Author Topic: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun  (Read 1956 times)

Offline Downtown Joe Brown

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first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« on: December 27, 2014, 04:57:14 PM »
Hey yall...

I'm about to embark on my second homebrew, this time going all grain. I bought everything I need for a 5 gallon mash tun that I'll be assembling over the weekend. I just have some questions about what batch size this will yield, specifically:

  • how much water to I start with in the mash tun (to account for the volume of grain, as well as space on top?
  • how much wort will this yield in the end?
  • after a 60 minute boil, how much should I expect to have after that?
  • would a 5 gallon glass carboy leave too much headspace in fermenting this batch?

This might be on of those pain in the ass multi-part questions, so the overarching question is: whats the ideal batch size I should target if I'm starting with a 5 gallon mash tun.

Thanks for your insight and patience..

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 05:05:23 PM »
Hey yall...

I'm about to embark on my second homebrew, this time going all grain. I bought everything I need for a 5 gallon mash tun that I'll be assembling over the weekend. I just have some questions about what batch size this will yield, specifically:

  • how much water to I start with in the mash tun (to account for the volume of grain, as well as space on top?
  • how much wort will this yield in the end?
  • after a 60 minute boil, how much should I expect to have after that?
  • would a 5 gallon glass carboy leave too much headspace in fermenting this batch?

This might be on of those pain in the ass multi-part questions, so the overarching question is: whats the ideal batch size I should target if I'm starting with a 5 gallon mash tun.

Thanks for your insight and patience..

www.dennybrew.com answers the first 2 questions in an easy to understand way. Get to know this site thoroughly, it'll get you there. As for how much you'll be left with after a 60 minute boil, that's specific to the evaporation rate of your pot. Add a measured amount of water to your pot and measure how much water is left after you boil for 60 minutes. I boil off 1.2 gallons/ hour in my pot. Each pot is different due to the geometry of the pot.  And no, a 5 gallon carboy does not have ENOUGH headspace. You need a 6.5 gallon carboy to contain the fermentation krausen of most 5 gallon beers.
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Offline Downtown Joe Brown

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Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2014, 05:11:48 PM »
Thanks man, I actually saved the dennybrew link earlier his week after seeing it mentioned a few times, I'll check it out.

And no, a 5 gallon carboy does not have ENOUGH headspace. You need a 6.5 gallon carboy to contain the fermentation krausen of most 5 gallon beers.

Right....but I'm assuming that if I'm starting with a 5 gallon mash tun, I'm not actually fermenting a 5 gallon batch in the end, and that it will be substantially less?

Offline majorvices

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Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2014, 05:16:03 PM »
Thanks man, I actually saved the dennybrew link earlier his week after seeing it mentioned a few times, I'll check it out.

And no, a 5 gallon carboy does not have ENOUGH headspace. You need a 6.5 gallon carboy to contain the fermentation krausen of most 5 gallon beers.

Right....but I'm assuming that if I'm starting with a 5 gallon mash tun, I'm not actually fermenting a 5 gallon batch in the end, and that it will be substantially less?

Depends on your starting gravity but I used a 5 gallon bucket for a MT the first several years and could make just about any 5 gallon recipe out of it. You are going to be sparging either batch or fly so your water volume in the beginning won't be more than a couple gallons usually.

I usually target 1.25 quarts per pound of grain. I might add a little cold or boiling water to make final temp adjustments.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2014, 05:18:51 PM »
Same here. I started with the 5 gallon bucket 'Zapap' thing and it worked.  This link has a calculator to tell you whether your MT will hold the grain and water (based on qts/lb ratio and grain weight). Scroll down to 'Can I Mash It?'

http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml


EDIT -  Per the calculator, you can mash 12 lbs of grain @ 1.25 qts/lb and take up 4.71 gallons of space. That'd make roughly a 1.060 beer. It'll work fine for 5 gallons as long as you don't try to make a much bigger beer.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 05:33:38 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2014, 05:26:14 PM »
I started out with a 10-gal mash tun, and that works great for almost any 5-gallon batch.  You're pushing it on big beers though.

When I scaled back to 3-gal batches, I built a 5-gal mash tun.  The 5-gal tun has worked great for 3-gal batches, even an Imperial Stout (although again, it was pushing it). 

If I were you, I'd consider doing 3-gal batches and fermenting in a 5-gal carboy.  Incidentally, all of the recipes in Brewing Classic Styles are actually formulated for 6 gallons, so it's pretty easy to cut one of those in half. 

