Easier Method to Get Juices from Grain? Grain "Press"?

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sdgmcdon

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I brewed a bit well over a decade ago and recently picked up the hobby again. I'm on my 4th batch now and I'm wondering if there is an easier method to extract the juices from the grain? Currently I've tried the cheesecloth bags and tried just straining it...Both are a pain in the butt, but I will stick with Cheesecloths as it's definetely easier, thing is you need to press a spoon up against the bag to get the juices out and well, the bag is freakin' HOT! Plus, the pot tips when you do that, or you can't get the bag completely out of the water while doing thisetc etc etc...problems galore. I also noticed last night when doing a batch that when I waited for the grain bag to be cool enough to handle I was able to squeeze a LOT of thick liquid out of it which I think would add to the flavor and quality of the beer, I'd like to be able to use as much of that liquid as possible.

I'm wondering, hasn't someone come up with a grain PRESS? Idea being once your grains are done you can put the bag or grains only into a machine to "press" the residual juices out of the grain and into a pot, or some other type of container...nice and neat and if heavy duty enough would be able to make use of every ounce of liquid improving the flavor of the brew.

Is there such a machine? I can't find one...I want this not JUST for grains but also for hops as well when doing those with cheesecloth, just seems there's got to be something to do this with?

Thanks!
 

McKBrew

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It sounds like you are making extract/steeping grain brews. To extract more efficiency out of your malts and not have to deal with grain bags, you might want to take a look at Partial Mashing.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Yeah, you don't wanna be doing that to your grains. I can understand the sentiment though. It feels like waste if you ain't getting it ALL out. really though, you don't want to do it. There is a lot of bitter nasties in that thar grain. :)
 

BierMuncher

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Instead of placing the grains in a bag…let them steep “free-style”.

Then when your ready, just pour into another container or the dedicated boil pot through a large 5-gallon paint strainer. If the batch is too large to manhandle, try scooping a saucepot full at a time.
 

baru

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Hi, I just made my first all grain mash last Saturday and discovered the same pain in the back from straining. Fortunatly I had boiled water the day before and refridgerated it for cooling my wort. I wasn't satisfied that I was getting all the good stuff out of the mash so I poured the sterilized but cooled water over the strainer to wash the wort out of the mash and into the ferminter. I had the same idea of a press but no clue on where to get one. Maybe a wine press could be adapted.
Baru (as in Barusky) :)
 

onejdn

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Hi, I just made my first all grain mash last Saturday and discovered the same pain in the back from straining. Fortunatly I had boiled water the day before and refridgerated it for cooling my wort. I wasn't satisfied that I was getting all the good stuff out of the mash so I poured the sterilized but cooled water over the strainer to wash the wort out of the mash and into the ferminter. I had the same idea of a press but no clue on where to get one. Maybe a wine press could be adapted.
Baru (as in Barusky) :)
wait...you poured cold water over the mash into the fermenter? do you mean you poured it over the mash into the boil kettle? if so, you would be sparging and would get much better results if the water is closer to 170 degrees. Or re you saying you boiled the mash, grain and all?
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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Baru, buddy....did you read any of the thread. Squeezing the grains isn't something you want to be doing. And I echo the comment above...
 

nickhead

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+1 million to not squeezing the grain bag. Let the sweet filtering husks do their work.
 

Yooper

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wait...you poured cold water over the mash into the fermenter? do you mean you poured it over the mash into the boil kettle? if so, you would be sparging and would get much better results if the water is closer to 170 degrees. Or re you saying you boiled the mash, grain and all?
I'm not sure what exactly you meant, so forgive me if I'm assuming that you did something incorrectly. If you poured cool water over the grains, and into the fermenter without boiling, you'd be at great risk for a lactobacillus infection. Grain is loaded with lacto bacteria, etc, and that's why the wort is boiled. Well, one of the reasons why- hops utilization is another, separate reason.

Anything that touches the grain must be boiled and/or sanitized. You shouldn't even crush grain in the area where you ferment, since it can infect the wort just by being crushed in the same room.
 

bull8042

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I'm not sure what exactly you meant, so forgive me if I'm assuming that you did something incorrectly. If you poured cool water over the grains, and into the fermenter without boiling, you'd be at great risk for a lactobacillus infection. Grain is loaded with lacto bacteria, etc, and that's why the wort is boiled. Well, one of the reasons why- hops utilization is another, separate reason.

