- Jan 3, 2005
- Reaction score
- Clebland, OH
ok tell me what you guys who do the all grain think of this... this article and set up really fascinates me, mainly cause i don't have to spring for a cooler and piss around with transfering volumes of water at specific temps....i kinda like the one pot approach, but am concerned about yields... anyhoo, i like a spigot on my brew kettle anyway, so may modify just to use as a boiling pot....
We will begin the discussion, by describing the screening device and spigot that is installed in the brew kettle. The first one I made was made from galvanized pipe fittings and window screen, installed in a 32 qt enameled canning kettle.
The current version is all brass, copper and stainless installed on two stainless kettles, a ten gallon for mashing and fermenting and a sixteen gallon for boiling. Having two kettles allows one to be prepared for the next operation while the other is doing its thing.
Fig. 1 shows an exploded view of the spigot and strainer. The strainer is simply a 2 x 6 inch piece of screen, rolled into a six inch tube and clamped to the copper tube. The last half inch is bent over itself to seal it off. The copper tube has a slight bend in it to allow it to be rotated so that the end is right on the bottom leaving almost no wort behind. It is easily removed for cleaning.
The spigot passes through a clearance hole drilled in the kettle and is retained by the female connector and a washer to take up the treads and make a tight fit.
All the parts are available at a good hardware store. For those not inclined to hunt down the parts, a complete kit is available from the author.
Once the spigot/strainer device is installed in the brew kettle, you are ready for the plunge. If you are shopping for a kettle, my only advice is the bigger the better. I consider the 32 qt canner about the minimum for a 5 gal batch.
The following procedure is intended only as a starting point that I know works well enough to assure a successful, first, all-grain experience. I do not want to get into endless discussions about the pros and cons of the procedure at this time nor do I even claim that I brew beer this way. There are an infinite number of variations that could be fodder for future articles but the object of this one is to introduce the approach and brew a simple batch of all grain beer.
The first step is to dump 8 lbs of crushed pale malt into the kettle. Don't forget the screen! Add 3 gallons of warm tap water and mix thoroughly.
Apply heat and raise temp to 155F. Stir frequently to avoid caramelizing and to distribute the heat. Hold this temp for 30 minutes by adding heat and stirring as necessary.
After 30 mins at 155F, crank up the heat and continue stirring until 178F is reached. This step is known as "mashout" and is difficult or impossible to do with the plastic bucket approach. It is my opinion that it eliminates one source of a common problem with first all grain batches known as a "set mash.
Hold this temp for 10 minsutes, then turn off the heat and let it rest while heating water to a boil on another burner. Use a pan that holds at least two quarts of water.
The level of wort in the kettle should be about an inch above the grain when it settles. Lay a small bowl on top of the grain to distribute the sparging water and minimize the disturbance of the grain.
Open the spigot just a trickle and run the wort into a cup until it runs clear. Pour the turbid runoff back into the kettle. With this setup, it will run clear after a few ounces. Again, as comparison, it sometimes takes gallons with the other system and this must be recycled back into the mash till it does run clear.
The object of sparging is to extract as much sugar from the grain as possible. The longer it takes, the more efficient the extraction. Adjust the outflow so that it takes at lest 10 mins to fill a gallon jug. Pour the boiling water into the bowl as available or necessary to keep about an inch of water over the grain. The availability of boiling water will probably be the limiting factor on sparge rate.
Most brewers will tell you that the sparge water should not exceed 170F but if you use boiling water in this system, the average temp will be far below 170F and you will be lucky to keep it above 150F. You can fiddle on your next batch. Trust my on the first.
The first runoff should be about 1.080 and you quit when it gets below 1.010. The total blend will produce 6 to 7 gallons at about 1.035 which, after boiling will yield 5 to 6 gals at 1.040. Collect the wort in gallon jugs or five gallon plastic buckets (can't get away from them).