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mr_clean

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Ok so ive done a couple of batches of mini mash and the problem ive ran into twice now is 2-3 pounds of grain weighing the grain bag in the bottom of the pot.Ive burned a hole in my bag twice now,am i doing something wrong.Or do i need something to sit on the bottom of the pot so the bag doesnt rest on the bottom.Any help will be appreciated.Thanx,Tony.
 

Whisler85

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i dont do mini-mashes, but i'd imagine a screen of some sort, perhaps a stainless vegetable steamer (looks like a flying saucer, has feet, unfolds like a fan to keep veggies off the bottom of the pot when cooking) would do the trick
 

RICLARK

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You can try taking some slack out of it and tying the bag off to the handle of the pot. That should keep it off the bottom.
 

chainsawbrewing

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are you using an aluminum pot or stainless? and are you talking about steeping grains in the wort boil, or actually mashing a small amount of crushed grains and converting the starches into sugars, and then vorlaufing, draining, sparging, and boiling, and then adding dme or lme to make up the extra gravity points?

i would assume by you saying you're burning holes in your grain bag, that you are simply doing an extract kit with some steeping grains.
 

Whisler85

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also, try just heating your mash water separately from the container you are doing the mash in

cover your mini-mash-tun with a towel or something to keep the heat in- theres no need to apply constant heat during a mash, especially when you can decoct or just add hot water to do steps
 

david_42

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Use a heat diffuser under the pot.


I use one (handle cut off) with my turkey burner to prevent scorching caused by the center support getting too hot.
 
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mr_clean

mr_clean

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are you using an aluminum pot or stainless? and are you talking about steeping grains in the wort boil, or actually mashing a small amount of crushed grains and converting the starches into sugars, and then vorlaufing, draining, sparging, and boiling, and then adding dme or lme to make up the extra gravity points?

i would assume by you saying you're burning holes in your grain bag, that you are simply doing an extract kit with some steeping grains.
Stainless,and im mashing.Heating the bag 45 min then sparging.The prob is if i take it off the burner with the lid on the temps rise to 170 degrees.So i leave it on low with the lid off and the hot spot in the middle of the pot burns the bag
 
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mr_clean

mr_clean

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Use a heat diffuser under the pot.


I use one (handle cut off) with my turkey burner to prevent scorching caused by the center support getting too hot.
You know where i could get that or something similar?
 

Bobby_M

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Nylon bags are not meant to be exposed to temps greater than boiling. You ought to be more concerned about denaturing your enzymes at the bottom of the mash. You either need to insulate the pot for the mash and don't apply heat or ditch the bag and stir like nuts while you heat. You'd be thrilled with how simple it is to use an insulated cooler as a mashtun.
 

Jewrican

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You can try taking some slack out of it and tying the bag off to the handle of the pot. That should keep it off the bottom.
That is what i do. I use a 5 gallon paint strainer and just tie it to the handle..> No issues.
 

chainsawbrewing

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Nylon bags are not meant to be exposed to temps greater than boiling. You ought to be more concerned about denaturing your enzymes at the bottom of the mash. You either need to insulate the pot for the mash and don't apply heat or ditch the bag and stir like nuts while you heat. You'd be thrilled with how simple it is to use an insulated cooler as a mashtun.

yeah, what he said. i've never done a "mini mash" but i've done tons of all grain brewing, and it would seem that having your grains in a grain bag, and direct heating them like that, and simply pulling the grain bag out, would have to be about the most inneficient way of mashing that could ever be done, short of simply running your grain bag through a warm room, and hoping some extraction happened.

why not just get a cheap $10 cooler and skip the bag, and set upa cheap stainless braid set up like the imfamous flyguy set up in the DIY section, and do an actual mash the way it's intended to be done? you'll have way better efficiency, and way less problems, and use way less propane since you're not direct firing.
 
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mr_clean

mr_clean

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You can try taking some slack out of it and tying the bag off to the handle of the pot. That should keep it off the bottom.
The problem is i use a 7 gallon pot with 3 gallons of water so if i do that all the grains arent submerged.The guy at the shop said you should only use 3 gals of water max when steeping or mashing cause any more would cause leech tanin.Is this true?
 

bull8042

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.....The guy at the shop said you should only use 3 gals of water max when steeping or mashing cause any more would cause leech tanin.Is this true?
HAHAHA!!!! NO! You mash with 1 to 1.5 qts of water per pound of grain. My last batch used 10 gal of water just for the mash, for example. If what he said were true, then we would all be suffering from tannin extraction.
Tannins become a problem when the water temp goes above 170°F. It has nothing to do with the quantity of water.
 

missing link

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I grabbed $.99 clamp from the local hardware store and I just clamp the bag knot to the side of the pot in a spot where I know the bag can't get to the bottom. Also stops the whole bag from disappearing into the hot water.

Linc
 
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mr_clean

mr_clean

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I grabbed $.99 clamp from the local hardware store and I just clamp the bag knot to the side of the pot in a spot where I know the bag can't get to the bottom. Also stops the whole bag from disappearing into the hot water.

Linc
all the grains dont get soaked when i try that,maybe more water perhaps
 

conpewter

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You may want to look about just getting a small cooler to put the grains and water in for the mini-mash, then pour through a grain bag when you go to the boil kettle, this way you don't need to worry about direct firing your mash and the complications that come with it.
 

craigd

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I use this for my mini-mashes. Works quite well but I'd build one with a SS hose braid if I did it again.

To answer your initial question though - yes you should put something on the bottom if you need to direct heat during the mash. A steamer grate or colander with feet works. Best bet is to not direct heat though.
 

BearsWickedBrew

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You may want to look about just getting a small cooler to put the grains and water in for the mini-mash, then pour through a grain bag when you go to the boil kettle, this way you don't need to worry about direct firing your mash and the complications that come with it.
I'm not trying to hijack this thread BUT... I have a thread going "Braid, Manifold, or False Bottom". It started out w/ plans of doing mini mash in a converted cooler....and the end recommendation is pretty much...don't. Do PM on your stove instead. 1 Thread away...(this thread)..we have the opposite.....don't do it on your stove...you're better off w/ a small cooler.

Assuming I ...and the OP...decided to go mini mash w/ a cooler...how do you sparge your grains without doing it on the fly...and without having a hot liquor tank....I just plan on boiling the appropriate amount of water on my stove...but aside from just dumping it in the cooler...I wouldn't know what to do.
 

conpewter

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I do AG but you can batch sparge with a partial mash just as easily as a full AG brew. Just drain your first runnings and pour in 180* water , stir it around and drain your next, do once more and your grains are pretty well rinsed. You can worry about vorlaufing if you like, but you probably don't need to.

The reason I was suggesting using a small cooler is because the OP is melting the bag. You could also just heat the water up to the proper temp and then put the bag in, stick the whole thing in the oven (set as low as you can), that way you don't loose heat, then just sparge as you normally would, some use a strainer, put the grain bag in it and pour some hot water over it and into the boil pot.
 

Bobby_M

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Assuming I ...and the OP...decided to go mini mash w/ a cooler...how do you sparge your grains without doing it on the fly...and without having a hot liquor tank....I just plan on boiling the appropriate amount of water on my stove...but aside from just dumping it in the cooler...I wouldn't know what to do.
Easy. Mash in the cooler, drain into a bucket. Dump in your sparge water that you just heated in your pot, stir, drain THAT into your kettle, pour the first runnings from the bucket to the kettle. Boil.
 

ifishsum

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You may want to look about just getting a small cooler to put the grains and water in for the mini-mash, then pour through a grain bag when you go to the boil kettle, this way you don't need to worry about direct firing your mash and the complications that come with it.
+1 to this, for under $10 I bought a 2 gallon drink cooler and do the mash in that (in a grain bag). If preheated with hot water before use it will hold the proper temperature for the 45-60 minute mash. To sparge, I just heat the appropriate amount of water in the boil kettle to 175 and then transfer the grain bag from the cooler into that for 5 minutes or so. Pour back in the runnings from the mash and start the boil.

The cooler will pay for itself with the first saved grain bag or two, plus you don't have to futz around trying to keep the temperature maintained. Once you figure out your correct strike water temperature (mine's in the 166-168 range depending on amount of grain), it's easy to hit your mash temp every time.
 

ArcaneXor

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Easy. Mash in the cooler, drain into a bucket. Dump in your sparge water that you just heated in your pot, stir, drain THAT into your kettle, pour the first runnings from the bucket to the kettle. Boil.
I do it that way, and it works great. No cooler modification necessary, just a grain bag and a stirring spoon to unblock the interior spigot opening. Temperature loss is less than 2 degrees during a 45 minute mash.
 
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mr_clean

mr_clean

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great thanx for the replys guys,this gives me a couple of ideas.
 
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