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AleToberFest All Grain-Will this recipe work?

Hello fellow Brew-Duderinos,

First, sorry for the long post, but I would love some feedback/thoughts on this. I want to brew an Oktoberfest, but as an ale (I know, I know, purists out there…whatever, I can’t lager yet!). I really want to do this as an all-grain…in fact, it would be my first attempt at all grain. I"ve done a couple of partial mashes. One thing I’ve realized is that my stovetop, like many others out there, is weak at vigorous boiling. Unfortunately, outdoor brewing is not an option right now. I’ve thought about building a heat stick, but not quite prepared for that yet. Obviously, the boil is a little more critical in all grain. The max I could do right now is 4 gallons in the 5 gallon pot I’ve been using for extract, and even that is a pretty weak boil.

Now, I want 5.5 gallons going into the fermenter. I’ve read posts on other forums about mashing a higher wort, and then diluting with water to hit target OG before pitching.

Here’s what I came up with:
I want 280 gravity points for the 5.5 gal. To do this, mash to get 4 gallons of 1.070 wort, pre-boil. Boil that down to about 3 gallons, which will put it at about 1.093. Dilute with 2.5 gallons of water. BeerSmith’s dilution tool says that it will put me right about 1.051.

I’m thinking of using Pilsener, Vienna and Munich, at about 33% each of the grain bill. It works out to a little over 10 lbs of grain. I have a 10 gallon cooler converted mash tun.

Now, 1.5 quarts of water per pound would be about 3.75 gallons. That’s NOT including sparge water correct? So, I probably would have to forgo a sparge to get only 4 gallons in the kettle? That would basically destroy any efficiency I imagine. Is there a way to compensate? Up the grain bill a crapload?

Damn I wish I could just do a full boil outside.


One stovetop option is to use multiple (2-3-4) pots to boil your full volume of wort, seperately.
That would allow you to use the suggested/calculated amount of sparge water.
And/or you could mash stiffer, for whatever reason I mash at 1.25 Qt/#, it’s what I did when I started mashing, so I blindly stick to it. It’s nowhere near thick, anyways. I would bet that .75 Qt/# would be pretty doughy, but 1 Qt/# would be smooth sailing. That would free up some liquid for a sparge.

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