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Easy Stovetop All-Grain Brewing (with pics)

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jourelemode

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just wanted to update you guys about my first all grain. Looks like everything is ok. The first 24hrs I was kinda worried because it didn't look like anything was happening, so I checked the gravity and it went from 1.068 to 1.043. When I saw that, and saw that there's no krausen, I opened it up and checked it. There was a krausen, but it already fell back into the beer. And that was in a 24hr period which got me worried cause I thought maybe the only fermentables I had in there were the D2 belgian candy syrup and the corn sugar. I guess my mash temps fell into the right zone then. I was only worried at one point during my mash, I was gone for 10 minutes because I forgot to buy ice to cool the beer after everything was done. So when I got back the temp was way off, it was like 170*F so I just brought it back down to 150-152*F and extended my mash an additional 10 minutes. I left for 4 days and I just got back, I checked the gravity and its at 1.019 now. I'm expecting it to go down to 1.014 in the next 8 days, but if it doesn't i'm ok with it. at least its 6.4abv right now.
 

Justibone

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It should be fine, but people avoid the 170's out of concern for extracting tannins. If your beer has a kind of sour-bitterness-pucker kind-of taste to it, then you accidentally got some tannins.

For future reference, it is probably better to mash a bit low than to mash in the 170's. :)
 

jourelemode

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It should be fine, but people avoid the 170's out of concern for extracting tannins. If your beer has a kind of sour-bitterness-pucker kind-of taste to it, then you accidentally got some tannins.

For future reference, it is probably better to mash a bit low than to mash in the 170's. :)
oh yeah, i know...I was mashing at 150-152, it just got up to 170 when I left for the store. :cross:
 

agenthucky

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oh yeah, i know...I was mashing at 150-152, it just got up to 170 when I left for the store. :cross:
This is why direct heat ins't so ideal. If applying direct heat, which I don't reccommend, you need to really watch and stir it. You say it got to 170F, but where was your thermometer? In order for the heat to diffuse to the top and make it 170F, the bottom is probably at least 5-10F hotter.
 

Tsuyako

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Hi Deathbrewer. I just wanted to say thank you for posting these instructions! I used it to brew my first all-grain today (it's already bubbling). I do have one question though, how do you measure the efficentcy of the mash/sparge?
 

woody189

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Tsuyako... i think they just use Beersmith.

I have a couple questions probably anyone can answer...

DB said "i started with 3 gallons and i lose a gallon to absorption, so i want my sparge water to total 3 gallons...this will give me 5 to start:"

I'm confused about this.. Can someone explain to me exactly what he's saying? Is he saying he had

2 gallons in the sparge pot,
+ the 1 gallon assumed to be absorbed in the grain that's being transfered,
+ the 2 gallons now in 1st pot
= 5 gallons total?

are we not supposed to account for evaporation?

also, He says when your done, add hops as usual. Does that mean I pick up from where I would be after steeping grains in an extract recipe??

TIA and thanks DB
 

Justibone

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Tsuyako... i think they just use Beersmith.

I have a couple questions probably anyone can answer...

DB said "i started with 3 gallons and i lose a gallon to absorption, so i want my sparge water to total 3 gallons...this will give me 5 to start:"
3 gallons to start
-1 (absorbed by grain)
___________________

2 gallons mash
+3 (sparge water)
___________________

5 gallons for the boil


are we not supposed to account for evaporation?
On an electric stove, indoors, I have less evaporation than I do when my buddy and I use his propane. Yes, account for it, but unless the volume is small and your stove is powerful, it might not be very much.


also, He says when your done, add hops as usual. Does that mean I pick up from where I would be after steeping grains in an extract recipe??

TIA and thanks DB
I think he is saying that once you get up to the boil, add hops as instructed in the recipe. So, essentially, after you dump your sparge water into your boil pot, do your mash out by raising the temperature to boiling (~212F) and killing the enzymes. Once you're boiling, add hops just as you would for any other recipe (60 min. bittering addition, etc.).

