My big sack

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Calvinfan1

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I've completed two partial mashes so far, but haven't had a chance to taste the finished product yet. Rather than adding the grains directly to the water and having to strain them later I use a giant mesh steeping sack and sparge by placing the sack on top of a collander and pouring the sparge water over it. Does anyone see a problem with this process? Everything looks good and the process is easy, I just want to be sure I'm not doing this wrong before I continue to more PM batches.
 

Yooper

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No, that is fine as long as the sack is big enough to allow the grains to be loose in there. You want them totally wetted in the middle, and stirred well.
 

wilserbrewer

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Your method most likely will work well...just can't be sure how "efficient" it might be and how well you are are actually sparging or washing the sugars from the grain.
 

Blender

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wilserbrewer said:
Your method most likely will work well...just can't be sure how "efficient" it might be and how well you are are actually sparging or washing the sugars from the grain.
I would agree. You would be better off using a small cooler and a stainless steel braid and mashing them.
 

Madtown Brew

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I've found that the best way to "sparge" a grain sack is to have two pots of water. Mash in one first, then just move the bag over to the second pot of water (preheated to correct temp). Wait 5 - 10 min for the remaining sugars to dissolve then remove the grain bag and combine the two worts.

I guess you could call it bag batch sparging.
 
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Calvinfan1

Calvinfan1

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I like the idea of the two pots since I have an extra one handy with the sparge water already in it.
 

Donasay

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I don't like handling large hot sacks, once they start to get really big it gets a little dangerous to shift those things around.
 

farmbrewernw

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I believe there are those on this forum that do entire AG batches with bags so I think your method will work just fine.
 

DeathBrewer

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i do all-grain, but i prefer PM in my kitchen and i'm trying to make it as simple and efficient as possible.

i used to do the colander thing all the time with pretty good results...65-70% eff, usually. but sometimes i just had too many grains and doing it by myself was a pain because the colander i use wouldn't balance on the pot for the sparge.

i recently tried a new method that worked very well and is quick to boot!

i used the bag in a small stockpot and while that was mashing, i heated my other 3 gallons of water to about 170F in my boiling stockpot.

when my mash was finished, i simply teabagged the grains in the other water, then added the wort and started my boil.

i got 70% efficiency with this method and was able to use far more grain than with the colander, plus it wasn't as messy and easy to do by myself.

i'm going to try again in a couple of weeks with a smaller beer, using as little extract as possible.

hooray for bags when it comes to PM brewing!
 
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