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Old 09-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
jrubins
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I looked around and didn't see an answer to this question: What do you do if your mash doesn't fit in your mash tun?

I have a 5 gal beverage cooler I picked up from Home Depot for $10 (it was missing the spigot, which I intended to remove anyway).
So for my 2nd AG batch ever, I wanted to do the Stone Ruination clone from last month's Zymurgy.
Unfortunately, BrewTarget is telling me to put in :
  • 4.87 gal for mash in
  • 1.5 gal for mash out
Obviously, that's not going to fit, even before I add my 13lbs of grain.

So, how do I handle this situation?
  • Mash in twice with 2.4 gal each, then mash out, and one sparge after?
  • Separate mashes with 1/2 the grain and half the liquor? That would also require two sparges, right, which seems ... like more work than I want to do


I like the first one, because it seems easier, but will it work?

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
stratslinger
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Get a bigger tun?

OK, for a serious answer... I haven't figured out how to do this in brewsmith yet, but go with a thicker mash. 4.87 gallons is about 1.5gts/lb of grain, which is a pretty thin mash. If you went closer to 1qt/lb, you'd be going much thicker and you'd be likely to lauter much more slowly, but you'd be talking 3.25 gallons of water for mash - you'll be very close to the full volume of your tun, but you should just make it. You cannot split your mash into two volumes - the chemistry involved in conversion just won't work that way.

As for mash out, you can certainly do your 60 minute mash, lauter, and THEN go ahead and add your mash out volume, lauter, and proceed to go through your batch sparges (assuming you intend to batch sparge rather than fly sparge).

 
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:26 PM   #3
jrubins
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Thanks Strat.
The recipe calls for 1.41 qts/lb in the mash tun.

Just so I understand your suggestion though: I could mash with less water and sparge with more?

If the case, doesn't having less water in the mash and more in the sparge fiddle with the chemistry a bit?
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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I used a 5 gal tun for awhile and it just wasn't big enough for many 5 gal batches. I've done split mashes, done smaller batches, supplemented with a few lbs of DME, and finally broke down and got a ten gal tun. The most I ever mashed in the 5 gal was ~12 or so lbs and that was pushing it big time.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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You could go with 1.2 quarts per pound of grain.

Green Bay Rackers have a handy "Can I Mash It?" calculator to help you play with the numbers.

 
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrubins View Post
Thanks Strat.
The recipe calls for 1.41 qts/lb in the mash tun.

Just so I understand your suggestion though: I could mash with less water and sparge with more?

If the case, doesn't having less water in the mash and more in the sparge fiddle with the chemistry a bit?
Not really - the chemistry that's important is what happens during the mash. So long as you have your grains in 1-1.5qts of water (at the appropriate temperature!) per lb of grain, the chemistry should pretty much take care of itself. And then yes, make up for the extra volume of water in your sparge, and you'll be good to go.

 
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:02 AM   #7
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How large is your grain bill? I have a 5 gal rubbermaid cooler and a larger 8 gal cooler. I can get 14 lbs max in mt 5 gal cooler and its a pretty thick mash. About 18 lbs in the 8 gal cooler. I'm getting a much larger cooler!

 
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:19 AM   #8
duboman
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If you were planning on batch sparging IMO get a bigger cooler. Your mash will be very thick and hard to stir and you will not fit all your sparge water needed without multiple steps. Your efficiency will suffer and you won't have fun!

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Old 09-05-2012, 03:13 AM   #9
ipso
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I handled this exact situation thus: I demoted the 5gal mash tun to my hot liquor tank. I purchased a 10gal mash tun.

If you’re doing anything else, you’re cheating the must-buy-more-equipment homebrew Goddess. SHE does not like that, and will severely punish you for your disobedience - again and again.

You've been warned.

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Old 09-05-2012, 03:50 AM   #10
cockybitz
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Mash thicker.

 
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