Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Please help me move to all grain
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-19-2013, 07:10 PM   #1
HappyDrunk
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 107
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Please help me move to all grain

Before I begin, yes I know that all my questions have probably been answered ad nauseam. I apologize, but I just want to make sure I've got everything in order before I go buying stuff.

I have been brewing extract for a year and half. I have a fermentation fridge, kegerator, 3 kegs, hydrometers, air locks, etc. Now I am on to the logical next step - All grain.

It seems like a big step in my mind, but after talking with the guy at the LHBS today, I think I'm going to go for it. I have plenty of money, and I want to make this as easy on myself as possible. Here's my list:

1 propane burner
1 10 gallon igloo cooler
1 false bottom for said igloo cooler
1 8 gal (or bigger) brew pot with thermometer and ball valve

My understanding of the process is that I will put the (crushed) grain into a muslin bag and put it into the 10 gal. igloo cooler w/ false bottom. Then heat (5?) gallons of water up to 155, dump that water into the cooler, put the lid on and wait an hour, let some run out and then pour it back into the cooler (do this three times), then let it all run out into my brew pot. This is now wort. From there the process is the same as doing extract minus the extract, right? Bring to boil, add hops, wait 45 mins, add more hops, wait 15 mins, cool to 75ish, aerate, pitch, etc, etc. Is there something I am missing, or is it really that easy? Is there anything I need to look for when buying the equipment on my list (max BTU on propane burner, build quality of brew pot, etc)? I apologize because as I said, I know all the information is here in front of me, but it just seems like a lot - But when the guy explained it to me, it seemed pretty simple. Essentially the igloo cooler with the false bottom is a mash lauter tun, which is a mash tun and sparge bucket combined, right? I hear so many terms, I don't even know. Help me out here guys.


HappyDrunk is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 07:18 PM   #2
britad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 1
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

All grain brewing can be a simple process, but you are over-simplifying just a bit. You have a few missed steps in there. A good place to start is by reading this. http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/index.html
Better yet, buy his newest edition. It's a great book and will come in handy as you progress through all grain.
Also, I would go with a 10 gallon boil kettle. The extra headspace is nice when you generally have about 7.5 gallons of wort in there to start the boil.


britad is offline
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 07:24 PM   #3
cosmatics
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 282
Liked 22 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 48

Default

Yeah thats exactly what you are going to do, with some dotting of I's and crossing of T's. Palmer's book is great but no reason to wait and do all grain before you buy it. Depending on batch size for diff gravities 8 gal will be pushing it with some 5gal batches but should be no issues. Main thing with the all grain, or BIAB which is what you are going to do, is just make sure you get your mashing temperatures correct. You probably want to start with about 168* water to hit a target of about 154* but that depends on your equipment etc.
cosmatics is offline
britad Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 07:26 PM   #4
HappyDrunk
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 107
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Can you point out the steps I missed? I think I'm missing something to do with sparging, ie. after letting it sit for an hour in 155 degree water, I need to drain everything and hit it with 180 degree water for a bit. I would really appreciate just a very general outline.
HappyDrunk is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
monkeybox
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 138
Liked 19 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 44

Default

It really isn't that hard a transition. You should talk to your LHBS and try to find a time to assist with somebody doing AG, and you'll see how truly easy it is. Adds a bit of time to the brewday, but there's just something not quite right about extract brewing.

You may not need a false bottom for your cooler. I use a steel braid. You'll need to replace the built-in drain with some metal, something similar to this thread. A lot of LHBS will sell all the parts you need for cheaper than you could assemble by yourself.

Skip the muslin bag. Put the crushed grains in the cooler directly.

There are a lot of tutorials that will fill in some of the blanks. Google "how to batch sparge".
monkeybox is offline
3
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
HappyDrunk
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 107
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmatics View Post
Yeah thats exactly what you are going to do, with some dotting of I's and crossing of T's. Palmer's book is great but no reason to wait and do all grain before you buy it. Depending on batch size for diff gravities 8 gal will be pushing it with some 5gal batches but should be no issues. Main thing with the all grain, or BIAB which is what you are going to do, is just make sure you get your mashing temperatures correct. You probably want to start with about 168* water to hit a target of about 154* but that depends on your equipment etc.
Why is what I described BIAB? I know I said to put it into a muslin bag, but that is just to make sure that no pieces of extremely crushed up grain get through (I thought?). The cooler would already have a false bottom. Technically, I could do what I said without the bag at all, with only minimal crud getting through. Where is the line drawn? I thought with BIAB, you mashed and sparged in your brew pot.
HappyDrunk is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 07:30 PM   #7
BrewLocal365
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 78
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

You're "hot water" step is actually two steps: mashing (letting it sit in hot water) and sparging (after draining the mash wort our, rinsing with yet more hot water). The exactly water volumes for each, the timing, and temperatures will vary by recipe, but they are usually pretty similar (it's not as easy as "5 gallons). There are a few methods by which you can sparge (fly, batch).

