pot (see picture, left). Using a ladle or a measuring cup, slowly pour the sparge water over the grains inside the bag. Try to pour most of the water as close to the center of the bag as possible; this will extract the highest possible amount of sugars. Allow the sparged grains to drain for a few minutes, then squeeze the bag gently to extract more of the remaining liquid. If the bag is too hot to handle, set it aside to cool- you can squeeze the bag into you brew later in the brewing process.

It is important to not try and wring out every last drop of liquid from the grains, as this will add too much solid matter to the brew and can affect the taste and clarity of the finished beer. The spent grains are no longer needed for the brew, as the flavor and color have already been extracted.
After the sparge is complete I would put about 1.5 gallons of the wort aside to cool and add to the primary fermenter (because I'm doing a partial boil) and use the remaining 3 gallons in the pot for brewing with the extract.

Does this make sense? Will it work well?
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:08 AM   #2
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i'm not an expert on partial mashing in the least, but here is my opinion. i would just re-calculate the water so you didnt have to put any wort on the side un-boiled. i dont know if adding un boiled wort would have any effects (aside from the obvious sanitation issue) but i wouldnt do it. maybe drop the mashing water down to 2 gal and sparge with 1 gal, boil and top off to 5 with water in the fermenter?

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Old 10-01-2009, 12:22 AM   #3
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Do some reading on "Brew in a Bag."

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/for...php?f=2&t=4650

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Old 10-01-2009, 12:24 AM   #4
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DeathBrewer has a great thread sticky at the top of this page about doing partial mashes using only two pots. With pics and all. It is a great source of info.
I will be following it for my next (first partial mash) brew.
Dave

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Old 10-01-2009, 12:35 AM   #5
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Mash in your 5 g pot. You really don't have to sparge but if you wanted to, heat 1 gallon in the small pot up to 180F and dunk the grain bag in there after the mash is done. Remove the bag, discard, then pour that wort into the main pot. Pouring water into a grain bag is a horrible way to sparge.

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Old 10-01-2009, 01:18 AM   #6
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I looked at the DeathBrewer thread and that seems like a good approach for me. If I use 2.25 gallons for the mash and 1.5 gallons for the sparge, then I can easily boil the full 3.75 gallons of wort with the extract in the 5 gallon pot and just add 1.5 gallons of sterilized water to the primary fermenter to top it off.

Thanks for the tips!

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Old 10-01-2009, 01:38 AM   #7
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Totally off topic. A+ user name, switters.

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Old 10-01-2009, 02:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by carnevoodoo View Post
Totally off topic. A+ user name, switters.
Ah, another Tom Robbins fan!
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:35 AM   #9
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This link is great.
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/for...php?f=2&t=4650

Its a breeze to brew this way. I tend to stir the mash constantly if I need to add heat and will continue for a few minutes after. Most of time I don;t need to fire the kettle during the mash as I put the lid on and found a cardbord box that fits nicely over the kettle.

I think the few people in the link above who don't like the method haven't tried it. Its awesome for 5gallons or less all grain.

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Old 10-01-2009, 04:06 AM   #10
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This can EASILY be done. Sparging obviously will be difficult, but you could mash out.

You're efficiency will be low, but it's a good method for partial mash brewing if you're just beginning to learn how to mash.

EDIT: I've had better efficiencies doing this method than AG outside in the mash tun, sparging and all that crap.

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