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5 gallon mash tun- a bit small

I bought one of the Tallgrass all grain kits and then realized that it contains 10.88 # of grain. BS 2 tells me I need a mash capacity of 6.13 gallons. Thinking this through, can I mash with a normal 1.25 qts/ # of grain, then vorlauf a gallon, then mash out. Use the vorlauf run off as part of the sparge since I fly sparge?
Is there a better way ?


I just did 12.5 lbs at 1.25 qts/lb in my 5 gallon cooler. I had just enough room to close the lid when it was stirred in. 15 qts for the mash.

I was going to use 12 qts for the sparge, but 12 would not fit (only 8) due to the amount lost to absorption so i did two sparges: both approx 8 quarts so that i could make up for the larger amount lost to absorption. worked well.

Not sure if this info help, but there you have it.


I would think the better way would be to lower the grain:water ratio. But, I don’t see any problem with the way you want to do it.

You can do what you describe. I wonder if you need a mashout though. That beer isn’t really high body to begin with is it? I only bother with a mashout if I’m mashing for a sweet, full-bodied beer. For a pale ale I don’t bother.

I would suggest it as he is fly sparging and this will help keep his grain bed close to 168* and will let it lauter better.

Brewed the Tallgrass Halcyon today and I want to thank the responses to my original post. The OG on our hosts recipe was 1.048. Beersmith had it at 1.058. With almost 11# of grain, the 1.048 looked low to begin with. Temp /hydrometer corrected, we got 1.062 which puts it at potential 6.8% alcohol. Total efficiency ( as calculatd by BS) was 78.6%. Hope it tastes good without an alcohol burn. Way out of style for a wheat.

New offering by NB, think it may need less grain?

Thanks all


I regularly mash 11 lbs of grain with my 5 gallon tun. Usually I’ll use 3.5 gallons water, at 168*. Make sure your tun is preheated very well, as there isn’t alot of room for temp corrections. You might want to consider batch sparging. I’ll run the vorlauf, transfer the hose to the boil kettle, then strain the first runnings through some paper towels, then dump in the kettle.
I usually skip any mashout temp raises.
I’ll batch sparge with 180 to 190* water, two or three times. ( sometimes 4 )
I dont know how many rules I may be breaking, but I make pretty good beer!
I get most of my advice from reading Denny’s posts. He takes alot of the mystery out of it, and makes it as easy as possible!


Green bay rackers mash volume estimator amongst others. ... zQ&cad=rja

The grain bill was made by NB, bought the “kit” with crushed grains.

After two weeks in the fermentor, the gravity is at 1.022, from an OG of 1.062. Wyeast 1450, Denny’s favorite. I did not use a starter because the OG was “supposed” to be 1.048, had a 4 day old smack pack, pretty fresh. Obvious now that I underpitched, but not much I could do on brew day, just have to learn from this wierd experience

I’ll let in go another week and hope I get consistent gravity readings. It smells pretty good with the 1 oz of citra at flameout. Still bubbling every 15 seconds, so something is happening, just hope it is good happening


[quote=“sailfast”]… Still bubbling every 15 seconds, so something is happening, just hope it is good happening


Every 15 seconds…Yea, still very active fermentation. I don’t even consider measuring with Hydrometer until I’ve had a few day of ZERO bubble activity.

Be patient…the yeast will tell you when they’re done.


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