How Big a Pot for Mashing

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ddizzle22
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How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by ddizzle22 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:27 pm

What size pot is recommended for mashing for a 15.5g Keg boiler? Switching to all grain and need a bigger pot and want to know what size is recommended.

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jonnys_spirit
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:45 pm

I mash in a standard Brute trash can. I've got 3x 20gallon Brutes and 1x 32gallon Brute. For mashing I fill with ground grains and hot water (temp depending on recipe) wrap them in reflectix and put a packing blanket on top and they hold the temp very well - Extremely well as a matter of fact. I usually need to unwrap them and top up w/cool water to drop the temp down to pitching temp. Some folks use the blue HDPE 50 gallon barrels similarly. I use my boiler to heat the water so I can boil up to about 15 gallons at once.
depending on how you want to do it.

If you want to do fairly large ferments a 50 gallon SS drum with a couple heating element ports would work well boiling water for mash-in then xferring to a couple of the blue HDPE drums w/grains and top up water and maybe about 25% head space...

Ideal ferment size to optimize your time and effort is about 3x stripping runs with some squeezing loss factored in... Maybe a little more than 3x so you can plan to clear off the sediment too and not worry too much about squeezing every last drop out of the mucky mashed corn.

Cheers!
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i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
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SmokyMtn
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by SmokyMtn » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:45 pm

I wouldn't go bigger until you get a handle on the new endeavor of all grain. First few may be a failure. Once you're consistent, base vessel size off of finished product volume. Then multiply by how much of that product you want per ferment...3x, 4x. It's really up to you to decide.
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shadylane
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by shadylane » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:14 pm

ddizzle22 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:27 pm
What size pot is recommended for mashing for a 15.5g Keg boiler? Switching to all grain and need a bigger pot and want to know what size is recommended.
I'd use the 15.5g Keg boiler for making steam to cook the mash.

ddizzle22
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by ddizzle22 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:03 am

shadylane wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:14 pm
ddizzle22 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:27 pm
What size pot is recommended for mashing for a 15.5g Keg boiler? Switching to all grain and need a bigger pot and want to know what size is recommended.
I'd use the 15.5g Keg boiler for making steam to cook the mash.
Didn't think of that water comes up to a boil pretty quick then could just use drain port into fermenter and do it that way as well.

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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by gwizard » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:04 pm

I use a 35L Brewzilla, which is basically a boiler with a PID controller.

I like the option of designing a recipe in brewfather and then program mash steps, sit back and relax while it does all the work.
Another benefit is that it has a pump, which allows me to transfer boiling wash into fermenter right at the end of the process, minimizing any potential contamination. I use 30L fermenters, so for 20L strike water, max grain bill it can comfortably fit is 5kg and I sparge with another 11L so final amount fits at about 25L to leave some head for fermentation. The reason for these numbers is evaporation during cook and boil and also absorption of the grains.

Your final product will be around the 23.5L mark after leaving sediment, etc.

Now you can scale this to whatever you want to make / your fermenter capacity.

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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by seabass » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:29 pm

All grain what? The mashing process is different for bourbon, rye, and single malt.

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NZChris
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by NZChris » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:54 pm

I do my calculations for at least three still charges worth of beer for stripping and to have some leftovers to add to the spirit run.

ddizzle22
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by ddizzle22 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:11 am

seabass wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:29 pm
All grain what? The mashing process is different for bourbon, rye, and single malt.
Will strictly be bourbon from here on out as thats what i like. Just struggling figuring out easy process and in the hunt for big pot to cook all then transfer to fermenter.

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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by Tummydoc » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:31 am

ddizzle22 wrote:
seabass wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:29 pm
All grain what? The mashing process is different for bourbon, rye, and single malt.
Will strictly be bourbon from here on out as thats what i like. Just struggling figuring out easy process and in the hunt for big pot to cook all then transfer to fermenter.
Use your boiler to bring 10-12 gallons to a boil. Drain onto your grain following the technique described in the honey bear bourbon recipe in the tried and true section. Double the grain bill for a 10 gallon boil. I do 2 of these runs to get 20 gallons into my brute garbage can fermenter. Run 10 gallons in your boiler for each strip.

