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Old 03-01-2011, 06:11 PM   #21
Pivovar_Koucky
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If you split the boil, how are you going to do the hopping? I think that it's pretty unlikely that the two will start boiling at the same time, and if they do then you will have 2 hot breaks to deal with. I guess you could wait until they are both boiling and split the hops between the two.

I think that partial mash is a good option if you are stuck brewing indoors. I made two partial mash brews this winter and I was happy with them (one was a bit too sweet for my taste, but I did drink the whole thing).

On the other hand, if brewing outdoors is an option, all-grain is not much more difficult than partial mash.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:27 PM   #22
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I went All-grain from Batch #1. Here are some Considerations i've learned:

1. You have to be able to boil 7 gallons of liquid. You need at least an 8 gallon pot to do this. My stove in my condo was able to bring 7 gallons to a boil in an 8 gallon aluminum pot, so this worked for me. But if you can't bring that much to a boil, or don't want to buy a propane burner, don't bother with all-grain just yet.

2. All grain takes an additional 2 hours or so to brew. If i'm really on my game, I can knock out an all-grain brew in about 4 hours, start to finish. My first batch took 6 hours +. Be prepared for longer brew days.

3. You'll need a wort chiller of some kind. No good way around this. You can build an immersion chiller for $25 that will get the job done. With all-grain, you're boiling the full volume of wort, so that means you have to quickly cool 5gallons of 212* liquid. An ice bath will take forever

4. Building a Mashtun is the simplest part of going all-grain. You can get a 52qt igloo cooler for $20. The hardware to put a valve on it runs about $10, and making a CPVC manifold, or stainless braid is super easy.

5. Follow known good recipes, and stick to them for the first 4-5 batches minimum.

6. Building off the last point, get some sort of brewing software. If you have an Apple itouch/iphone/ipad, there is a great brew software called BrewPal. It's 99 cents and will do all the all-grain calculations for you. If not, Beersmith is great, and has a 3 week trial.

You're going to want to plug in a known good recipe into the brewing calculator, and it will help you with your strike and sparge temperatures. Also, plan for 65% efficiency, If the recipe is built around 70 or 75%, add more two-row in your calculator to get back to the OG of the recipe.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:35 PM   #23
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I have been doing BIAB (similar to Deathbrewer). I usually end up supplementing with DME for big beers. I had been doing only partial boils up until recently. I've had issues with hop levels so I recently switched to boiling 2 pots on my stove to simulate a full boil. I can't straddle two burners for various reasons. What I do is combine the mash and sparge in one pot then divide the combined liquid into two pots. Then I add water to each pot to bring up to preboil volume. It's not optimal and I make sure to add campden to everything along the way but it seems to be working better than partial boils. I boil the two pots one after the other, starting the second while I cool the first in a water bath. For hopping, I split the hops in half, adding a total of 1/2 of all hop additions to each pot.

My brew days only end up being about one hour longer allowing for heating times and cooling times. Painful? A little. But I live in a small place without good ventilation or outside space and my available outlets are suboptimal for heatsticks, etc.

Its an experiment in progress. But so far so good.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:36 PM   #24
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If you don't want to build a cooler MLT initially, look at the BIAB partial mash and all grain methods... It's a good way to get comfortable with the all grain process.

As much as I've touted the BIAB method, and have gotten solid results, I'm getting ready to shift over to a cooler MLT for my all grain batches. It will let me to make brews with larger grain bills, so you'll have more freedom there.

If you plan on going to 10 gallon batches within a few years, get a 70 quart cooler to convert (larger if you can afford it)... Also get a cooler that's got decent wall thickness, and can retain temperatures for a good amount of time. I have the Coleman Xtreme which is rated at being able to keep ice for 6 days (not sure how much ice will be left, but it's a solid cooler)... We used a 48 quart cooler this past weekend, for a 10 gallon batch... Wasn't able to hold all our grain, and mash water (26.5# of grain)... Luckily we were able to use the BIAB method for the balance of the grain bill. Ended up as a good brew day even with the hickup.

I would also advise building in more time than you think you'll need for the first several all grain batches. Chances are, you'll need more time than you think you will. At least, until you have things dialed in, and everything figured out. How long that takes will depend on you.

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Old 03-01-2011, 06:48 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Brewing View Post
The ONLY reason I am suggesting this method is that it seems like a lot of folks (I did it too) dive into AG and immediately want to build all sorts of equipment... again... I did it too.
Yeah. I'm guilty of that too. Instead, this winter I've been doing 2.5 gallon batches into a 3gallon carboy using BIAB instead of the converted cooler, CF chiller, etc. I would highly recommend this. It's so easy to manage that amount of grain on the stove top, BIAB is super easy, and the initial investment is lower. I even did some 3/4 gallon experiments into 1 gallon jugs.

The only downside to that is it takes just about as much time to do 2.5 gallons as 5, so your soft-cost per gallon is something close to double. The upside is, since I'm the only beer drinker in the house, I can do a lot more variety and get more practice with these small batches.

