From my PM box:
Your vids were helpful because I don't have all the equipment that all grain brewers use and I was going to do something like you did in your bottling bucket. My question is you said you get 70-75% efficiency with your setup but you were using 2.75# grains. I did my calculation at 70% efficiency and I would need to mash about 4.75# grains but I also think you said that you lose efficiency points with a higher grain bill so I was just wondering how much lower or is almost 5lbs of grain to much. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I only have a little help to offer, but I'll try. The good thing about a grain bag is I am using a basic extract brewer's setup, I already owned a 20 qt kettle, and I spent $6.99 for the grain bag.
For the 888RIS that I made with the same technique as the video above I split about 4.5 # of grain into two parts. Two mash events, it was a really, really long brew day.
The difference between grain bag and AG brewing, as I read and have experienced it is this:
gets the last few points of efficiency by sparging some more water over the grains and boiling it off in the kettle.
users get the last few points of efficiency by diluting the mash from the beginning.
My system limitation for the grain bag is I have a 20qt kettle, my next biggest pot is a 6 quart Dutch Oven. If I had another really big pot I could have more sparge water at temp and ready to go... so I could handle more grain in my 20qt (in a less dilute mash) and sparge with more than 6 quarts of water to drive my efficiency up that way.
If I owned my own home and didn't travel all the time, here is the order I would accumulate stuff:
Basic extract brewer's kit from LHBS, ~$50-100, depending.
20 qt stainless kettle $50-100, very handy in the kitchen.
grain bag, $6.99
False bottom for bottling bucket- I just figured this out, project total $50, video as soon as I can bottle a batch and free up a fermenter.
turkey fryer with big Al kettle. $50 or so at most WalMart's
A 40 qt SS kettle (or keggle) to ditch the Al that came with the turkey fryer.
At this point you can hold hot sparge water in your 20, mash in your 40 (or v/v)and lauter/ sparge in your false bottomed bottling bucket, so next if you don't have one already is a wort chiller....