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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by ddizzle22 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:26 pm

Tummydoc wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:31 am
ddizzle22 wrote:
seabass wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:29 pm
All grain what? The mashing process is different for bourbon, rye, and single malt.
Will strictly be bourbon from here on out as thats what i like. Just struggling figuring out easy process and in the hunt for big pot to cook all then transfer to fermenter.
Use your boiler to bring 10-12 gallons to a boil. Drain onto your grain following the technique described in the honey bear bourbon recipe in the tried and true section. Double the grain bill for a 10 gallon boil. I do 2 of these runs to get 20 gallons into my brute garbage can fermenter. Run 10 gallons in your boiler for each strip.
Will look into this now. Glad I asked. Seems like a great process and save a ton of time using the boiler to heat the water then can just drain into fermenter. I need to look up your brute garbage can fermenter as well.

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jonnys_spirit
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by jonnys_spirit » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:56 pm

Be careful if you’re using a paint mixer/drill. Really helps a lot.

A brute can full of boiling water won’t just bust open on it’s own but knick it with the mixer and get a pinhole leak that opens up overnight. If it does happen scoop that mess up with a dustpan and dump it into the next brute. Top up pitch ferment and run it. Never did I ever lol...

Cheers!
-jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

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Tummydoc
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by Tummydoc » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:30 pm

I put the grains in 50 qt coolers, drain the boiler onto the grain and mash in the coolers. I transfer to the brute the next day. Extra labor and maybe unnecessary, but the coolers hold temp well and I wasn't sure if the Brutes would hold up repeatedly to boiling water. Put up the money for brute cans, cheaper ones develop holes over time. And a paint mixer on a drill is invaluable!

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Truckinbutch
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by Truckinbutch » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:17 pm

I use PINTOSHINE's method (YOUTUBE video) with his liquid enzymes . 30 gallon ss pot on a propane burner with a variable speed drill/paint mixer fixed in a frame . I use a router control from Grizzly to regulate speed .( drill has to have a brushed motor for the speed control to work . Induction run drills will not work .)
Using Pint's enzymes I can mash in 60# of grain to transfer to a 32 gallon Brute nested into a 44 gallon Brute filled with water to achieve negative buoyancy . I line the 32 with a 50 gallon clear industrial garbage bag . Transfer the coked mash to the 32 and top up with water .
When it reaches pitch temp I add yeast and cover with another 50 gal trash bag stretched over the top . Punch 3 or 4 pencil lead size holes to vent co2 . You can watch ferment progress without exposing the ferment to outside elements .
I get about 12.5 gallons of clear ferment for the boiler charge and the same of squeezed murky liquid for the thumper charge for the strip run .
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ddizzle22
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Re: How Big a Pot for Mashing

Post by ddizzle22 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:38 am

Truckinbutch wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:17 pm
I use PINTOSHINE's method (YOUTUBE video) with his liquid enzymes . 30 gallon ss pot on a propane burner with a variable speed drill/paint mixer fixed in a frame . I use a router control from Grizzly to regulate speed .( drill has to have a brushed motor for the speed control to work . Induction run drills will not work .)
Using Pint's enzymes I can mash in 60# of grain to transfer to a 32 gallon Brute nested into a 44 gallon Brute filled with water to achieve negative buoyancy . I line the 32 with a 50 gallon clear industrial garbage bag . Transfer the coked mash to the 32 and top up with water .
When it reaches pitch temp I add yeast and cover with another 50 gal trash bag stretched over the top . Punch 3 or 4 pencil lead size holes to vent co2 . You can watch ferment progress without exposing the ferment to outside elements .
I get about 12.5 gallons of clear ferment for the boiler charge and the same of squeezed murky liquid for the thumper charge for the strip run .
Very interesting setup for sure. I've seen his YouTube video and it's excellent. Still learning the AG way and dont have all the required tools yet but slow and steady can convert. I have the tried and true keg pot still so a 12.5g to 13g charge is what I'm really after. Just need to figure out the size pot and fermenter. Go big or go home i guess.

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