Easy Large Batch Mashing

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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ShineonCrazyDiamond
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Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:47 pm

So you want to move away from buckets, huh? Great, just get a bigger container, scale up the recipe, no problem, right? Wait a sec, how the hell am I going to get 40 gallons of water and corn cooked? You could make 3 small batches, and dump them in one big fermenter before pitch, but then what's the point. You still have to seperate 3 different recipes.

I struggled with the logistics for a while. Kept me from moving large batch. Then I remembered I have a natural vessel to boil in, my boiler. I'm looking to make a batch worth 3 strips, so, I just needed to figure out how to use this in one mash.

Here is my procedure. It follows the easy corn method, where you just boil water, add corn, and wrap up tight to let it gel over a few hours.

Ok, first you need the first thing in an all grain adventure. A good drink! It helps remind you of why you are doing this, should frustration occur. This should be a pretty stress free method, but preparation is always a good idea. Here's my morning Bootleggers Breakfast.
img20170311_153040.jpg
Ok, so here's my set up. My work bench is the perfect size to line the drain over my mash barrel.
img20170311_111136.jpg
The barrel is ready to go, and is all wrapped up with blankets.
img20170311_111102.jpg
Fill the boiler with 12 to 13 gallons, I use a hose. This is 1/3 of the total water.
img20170311_153542.jpg
Turn your boiler on, and wait till it hits 212. My thermometer fits right over the 2" opening, and really gets to rattling when is ready. When it does, open the drain and dump into masher/ fermenter.
img20170311_111037.jpg
img20170311_110957.jpg
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:53 pm

Now, dump in 1/3 of your corn and grains that you want to cook.
img20170311_154108.jpg
Use one of these to give it a good stir, breaking up the lumps as much as you can. Don't over stir.
img20170311_154850.jpg
Then, wrap it up tight, and let that cook while you fill the boiler again. The process starts over, and each time you add 1/3 your boiling water to 1/3 your grains to cook.
img20170311_110856.jpg
You will notice that every time you open the lid to add the next batch, the corn looks like this.
img20170311_150952.jpg
And that temp is just over 180.
img20170311_150927.jpg
I do this process while watching cartoons with the kids on Saturday morning. Takes 5 minutes, 3 times, over the course of a few hours. I just finished my 3rd and last addition, so for the next 18 to 24 hours, I have nothing to do. I may go out there a couple times and give it a stir and take a temp reading. Probably in the morning, it will hit 150, and I add my malts. It will mash all day, and (hopefully, lol) I well pitch my yeast before bed on Sunday.
img20170311_155238.jpg
48 hour mash, no more than 30 minutes of work.

I hope this helps someone get a good idea about tackling large all grain ferments.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by StillerBoy » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:01 pm

Thanks SCD for the write up and pictures..

When I first saw the picture of the barrel in a carboard box, what the hell is he using carboard box for ? ? then the next gave me the answer.. good thinking..

Question.. how do you get the barrel out of the box.. pail the mash out into amount fermenter....

Mars
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by speedfreaksteve » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:10 pm

This is really a great strategy! I'm going to be trying this.

It's funny that I was trying to solve sort of the same problem and for my last batch a week ago. My additional problem is also that I'm using a 1200w heating element which would take most of a day to bring 12 gallons in my boiler up to boiling. So what I did is 3 separate 3 gallon batches of corn that took 2 hours each. I then would toss each in a pail to cool down. After I cooked the 3 batches I then would fill my boiler with water and take things up to 160F and start adding my malting grains and then the goopey clumps of corn. This all worked fine, but I think SCD's method is much less work especially not having to scrape glutenized corn off the bottom of the boiler 3 times.

SCD, can you tell me what that stirring mechanism came from? I'd really like to get something like that.
Last edited by speedfreaksteve on Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:10 pm

StillerBoy wrote:Thanks SCD for the write up and pictures..

When I first saw the picture of the barrel in a carboard box, what the hell is he using carboard box for ? ? then the next gave me the answer.. good thinking..

Question.. how do you get the barrel out of the box.. pail the mash out into amount fermenter....

Mars
That is my fermenter. It comes out, into the still. The grains get scooped out and squeezed into another barrel a gallon at a time after fermentation. Then, I just rinse it out, and sanitize for the next one.

*Edit*

Stiller boy, just wanted to add 2 things. On the clear wash, I use a submersible pump, and food grade silicon, the beer guys set up. But then yes, I have to pail it out gallon or so at a time when I'm squeezing it. I squeeze into that second blue barrel in the pic.

Second, in case you were referring to the last pic, I claim editors rights. That of was from a few months ago, and was malt to a honey bear batch. I didn't use the box yet. Lol. I was anxious to get the post up, and grabbed a random pic of the process. Good eye! But no, the barrel stays in the box throughout fermentation until emptied for strips.
Last edited by ShineonCrazyDiamond on Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by FreeMountainHermit » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:32 pm

Bookmarked to my file, SCD. I have an extra electric keg so your method will fit nicely near my workbench.

Cheers , FMH.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by Shine0n » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:25 pm

How long does it take to heat your water?
I don't have an electric boiler, propane only :(

I really wish last week I would've followed the steps, you know the rest.