BIAB kept me from going insane this winter. Give it a try.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:36 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottland View Post
I went All-grain from Batch #1. Here are some Considerations i've learned:

1. You have to be able to boil 7 gallons of liquid. You need at least an 8 gallon pot to do this. My stove in my condo was able to bring 7 gallons to a boil in an 8 gallon aluminum pot, so this worked for me. But if you can't bring that much to a boil, or don't want to buy a propane burner, don't bother with all-grain just yet.

2. All grain takes an additional 2 hours or so to brew. If i'm really on my game, I can knock out an all-grain brew in about 4 hours, start to finish. My first batch took 6 hours +. Be prepared for longer brew days.

3. You'll need a wort chiller of some kind. No good way around this. You can build an immersion chiller for $25 that will get the job done. With all-grain, you're boiling the full volume of wort, so that means you have to quickly cool 5gallons of 212* liquid. An ice bath will take forever

4. Building a Mashtun is the simplest part of going all-grain. You can get a 52qt igloo cooler for $20. The hardware to put a valve on it runs about $10, and making a CPVC manifold, or stainless braid is super easy.

5. Follow known good recipes, and stick to them for the first 4-5 batches minimum.

6. Building off the last point, get some sort of brewing software. If you have an Apple itouch/iphone/ipad, there is a great brew software called BrewPal. It's 99 cents and will do all the all-grain calculations for you. If not, Beersmith is great, and has a 3 week trial.

You're going to want to plug in a known good recipe into the brewing calculator, and it will help you with your strike and sparge temperatures. Also, plan for 65% efficiency, If the recipe is built around 70 or 75%, add more two-row in your calculator to get back to the OG of the recipe.
1: Not true. Nothing says you have to brew 5 gallons each time. I've been doing 2 1/2 gallon batches in a 5 gallon pot. Works fine.

2: Not true. With "brew in a bag" it adds less than an hour to the time it takes to do an extract with grain.

3: Not true. With the smaller batch size, chilling the wort by immersing the pot in ice water only takes 20 minutes to cool to pitching temperature.

4: Not true. Buying a pair of paint strainer bags for "brew in a bag" is way simpler.

5: Probably a good idea, but I like to brew with the material I can buy locally which means substituting what they have for what I really wanted. Making only 1 substitution seems to be getting me some pretty good beer.

6: Absolutely. It is so much easier to predict what you will get without doing all the calculations. I didn't know I could only plan on 65% efficiency so I screwed up my first all grain and got 78%. I'm sorry and I'll try to not let it happen again.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:06 PM   #27
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^all your objections are based on small batches...took me about 45 mins to chill 2.5 gal of wort w/o chiller...took me 6 or 7 hours to chill 5 gals w/o chiller
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:27 PM   #28
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To actually answer the OP's original question about doing all-grain on the stove with a mash tun and 2 boil pots: this is quite do-able and I've done it a couple of times for various reasons when I didn't have my propane burner.
Yes it is a little more work to have 2 pots boiling but its certainly do able, split the wort evenly and split the hops evenly if you don't get either of those exactly right it won't be noticeable, if they are put on the heat at the same time they should start boiling at almost the same time and adding hops +/- a minute to each pot won't make a big deal.
If you check out brew in a bag and think its for you then great go that way but you can certainly do allgrain with a mash tun and wort split between 2 pots well enough (I'm assuming of course you've tried boiling 2 pots of 4 gallons of water each and know your stove can handle it)
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:30 PM   #29
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I just did my first all grain batch this weekend, and found everything Scottland said to be right on.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:47 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
1: Not true. Nothing says you have to brew 5 gallons each time. I've been doing 2 1/2 gallon batches in a 5 gallon pot. Works fine.

2: Not true. With "brew in a bag" it adds less than an hour to the time it takes to do an extract with grain.

3: Not true. With the smaller batch size, chilling the wort by immersing the pot in ice water only takes 20 minutes to cool to pitching temperature.

4: Not true. Buying a pair of paint strainer bags for "brew in a bag" is way simpler.

5: Probably a good idea, but I like to brew with the material I can buy locally which means substituting what they have for what I really wanted. Making only 1 substitution seems to be getting me some pretty good beer.

6: Absolutely. It is so much easier to predict what you will get without doing all the calculations. I didn't know I could only plan on 65% efficiency so I screwed up my first all grain and got 78%. I'm sorry and I'll try to not let it happen again.
As RMitch pointed out, all of your points are related to small batches, and BIAB. The original poster is talking about 5 gallon batches and using a mash tun. My advice was geared towards that. Personally I find anything under 5 gallon batches to be a waste of time, but that's a completely different topic, and one that will vary, person to person.

As for the efficiency, most LHBS crush sucks. The best i got with my LHBS crush was 68%. With AHS crush, i was able to get 72% tops, usually 70%. I bought a barley crusher, and now get 82-84%. I was assuming he was going to get his grains from a LHBS, in which case, if he does end up with 70% + efficency, you can always dilute with water and end up with more beer, no big deal.
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