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jawats

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Okay, I made the Bell's Two-Hearted Clone in the recipes section.

I realized 30 mins in that because of my low water volume (5 gal pot) I had to take 1/2 of the grains out. I finished steeping half at 150 for 30 mins, strained (ended up with 2 instead of 4 gallons) and then steeped the remainder of the grains in the original 2 + another 2 gallons for another 30 mins at 150. I ended up with about 3.5 gallons and increased it to 5 in the fermenter. I drained the grains through a strainer in each case.

I am getting nice bubbling this morning, already, even though I pitched at 10:00 last night. However, what do y'all think? Will I end up with weak beer because of the strange process I used?

--Jonathan
 

TelemarkBrew

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what was the OG? If you hit your OG your beer won't be weak. I'd be interested to know if your second mash fully converted though. Its possible it did as it can take as little as 15 to 20 min for todays well modified grains to convert, but only your OG would tell us.
I'm confused on your issues though. a 5g system would seem to be big enough for a beer that size. I've heard of people using runnings as the liquor in a subsequent mash so you aren't the first to do something like that.
 

obezyana1

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Did you take a hydrometer reading to see what your OG was. That combined with a final gravity is the only way to say for certain how the abv fairs in your brew. From what I am reading you ended up mashing all of your grains for 30 minutes in 2 gallons of water, which would be a really thick mash and then after removing half you ended up finishing the first half in the original 2 gallons and then remashing the other half in an additional 2 gallons. If that is correct then I would think that you could have had some conversion problems.

As far as starting a mash, removing grains and then remashing them, you got me there. I would guess that it would cause some conversion problems, but I could easily be wrong. The only way to know would be to know what you figured for the efficiency and see how close you hit it.

As for taste, who knows. At least post on here when everything is said and done and let us know how the beer tastes.
 
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jawats

jawats

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what was the OG? If you hit your OG your beer won't be weak. I'd be interested to know if your second mash fully converted though. Its possible it did as it can take as little as 15 to 20 min for todays well modified grains to convert, but only your OG would tell us.
I'm confused on your issues though. a 5g system would seem to be big enough for a beer that size. I've heard of people using runnings as the liquor in a subsequent mash so you aren't the first to do something like that.
I dropped it in 4 gallons of water and the grain expanded so much that I was having wild temperature fluctuations and couldn't keep it at 150. So, I pulled 1/2 of them out.

My OG was 1.040. The recipe called for 1.055.
 
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only mashing (different from steeping) for 30 minutes is what hurt your efficiency most likely.
*Steeping is the soaking of non crushed grains in hot water to extract flavor and color
Mashing is the soaking crushed grains in precise temperatures to extract flavor, color and most importantly, Sugars for fermentation.

How big was your grain bill?
 
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jawats

jawats

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As for taste, who knows. At least post on here when everything is said and done and let us know how the beer tastes.
"For goodness's sakes, man! Who cares about your gravitational issues? How does it TASTE?"

:) Yessir. I will do that, at least.
 
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jawats

jawats

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only mashing (different from steeping) for 30 minutes is what hurt your efficiency most likely.
*Steeping is the soaking of non crushed grains in hot water to extract flavor and color
Mashing is the soaking crushed grains in precise temperatures to extract flavor, color and most importantly, Sugars for fermentation.

How big was your grain bill?
Hmm. Good terminology update. Glad I am in the beginner's room. :p

I was mashing at 150 then. It was a total of 1 hour of mashing for all the grains involved.

10 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 76.92 %
2 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 15.38 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
 

obezyana1

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Definitely too much water in the steep. You need to shoot for about 1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain to get a good conversion efficiency. I bet if you would have stuck to that number you could have done your entire mash in that 5 gallon pot. Try it next time and you'll do much better a be a lot happier with the result.
 
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jawats

jawats

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Definitely too much water in the steep. You need to shoot for about 1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain to get a good conversion efficiency. I bet if you would have stuck to that number you could have done your entire mash in that 5 gallon pot. Try it next time and you'll do much better a be a lot happier with the result.
Too MUCH water for the mash?

When I put the grains in, the grain swelled so much that I could barely stir it initially. Even after a few mins, the temperature was fluctuating from 140 - 170 rapidly due to the lack of circulation.
 

TelemarkBrew

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using the greenbay rackers "can i mash this" calc. 13 lbs of grain at 1.25 qts/lb would take up 5.1g of space. so if you went a little less on the mash ratio you could have fit it and it shouldn't have been too thick. 4g was about right for the mash in volume. did you pour the water into the grains or the grains into the water? it helps to add the grains to the water as someone stirs it, it should clump much less. that ratio should be easily stirable though not that thick. As for the temp, you need to give it a good stir then let it sit for 10-15 min for it to equalize a bit, temps during that time can show up all over the map and you shouldn't be too worried if one reading seems too hot in one area and a subsequent reading in a diff part of the mash tun is too cool. stirring periodically will help this.
 