I'd read up on these basic additional details, and although there is a lot more you can learn beyond these, your initial impression was correct. It's not that complicated (or rather, it doesn't HAVE to be).

Another option you might want to look into is "Brew in a Bag" which would alleviate the need for the cooler and false bottom. You seem to have mashed the two up (no pun intended).

I agree that you should read the Palmer to better understand it, and use a simple, straight-forward recipe your first few times to calibrate the process as well as your equipment. Don't complicate things by trying out a high-gravity beer or coffee stout quite yet.

Good luck! You won't really need it, though.
BrewLocal365 is offline
jackvb Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 07:31 PM   #8
Pratzie
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Pratzie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,549
Liked 154 Times on 109 Posts
Likes Given: 112

Default

if ur using a muslin bag, there's no need for a false bottom. I'd def ditch the bag and use the false bottom. When you go to rinse the grains, if ur going BIAB, u should open the bag and run sparge water over it. If u use the false bottom wihtout the bag, u'd just vourlauf, drain, add more water, stir and then vourlauf and drain again.
__________________
Bottled: Nothing :(
Kegged: Nothing :(
Primary: Empty
Secondary: Empty
Aging:
On Deck: Deception Cream Stout, BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde, Yooper's Oatmeal Stout, Joe's Ancient Orange Mead, Reaper's Mild
Pratzie is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
billl
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,112
Liked 323 Times on 270 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Yep, it's that easy. You don't need to put the grains in a bag though. Just toss them into the cooler and add water.

The volumes are relatively simple too. You want about 1.25 quarts per lb of grain, but it doesn't need to be exact. There are numerous calculators online that will help you determine how hot that water needs to be. 155 is going to be too low for sure though. The grains and cooler will drop the water temp 10-15 degrees. If you don't want to bother with the calculators, i'd start at 165. Keep a gallon of boiling water on hand as well as some ice in case you guess poorly.

You didn't mention the sparge step. You'll need an additional 4+ gallonsof hot water (170 or so) to add back to the cooler once you drain it initially. Grain absorbs lots of water, so if you start out with 5 gallons, you might only get 3.5 out. You add the water to the cooler, stir, let sit for a couple minutes, and drain again. You'll want somewhere around 7 gallons of wort to start your boil depending on your system. You'll evaporate at least a gallon and lose some to the hops and you want to end up with 5 gallons into the fermenter.

Generally what I do is heat water in the kettle. Pour it into the cooler. Fill the kettle back up and heat the rest of the water while the grains are mashing. Drain the wort from the cooler into a spare bucket. Dump the water from the kettle into the cooler. Dump the bucket of wort into the now empty kettle and turn on the gas. Drain the tun again into the bucket. Dump the bucket with the rest of the wort into the kettle that is starting to heat up. Sounds more complicated than it is.

For equipment, the cooler is perfect. If you've got money for the false bottom, great. If not, a stainless steel screen like a bazooka screen works fine too. You'll want a big pot though. 8 gallons would be the bare minimum, but 10 gallons would be better. My gas stove can boil 7 gallons, but obviously a big floor burner will do it faster. Built in valves and thermometers are convenient but not strictly necessary. One thing you didn't mention is a wort chiller.
billl is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
monkeybox
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 138
Liked 19 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 44

Default

My method, and I am a lazy brewer so purists may not like how simple I do it:

1. Add water to mashtun (cooler), and let the temperature settle. Adjust temp as necessary by adding more hot or cold water until you hit your mash-in temp.
2. When it's at the appropriate temp (depends on the grain bill), mix in the grains. Let sit for 60 minutes, stirring once about halfway.
3. Drain the first 2 quarts or so into a container and return to the cooler, and drain the rest into yoru boil kettle. This is the vorlauf and gets all the grain that may have snuck through the false bottom/steel braid. THese are your "first runnings".
4. Determine how much additional water you need to bring your boil kettle to your boil volume. Add half of that much hot (190ish) water to cooler, give it a vigorous stir, and then vorlauf and drain.
5. Repeat this one more time with the last half of the water. This should bring you to your boil volume.

From there, it's all the same as what you've been doing.


monkeybox is offline
brewmasterbates Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Too Soon to Move to All Grain? FleurDeLis425 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 29 05-06-2013 12:31 PM
Is it bad to move the grain bag around while steeping? DutchMafia Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 07-24-2012 02:19 PM
Making the move to ALL GRAIN bryanjints All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 02-17-2010 02:47 AM
Making the move to all grain, now have parts. dapozer All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 02-02-2010 05:32 AM
Too soon to move to all-grain? justinh85 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 25 06-04-2009 02:45 AM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS