I am an extract brewer thinking about going AG and doing a bunch of reading, etc about it.
So let's say I was thinking of getting a "phil's mini lauter tun," which is a 2 gal bucket with a false bottom, described as being big enough to mash about 5 lbs of grain, to do some partial mashing, to play with grains and to lessen the pain involved in buying DME (grad student talking here, at saving me almost ). I have one or two session brew recipes that I noticed would fit their entire grain bill under that if I cut down to a 3 gal batch, so instead of sleeping I ran some numbers based on 1.2 quarts H2O/lb grain and things seem to be fine for a batch sparge assuming I drain the mash and then collect one more runnings for a 3+ gal full boil, which would be a pain on my stove but would probably work. Basically I am wondering if I should go through with this which comes down to 2 questions in my head:
1) Does anyone have a rough way of calculating the size of my mash after combining my grains and water? I am dubious about the 2gal claim that it will mash 5lbs because there is such a variation in people's grain/water ratios. Will it fit? And if so, will it be too close to the top for effective batch sparging (I could always fly sparge it, I think the thing even comes with a part for that)?
2) My beer would have a low grain bill. I read someplace that you need to be careful about oversparging when your grain bill (and target gravity) are low. How do I avoid this?
Thanks to all!
"Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes good health" -Thomas Jefferson
PRIMARY: NONE / SECONDARY: NONE / CONDITIONING: NONE / ON TAP: ANGLO-AMERICAN WHEAT PALE ALE