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2014, 05:31:53 PM »
There's not a single volume of water you want to use on every batch of beer. The grain volume is going to play a role in how much water you need. Generally you want between 1.25-1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain but some go as high as 2 qt/lb. You will also have your sparge water adding to the volume of wort collected from the grain. You will also have to account for the water the grain will absorb and not give back, which is approximately 0.15 gallons per pound of grain.

So total water volume will be: desired pre-boil wort volume + grain absorption + dead space in your system (places where wort gets stuck and doesn't make it into your kettle)

And you will divide the total water volume with 1.25-1.5 qt/lb to the mash and the rest to sparge water.

The general rule of thumb is that you want to collect six gallons of wort from your mash for a five gallon batch because you will lose approximately one gallon of water during a sixty minute boil, leaving you five gallons of wort post-boil. That's not always true, however. The more humid it is the less boil-off you will have. The intensity of the boil will also play a role in how much boil-off you have. Kettle geometry will also play a role in boil-off. You may not boil off a whole gallon in an hour. Your typical boil-off rate is something you will figure out with experience.

A five gallon carboy is way to small for a five gallon batch. You need 1-2 gallons of headspace so you don't lose a lot of beer as the krausen rises. I wouldn't put more than a 3.5 or 4 gallon batch in a five gallon carboy. You are welcome to brew smaller batches, as many of us do, but if you are targeting five gallons then you need at least a six gallon fermenting vessel but ideally larger than that.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 05:37:48 PM by reverseapachemaster »
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2014, 05:37:06 PM »
Right....but I'm assuming that if I'm starting with a 5 gallon mash tun, I'm not actually fermenting a 5 gallon batch in the end, and that it will be substantially less?

You can certainly obtain a full five gallon batch out of a five gallon mash tun because you never have the total volume of pre-boil runnings in the mash tun at one time. You have the grain plus the mash water and then you drain the runnings and replace it with the sparge water and drain that. (Unless you are doing no-sparge brewing in which all the liquid goes into the mash at one time.)

I applaud your desire to jump into the deep end of brewing but based upon your comments here you might be getting ahead of yourself. You probably want to read How to Brew or Denny's website or some other decent guide to all grain brewing before getting into your first batch.
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Offline Downtown Joe Brown

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Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2014, 06:31:11 PM »
Right....but I'm assuming that if I'm starting with a 5 gallon mash tun, I'm not actually fermenting a 5 gallon batch in the end, and that it will be substantially less?

You can certainly obtain a full five gallon batch out of a five gallon mash tun because you never have the total volume of pre-boil runnings in the mash tun at one time. You have the grain plus the mash water and then you drain the runnings and replace it with the sparge water and drain that. (Unless you are doing no-sparge brewing in which all the liquid goes into the mash at one time.)

I applaud your desire to jump into the deep end of brewing but based upon your comments here you might be getting ahead of yourself. You probably want to read How to Brew or Denny's website or some other decent guide to all grain brewing before getting into your first batch.

Thanks, I obviously completely overlooked the volume added by sparging, etc. Bonehead move.

I just picked up "How To Brew" and have been reading plenty otherwise (as well as podcasts, youtube vids, etc). So I don't plan on actually brewing until I've read through that and completely mapped everything out.

Thanks to everyone else as well. I'm going to target 3 gallon batches in the beginning and I'll take it from there.

Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2015, 08:47:27 PM »
Hey yall...

I'm about to embark on my second homebrew, this time going all grain. I bought everything I need for a 5 gallon mash tun that I'll be assembling over the weekend. I just have some questions about what batch size this will yield, specifically:

  • how much water to I start with in the mash tun (to account for the volume of grain, as well as space on top?
  • how much wort will this yield in the end?
  • after a 60 minute boil, how much should I expect to have after that?
  • would a 5 gallon glass carboy leave too much headspace in fermenting this batch?

This might be on of those pain in the ass multi-part questions, so the overarching question is: whats the ideal batch size I should target if I'm starting with a 5 gallon mash tun.

Thanks for your insight and patience..

We used a 5 gallon MT for a long time for 5 gallon batches. But mostly yield about 4.5 finished gallons after fermentation and dry hops.

We can fit 10-12 lbs of grain easy info 5 gallon MT at 1.5 Qts per lb of grain. 14 lbs of grain at a lower water to grist ratio...

3 gallon batches are easy w/ your set up even higher gravity 3 gallon batches like 1.080 maybe higher. But you can still get almost a full 5 gallon batch w/ a 5 gallon MT.
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