I've been an extract brewer and recently did my first all grain batch by using the Brew in a Bag (BIAB) process. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the process here is a explicaton, with pics, of something similar to what I did. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-90132/
It went over pretty well, but the biggest problem is chilling the wort. As we all know this is the most dangerous time for contamination. With exact brews over half my final volume would be ice cold top-off water and I could chill the wort from 160deg-75deg in 2 minutes.
With all-grain I had to do an icewater bath, which is wasteful and cumbersome, and stir constantly, which is an additional risk and quite boring, and I still ended up putting in a litte top-off water, which hurt my effeciency.
Here is the idea: (5ish gallon batch)
1 Mash the grains as normal with about 3 gallons of water.
2 When the mash is done, do a dunk sparge at 170 with 2.5-3 gallons of water let soak for 15-20 mins.
3. Start the boil with the 3 gallons of mashed wort and proceed with hop schedule as normal.
4. After the grains are removed from the sparge water, bring the sparge water to a boil for a few min to kill bacteria from the grains that are now in the water.
5. Allow the boiled sparge water to drop to 175 and put in a cold water bath for a short while and then in the freezer. (all done with a sanitized lid on the container)
6. When the mashed wort is done boiling take off burner and allow to cool to 160. When it does, take the now chilled sprage water and add to the vessel. It should equalize to around 80deg very very quickly.
The way I see it this solves many problems:
A. You don't need a wort chiller and in fact it will probably work quicker than a wort chiller.
B. No potentially effeciency killing top-off water is needed to chill.
C. A five gallon batch can be done w/o a 7 gallon capacity vessel, just two 3-4 gallon pots.
The biggest problem is of course risk of contamination. I know barley is loaded with bacteria this is how sour beers work. If wort is left to is own devices it will mold within 24hrs. Will this short boil be enough to kill all of this bac and will the sparged wort be safe from contamination in the freezer? (with the lid on, of course)
I really hope this will work. What does everyone think?