Did that help?
 

woody189

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3 gallons to start
-1 (absorbed by grain)
___________________

2 gallons mash
+3 (sparge water)
___________________

5 gallons for the boil




On an electric stove, indoors, I have less evaporation than I do when my buddy and I use his propane. Yes, account for it, but unless the volume is small and your stove is powerful, it might not be very much.




I think he is saying that once you get up to the boil, add hops as instructed in the recipe. So, essentially, after you dump your sparge water into your boil pot, do your mash out by raising the temperature to boiling (~212F) and killing the enzymes. Once you're boiling, add hops just as you would for any other recipe (60 min. bittering addition, etc.).

Did that help?
Yup... exactly like I though... Thanks for the help. I should be brewing my 3rd batch (1st AG) in no time
 
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DeathBrewer

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Hi Deathbrewer. I just wanted to say thank you for posting these instructions! I used it to brew my first all-grain today (it's already bubbling). I do have one question though, how do you measure the efficentcy of the mash/sparge?
Short answer: Get some brewing software :p

Long answer: Take an hydrometer sample after you have everything in your pot, mixed well. Cool it and take your reading. Determine how much water you have. Calculate your 100% potential based on the grains you have. Use these numbers to find your efficiency.

Example:

If I mashed the following:
5 lbs Belgian Pilsner Malt (potential points per gallon = 36)
4 lbs White Wheat Malt (potential points per gallon = 40)
*potential based on the homebrewtalk wiki chart

Say I ended up with 5 gallons at 1.050 specific gravity.

My 100% potential would be:

Pilsner: 5 (lbs) * 36 (points) / 5 (gallons) = 36 points
Wheat: 4 * 40 / 5 = 32 points
Total: 68 points or 1.068

So, x being our efficiency:
50 (actual) / 68 (potential) = x (efficiency%) / 100 (100%)
or
100 * 50 / 68 = 73.5% efficiency

Hope that helps (and hope it's correct...I've had a few drinks :D)
 

buckeyebrew

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Hi everyone I'm getting ready to give this method a try and just had a quick question in regards to water ratios. I plugged Ed worts ale into beersmith because I only have a 6 gallon pot and the recipe is based on boiling 6.5 down to 5.5. Anyway I scaled it down in beersmith to fit my equipment. This is the grain bill
6.84 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain
1.71 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain
0.43 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain
So for the mash it says to use 11.22 quarts which is fine about 1.25 q/lb......however for the sparge it says ti use 4.37 gallons of water which seems like A LOT to me. The goal due to the smaller pot is to have a 5.85 gal boil and 4.70 to put in the fermenter maybe top off to 5. Does that seem like to much to sparge with? The other things thats confusing is the tool in beersmith called water needed based on the grain lb and mash amount says to only sparge with 4.05 gallons......Can anyone give me some insight on why I might be getting this discrepency I'm really excited to try this method Thanks a bunch DB!!!
 

agenthucky

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Hi everyone I'm getting ready to give this method a try and just had a quick question in regards to water ratios. I plugged Ed worts ale into beersmith because I only have a 6 gallon pot and the recipe is based on boiling 6.5 down to 5.5. Anyway I scaled it down in beersmith to fit my equipment. This is the grain bill
6.84 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain
1.71 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain
0.43 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain
So for the mash it says to use 11.22 quarts which is fine about 1.25 q/lb......however for the sparge it says ti use 4.37 gallons of water which seems like A LOT to me. The goal due to the smaller pot is to have a 5.85 gal boil and 4.70 to put in the fermenter maybe top off to 5. Does that seem like to much to sparge with? The other things thats confusing is the tool in beersmith called water needed based on the grain lb and mash amount says to only sparge with 4.05 gallons......Can anyone give me some insight on why I might be getting this discrepency I'm really excited to try this method Thanks a bunch DB!!!

Deathbrewer, you need to edit the first page and post this info up, this is by far the most frequent question.

To answer it, you cannot use those tools to calculate the sparge water amount. This process does not have a 'normal' sparge, therefor throw away the calculators that determine the sparge for those methods. It's like using BBQ methods to broil a steak, they are just different processes.

