Author Topic: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches  (Read 9141 times)

Offline sparkleberry

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2012, 02:42:03 PM »
I've been doing 3 gallon biab batches exclusively since I went all grain. I love it. I'm brewing more and the process is super easy. and a cooler is one less piece of equipment to store. have been hitting about 71% efficiency. I just picked up a grain mill and hope to improve that a bit. I really want to batch sparge larger batches but am limited by space as well as time as I work full time on a tv show(12-15 hour days/5 days a week). just wanted to share my reason for doing biab on the smaller scale. either way I know you will enjoy all grain brewing!

cheers.

ryan
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 03:01:54 PM by sparkleberry »
cheers.

rpl
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Offline euge

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2012, 04:36:22 PM »
Don't worry you can get the same braids at Lowes. And get the shortest cheapest braid since length doesn't matter in this case.


The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tubercle

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2012, 05:35:24 PM »
Five gallons worth of bottled beer takes up a lot of space, which I don't have.

If you room for 24 bottles you have room for 48....Just stack them.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2012, 06:16:45 PM »
i have been doing 2g batches and it is easy. made an electric kettle.  i switched to a round igloo because i happened to have a few.  have not moved my braid over but have just been throwing my grain in the bag in the cooler.  kind of a mash in a bag system. then boil electric.
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Offline bboy9000

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2012, 07:33:05 PM »
Don't worry you can get the same braids at Lowes. And get the shortest cheapest braid since length doesn't matter in this case.

Why doesn't the length matter.  I assumed aonger supply line would pic up more liquid and coud be distributed evenly along the bottom of the mash tun.
Brian
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Offline euge

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2012, 04:44:55 AM »
Don't worry you can get the same braids at Lowes. And get the shortest cheapest braid since length doesn't matter in this case.

Why doesn't the length matter.  I assumed aonger supply line would pic up more liquid and coud be distributed evenly along the bottom of the mash tun.

The majority of the wort enters the braid at the end closest to the bulkhead.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline kgs

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2012, 06:42:22 AM »
Here's my 3-gallon setup: 5-gallon Home Depot cooler (Lowes' cooler is identical and mine was on sale for $12 the day I bought it); home-made strainer from plumbing supply line (I can't drink beer made from anything called "toilet" ;) ); ball valve; 5-gallon kettle. Cool in the sink with ice -- I can easily get to 65 by emptying our icemaker and using one bag of ice, plus as euge and others have encouraged, stirring/whirlpooling. 

You could try BIAB and see if it worked for you before springing for the equipment... but using a mash tun helps me avoid one more awkward-lifting scenario. Even 6 to 9 pounds of grain, sopping wet, is a lot to deal with, especially indoors.

I did my setup myself, with various instructions, originally for a 2-gallon cooler (shown here http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgs/sets/72157615665837325/  ), but as I expand and upgrade I have been very satisfied with the parts from bargainfittings.com . I put a SS valve on my larger kettle for those very rare days when I can brew outside, plus some additional parts for other equipment, and I'm going to go back to them for another SS ball valve because I'm uneasy about the brass ball valve on my cooler. Though you don't need a ball valve (per Denny's instructions).

I've contemplated going up to a 9-gallon rectangular cooler. The main reason I'm considering that is to reduce or eliminate sparging on some types of beer.

On 3 vs 5, I've read *somewhere* (don't trust me on this) that doing full boils is better than partial boils+topping off. Also, when you're cramped for space, 48 bottles is a lot. When you're a new AG brewer and your process isn't dialed in, 48 bottles of not-so-great beer is also a lot to drink through or give away. However, when you have a great 3-gallon batch you'll be sad it's so small and you'll be reluctant to send three bottles to a competition.  Such is life.  :o
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Offline denny

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2012, 08:21:23 AM »
Don't worry you can get the same braids at Lowes. And get the shortest cheapest braid since length doesn't matter in this case.

Why doesn't the length matter.  I assumed aonger supply line would pic up more liquid and coud be distributed evenly along the bottom of the mash tun.

The majority of the wort enters the braid at the end closest to the bulkhead.

Yep.  The braid is porous, right?  It's not like wort enters at one end and flows down it.
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2012, 08:37:02 AM »
that is amazing info, thanks for the link!  There is a home depot towards St Louis, and I need to go there soon, I may just get the stuff I need there.  Also, I need to visit the homebrew store which is in St Louis (and the Schlafly taproom too, lol). 

