How much grain can my mash/lauter tun hold?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

mcjake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
57
Reaction score
0
I have a five gallon cooler mash/lauter tun and I've been looking at some recipes that call for 15 pounds of grain. How much grain can I realistically mash with my current set up?
 

lamarguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
1,652
Reaction score
33
Location
Austin, TX
I have a five gallon cooler mash/lauter tun and I've been looking at some recipes that call for 15 pounds of grain. How much grain can I realistically mash with my current set up?
At 1.25 qt/lb of grain, ~12 lbs is your limit. I used to mash up to 15 lbs in a 7 gallon stock pot.
 

Cpt_Kirks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
3,704
Reaction score
58
Location
Lakeland TN
12 pounds is about the practical maximum. Some go for 14 pounds, but that is pushing it IMHO. I only go up to 11 pounds, myself. If my gravity comes out light, I add a dab of DME or corn sugar.
 
OP
M

mcjake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
57
Reaction score
0
At 1.25 qt/lb of grain, ~12 lbs is your limit. I used to mash up to 15 lbs in a 7 gallon stock pot.
If I mashed 15 pounds in a stock pot how would I lauter? Slowly transfer it into my 5 gallon cooler while collecting the wort?
 
OP
M

mcjake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
57
Reaction score
0
12 pounds is about the practical maximum. Some go for 14 pounds, but that is pushing it IMHO. I only go up to 11 pounds, myself. If my gravity comes out light, I add a dab of DME or corn sugar.
I have allergies to DME and LME so that is pretty much out of the question. I'm not sure what that's all about. But my LHBS said that they sometimes use lemon juice or citric acid to preserve them. And yeah, I'm allergic to lemon and lime juice.
 

HSM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
460
Reaction score
9
Location
McMurray, PA
I have allergies to DME and LME so that is pretty much out of the question. I'm not sure what that's all about. But my LHBS said that they sometimes use lemon juice or citric acid to preserve them. And yeah, I'm allergic to lemon and lime juice.
Just another reason why extracts should be labeled with ingredients.

I dont know if there is citric acid in extracts, but if your body knows it knows.

Back on Topic...
I use a 36 qt rectangular Igloo and I've mashed 15 lbs with room to spare.
 

ajf

Senior Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Messages
4,648
Reaction score
119
Location
Long Island
I've had 13 1/2# at 1 qt per lb. I could probably has squeezed another 1/2# in there (I was up to within 1 inch of the top).
15# is over the top quite literally.

-a.
 

Donner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
819
Reaction score
3
Location
Oxford, MS
If I mashed 15 pounds in a stock pot how would I lauter? Slowly transfer it into my 5 gallon cooler while collecting the wort?
I guess it depends on if you fly sparge or batch spage. Fly sparging would require you to time the in and the out. Batch sparging would just require you to do as many as it took to hit your volumes without overflowing your MLT.
 

AMERICUS

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
Question about the "Can I mash it," if I use a Coleman 70Q cooler to mash in, I could in theory use 45lbs of grain at 1.25q / lb? Is that right?
 

pkpdogg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
111
Reaction score
0
Location
Foster City, CA
Without running the numbers, that sounds about right. I had to check my 15.5gal MLT capacity against 48lbs of grain and came up shy.

One thing suggested to me was that if you don't have enough room, you can split up the grain, mash the first batch, then mash the second batch with the wort collected from the first batch.
 

wilserbrewer

BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT Sponsor
Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
11,255
Reaction score
2,816
Location
New Jersey
If I mashed 15 pounds in a stock pot how would I lauter? Slowly transfer it into my 5 gallon cooler while collecting the wort?

Transfer 1/2 of the mashed grains to your five gallon lauter tun. Rinse grain and repeat. You could also do two separate 7.5 lb mashes, but this would add an hour or more to your brew day.
 

HoppyDaze

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
13,926
Reaction score
4,326
Location
Lake Oswego
SO I have a five gallon MLT too...lets say I wanted to do a 15 lb grain bill: Could I do 12 lbs of the grain in my MLT and do the other three in a normal cooler, then after the first runnings of the MLT pour the liquid and grain from the "normal cooler" (like a small picnic cooler) into the MLT. The grains and water will now fit because we already took our first runnings. Drain that ....then sparge? I may have to tripple batch or fly sparge...but it beats buying new equipment since I only do high gravity beers one or twice a year.

I really don't see any holes in that theory...

Am I wrong?
 

ewbish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
176
Reaction score
3
SO I have a five gallon MLT too...lets say I wanted to do a 15 lb grain bill: Could I do 12 lbs of the grain in my MLT and do the other three in a normal cooler, then after the first runnings of the MLT pour the liquid and grain from the "normal cooler" (like a small picnic cooler) into the MLT. The grains and water will now fit because we already took our first runnings. Drain that ....then sparge? I may have to tripple batch or fly sparge...but it beats buying new equipment since I only do high gravity beers one or twice a year.

I really don't see any holes in that theory...

Am I wrong?
Just take 3 or 4 lbs and steep 'em in a straining bag like specialty grains when you're extract brewing. Basically, heat 1.5 quarts/lb to 152, throw the bag of grains in, let it steep for an hour while your mashing the rest in your MLT. Make sure you include that in your total volume of wort you collect. You don't even need the bag.......but it is easier. You could just put the water and grains directly in the pan......then pour it through a strainer when you're done.
 

Donner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
819
Reaction score
3
Location
Oxford, MS
Just take 3 or 4 lbs and steep 'em in a straining bag like specialty grains when you're extract brewing. Basically, heat 1.5 quarts/lb to 152, throw the bag of grains in, let it steep for an hour while your mashing the rest in your MLT. Make sure you include that in your total volume of wort you collect. You don't even need the bag.......but it is easier. You could just put the water and grains directly in the pan......then pour it through a strainer when you're done.
Playing off that idea couldn't you just have your LHBS or whomever you order from separate the grains that need to be mash (base malts, etc) from the grains that just need to be steep (crystals etc). Mash one and steep the other?

i've done something similar when i was doing a PM stout. By separating the dark malts and steeping them i was able to balance the pH better than i could through mashing them all together since i wouldn't have had enough base malt to counter the acidic nature of the roasted malts.

This way you wouldn't have to worry about losing any point if you didn't keep the steeping grains at temp long enough to convert the grains.
 
Top