Anything that touches the grain must be boiled and/or sanitized. You shouldn't even crush grain in the area where you ferment, since it can infect the wort just by being crushed in the same room.
That is the way I read it too Lorena. I am betting he is posting an infection thread before the weekend.
After steeping your grains, it is ok to "rinse" them INTO THE BOIL KETTLE. The grains and liquid in them should never get close to the fermenter if they haven't been boiled!
 

baru

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Hi, Yeah I read the post about squeezing but not untill after I replied about the wine press. Thanks for the warning about the tannin bitterness. Like I said , this was my first batch with whole malt.
 

baru

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Hi, Yes the grain had been boiled. I don't have a tub so I boiled it, or cooked it in the brew pot till it stopped frothing. This was one hour. Then I strained it through a large kitchen strainer (sterilized) into the fermenter. I had hopped the mash at 60 min, 15min, and 2 min. Then I boiled water and added 3 lbs of dry malt extract. I poured this boiling wort into the fermenter on top of the all grain wort that I had strained into the fermenter through a sterilized strainer. After chilling the wort till it was blood warm I pitched the yeast. The yeast had been proofed prior to pitching. The air lock bubbled at the rate of 1 bubble per 1 1/2 seconds for about 24 hrs.
baru
 

onejdn

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Hi, Yes the grain had been boiled. I don't have a tub so I boiled it, or cooked it in the brew pot till it stopped frothing. This was one hour. Then I strained it through a large kitchen strainer (sterilized) into the fermenter. I had hopped the mash at 60 min, 15min, and 2 min. Then I boiled water and added 3 lbs of dry malt extract. I poured this boiling wort into the fermenter on top of the all grain wort that I had strained into the fermenter through a sterilized strainer. After chilling the wort till it was blood warm I pitched the yeast. The yeast had been proofed prior to pitching. The air lock bubbled at the rate of 1 bubble per 1 1/2 seconds for about 24 hrs.
baru
Now I'm really confused :drunk: so you boiled the mash and all? please don't take this the wrong way, but.. where are you getting your information on how to brew all grain? I'm curious because it seems quite unorthodox.
 

CBBaron

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Hi, Yes the grain had been boiled. I don't have a tub so I boiled it, or cooked it in the brew pot till it stopped frothing. This was one hour. Then I strained it through a large kitchen strainer (sterilized) into the fermenter. I had hopped the mash at 60 min, 15min, and 2 min. Then I boiled water and added 3 lbs of dry malt extract. I poured this boiling wort into the fermenter on top of the all grain wort that I had strained into the fermenter through a sterilized strainer. After chilling the wort till it was blood warm I pitched the yeast. The yeast had been proofed prior to pitching. The air lock bubbled at the rate of 1 bubble per 1 1/2 seconds for about 24 hrs.
baru
You do not want to boil your grains. Heating the grains above 170F will increase the tannin extraction resulting in an astringent beer.

However you did hit upon a good way to extract more from the grains. After steeping the grains in a small amount of water (2-3 qt/pound is good), strain the liquid into your brew kettle. Then rinse the grains using additional hot water (between 150F and 170F). If you can let them soak in the additional water for a few minutes it will work even better.

This is the basic idea between sparging when doing an all grain beer. As mentioned you want to extract the easy to dissolve sugars from the grain but you want to leave behind the tannins. Squeezing the grains in a press will extract much more tannins.

Craig
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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This thread is quite possibly the most potentially damaging read for newcomers that I've ever witnessed in my first year in this esteemed forum/font of brewing knowledge. (And I've done more than my fair share of damage myself)
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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This is crazy...... I feel like I am in an alternate dimension. To all new brewers who here enter, do not take any advice from this thread other than to not do anything mentioned in it.

Go instead to the stickys here or better yet read through How to Brew by John Palmer first, then come back here. There are plenty of easy ways to brew all, grain, partial mash, extract with grain, and extract only. The above methods are not good ones.
 

davesrose

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Well this thread can serve as a WHAT NOT TO DO FOR YOUR FIRST ALL GRAIN/PARTIAL BATCH!!! Always "mash" your grains before boiling your wort: they are separate stages. You mash your malt grains to extract sugars...and you have to do this at specific temperatures. You then hop boil what you've sparged. Just boiling mash grains will give you lousy efficiency (as hardly any starches would be converted).

