Originally Posted by bauerd
Been reading the site for a long time and finally had a question I couldn't find answered already. I have been brewing whole grain batches for about a year and just use one pot for everything due to $$. I heat the water and mash directly in pot. filter it into a fermenter pail then add water to mash grains to get up to temp and let it basically mash a second time as my "sparge" then pour it off to get 6 gallons of wort. Clean out my pot and put the wort in it to boil. Seems to work well with good results but I haven't read anyone else doing a similar thing and wanted to get feedback and or share my experience.
I have been doing something similar for the last couple batches. I mash/sparge/boil all in my 10 gallon kettle.
First I mash using 0.125 qts / lb of grain using a large, fine-mesh bag. Then I drain out that wort into a cooler and batch sparge. That gets drained to the cooler as well. I collect plenty of wort this way and the ball valve on the kettle makes this easy to do.
Next I get rid of the bag and grains. The wort, hanging out in the cooler, is drained back to the kettle and I am off and running. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I didn't like the BIAB method straight up because the bag is really heavy. holding 19 lbs of grain PLUS the absorbed water for my stout, waiting for it to drain all the way, was hard and I didn't want to necessarily start cutting my batch sizes from 5 gallons down to 2.5 or less to make it easier.
Yes, I am hitting my #s but I cheat. I use about 10% more pale malt and I mash about 5 degrees higher to start with because the metal kettle looses some heat during the rest. I brewed a Chimay Blue clone two weeks ago looking for 1.089 and I hit 1.087. Last weekend I brewed a clone recipe for Alpha King with a target of 1.062 and I smacked it square on the nose. These last two batches were my closest ever.
One day I will turn the cooler into a mash/lauter tun, but that day will be after x-mas when I can cash in the gift cards from the lhbs that a jolly fat elf will inevitably be leaving in my stocking this season.
Mashing, spraging, and boiling can definitely be done in the same kettle and you can hit your numbers fairly well. It is more work but it is doable. Good luck.