Going AG with a grain bag.... - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Going AG with a grain bag....

Thread Tools
Old 08-01-2012, 07:16 PM   #1
adamjackson's Avatar
May 2012
Canaan New Hampshire, NH
Posts: 735
Liked 78 Times on 64 Posts

I've been trying to set aside the funds to get a mash tun w/ false bottom. Wanted to go AG the proper way so I can add to the mash tun the equipment to sparge with a pump and have hosing to move to the boil kettle automatically...stuff like that.

so I don't want to go the Igloo route but still want to do some AG batches. A friend recommended i get one of those big grain bags and do it all in there. I did a partial mash the other day that needed 5 pounds of grain and the instructions had to sparge with x amount of water at x temp...and now I'm like "well crap" so I just poured the water over the bag but it wasn't the same as a proper sparge recirculating I see my buddies doing with their igloo coolers.

so, is it possible to go AG without mash tun and false bottom if you're still saving up for the right equipment?
I'm a bit crazy...about beer.
My Beer Blog
My Beer Photos
Untappd Profile

Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 07:22 PM   #2
Jul 2011
Ramsey & Akeley, Mn
Posts: 2,975
Liked 237 Times on 217 Posts

Brew in a Bag? Sure and many do it. Get a fine mesh grain bag and you may even decide to stick with it long term.

1) You can drip sparge like you did (kind of a sprinkle tinkle).
2) You can no sparge. You can minimize some of the efficiency hit of no sparge by going to a more dilute water/grist ratio.
3) Or you can dunk sparge where you dunk the grain bag in a second vessel at 170F for 10 minutes. Combine first and second worts prior to boil.

I've seen the best efficiencies (upper 80's) with option 3, but option 1 gets me low to mid 80's usually and is less work. I use a frier basket, rope, and pulley to suspend the grain bag in place. Just look at the BIAB sticky for technique info. With any of these 3, you need to squeeze the bag as much as possible to pull out most of the liquid. A saucepan lids keep your hands cool and clean.
Primary #1: Umlaut my Kölsch VII #2: Empty
Secondary #1
: Empty #2: Empty #3: Cab MerMarqeNac Wine
: Mugged a Monk Paters
: Dark Belgian Strong, Black Raspberry Rhubarb wine, RIS, Carmel Apple Cider, Big 50 Barleywine, Framboise Lambic, Barolo Wine, Berry Rhubarb Wine, Black Currant wine
On Deck: BGSA

adamjackson Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
Jun 2012
levittown, new york
Posts: 140
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

perhaps checking out this method is what you need-


Stickyed right here on the top. I have studied this a bit myself- good fun reading material there
Primary 1 > Funky Dunky w/ Lemon test
Primary 2 > Apfelwein
Primary 3 > Experimental Pale Ale

Bottled > Bellys Belgium-E, Brown Eye PA-E, Pale Ale-E, Guinness -biab, Apfelwein, Funky Dunky Blonde-biab

adamjackson Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 08:09 PM   #4
May 2012
Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,330
Liked 388 Times on 326 Posts

"so, is it possible to go AG without mash tun and false bottom if you're still saving up for the right equipment?"

Well, there really is no "right" equipment and no "proper" way. If you've got a couple grand to drop on brew stands and pumps, more power to ya. If not, there is absolutely nothing wrong with mashing in a cooler or BIAB. The grain really doesn't know how much you spent on your mash tun anyway.

Your "sparge" technique was fine and will likely result in a tasty beer. You probably didn't great efficiency, but that isn't a critical with a partial mash since a lot of the sugar is coming from extract still.

You can certainly go all-grain with any of the methods listed above. In homebrewing, high efficiency is more of a bragging right than a necessity. It's more important to be consistent with your mash and then just plan the recipe accordingly. eg 70% vs 80% just means you need to buy $2 more of base malt. No biggy.

adamjackson Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
Jun 2011
, Georgia
Posts: 111
Liked 7 Times on 3 Posts

I originally wanted to go and make the mash tun igloo cooler route but ended up going with BIAB for my all grain batches. Have only 3 all grain under my belt but have been very satisfied and efficiency between 75-80. 14lbs of grain is the most I have done so far. So really however you want to make beer go at it and enjoy!

Primary: Empty :(

Kegged: Jamil's Porter

Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
Pie_Man's Avatar
Aug 2011
Gainesville, FL
Posts: 1,370
Liked 138 Times on 130 Posts

Check out the BIAB sticky in the AG forum. That's the basic process I used. BIAB is a great way to do all grain without a lot of equipment.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 10:59 PM   #7
TheFlyingSparge's Avatar
Mar 2009
Rhode Island
Posts: 136
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

I vaguely remember reading in BYO magazine...possibly years ago...that the bag method your describing is popular in Australia. Anyway, here's an article from elsewhere backing that up.

"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work."

-Mark Twain

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1st All grain batch. I have question on the water to grain calculation JLW Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 14 04-25-2012 03:49 AM
Grain bills and speciality grain % mikesmith1611 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 03-13-2012 10:16 PM
Some Grain Got Through Grain Bag into kettlle sportscrazed2 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 12-16-2010 02:39 PM
Convert this: All Grain Recipe to Extract/Specialty Grain Doc Robinson Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 10-13-2009 07:03 PM
Easier Method to Get Juices from Grain? Grain "Press"? sdgmcdon Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 26 01-30-2009 12:56 PM

Forum Jump