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Old 01-24-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
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Default Moving to All Grain

I am hoping to have a few extract/partial mash batches under my belt by the time it warms up outside (cooking on kitchen stove right now). But after I feel more comfortable with the process of brewing, I want to go all grain and cook it outside. A few months out but I'm looking at the equipment.

I am thinking two propane burners would be ideal, correct? If I am boiling on one burner, I need a heat source to just be heating water at various stages of the game...at least that is my thinking based on what I have read about all grain. I do not plan to put any direct heat on the mash tun (will make a DIY job with a beer cooler). I'd like to avoid running in and out of the house to fetch hot water off the stove top if I'm cooking on propane outside. I do have a burner on the side of the BBQ grill that I could use to heat water but that seems pretty inefficient.

Thoughts?

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:03 PM   #2
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I use one propane burner and a 2 kettles (5 gal and 11 gal) for all my AG batches.

5 gallon kettle gets used:
Needed volume of mash in water (+1 gallon for safety) gets heated and used
Sparge volume (again with +1) gets heated while mash is converting.

11 gallon kettle
Runnings are collected in 11 gal kettle and i am off and running.

I do not think that 2 burners is necessary and money better spent on other necessities

Just my .02

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:13 PM   #3
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Thanks, kinger. One dumb question. So, is your sparge volume enough, when added to your mash water, to equal your boil volume? Basically, all water runs through your tun?

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:34 PM   #4
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Yep, those 2 volumes minus grain absorbtion. That will be your boil volume.

I agree with brewkinger, save that money and buy yourself a wort chiller for sure!!

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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This calculator is very helpful in determining how much mash and sparge water you need to heat to arrive at your final boil volume. It is also helpful to know the volume of your kettle per inch so that you can simply make a measured mark on a yard stick to where the proper pre-boil level in the kettle should be and where the proper post-boil level is. If you do it that way you will end up with much more predictable gravity results!

http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridire View Post
I am hoping to have a few extract/partial mash batches under my belt by the time it warms up outside (cooking on kitchen stove right now). But after I feel more comfortable with the process of brewing, I want to go all grain and cook it outside. A few months out but I'm looking at the equipment.

I am thinking two propane burners would be ideal, correct? If I am boiling on one burner, I need a heat source to just be heating water at various stages of the game...at least that is my thinking based on what I have read about all grain. I do not plan to put any direct heat on the mash tun (will make a DIY job with a beer cooler). I'd like to avoid running in and out of the house to fetch hot water off the stove top if I'm cooking on propane outside. I do have a burner on the side of the BBQ grill that I could use to heat water but that seems pretty inefficient.

Thoughts?
Why do you want to wait to do all grain. Today it's -15, the wind chill is -30 and I want to brew and I want to do all grain so I put a 5 gallon pot on my kitchen stove with 3 1/2 gallons of water in it and start heating while I grind my grains. When the grains are ground and the water is up to the right temperature, I plop a paint strainer bag into the pot, stir in the grains, put the lid on and wrap a big towel around it so it maintains the temperature of the mash. An hour later I pull the bag of grains out, let them drain a bit, slip another pan with a colander in it under the grain bag and start squeezing the wort out of the grain while turning up the heat on the pot of wort. As I get wort out of the grain bag I dump it into the heating wort and when I can't get any more wort squeezed out my pot is already above mashout temp and all I have to do is watch so the hot break doesn't spill over onto the stove. That's it, all grain and no extra equipment except for the paint strainer bag.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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Thanks to both of you. I guess I was thinking that I would need to add water from some other source to the boil after sparge. But that really doesn't make any sense when you think it through...why not just run all water through the tun, into the boil pot and then heat?

Always nice to save some $ by thinking this through ahead of time. Glad I asked.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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Thanks to both of you. I guess I was thinking that I would need to add water from some other source to the boil after sparge. But that really doesn't make any sense when you think it through...why not just run all water through the tun, into the boil pot and then heat?

Always nice to save some $ by thinking this through ahead of time. Glad I asked.
You absolutely want to run all water though the grain to maximize extraction efficiency. I get as much as 85% efficiency doing a batch sparge on my Pale Ales and other smaller beers.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Why do you want to wait to do all grain. Today it's -15, the wind chill is -30 and I want to brew and I want to do all grain so I put a 5 gallon pot on my kitchen stove with 3 1/2 gallons of water in it and start heating while I grind my grains. When the grains are ground and the water is up to the right temperature, I plop a paint strainer bag into the pot, stir in the grains, put the lid on and wrap a big towel around it so it maintains the temperature of the mash. An hour later I pull the bag of grains out, let them drain a bit, slip another pan with a colander in it under the grain bag and start squeezing the wort out of the grain while turning up the heat on the pot of wort. As I get wort out of the grain bag I dump it into the heating wort and when I can't get any more wort squeezed out my pot is already above mashout temp and all I have to do is watch so the hot break doesn't spill over onto the stove. That's it, all grain and no extra equipment except for the paint strainer bag.
Nice. That brings up another question I have for the partial mash I'm doing in a week or two (I have beer in the primary right now so have to give it time to run through the process to free up vessels): if I am mashing in 1 gallon of water (3 lbs. of grain), how fast am I going to lose temperature in my pot during the mash? I know that I need to use a thermometer to be safe but I don't want to hover over the damn thing. If I start the mash at 155-160 and am planning to mash for 60 minutes, am I going to need to add heat to the pot before the 60 minutes is up? I am thinking I will but when? Am I safe walking away from the mash for 30 minutes or will I get below 150 in that 30 minutes? I am looking online for a calculation to ballpark the rate at which the temperature will drop if left in ambient temperature of 65-70 degrees but I can't find anything out there. I know there are variables (dimensions of the pot, etc.) but there has to be a way to estimate the rate of temperature loss without actually doing a dry run.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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I think you will have a hard time keeping the water at 155 for an hour with only that amount in the pot. On the bright side, if your grain is crushed really fine (you'll have it in a bag, I assume, so you won't clog things up) your conversion will probably be done in ~20 minutes. I'd still mash for nearly the hour if you can keep the temperature near stable but I think you will have to add heat to do that.

With my BIAB batch I had 5 pounds of grain in 3 1/2 gallons of water and using just the bath towel for insulation kept the temperature within one degree for the 45 minutes I mashed.

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