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Old 05-09-2007, 10:22 PM   #1
Beerrific
 
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Last weekend I brewed my first partial mash, used a bid course nylon bag and my bottling bucket wrapped in an old blanket. I mashed 5 pounds of grain, was able to stay within 2 degrees of my desired temp., and got pretty good efficiency, probably in the upper 60% range (I need a new hydrometer).

So my question is could I just use this method and do all grain? For some lighter beers I would barely be doubling the amount of grains which would easily fit in the bucket. Isn't this essentially the same as have a mash/lauter tun with a false bottom?

I have seen the "brew in a bag" guy and honestly I don't want to do that, I want to do something more elegant without having to buy much more equipment.

I am I over looking anything?

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Old 05-09-2007, 11:23 PM   #2
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It was the norm for years to do all grain in a bucket. Well, two buckets actually. The first you'd drill a bunch of small holes in the bottom. The second would have a spigot at the bottom (bottling bucket) and you'd just insert the first into the second and fill it with grain minus the bag. A poor man's false bottom system in effect. Works fine if your grain fits and you can keep the temp up.
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:26 PM   #3
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Charlie Papazian describes the two-bucket system pretty thoroughly in his book. I considered it for a while before I met the guy who showed me the ropes of all grain brewing. I decided to go with a larger capacity, more sophisticated system like his.

For 5 gallon brews with moderate grain bills, the bucket system would probably be great!
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:57 PM   #4
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I use to do it with two buckets and a 5 gal cooler. I got really good efficiencies because I would transfer the mash from the cooler into the buckets (tun), then basically batch sparge by pouring my sparge water over the grains and collecting the runnings. It really washed the grains out well...

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the two major draw backs that got me to invest in a Mash/Tun setup were:

The buckets were messy.

By transferring the hot wort like I was, I was doing quite a bit of hot side aeration.

I's not too big of an investment to build a mash/tun, and it's fun!

 
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Old 05-10-2007, 12:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
Charlie Papazian describes the two-bucket system pretty thoroughly in his book. I considered it for a while before I met the guy who showed me the ropes of all grain brewing. I decided to go with a larger capacity, more sophisticated system like his.

For 5 gallon brews with moderate grain bills, the bucket system would probably be great!
Yeah, I actually read this and was considering it before I tried the nylon bag, really the same end effect.

How much (pound wise) grain+water do you think I could fit in a bottling bucket?

 
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Old 05-10-2007, 12:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
Yeah, I actually read this and was considering it before I tried the nylon bag, really the same end effect.

How much (pound wise) grain+water do you think I could fit in a bottling bucket?
I was doing 12lb max. and it was full.

 
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared
I was doing 12lb max. and it was full.
I used to use an almost identical setup as you. The only difference is the bottling buckets I used were 7+ gals. Using these for a bucket-in-a-bucket lauter tun I was able to do bigger bears. I think my largest grain bill was 17-18 lbs.

 
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:41 AM   #8
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I think my bucket is at least 7 gallons.

I suppose for my next beer I will just buy like 15 lbs of the base malt and see how much I can fit in there. Check the SG of the wort and add as much extract as I need to get to a a good pre-boil SG.

I will call this partial extract brewing.

However, I do plan on building a cooler MLT. That is when I have the time to do it well/right.


 
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Old 05-10-2007, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific
I think my bucket is at least 7 gallons.

I suppose for my next beer I will just buy like 15 lbs of the base malt and see how much I can fit in there. Check the SG of the wort and add as much extract as I need to get to a a good pre-boil SG.

I will call this partial extract brewing.

However, I do plan on building a cooler MLT. That is when I have the time to do it well/right.
That sounds like a good plan. I would wrap a sleeping bag around it, to hold the temps. You can easily batch sparge in the bucket and it's easy clean up, too. Good luck with it.
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:19 PM   #10
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I just used the bucket-in-a-bucket lauter tun when sparging. I first mashed in a cooler and then transferred to the lauter tun. It was more work, but I still made some great beers using that method!

 
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