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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:33 am

Speed, that's just a mortar paddle from home depot. I think it was 10 bucks. Works really well. They claim it doesn't add air into the mix or something, so I just run it backwards when is time to arerate :thumbup: . And, it fits my 3/8 drill.

Shine, my water boils right around 1 hour. 50 minutes or so in the summer. I know some of the propane guys can get 15 gallons boiling in 30 or 40 minutes, but it's not so bad. I really believe in taking things with stride, and making it easy on yourself.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:48 am

40 gallons, 48 hour mash, no more than 30 minutes of work.

Now that's how to build up aging stock!
Very elegant procedure, SCD, makes it look so easy.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:13 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:40 gallons, 48 hour mash, no more than 30 minutes of work.

Now that's how to build up aging stock!
Very elegant procedure, SCD, makes it look so easy.
Thank you sir. It really is easy. I got up this morning, the corn was still 162. So I took the lid of to help it along.

If there is any doubt that you get proper gelling this way here's a photo :thumbup: . This is 20 hours in.
img20170312_090720.jpg
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by bilgriss » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:14 am

Very nice.

The conclusion I'm drawing is, I need a better shed.

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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by Appalachia-Shiner » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:37 am

Thanks for the ideas. I have an Extra Keg but no drain cut into it yet...guess I need to get that done. And buy one of those hi priced mop buckets at Lowe's to strain the grain. That straining thing is the only thing that keeps me from going All Grain exclusively.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by HDNB » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:01 am

so i just lost on e to not pitching an active yeast after malt fast enough...you are going to add malt and wait 12-18 hours?
I finally quit drinking for good.

now i drink for evil.

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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by bitter » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:16 am

If you create a large starter.. it will have a better chance of no issues.

Also certain yeast might be better suited to kill and take over the fermentation. Not sure of the perfect choice.. but EC-118 is often used in wine making to restart or take over a fermentation that has issues.

If you had a steam setup could easily add a sterailization step.. the downfall being the enzymes you want to leave there will be denatured. Would need a huge ciller to cool that much mass..

B

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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:16 am

HDNB wrote:so i just lost on e to not pitching an active yeast after malt fast enough...you are going to add malt and wait 12-18 hours?
Well, I've done it like this for a year now, and never lost one. I did have one that looked like it slowly took off with a random yeast once, or something, but I pitched a huge bakers, and bakers definitly took back over. I read your experience, but also wonder how you got vinegar before the alcohol was created. I do usually get a lacto, which is invited by me anyways, but that's about it.

Either way, I'll let it go like this (just pitched malt 30 minutes ago) for the next few hours. I covered it up to hold right at 148. After that, I may speed up the cooling by simply taking off the lid and stirring it often. Just stirring frequently helps get cold air in there, and cool faster. I have let it go overnight, though without the extra stirring attention. Never had too much an issue.

Edit* Posted same time as bitter.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineRunner » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:25 am

Cool. I've seen you post your method around in various threads, but I like that you created 1 place for people to go and look for a clear and solid method. I'm sure newbies will be referring to this!

One question- is your mixing paddle painted? Or plain mild steel? I had a mud mixer that was painted but started flaking paint off, so I just acquired a pinto-mixer. Feel like it doesn't mix quite as well, but it's stainless and was much cheaper than some others..

SR

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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by Truckinbutch » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:05 pm

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:Speed, that's just a mortar paddle from home depot. I think it was 10 bucks. Works really well. They claim it doesn't add air into the mix or something, so I just run it backwards when is time to arerate :thumbup: . And, it fits my 3/8 drill.

Shine, my water boils right around 1 hour. 50 minutes or so in the summer. I know some of the propane guys can get 15 gallons boiling in 30 or 40 minutes, but it's not so bad. I really believe in taking things with stride, and making it easy on yourself.
I backed into this reverse mixing by accident . Bought a half inch pawn shop drill that would only run in reverse for $35 .
I'm getting the best conversions I've ever had and ferments take off within 60 minutes with a 1/4 cup dry bread yeast pitch . I can hear and see air being sucked into the mash while I'm cooking it .
Twisting wort chillers to minimize half time is the next step for SRD and I .
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:26 pm

SR, I'm not really sure. When I bought it, it was really shiny, but it's very dull now. I bought it because it was stated as stainless steel. Can't remember if shit flaked off it not. It's all good now, either way.

Also, I wanted to share this because this was a dummy coming to enlightenment moment for me.

I used to do this and empty when full...
img20170314_211926.jpg
When I should have been doing this. I squeeze the whole barrel in 1 hour.
img20170314_211940.jpg
Again, not an explosive new protocol here or anything, but it's these little things that make me go duh... I'm just trying to do things the hard way, aren't I? :roll:
"Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by speedfreaksteve » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:52 pm

Just wanted to throw in a couple extra questions for SCD:

Is there any reason that you don't put the corn in before you start filling your vessel?

How is your conversion rate using this method?
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:49 am

speedfreaksteve wrote:Just wanted to throw in a couple extra questions for SCD:

Is there any reason that you don't put the corn in before you start filling your vessel?

How is your conversion rate using this method?
Hey speed.

So, there is only one real reason I don't add corn prior. I use corn meal, and adding water to it causes clumps. When I do it, while water is dumping, I sort of add some, stir, add some, stir. Helps make it more consistent. There is no reason really other than that. And, cracked corn doesn't have that much of a problem.

As far as conversion, I'm going to say 80%? I've never really been the type to get all worked up about that stuff, and what the potential of non flaked corn? Using calculators I put in flaked corn, but who knows.

Anyone smarter than me on the subject can run the numbers if they like.

50 lbs Corn meal
27 lbs malt

36 gallons water

1.065. Consistently.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by bitter » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:53 pm

Thais pretty decent about 79% efficient!! Similar to the all barely I did couple weeks ago 15lb brarley 15lbs 2 row got 14g of 1.067 out of it (about 84% effiecent).

Heck I normally only get 78 or so for the beer I make and thats all malt.. so your doing well.

B

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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by speedfreaksteve » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:02 pm

Since I got back into distilling I don't think I've hit over 70% yet. Back when I was brewing beer 20 years ago I would get crazy #'s I seem to recall 90% or something like that.

I have no doubts that I DID have more brain cells back in those days though.
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by dukethebeagle120 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:06 am

this is the same kind of method i use.
i find it works better on big batches
5-10 gallons don`t work so well i find
i usually mix 3-1 water to backset
u let it cool down to 80ish then add half a five gallon pail of grain from last batch mix and airate and she takes off.
you don`t need to add yeast every time.
u use the old yeast from the last batch.
i think i`m on my sixth run without adding yeast
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by nerdybrewer » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:37 am

SCD, thanks for this thread.
I'm reading every comment, some over more.
Got 125# grain just waiting for me to get back into it so as soon as it warms up outside just a little I'll be jumping back in.
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52975

Time and Oak will sort it out.

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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:46 pm

So I've fought this winter to keep temps where I liked them. I got an aquarium heater, and after scorching the first one, i got a low density one, and it did Ok. I had to choose between cooking the bed and keeping the top warm. I made it work, but it wasn't perfect. It basically was inconsistent throughout, and had hot spots. I looked into the 55 gallon barrel heating bands, but whew. That's a Christmas gift in itself.

Lucky, I have been thinking about how to more quickly cool my mash for pitching, and threw a wort chiller together. Then it occurred to me. Use the damn wort chiller as a herms system of sorts, as well. :thumbup:

Meet my new tool. Wort chiller, ferment heater, and mash preheater (on cook day) all in one. This set up keeps my ferment just over 92, or whatever I set it to, and adds some copper to the fermenter. A secondary benefit.
img20170324_232909.jpg
img20170331_204000.jpg
img20170331_204032.jpg
img20170331_204059.jpg
img20170331_204120.jpg
img20170331_204151.jpg
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:27 pm

Nice thread, SCD, you really offer up some simple solutions to managing large mashes.
Great for anyone trying to fill a barrel.

I remember when I first started out here I read a thread where someone was going to do a 50# corn mash and folks thought he was crazy. You make it look damn near effortless!
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by Truckinbutch » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:40 pm

MichiganCornhusker wrote:Nice thread, SCD, you really offer up some simple solutions to managing large mashes.
Great for anyone trying to fill a barrel.

I remember when I first started out here I read a thread where someone was going to do a 50# corn mash and folks thought he was crazy. You make it look damn near effortless!
Yep . And now at least 4 of us are mashing 50# as a matter of course with different methods with good results .
On this site our hobby has been brought so far forward in such a short space of time .
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:02 pm

Truckinbutch wrote:On this site our hobby has been brought so far forward in such a short space of time .
:thumbup: Shoulders of giants...
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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by Rain Distillate » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:16 pm

I've moved up to mashing #50 lbs now since Winter. I have however been using sugar as a buffer (not trusting my conversion haha).
I use a freed up corner in the living room. I place my 50 gallon fermenter inside a sleeping bag and usually toss a comforter over and around the barrel for added insulation. The old lady likes the living room set at 70 degrees Fahrenheit so I'm able to ferment in the winter without too many issues. 8)

Reused Corn from last batch draining off all liquids from the grains. Re-added inverted sugar aerated a bit and added yeast...it took right back off.

I'm excited for this current grain bill to be spent. I now have high and low temp enzymes 1 lb each and pectin enzyme 1lb. Going to really be breaking stuff down now. I figure each pound is about ten runs give or take. So 10 runs using H/L temp and 10 brandy runs using pectin. I got HL off Brewhaus and pectin off eBay. Liquid enzyme off eBay was more expensive after shipping costs unfortunately. And from my math possibly one less run...around 9 runs per bottle oposed to the 10 from powder . So I went with the lb of powder. Well see how it works out.
*when I say a run. 1RUN=40-45 gallon mash

Starch and fruits stay out of my way!

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Re: Easy Large Batch Mashing

Post by bilgriss » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:06 am

RD - Respect.

I think we should take a poll on how many members' significant other would let them wrap up a 50 gallon ferment in their living room.

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