I think we can just take this thread back to the beginning about how to strain your steeping grains in an extract. When I was doing extract, I found the best way to get more liquid out of the grains (without squeezing) was to move the grain bag to a small pot. Gravity alone will extract some more liquid. Later in the boil, I would pour whatever did settle to that pot and dump the bag. Never attempt to squeeze the bag. There, that's the golden rule about this thread :D
 

mlanoue

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Sounds like Alton Brown's "Boil It With Grains" approach may have been the inspiration here.
 
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Its amazing that with all the information on this forum, people still come out doing this. Read before diving in. Especially into AG. Reminds me of a buddy who keeps saying hes gonna start brewing. I recommend he do Extract, then PM then AG to get his process down and understand everything. "Nah, I want to keep it all natural and go AG." I'm waiting for the day when he finally starts, makes a recipe I give him and he complains because the recipe I gave him tastes horrible. I'll have to be sure to brew the same at that time to show him what it would have tasted like if he'd taken the time to read.
 

Jolly McStanson

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Me being sarcastic.......How about take the boiled mash / wort and dump it into the clothes washing machine. Then but the drain hose of the washing machine into the primary fermenter. Then put it on spin cycle. That would work great for getting every last ounce of liquid out of the grain.....yes sir.:cross: That's going to make for some good drinkin brew. :drunk:
 

Hegh

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If this is extract with steeping grains, the "don't squeeze your grain bag" theory is actually up in the air. See these threads:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/squeeze-mash-instead-sparging-89010/

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/should-i-squeeze-my-sack-46471/

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/dont-squeeze-grain-bag-21712/

When I finish steeping my grain bag, I place it in a colander in a large bowl to collect the drippings, which I pour into the boil kettle like 20 minutes later.

If you want to squeeze your grains to get more liquid out, do what I do but then press another bowl onto the bag to squeeze the liquid out, through the colander, and into the bowl. You may need to empty the bowl into your kettle a few times, depending on how much liquid you manage to extract.

Not sure that I would recommend this, though, unless you are ready to really find out whether squeezing the grains will extract tannins.
 

mlanoue

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Okay, don't laugh, but a few weeks ago I was looking at my washing machine as it was filling up with hot water and I started to wonder . . . hmmmmm. . . .with a few modifications, I bet . . . nah!

I was going to keep it to myself, but your post kind of outed me.
 

baru

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Me being sarcastic.......How about take the boiled mash / wort and dump it into the clothes washing machine. Then but the drain hose of the washing machine into the primary fermenter. Then put it on spin cycle. That would work great for getting every last ounce of liquid out of the grain.....yes sir.:cross: That's going to make for some good drinkin brew. :drunk:
My washing machine is really old and does not have a spin cycle. Instead it has a hand crank on the side that turns a couple of rollers that pull the clothes out of the washer and squeez the water out of them at the same time. The clothes go into the laundry basket and the water drains back into the washing machine. This is the solution to the original question about a grain press. Then all you have to do is add yeast to the mix (your's may have an automatic fabric softener function that can be adapted for pitching yeast. Of course you will need to rehydrate it first). Oh, BTW, is it really sarcasm if you tell everyone that you are being sarcastic?
 

baru

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Okay, don't laugh, but a few weeks ago I was looking at my washing machine as it was filling up with hot water and I started to wonder . . . hmmmmm. . . .with a few modifications, I bet . . . nah!

I was going to keep it to myself, but your post kind of outed me.
You know you're a home brewer if you figure out a way to brew beer in your radiator while you drive back and forth to work. (Talk about miles per gallon).
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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My washing machine is really old and does not have a spin cycle. Instead it has a hand crank on the side that turns a couple of rollers that pull the clothes out of the washer and squeez the water out of them at the same time. The clothes go into the laundry basket and the water drains back into the washing machine. This is the solution to the original question about a grain press. Then all you have to do is add yeast to the mix (your's may have an automatic fabric softener function that can be adapted for pitching yeast. Of course you will need to rehydrate it first). Oh, BTW, is it really sarcasm if you tell everyone that you are being sarcastic?
Haha!! NOW we are on to something! :D
 
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