Another thing is that I just ordered beersmith II, so I will have precise calculations available before I start.  I still have one batch of partial mash/extract in the fermenter, and one left to brew, so it should be around 4 weeks or so and I'll be brewing my first all grain batch!

I have planned a smash with MO and ??* hops, a pale ale, an IPA, and an amber as my first few batches.  Exact recipes still to be determined (based partly on what's available at the LHBS). 

And I need another thing of starsan, lol.  Can't believe I've used over half of that bad boy already!  And some more PBW

When the time comes I will blog every detail and link it back to this thread

thanks to everyone for the great responses!

*I have willamette, chinook, columbus, NB and cascade pellets in the freezer, enough for probably 9-10 batches at 3 gallons each

Offline euge

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2012, 09:47:19 AM »
If you make the starsan solution with distilled or RO water it will last months. I make mine a half gallon at a time and it lasts re-using for months. I still use some in a spray bottle filled at least 3 years ago. Clear as the day it was mixed.

If the solution starts to look a bit murky then toss it out.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline kgs

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2012, 11:59:10 AM »
If you make the starsan solution with distilled or RO water it will last months. I make mine a half gallon at a time and it lasts re-using for months. I still use some in a spray bottle filled at least 3 years ago. Clear as the day it was mixed.

If the solution starts to look a bit murky then toss it out.

What euge said -- you want contact with StarSan, and properly mixed it will last a long time. When I first started out I would fill an entire carboy. Now I slosh in a little StarSan, shake well, and drain.

Since you're probably scaling down existing recipes, Beersmith (or any brewing software) will be your friend. You can use the "scale" feature, but I prefer to enter bigger recipes, and build the smaller versions based on percentages.
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2012, 02:07:57 PM »
If you make the starsan solution with distilled or RO water it will last months. I make mine a half gallon at a time and it lasts re-using for months. I still use some in a spray bottle filled at least 3 years ago. Clear as the day it was mixed.

If the solution starts to look a bit murky then toss it out.

What euge said -- you want contact with StarSan, and properly mixed it will last a long time. When I first started out I would fill an entire carboy. Now I slosh in a little StarSan, shake well, and drain.

Since you're probably scaling down existing recipes, Beersmith (or any brewing software) will be your friend. You can use the "scale" feature, but I prefer to enter bigger recipes, and build the smaller versions based on percentages.

Yeah in a year I've used up almost $10 worth of starsan, lol.  I don't use distilled or RO water so I can't really save it, and truthfully I don't mind just mixing it up when I need it.  When I sanitize a bucket or carboy I don't fill it completely though, I put in perhaps 1/2 gallon's worth and slosh it every now and then for a while, leaving it covered, until it's ready for use. 

Beersmith II is on the way from amazon. :D

Offline ukolowiczd

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2012, 04:41:17 PM »
I love that DIY mash tun. My mash tun (although 15 gallons) uses the John Guest Brand fittings. They're these plastic snap on tubes, valves, etc. They're great. You can buy them anywhere but I just bought an already made mash tun from Homebrewstuff.com. I absolutely love it. No stuck mash and so easy to clean.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/homebrewstuff/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/2/a20792b12851aa9b6bd606_m.jpg

Offline kgs

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2012, 06:48:27 PM »
I love that DIY mash tun. My mash tun (although 15 gallons) uses the John Guest Brand fittings. They're these plastic snap on tubes, valves, etc. They're great. You can buy them anywhere but I just bought an already made mash tun from Homebrewstuff.com. I absolutely love it. No stuck mash and so easy to clean.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/homebrewstuff/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/2/a20792b12851aa9b6bd606_m.jpg

Dang, you did what I wanted to do -- a tee fitting to make a nice loop. I know it's not necessary (I can hear Denny now...) but it's sleek and good-looking. Nice.
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Offline denny

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Re: Considerations for 3-gallon all grain batches
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2012, 08:11:47 AM »
I love that DIY mash tun. My mash tun (although 15 gallons) uses the John Guest Brand fittings. They're these plastic snap on tubes, valves, etc. They're great. You can buy them anywhere but I just bought an already made mash tun from Homebrewstuff.com. I absolutely love it. No stuck mash and so easy to clean.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/homebrewstuff/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/2/a20792b12851aa9b6bd606_m.jpg

Dang, you did what I wanted to do -- a tee fitting to make a nice loop. I know it's not necessary (I can hear Denny now...) but it's sleek and good-looking. Nice.

Well, if looks are more important than function, be my guest!  ;)  Many people who have started with loops have reported how it gets caught up when they're stirring.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe