First all grain, but not a big enough pot

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badumbching

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Okay, so I really want to make the jump into all grain. My only problem is I do not have a pot large enough to boil the 6.5 or so gallons of water. My current pot is 5 gallons. I really can't spend the money on a new pot right now, being a poor college student and all.

However, I have 10 pounds of grain and I'm thinking if I mash (did I use that correctly?) with the full 10 pounds, and only extract about 4 gallons of wort from it, I could have a slightly more concentrated wort. Then, add some cool, boiled water to the wort in the fermenter to bring it up to 5 gallons. Would this work?

Or maybe just using two separate pots would be a whole lot easier, if that's possible.

Any feedback is very much appreciated!
 

Yooper

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I used to use two pots. I would make the wort, and split the first runnings into two pots and then the sparge runnings equally into the pots. That way the worts were identical and I hopped them 1/2 and 1/2. It worked fine until I got a bigger pot.

The only thing I noticed was that my boil-off was much higher (because two pots = twice the evaporation) so I just had to start with about 3.5 gallons in each pot. This will work if you have two really good stove burners, and two 5 gallon pots.
 

farmbrewernw

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I would say go ahead and split up the boil, however if you can find some money definitely step up to a bigger pot (on second thought your in college just go steal some frats empty keg and turn it into a keggle ;)). Also if you don't already have one make sure you get a good propane burner cause bigger pots mean you need more BTUs.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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terrapin421 said:
Hey man... I'm in college too. For the price of two cases of crappy beer you can get one of these and brew up some delicious home brew. http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-3066A-30-Quart-Outdoor/dp/B0000BXHL0/ref=pd_bbs_6?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1207082254&sr=8-6
I haven't gone AG (yet) but I can say since I have that turkey fryer setup, that 6.5g in that thing boiling is stressful. I just did a 6.25g boil in there and I didn't have any boilovers, but I had to shut off the flame twice because I almost did. If you overshoot your volume, then just watch out I guess. That being said...I'm going to give it a try as soon as I get my 5g cooler modified for an MLT. HAHA, classic post by me..."Don't do it...let me try and miserably fail first!":p
 
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farmbrewernw

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I totally agree I have one of those turkey fryer pots and let me tell you it's sketchy trying to get 6.5gal of wort to boil in that thing, it only took me two full boils to realize that I needed something better now I have a 15.5gal keggle so if need be I can make 10gal batches :)
 

FlyingHorse

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If you're really desperate to do 5-gal batches and don't like any of these ideas, you could always sparge and collect the full ~7 gallons, boil half--cool--pitch yeast, then boil the other half--cool--add to fermenter (doing both boils sequentially in your existing 5-gal pot).

My guess is you'll realize this is a PITA and go with one of the other suggestions, but it's an option.
 

goswell

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badumbching said:
Okay, so I really want to make the jump into all grain. My only problem is I do not have a pot large enough to boil the 6.5 or so gallons of water. My current pot is 5 gallons. I really can't spend the money on a new pot right now, being a poor college student and all.

However, I have 10 pounds of grain and I'm thinking if I mash (did I use that correctly?) with the full 10 pounds, and only extract about 4 gallons of wort from it, I could have a slightly more concentrated wort. Then, add some cool, boiled water to the wort in the fermenter to bring it up to 5 gallons. Would this work?

Or maybe just using two separate pots would be a whole lot easier, if that's possible.

Any feedback is very much appreciated!
The problem is your efficiency will be terrible if you only draw 4 gallons, you'll leave a lot of fermentables behind.
I do the same thing as what you are describing, mash normal grain, draw 4 gallons and boil that. Since your efficiency will be low, so will your total gravity so just add a pound of so of DME and your right there. No shame in that.
 

tranceamerica

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goswell said:
The problem is your efficiency will be terrible if you only draw 4 gallons, you'll leave a lot of fermentables behind.
I do the same thing as what you are describing, mash normal grain, draw 4 gallons and boil that. Since your efficiency will be low, so will your total gravity so just add a pound of so of DME and your right there. No shame in that.
Exactly. I'm doing Partial Mash brews myself - because:

1) I don't have the equipment & don't want to spend the money on it
2) I want to brew indoors, in my kitchen
3) I want better tasting beer
4) I can pretend it's a bit cheaper...

