Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Partial boil with all grain

Thinkin of trying all grain the thing is im confined to stove top and dont have clearance for anything bigger then the 5.5 gallon pot I have. I have a 5 gallon mash tun with screen used for partial mash. If i brewed beers with around ten pounds of grain at 1.25q water and batch sparged, is there any reason why i couldnt boil 3-4 gallons then top off like with extract… I know my hop utilization would suffer but in time i figure i could just tweek the hops to get it right

Nope, you can do that. I did it that way when I started AG. Just keep in mind that your efficiency will suffer some since you can’t use as much water.

I suppose you could, but you’d have to gear the recipe to account for dilution.
Like you’ve mentioned, hop utilization will suffer with the higher gravity small volume boil.

You could always shoot for higher gravity 3 gallon batches

Would expecting to get at least 70% efficiency with this method be reasonable? Ill be batch sparging and have a five gallon cooler with screen set up similar to whats on your page

Would expecting to get at least 70% efficiency with this method be reasonable? Ill be batch sparging and have a five gallon cooler with screen set up similar to whats on your page[/quote]

IIRC, I got more like 55-65% with a 5 gal. boil. It boiled down to a little under 4 and I topped up from there.

Have you considered doing 3 or 4 gallon batches instead of 5? That is another way to go.

The drawback to what you are suggesting, is that you are collecting a relatively small amount of wort. This is going to make your efficiency quite low as Denny has said.

Or split the boil. Before I got my propane burner I did full boil AG on the stove top. I would have 7 gallons pre-boil split up into two of my wife’s 20qt canning pots. Back then I didn’t have a wort chiller either, and having it split into two pots would help speed up the ice bath.

I have done this for years. I’d get 70% (or slightly higher) efficiency with an 18 qt boil, provided I use a max of 9lbs of grain. This gets me to about 1.046-1.048 and I augment the rest of the gravity points with DME and/or sugar depending on recipe. It took me a while to really dial it in, but it can be done. The trick is maxing out your mash so that it gives you exactly how much wort you can boil, without overdoing it and having extra wort out of the mash.

If you’re using a 5 gallon mash tun I can give you specific quantities that have worked for me.

[quote=“Wahoo”]I have done this for years. I’d get 70% (or slightly higher) efficiency with an 18 qt boil, provided I use a max of 9lbs of grain. This gets me to about 1.046-1.048 and I augment the rest of the gravity points with DME and/or sugar depending on recipe. It took me a while to really dial it in, but it can be done. The trick is maxing out your mash so that it gives you exactly how much wort you can boil, without overdoing it and having extra wort out of the mash.

If you’re using a 5 gallon mash tun I can give you specific quantities that have worked for me.[/quote]

Yeah man, im using a 5 gallon mash tun, i’d be interested to know what worked for you. Im running beer smith but im not sure how accurate its volume calculation are.

What ive came up with before posting is with ten pound of grain at 1.25 Q /# i can mash in with with ~3 gallons and yeild ~2 gallons from the mash then batch sparge another 1-2 gallons to get a boil volume of 3-4 gallons. Being that i only have a 5.5 gallon pot and it takes me at least an hour to get 3 gallons to boil i wouldnt want to try anymore than a 4 gallon boil.

If you use 10# of grain and only a 16 qt (4gal) boil, you won’t get the 70%+ that I do. The problem with larger grain bills (and 10# is pushing it, but I’ve done it) especially with smaller volumes is that at some point, you will need to mash with so much water that your sparge will be extremely small, and your efficiency will take a big hit.

I should note that I am batch sparging, Denny-style.
I typically use 9# of grain in my 5 gallon cooler. I mash with ~11 qts of H20 . Oftentimes when the mash ends, I’ll add 2-4 qts of boiling H20 to help with runoff (not a true mashout because the temp does not get high enough to stop enzymatic reactions).

While the mash is going on I heat about 10 qts of water to 180.

Vorlauf and drain the mashtun. Measure how much wort you’ve collected. Looking in my records, I collect anywhere between 8 and 12 quarts (the higher numbers reflect times where I’ve infused more H20 to stabilize temp or ramp up the temp in a multi-step mash). Put the first wort on the stove This will help with your boil time-- you can start boiling the first wort while your batch sparge is happening. Measure and record volume and SG of the first wort.

Subtract your first wort volume from your target boil volume. (eg 18 qt boil, I’ve collected 9 qts, I’ll need to sparge with 9 more). Add this much hot water to your mashtun. Stir very well and let sit a few minutes. Vorlauf and drain the mashtun. Measure and record the volume and SG of your total boil. I’ll get approx 18 qts of wort pre-boil anywhere from 12.5 to 14.5 P depending on my actual volume. This will translate into a 1.044-1.048 beer when I dilute it to 5.25 gallons in the fermenter.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com