1st all grain tomorrow and my mash tun is not big enough?

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Russ

1st all grain tomorrow and my mash tun is not big enough?

Post by Russ » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:35 am

Hi some advice please.

Going to make my first all grain tomorrow [-o< so keeping to a nice simple recipe - Styrian stunner. I've been doing extracts and made this several times, so boil etc is no problem-just got to crack the black art of mashing and spaging :)

I've decided to go for batch sparging and i'm using Daab's batch sparge calculator. I want to make a 6 gallon brew but my Mash tun only holds a max volume of 28 litres. I'll need 5.5kg of grain (which I reckon will occupy 11 litres by volume) and 13.75 litres of water for the mash. After mashing I need to top up with 8.95 litres of water-hence the problem -it wont fit, I will only be able to get 3.25 litres in in for the top up :shock:

I could make my life easier and just do 5 gallons but I'd rather stick with a 6 gallon brew. Is it OK to add more water (the remaining 5.7 litres) as the level drops on the first run off? or what are the other options?

Cheers

Russ

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Re: 1st all grain tomorrow and my mash tun is not big enough?

Post by Aleman » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:55 am

Do three batch sparges instead of two?

I've a similar problem I'm mashing 15Kg of grain tomorrow and at 2.5L/Kg I will need 49.5L of space in my mash tun . . . which is a converted 50L keg :shock: . . . Luckily I am going to fly sparge

prodigal2

Re: 1st all grain tomorrow and my mash tun is not big enough?

Post by prodigal2 » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:58 am

The grain will absorb about 1L per 1kg.
The other option is to do what Jim, JP, and myself do. Which is mash in your coolbox, and then use a FV with a tap on and with a grain bag fitted to sparge in, and this will give you the headroom you require. if you look at the AG techniques at the top right of the page.

Failing that brewing a 5gal batch would do the trick too.

out of interest what will be the size of your FV?

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Re: 1st all grain tomorrow and my mash tun is not big enough?

Post by simple one » Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:06 pm

Hmmm.... I think you don't fully understand the techniques. The mash is never (in my experience) done with the full volume of liquor. In fact as a really rough guideline about a half is used. If you use a third of the volume of liquor each batch this should work out fine!

The wort is run off each batch, and the sparging liquor is then added.... It might be that I am mis-understanding what your wanting to do but I think the best thing to do is probably re read some of the more comprehensive instruction found on this website. Preperation is the key! (my first three attempts of all grain all went tits up)
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Re: 1st all grain tomorrow and my mash tun is not big enough?

Post by edit1now » Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:06 pm

OK, I do fly sparging, so I don't know what I'm talking about, but...

Don't get too worried about what volume you put in when.

You want to achieve a pre-boil volume which will give you a 6-gallon brew. Do you have an estimate of how much you'll lose during the boil? You need 6 plus x gallons pre-boil.

My suggestion would be to do the initial mash-in with the volume which will fit in the mash tun, run it off at the end of the mash period, fill up again, give it a stir, let it settle, and measure the gravity as it runs off. See how much you've collected in total at this point, so if you've now got say 4 1/2 gallons, you want another 1 1/2 gallons plus the x, as long as it doesn't get too thin.

Fill it up again, give it a stir, let it settle, and measure the gravity as it runs off again. Most of the batch sparging stuff I've read on here says you normally do two or three refills. As long as the wort doesn't go below 2 ÌŠ Brix or 1008 you'll be fine. If you wind up with too much wort then you can shove some in the freezer to make starters with.

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Re: 1st all grain tomorrow and my mash tun is not big enough?

Post by Andy » Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:16 pm

Russ wrote:I'll need 5.5kg of grain (which I reckon will occupy 11 litres by volume)
You sure about that ? Beersmith reckons 5.5kg of grain will use 3.6 L of volume. Crushed grain has air in it's volume, when you put it in a mash and stir, the air is released and the grain takes up less volume.
Dan!

Russ

Re: 1st all grain tomorrow and my mash tun is not big enough?

Post by Russ » Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:04 pm

Ah, thanks Andy, I didn't think about the air space #-o

I just took 1 kg of grain an stuck it in a jug and it measured 2 litres (ish)

so it would seem I'll be fine for mash tun volume :)

I've read and re read DaaBs guide to batch sparging and I think I'm happy- will see tomorrow, I'll go for a 6 gallon brew and see how I get on....If I cant get it all done in 2 batches I'll do 3.

prodigal2, I ferment in a 33 litre bucket, I just get away with it, if I use a blow off tube, but its tight......I use king kegs to condition which happily hold 6 gallons, so I think I may as well make 6 as 5, that way I have a gallon for tasters and 5 to drink when it's matured properly :D

Thanks for the advice
Last edited by Russ on Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

prodigal2

Re: 1st all grain tomorrow and my mash tun is not big enough?

Post by prodigal2 » Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:22 pm

Andy, you are so correct :roll: , because of my batch sizes its not something I ever give a thought to. #-o

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