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jawats

jawats

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using the greenbay rackers "can i mash this" calc. 13 lbs of grain at 1.25 qts/lb would take up 5.1g of space. so if you went a little less on the mash ratio you could have fit it and it shouldn't have been too thick. 4g was about right for the mash in volume. did you pour the water into the grains or the grains into the water? it helps to add the grains to the water as someone stirs it, it should clump much less. that ratio should be easily stirable though not that thick. As for the temp, you need to give it a good stir then let it sit for 10-15 min for it to equalize a bit, temps during that time can show up all over the map and you shouldn't be too worried if one reading seems too hot in one area and a subsequent reading in a diff part of the mash tun is too cool. stirring periodically will help this.
I poured the grains into the water and stirred slowly. So, the mash really SHOULD look like a big bowl of oatmeal?

Ed: This is very different than using a grain bag for a partial-extract, then.
 

TelemarkBrew

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depends on how you like your oatmeal :). I like mine super dry, so it shouldn't look like that. It should look somewhat like oatmeal (both are just mixtures of water and grain) but you should be able to stir it pretty easily not a big doughball.
when you are doing steeping grains in an extract recipe you have a lot more water to the amount of grain than you do in mashing, yes.

To the poster before who said that steeping = uncrushed grains in water that is incorrect, most steeping grains are also crushed. the diff btwn mashing and steeping is the presence of base malts with the enzymes to convert starches to sugars in the grains.
 

obezyana1

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Too MUCH water for the mash?

When I put the grains in, the grain swelled so much that I could barely stir it initially. Even after a few mins, the temperature was fluctuating from 140 - 170 rapidly due to the lack of circulation.
Sorry I was unclear. I was thinking too much for the mash after you took out half of the grains (unless I misunderstood and you removed some of the wort and later used that wort for the second mash). Your best bet on something that size is to use two pots, half the grain in each for a mash and then sparge into another pot, or just do two half mashes (but this will take a bit longer). I need to quit drinking this Russian beer so early and then maybe I could type a little more coherently.
 
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jawats

jawats

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Sorry I was unclear. I was thinking too much for the mash after you took out half of the grains (unless I misunderstood and you removed some of the wort and later used that wort for the second mash). Your best bet on something that size is to use two pots, half the grain in each for a mash and then sparge into another pot, or just do two half mashes (but this will take a bit longer). I need to quit drinking this Russian beer so early and then maybe I could type a little more coherently.
Russian Potato Beer. I've heard that can be challenging.

No - I removed 1/2 the grains - mashed in about 3.5 gallons of water at 150, then strained, (ended up with 2 gallons after straining, but didn't want to "squeeze" the grains to get the rest of the water) put the water back in the pot and mashed the other 1/2 of the grains, with an additional gallon added.
 

RedIrocZ-28

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Personal experience is that a 5gal pot will hold 12lbs 4oz of grain with about 1.10-1.15qts/lb of grain at the absolute max. Anything bigger grainbill-wise and you'll have to go down to 1qt/lb.

That said, what you need is another 5gal pot to really take advantage of doing a full mash, because you'll have a second pot able to handle the batch "sparge". I'll give you a tip, if you can find a Mexican SuperMarket they will have 5gal Aluminum Tamale pots for $20, perfect for using as a sparge vessel.
 
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jawats

jawats

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Sorry I was unclear. I was thinking too much for the mash after you took out half of the grains (unless I misunderstood and you removed some of the wort and later used that wort for the second mash). Your best bet on something that size is to use two pots, half the grain in each for a mash and then sparge into another pot, or just do two half mashes (but this will take a bit longer). I need to quit drinking this Russian beer so early and then maybe I could type a little more coherently.
Also - good advice on the two pots. I was thinking, for the summer, of getting a turkey fryer and doing some all-grain in that. However, all of this might be more trouble than it's worth. Maybe I'll just buy the Bells next time. ;-)

Is this a reasonable description of the process - All Grain Brewing -Basic Guide ?
 
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jawats

jawats

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Personal experience is that a 5gal pot will hold 12lbs 4oz of grain with about 1.10-1.15qts/lb of grain at the absolute max. Anything bigger grainbill-wise and you'll have to go down to 1qt/lb.

That said, what you need is another 5gal pot to really take advantage of doing a full mash, because you'll have a second pot able to handle the batch "sparge". I'll give you a tip, if you can find a Mexican SuperMarket they will have 5gal Aluminum Tamale pots for $20, perfect for using as a sparge vessel.
I see 7.5 gallon pots and turkey fryers on Ebay for $20 - $30. Could those be used as mashing vessels?
 
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jawats

jawats

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Would the only way to really tell when to bottle this be to take a SG reading? And, even if I do, how would I tell? The closer to 1.00, the better?
 
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