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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Mini-mash beginner questions
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:53 PM   #11
BryceL
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Originally Posted by onipar View Post
I'm in the same boat. I have a 5 gallon pot and a 2 gallon pot, and plan on doing partial mashes and 3 gallon AG. My plan at the moment is somewhat comical, but should hopefully work.

I'm going to mash using the BIAB method in the 5 gallon pot (and mash out if need be). Then I'll hold the bag up to drain as best as I could. I will then pour that part of the wort into my primary bucket to hold.

I will then put the bag of grain back into the now empty 5 gallon pot, and pour in the sparge water that was heated in my 2 gallon pot (and a third small pot if i need extra). I will do the sparge, and drain as I did with the mash.

Then I'll simply pour the wort from my bucket back into the big pot with the sparge, and continue as per usual.

Yeah, it's a few extra steps, but it will keep me from having to buy any extra equipment for now. Might work for you?
I just did a 2.5 gallon all grain batch with a very similar method to this. It seemed to work pretty well.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:05 PM   #12
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You mean via pre-heated water...like just pour in a few cups of hot (190*)water to raise the temp?
That would work or you could just turn the heat back on to your stove top. You would need to mix the grains while you're mashing to keep the heat uniform, but that would work well.


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I'm not sure I follow you here. Should I be mashing 5-6 lbs. of grain in more than 2 gallons of water?
2 gallons would be fine. However, I am just referring to the fact that you have a very wide 10 Gallon pot. Two gallons of water might not rise very high in that pot. Might be OK though. I don't have that pot.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:12 PM   #13
onipar
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Yes, that could work. When you do the sparge, will you pour the water over the grains into the 5 gallon pot, and then tea bag in the sparge water/wort?

I'm trying to think through the specific steps before I attempt this...
Yeah, my plan is to place the bag open in the pot (the way it was when I mashed) and pour the sparge water in to let the grain soak for a bit, stiring a few times. If I had a colander that fit over top of my pot, I might do the "pour over" sparge instead, but I don't have a big colander.

I'm not entirely sure which method is better.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:18 PM   #14
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A tip for holding the bag up to drain- I'm a decent size (6'1", 245lbs) but holding a heavy bag of soaked grain nearly at eye level can get even hard for the strongest person. Recently by mistake, I realized that if you wrap the extra part of your bag around your mixing stick and lay it across the top of your pot, you can avoid having to do this (imagine a winch). I have one of those plastic stirring paddles which is about 3 feet long so luckily when I wind the bag around it my hand is not over the hot pot.
Great tip, thank you. Yeah, i have been trying to think of easier ways to drain. The best way I can think of would be to buy a nice big colander that fits either on my bucket or on the pot, that way I could just leave the bag to drain.

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Old 06-28-2011, 11:29 PM   #15
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I like these ideas. The drilled bucket is so that you don't have to use a bag? You just open the spigot after the mash is finished and drain into your brew kettle? If I took BryceL's method, I probably wouldn't want to use my fermentation bucket in case it got scratched in the process.
I use two food grade buckets one with a spigot and one without. I drill the holes in the bottom of the bucket that doesn't have the spigot and place it inside the bucket with the spigot. That way, one bucket sits inside the other creating a false bottom just above the spigot. The buckets i use for this I don't use for anything else. It doesn't matter if they get scratched because the collected wort is always boiled.

This system provides essentially the same fluid dynamics as a false bottom inside a stainless kettle with a ball valve. Waaaay better than a bottling bucket with a giant strainer bag.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:38 PM   #16
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Jonk- Any suggestions on material to wrap around the mash tun to keep it holding heat?

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Old 06-29-2011, 09:04 PM   #17
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I noticed the AHS partial mash kits only include about 2-3.5 lbs. of grain...maybe I can get away with mashing in the 8 qt. pot after all (3.5 lbs * 1.25 quarts/lb = 1 gallon of water for the mash.

If I wanted to calculate efficiency, do I do this before I add the DME? I don't have software...do I just add up the total potential, take a gravity reading, and calculate:

Starting Gravity/[Total points/volume]

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