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5g all grain from 3g boils?

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cnoyes

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I've been doing the "countertop partial mash method" for my brews (4lbs grain in igloo cooler with grain bag), and I got to thinking. What if instead of adding extract at the end, I just do another 'partial' mash and boil? I think this might also be referred to as Texas Two-Step.

So say I find an AG recipe that only uses 8lbs grain. Here's my proposed procedure:

Day 1:
1. Mash 4lbs grain.
2. Boil 1 hour with hop additions as stated from recipe.
3. Cool and add to fermenter and pitch yeast.

Day 2:
1. Mash other 4lbs grain.
2. Boil 1 hour.
3. Cool and siphon into fermenter.


My questions:
Does AG taste better enough to justify the added complexity, work, and time?
Is adding all the hops on day one going to be fine, or should it be divided between the two brew days somehow?

Edit: I should mention that the reason for all of this weirdness is that I live in an apartment in a city and can't do a 5 gallon boil.
 

Schlenkerla

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cnoyes said:
I've been doing the "countertop partial mash method" for my brews (4lbs grain in igloo cooler with grain bag), and I got to thinking. What if instead of adding extract at the end, I just do another 'partial' mash and boil? I think this might also be referred to as Texas Two-Step.

So say I find an AG recipe that only uses 8lbs grain. Here's my proposed procedure:

Day 1:
1. Mash 4lbs grain.
2. Boil 1 hour with hop additions as stated from recipe.
3. Cool and add to fermenter and pitch yeast.

Day 2:
1. Mash other 4lbs grain.
2. Boil 1 hour.
3. Cool and siphon into fermenter.


My questions:
Does AG taste better enough to justify the added complexity, work, and time?
Is adding all the hops on day one going to be fine, or should it be divided between the two brew days somehow?

Edit: I should mention that the reason for all of this weirdness is that I live in an apartment in a city and can't do a 5 gallon boil.
I'd stick w/ the PM approach. You can make almost anything you want with a lot of variation benefits of AG but not as much effort or equipment is required.

AG - Really offers infinite variety. I'd mash your specialty grains & some of the base malts up to 4 lbs then add light DME to hit the gravity you want to acheive. Then continue w/ partial boils.
 

malkore

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why not get two brew pots, and boil at the same time, to save time?

i do double boils when I don't feel like sitting in 20 below windchills for a full boil.

my stove is quirky, so I only boil 4gal down to 3, but that's still over a case of brew, and allows me to experiment a bit for a few $ less.

technically, you could use a lot more grain, do a partial boil, and then top off to 5gal. the down side is you'll get sucky efficiency so it costs a little bit more. you could also collect more wort than you can boil, say a half gallon, and then slowly pour that in as you boil it down so you maintain a higher volume post-boil.

hope those options help.
 

Madtown Brew

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I do kitchen brewing as well, using 4 gal and 2 gal pots.

What you described as the "texas two step" is what I have to do for high gravity brews since I only have a 5 gallon cooler to mash in. Works for me, though it is very time consuming. I've had two mash doppelbock's take 14 hrs from start to finish.
 

david_42

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A third alternative would be to sparge enough wort to for a half boil (about 3.5 gallons), then add the remaining sparge water to the mash and let it sit while the first runnings boil. Do your hop adds as usual, cool & pitch. Then boil the second runnings down to whatever level you need to top off the fermenter. For high IBU brews, you'd probably want to split the bittering hops for better efficiency, but you wouldn't have to split the flavor & aroma adds.
 

brett

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I do 3 gallon batches, and I've been brewing two batches per brew-day. Start the second mash after the first batch gets to a boil. You don't have to worry about cleaning everything meticulously between batches (mash tun, brew pot, etc), and you only have to go through the setup/cleanup once.

It does adds significant time to the brew-day (for me, 9 hours vs 6), but you have to consider that making the same amount of beer over two brewing sessions would actually take longer (12 hours for me).

Anyways, doing this plus some other things allow me to squeeze out around 3.5 gallons for each batch. So that's 7 gallons stovetop in an apartment! Not too shabby, and I will probably carry over this practice when I move up to bigger-sized batches.
 

Finn

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malkore said:
technically, you could use a lot more grain, do a partial boil, and then top off to 5gal. the down side is you'll get sucky efficiency so it costs a little bit more. you could also collect more wort than you can boil, say a half gallon, and then slowly pour that in as you boil it down so you maintain a higher volume post-boil.

hope those options help.
Actually, you'd be surprised how respectable your efficiency can be running a seven-pound grainbill out for a four-gallon boil. You'll still be getting 1.015-20 runnings at the end, but it works pretty well and is not as wasteful as you might expect.

Of course, for 10 pounds of grain, efficiency starts to suck. Still, though, it does work. Chuck in an extra pound and you're good.
 

FlyGuy

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What's the limitation on the volume of wort you can produce? Is it the size of your mash tun (e.g., is it only 2 gals), or is it that you only have a small pot and can't boil a large volume of wort? Or is it both?

Honestly, I don't think you will enjoy full AG beers enough to outweigh the ease of PM brews, especially since you can make some pretty darn good beer using PM methods. So if you want to go AG, I suggest spending $40 - $50 and make yourself a decent mash tun to do all grain properly. If you can't do a full wort boil, another $40 for a turkey fryer kit will get you in business. In the long run, you can make back a lot of this fairly quickly when you start buying base malt grains and stop buying expensive malt extract.
 
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cnoyes

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FlyGuy said:
What's the limitation on the volume of wort you can produce? Is it the size of your mash tun (e.g., is it only 2 gals), or is it that you only have a small pot and can't boil a large volume of wort? Or is it both?
I am limited to about four lbs of grain in the mash, because my cooler is only 2 gallons. More importantly, however, I'm limited to boiling only about 3 gallons on my stove. I live in the city, so I have nowhere to brew outside.

Based on feedback, I think I'll stick to PM for the time being.
 
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