For this method you only need to use as much 'sparge' water as you need to reach a full boil volume. It is just a basic rinse of the grain before you boil, nothing more complicated than that. If you are mashing with 4 gallons, anywhere from .75-1.25 can get absorbed into the grain, so you'd be left with 3 gallons. What you want to do is sparge with 3 additional gallons to top off to 6 before the boil.

I know this thread is gigantic, but that question must be repeated on every 5th page.
 

DregAddict

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The total water you'll be using by your calculations is a little more than 7 gallons, so it does seem like much when you only want to have a 5.85 gallon boil. But what you are not taking into account is that your grains will absorb a pretty good amount of water. This absorption should put you at the desired volume.
 

buckeyebrew

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Thanks for the info, Im sorry I stopped on page 19 in the thread I will need to finish reading it, just wanted to clear that up I appreciate it!
 

agenthucky

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Thanks for the info, Im sorry I stopped on page 19 in the thread I will need to finish reading it, just wanted to clear that up I appreciate it!

I don't blame you, this thread is too big for it's own good. DB should be able to moderate it and remove non-helpful posts, sadly we must sift through it.

It's quite a good read though if you ever have the time.
 

inkman15

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Hi guys,

I'm giving this a shot today and I only have one question. I'm sure it's answered somewhere in the 74 pages but I couldn't read through all of it.

Since I'm unsure if the burners I'm using will boil a full 5 gallons, is it ok to reduce my sparge water a bit and boil, say, 4 gallons? And then top off the fermenter with the extra gallon?

Thanks!
 

agenthucky

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Hi guys,

I'm giving this a shot today and I only have one question. I'm sure it's answered somewhere in the 74 pages but I couldn't read through all of it.

Since I'm unsure if the burners I'm using will boil a full 5 gallons, is it ok to reduce my sparge water a bit and boil, say, 4 gallons? And then top off the fermenter with the extra gallon?

Thanks!
If you reduce your sparge (rinse) water too much, you will lose efficiency, but not greatly (you get almost 10% from a proper rinse with this method). I do something similar to you, I only have a 5.5 gallon kettle, so I sparge extra, and slowly add the extra sparge through the boil, this counters the evaporation so I end with something close to 5 gallons. If your burner won't boil 5 gallons (and you want a good boil) then you need to either reduce it to 2 kettles, or top off with water in the fermenter. DME might not hurt if you couldn't hit your target gravity.
 

inkman15

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If you reduce your sparge (rinse) water too much, you will lose efficiency, but not greatly (you get almost 10% from a proper rinse with this method). I do something similar to you, I only have a 5.5 gallon kettle, so I sparge extra, and slowly add the extra sparge through the boil, this counters the evaporation so I end with something close to 5 gallons. If your burner won't boil 5 gallons (and you want a good boil) then you need to either reduce it to 2 kettles, or top off with water in the fermenter. DME might not hurt if you couldn't hit your target gravity.
Thanks for your advice. So you're saying I should follow the directions here and do the full sparge but just add it slowly throughout the boil, right? I have an 8 gallon pot, so I don't think volume will be an issue. Appreciate your help.
 

MeatyPortion

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Ok, boil is on.

First impressions:

1. I see why this is not normally done on a stove. DB's technique and instructions are stellar but man my boil pot is FULL.

2. I like this as a transition between extract/partial mashes and full on AG.

3. Simple, but looks to yield impressive results.

4. I feel like I'm able to more fully embrace the creative side of brewing.

5. ??????

6. PROFIT!!!!
 

inkman15

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Awesome - I'm starting my brewing in about an hour. How big is your pot and have you run into any issues with temperatures, overflow, etc?
 

MeatyPortion

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It's a 5 gallon pot so that's definitely an issue. Use a 6+ like DB recommends.

So far temp has held extremely well. I'm impressed. Overflow wasn't an issue since I had about .5 gallons in another brew pot and gradually added to the boil. I guess we'll see if that affects the final brew but I think it will be ok.

