Grain bags vs straining

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pgasca

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I am a homebrewer beginner, starting with small one gallon batches to learn and experiment. I am doing some grain mashing and needed advice.
Is there a benefit/downside to mashing grain in a grain bag (muslin) vs mashing the grain free in the water then pouring it through a strainer or cheesecloth/muslin liner? I know it's easier, but I don't mind the extra steps and effort and I have an extra mash pot. Besides, isnt it good for the wort to aerate while pouring?

Also, i know you are supposed to drain the bag, but is there anything wrong with rinsing it (sparging) once or twice?
Just wondering what you all think. Thanks!
Thanks!
 

Pratzie

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With one gallon batches, no. If u step up to 5 gallon and get grain bills around or over 10lbs, the grain bags will help keep the mess to a minimum.

And I know people are here sparge their bags as well. I'd say it prob depends on if people want to take the extra effort to heat more water and then adjust for OG if they add too much or too little water.
 
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pgasca

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Pratzie said:
With one gallon batches, no. If u step up to 5 gallon and get grain bills around or over 10lbs, the grain bags will help keep the mess to a minimum.

And I know people are here sparge their bags as well. I'd say it prob depends on if people want to take the extra effort to heat more water and then adjust for OG if they add too much or too little water.
Thanks Pratzie ... Good advice!
 

divrguy

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pgasca said:
I am a homebrewer beginner, starting with small one gallon batches to learn and experiment. I am doing some grain mashing and needed advice. Is there a benefit/downside to mashing grain in a grain bag (muslin) vs mashing the grain free in the water then pouring it through a strainer or cheesecloth/muslin liner? I know it's easier, but I don't mind the extra steps and effort and I have an extra mash pot. Besides, isnt it good for the wort to aerate while pouring? Also, i know you are supposed to drain the bag, but is there anything wrong with rinsing it (sparging) once or twice? Just wondering what you all think. Thanks! Thanks!
I'm not sure i totally get your method. Are you heating and mashing in your pot? Then either lifting a bag or transferring loose grain to a muslin filtered pot? If so, that sounds like a brew in a bag type method and it can work either way. Squeezing the heck out of it or sparging. If it is a brew in a bag method, and you are using all or most of your mash water, then you can skip the sparge and just squeeze. If you hold back a little, then sparge with cold water is fine. Now, if you are mashing in a cooler, does it have a spigot? Doesn't sound like you are because you didn't mention it but that method lends itself to either a cooler with a strainer, cooler with a bag or muslin, or some other filter and then sparging. So, can you elaborate what you are going to try? Also, aerating the wort happens after you cool the wort after the boil. Not after the mash.

EDIT: guess I can't read sometimes.. Lol

Easy easy answer was yes, you can definitely mash in your pot and transfer it through a bag or strainer or whatever. The bigger the batch, the tougher that gets.
 
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pgasca

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divrguy said:
I'm not sure i totally get your method. Are you heating and mashing in your pot? Then either lifting a bag or transferring loose grain to a muslin filtered pot? If so, that sounds like a brew in a bag type method and it can work either way. Squeezing the heck out of it or sparging. If it is a brew in a bag method, and you are using all or most of your mash water, then you can skip the sparge and just squeeze. If you hold back a little, then sparge with cold water is fine.

Now, if you are mashing in a cooler, does it have a spigot? Doesn't sound like you are because you didn't mention it but that method lends itself to either a cooler with a strainer, cooler with a bag or muslin, or some other filter and then sparging. So, can you elaborate what you are going to try?

Also, aerating the wort happens after you cool the wort after the boil. Not after the mash.
Quite simply, I'm was wondering if there was a pro/con for mashing the grain in a bag or not. I'm using a pot to mash, and I was thinking it would be better (not easier) to mash with no grain bag, then pouring through a strainer/muslin bag when transferring to the boil pot. Thought was that with grains floating freely in the mash water, I would get more water through the grain as opposed to the grain in a bag. It is a little more difficult than just pulling the bag out and letting it drip, but if its better for attaining a higher gravity (extracting more sugars), then it's worth it.

Given I'm new at this, I was wondering if anyone had experience with both ... Basically, I'm wondering if there is ANY difference in using a bag or not.
 

C-Rider

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I do 2 gallon batches using a paint strainer bag BIAB in a cooler to mash. After mash I put a collendar under the bag and w/a coffee cup in each had put all my weight into pressing every last drop out of the grain. I then make dog cookies w/some of the grain and add the rest to the garden. Never tried it w/free grain and then pouring thru a strainer. Seems like more work that way.
 

wilserbrewer

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For one gallon batches, any thing that will let you separate the the grains from the liquid will work fine, a bag or kitchen strainer will work.
 
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