Lots of questions for first AG - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Lots of questions for first AG

Thread Tools
Old 09-06-2007, 10:09 PM   #1
Aug 2007
East Lansing, Mi
Posts: 187
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

I would like to do a basic amber AG, but I might have to stick with PM until I can get a lot more equipment. But I am wondering if I can tackle an AG with the equipment I have now.

First, what size cooler would I need for mashing, minimally? I have a 5 gallon upright bevarage cooler, but is that enough room for both the grains and the water? It sounds to me like it would be since I will be going with about 1-1.5 quarts per pound, but I thought I'd ask the experts.

Second, before converting a cooler to a mash/lauter tun, can I mash by putting the barley in grain bags in the cooler? Would that also work for sparging?

Third, my stove is not powerful enough to boil five gallons in one pot. Would it work okay if I evenly boiled 2.5 in two seperate pots? That will be tricky.


Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2007, 10:14 PM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,885
Liked 8090 Times on 5646 Posts

Answers to all the questions are a qualified yes. If you make a beer with a low og, then you should have enough room in the cooler, no problem. If you don't have a false bottom, you might be able to do it with huge grainbags that line the whole cooler. Not separate bags, because you want free movement of water to get all the sugars out. If it's in separate grain bags just laying there, I don't think you'll extract much.

I did 2 separate boils before I got a bigger pot- you can boil 3.25 gallons in each pot and end up with around 5 gallons total. Make sure you have two sinks ready for the ice bath (or enough ice in the bathtub) to cool them, since you're not topping up with water. Unless you have a wort chiller, that is. Just divide the hops evenly.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2007, 10:37 PM   #3
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts

agreed. before I got my big brew pot and propane burner, I used two 12qt pots (which still doesn't get you 5gallons of wort after evaporation, but its better to boil 4 gallons than 2 gallons)
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 05:17 AM   #4
prsman's Avatar
Apr 2007
Belleville, just across the river from St. Louis, Illinois
Posts: 81

Originally Posted by newell456

Second, before converting a cooler to a mash/lauter tun, can I mash by putting the barley in grain bags in the cooler? Would that also work for sparging?

I still do this I have a big ol' grain bag that I use, just put the grains in their close the top of the bag and start mashing.
That's what she said.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 04:29 PM   #5
Feb 2007
Posts: 326
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I also use the mash in a grain bag method, works great for me. Thought about building a mashtun with a false bottom, but never got around to it. Might someday b/c I'm sure its easier, but might not b/c this method is working fine. I used to use the 2 pot boil method until I bought a turkey fryer, and actually used that method about a month ago for half of my boil b/c a storm came from nowhere. These methods might be a little more difficult, but they still produce just as good of beer as the other methods.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2007, 04:42 PM   #6
brett's Avatar
Aug 2007
Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 290
Liked 5 Times on 1 Posts

Another option is to brew slightly smaller batches. Iím in a similar situation as you, and am extremely happy doing 3 gallon batches. I usually donít have any problems, and can do full boils.

And if I want to do a 5.5 gallon or 6 gallon batch, I can always just split the batch between two 3gal carboys.

Just a thought!

Primary 1: House Ale (yay!)
Primary 2: empty
Primary 3: empty
Primary 4: empty
Bottle Conditioning: Apfelwein
Bottle Conditioning: Apfelwein + Blueberry
Kegged/Drinking: Partigyle Brown Ale
Conditioning: New House Barley Wine
Conditioning: Ghetto canned kit bitter (Surprisingly getting better w/ age)
Just Finished: Edwort's Apfelwein
Up next: More House Ale ?!?

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lots of newbie questions kylerwilliams19 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 28 02-17-2009 04:50 PM
Lots of questions...... floridabwoy Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 12-03-2007 05:23 PM
About to Brew!! Lots of Questions!! Chuckrox8 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 01-19-2007 10:26 PM
First mead, lots of questions magno Mead Forum 13 05-17-2006 12:33 AM
Lots of Questions ryser2k General Techniques 10 03-11-2005 09:17 PM

Forum Jump