I did drip a bit from the grain sack onto the stove, I'm not sure how DB avoids that. Not much, but it'll make for some fun clean-up when I'm done.
 

inkman15

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Sounds good. Were you able to boil 5 gal? And you used the recommended sparge water and just added gradually? Sorry for all the questions man.
 

MeatyPortion

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It's ok.

I boiled approx 4.75 gallons. I'll top it off with a bit of bottled water but compared to what I normally do for extracts (2.5 gallons) this is a great improvement, I think.

With the sparge water I brought another pot of 3.125 gallons to 180F and then put the grains in for 10 minutes. I couldn't add it all to the boil pot (again, get a 6+ gallon pot) but I added it in slowly for the first 10 minutes of the boil.
 

inkman15

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MeatyPortion said:
Awesome. Let me know how it goes since I'm learning too!
Going well so far but made one mistake. I added the first hops before we hit a boil. Any idea what impact that'll have?
 

Justibone

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Going well so far but made one mistake. I added the first hops before we hit a boil. Any idea what impact that'll have?
Very little effect.

The alpha acids will be completely extracted. You'll get full bitterness from them, but no aroma, which is what any 60 min. boil additions would do. So, NBD. RDWHAHB.
 

Justibone

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I normally do ... extracts (2.5 gallons) ...
I normally do small batches, too, and this is a non-awesome way to do them. Why? Because this method does not control the trub proteins very well at all. There will be about an inch of trub at the bottom of the fermenter, so it's better to make as big a batch as you can since you will inevitably lose more of it than usual to trub. :(

This is a good method to make all-grain beer, but the trade-off for less equipment needed is more beer loss. I've done this on my own and with friends a couple of times, but I've gone back to mashing/steeping and adding extract for the main fermentables so that I can continue to do small batches.

I'm not bagging on this method at all, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying, trub is the price you pay.
 

ultravista

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So ... what is the best way to deal with the protiens?

If mashing in a cooler with filter (on drain), wouldn't that help remove the gunk?
 

Justibone

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The reason people have the big AG set-ups is to use the grain bed to filter the wort. Also, they get more efficiency, and also an easier (if not simpler) brew day. The big systems are good for a lot of things, and one of those things is controlling the amount of trub left over.

If you are brewing 5 or 6 gallon batches, or especially 10 gallon batches, this is a good way to do it. You have less efficiency than the full set-ups, perhaps, but it works well. When you lose half a gallon to trub, that's not as big a deal as when you are making only 2 or 2.5 gallons and you lose half a gallon.

Theoretically, if your mesh bag was fine enough, you could capture more particulates, etc. Also, if you can whirlpool efficiently you might save yourself some trub... but if you brew in a bag, you pay the price in trub.

If someone knows of a solution to this, please, share it. :(
 

NYCBrewGuy

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So brew-in-a-bag results in more trub? I've never heard that. I've only done BIAB so I have no frame of reference... I always figured that the grain and strainer bag was acting as a filter just as much as in a normal MLT.

If you are thinking that no-sparge is the culprit then maybe you can modify your method. For example, mash in a pot with a bag. After the mash is complete, move the bag to a bottling bucket. Sparge as normal recirculating the wart and then with 170 degree water. I don't see why this would lead to any more proteins.
 

Justibone

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I don't know why it does either, but it does.

Other people have said so in this thread as well.
 

Sublime8365

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I'm fairly new to brewing but want to get into all grain as soon as possible. Since I really like experimenting and like a variety of different beers, I'm interested in small batch brewing - around 2.5 gallons. I'm also interested in this method because my current brewpot is only 5 gallons, which is fine for partial boils on extract kits but won't cut it for 5 gallon all grain boils obviously. I feel this stovetop method would be a good way to start all grain because it's less of an investment (less equipment and all). So I'd just need to get another pot of equal (maybe even smaller) size than what I have and a bag.