Yeah, if you want to do AG w/your (or my) setup, you'll have to be happy with smaller batches - 3-4 gal or split pot, or weaker beer
 

Chello

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i as well have been wanting to go AG but with my tiny apartment it just isn't happening. So i just scale an AG recipe to 3gallons and then do a late extract addition to get my OG up to the 5 gallon necessity. Then just use top off water in my primary.

It is good practice with my AG equipment but i can calculate my efficiency as i go so i can add more or less extract to get my numbers.
 

dagrar

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I'm also ready to do my first all grain batch aftert two succesful PM's. My plan is to do at least two 3 gal batchs with my existing equipment then making the decision whether or not to make the jump to 5 gallons and beyond.
 

tranceamerica

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Chello said:
i as well have been wanting to go AG but with my tiny apartment it just isn't happening. So i just scale an AG recipe to 3gallons and then do a late extract addition to get my OG up to the 5 gallon necessity. Then just use top off water in my primary.

It is good practice with my AG equipment but i can calculate my efficiency as i go so i can add more or less extract to get my numbers.
I do 5 gallon PM brews. In general, my grain bill is about 5-6lb, with 3 lb +/- of malt extract. I've estimated that my maximum grain bill (because of 5 gallon pot) is 7 lb, which equals:

7 quarts mash = 3.5 qts first runnings
3.5 gallons sparge
total 4.375 gallons in brew pot.

I suppose I could do 7 lb of base malt, then steep my specialty grains in the brew pot, which would *almost* allow me to go all grain. But of course, it would take forever...
 

brewgrl

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You can get pretty cheap pots at thrift stores, restaurant supply stores, or liquidation world...just keep your eyes open!
 

SourHopHead

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I had the apt brewery for a while and just made it fun. I would go downstairs and brew in the grass. Everyone would stop by look and ask questions. Now in the neighborhood I get people peaking through windows and had the cops stop by(Not from a call about me) and chat. I get a kick out of it.

I got tired of the 5gal batches and searched for kegs and stand. The stand was easy thanks to everyone at HBT! The kegs took a while, but had a buddy get me one and found another. Welder at work cut it and built a custom stand for the other keg. Bought some 10gal coolers and AG in full swing. Just keep and eye out and deals will be out there.
 
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badumbching

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Hah, yeah, I've seen the turkey fryer set ups. I probably would get one, but I already have a keg in my possession. It was actually fairly easy to get, my little brother knew exactly where an abandoned one was in some woods in our town. I'm just having a hard time getting it converted.

I would like to do 3 gallon batches, it'd allow me to experiment more, but I only have 6.5 and 5 gallon carboys. Couldn't the extra head space ruin the beer?

Anyway, I think I'll just split it up between two pots. Thanks a lot for all the advice.
 

Finn

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You can do all-grain batches with what you've got, of beers up to about 1.055. Or at least, I do. I use a bucket-in-bucket system that will hold up to 10 pounds of grain and I mash out 4 1/2 gallons into a 5-gallon steel pot (fly sparging, just pouring the spargewater onto a coffee can lid). (The mashing is done in another, smaller pot kept on the stove with the burner one notch above "warm," which holds the temp nicely and allows me to do a mashout at 170.)

The boil gets that lot down to just under 4 gallons and I have to top it off with a few quarts of water. Also, when you're boiling 4.5 gallons in a 5-gallon pot, you have to be right there with a steel spoon skimming hot break starting when it hits 180 degrees.

I hate aluminum. I don't ever want it touching my beer. So, no turkey fryer for me!

Slán agat!

--Finn
 

justbrewit

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i boil in 2 pots right now as well. one pot is like 7 gallons, the other is around 4. i boil both at the same time until i can get it all in the one 7 gal pot. once i've got it all in one pot i start my hop additions and what not, by the time i'm done i have about 4.5-5 gallons to put into the fermenter.
 

mr_goodwrench

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I brewed my first batch of all-grain yesterday. I got a ~10 gallon pot from a restaurant supply store. I have a turkey fryer that I bought for the burner. I used the pot that came with the fryer to heat my mash and sparge water.

I did everything up to the point of cooling the wort on my deck. Due to the winds that we had here yesterday, I had to fashion a make-shift wind break from some extra large tin ceiling tile I had left over. I will make a heat shroud from aluminum flashing before my next batch.

The 10 gallon pot seemed to be perfect for a 5 gallon batch. I lost a total of a cup of wort to boilover!
 
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