Would this increased about of trub prevent this method from being worthwhile? Does this decrease the efficiency or is it just considered "beer lost" because of the volume? I would bump it up to 3 gallons to account for that if it were the case.
 

electronjunkie

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I'm fairly new to brewing but want to get into all grain as soon as possible. Since I really like experimenting and like a variety of different beers, I'm interested in small batch brewing - around 2.5 gallons. I'm also interested in this method because my current brewpot is only 5 gallons, which is fine for partial boils on extract kits but won't cut it for 5 gallon all grain boils obviously. I feel this stovetop method would be a good way to start all grain because it's less of an investment (less equipment and all). So I'd just need to get another pot of equal (maybe even smaller) size than what I have and a bag.

Would this increased about of trub prevent this method from being worthwhile? Does this decrease the efficiency or is it just considered "beer lost" because of the volume? I would bump it up to 3 gallons to account for that if it were the case.
My trub amount seems to be proportional to the amount of beer I am brewing and mainly the grainbill. If you do a small 2.5gal batch of barley wine vs a 5gal Bitter, you are going to wind up with much more trub as a percentage of beer in the barleywine than in the bitter. Also if you don't put your hops in a muslin bag (I use my grain bag) the amount of trub in the kettle is greatly increased as well in my experience.

I have not experienced this trub problem and I love BIAB. I wash my yeast and reuse it and don't have a problem with the trub there either. I do gravities of around 1.055-1.065 though, no barleywines or really high gravity stuff.

I usually get around 70% efficiency using DB's method. I have gotten as high as 80% in smaller beers but I try not to go that high b/c of fear of tannin extraction.

You probably do get more trub than a traditional AG method b/c the grain can be used to filter, but man is my brewday easy just having to clean out a bag. Just adjust your recipe accordingly and top off with water if you can. I would probably avoid doing barleywines with BIAB as has been stated earlier in this thread (1.100 OG)
 

Justibone

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For my small batches, I've had more luck doing partial mashes. Really, if you think about it, the only difference between using DME and 2-row is essentially 1) cost and 2) trub. There's nothing magical about brewing with only grain (and no extract)... unless you think there is something magical about it. As for me, I've done AG with BIAB, I can do it any time I want, but now I'm "regressing" to partial mash because it suits my 1) brewstyle 2) equipment and 3) slow drinking. ;)

BIAB is a great technique; I've done it and I'm glad for it... but it is not Excalibur the Dragon Slayer. There is a downside -- only one, that I've seen so far, but there you go.

So, that's why I've been writing these posts, to let people know what the tradeoff is. Like the other poster said, if you make an AG barleywine with BIAB, be prepared to lose a fair bit of the beer. If you just adjust your fermentor volume up to make up for the loss, then no foul, but it is a tradeoff you have to make, and it's better to make it with your eyes open.

That's my point. :)
 

Xcorpia

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Hey DeathBrewer:

I'm sure you're tired of hearing this, but you are so freaking awesome. Thanks for this great post!
 

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I am about to do my first AG using this method and I'm a little worried about the recommended sparge volume I got from BrewPal

Here's the recipe:

6# 2-row
1# Pilsen
0.75# Chrystal 60

0.5oz Warrior 60min
0.25oz Amarillo 20min
0.5oz Amarillo 5min
0.5oz Columbus

Wyeast 3522 Ardennes

I plugged it into the Brew Pal app and it's calling for a 3 gallon strike, which seems alright but a 7 quart sparge. Doesn't sound right to me but it is coming out to about 3.5 Gallon pre-boil.

My question is should I use more like 2-3 gallons to sparge and boil for a long time to bring it down to the 3.5 gallons, disregarding the software suggestions, and then add the hops and boil for the normal hour or so? I would be taking a hydro reading after the sparge and before the hop additions to add some DME if needed.

Just looking for some advice and assurance if this would work from more experienced brewers on here. Thanks
 

Valcarde

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I did two batches using this method this weekend, and I have to say, I'm looking forward to more all-grain batches in the future. I don't feel intimidated by the amount of gear needed anymore :drunk:
 

ErieShores

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Is there any way, or has anyone ever used the first wort hopping technique with this method? I have been interested to use it, but unsure how to do it.
 
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