Steam Mashing in a Bag

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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby rgreen2002 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:10 pm

MichiganCornhusker wrote:
acfixer69 wrote:...as you lift the bag it reduces rapidly.

AC is absolutely right, my math figurin' in my 500# post made no sense at all.
I just drained a batch of rice, and I'd say your entire bag of damp grains will weigh around 100#, so you are good to go.


Yeah... I figure 70lb of grain and 35 gallons of water at 8# per gallon so 35x8= 280# + 70 = 350# total.

I knew what ya meant though MCH... that bastard is gonna be heavy!
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby rgreen2002 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:33 am

Well she is still fermenting nicely but for better or worse I do have a full blown lacto infection... Guess I will lose a couple % ABV. I'm starting to think the TSC corn is responsible but I cannot prove that..plus I did boil this corn near 200F for 1.5 hours so...... less likely.

I guess the most likely culprit is the long cool time... next time I fire up the wort chiler!

Maybe it's from the bourbon yeast somehow? Contaminant? The only two times I have had a lacto infection were my all grains with TSC corn and the bourbon yeast.
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby rgreen2002 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:22 am

So the SG today looks to be about 1.002, Brix about 5.2.

Calculations are all over the place depending on what measurements you use... SG shows a yield so far around 7.4% ABV where corrected refractometer readings show between 6.5-7%. I don't know if or how much EtOH I am losing to the lacto infection but either way I'll take it.

It isn't quite done though and I hope it will finish out in the next 24 hours. Then I can get on to the drainage and filtering/clearing stage. It appears the bag is still quite intact and happily floating at the top of the fermenter. I do have a little corn floating around outside the bag and I think that is from me messing things up with my drill mixer.... oh well. I did use the drain at the bottom to collect a sample.... a bit of trub in there but I let it separate out before checking the SG

Bag mash.jpg
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby rgreen2002 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:36 pm

OK...I called it a day here! I decided that this was just about done. Still will the slightest bubbling here and there, which for 30 gallons I think is nothing.

I decided I would take off about 10 gallons at a time. This allows the bag to float for a while and still have a segment of the bag above the liquid and presumably draining downward via gravity. I hoisted the bag up by the strings and used clamps to hold them for the first 10 gallons. The next 10 might require me to untie and open the bag to do the same with the straps and the last will most likely use the winch. i'm planning on doing this over about 3-4 days.

The first 10 gallons came off quick from the drain spout at the bottom. This is how much corn I filtered out:

drain.jpg
Caught corn in my 400 micron strainer


So far...so good.... lets see how this goes.

OH...my FG here was 1.001... so i'd say about 7.5% ABV...
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby rgreen2002 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:31 pm

Pulled about another 15 gallons off today. Looks like just over 10 left in there...plus trub and such so.... who knows.

I noticed the upper part of the grain bed was quite dry and it seems to be working well. I decided to hang it today completely outside the liquid left in the barrel and leave it for a day or two.

Hanging.jpg
Bag and winch holding quite well. Barrel in background with gold in it!


what remains.jpg
What is left in the barrel


From here I plan on cleaning out the barrel and then putting it all back into the barrel but filtering it through the geotextile thingy I got off amazon for $0.99...

41HCa--000L.jpg
Non-woven geotextle ultra mega-zord thingy


This process seems like a winner to me.. keeping the grain well contained and less overall mess. This stuff tastes great right from the spigot drain.

I'm really curious to see how the geotextile thing does with trub removal...
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby rgreen2002 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:36 am

Yesterday I got to make a little more headway with this project. I left the bag hanging for just about 48 hours. It seemed to drain quite well...

grain bed.jpg
Grain Drain...


This was how the grain looked almost all the way to the bottom of the bag. The very bottom was just little "mushy" but acceptable to me. From here I drained the rest of Bertha (the fermenter) and left a big amount of trub with some mash liquid still in there. I washed out the barrel and then used the geotextile thing to strain about 30 gallons out of my 5 gallon pails and back into the barrel. I ended with about 25 gallons of liquid that I am letting clear right now.

I poured the pails, trub and all, right through the geotextile fabric. I was expecting a little more trub removal from the fabric but we will see how it goes over the next few days. I think that MCH's orbital filter might be useful at this point for getting out the remaining mash liquid.

I'm guessing a run over the next few weeks through my flute so I will keep ya posted.

Oh yeah.... the bag is pristine (aside from a few corn stains) so I think that there is no need to protect the steam head. I also think that my next run will place the steam head right inside the bag.

The basement smells a little rough and I am going to have to get some febreeze or something... :mrgreen:
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:44 am

Looks like that worked great.
Nothing easier than just lifting a bag and walking away for a while.

The 400 micron filters will separate all the fine grain, but the trub will still flow through.
The geotex works great for filtering that last bit out.
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby rgreen2002 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:23 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:The geotex works great for filtering that last bit out.


That is what I am hoping for MCH... I filtered all 25+ gallons through the geotextile and it is settling now. The damn lacto infection is keeping me from seeing it clear. It's ok since I had a molasses run to do anyway...it can sit for a little while. :mrgreen:
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby rgreen2002 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:25 pm

OK... final results of this experiment:

So I ended up with about 24 gallons of wash to run. Since I only have a keg boiler I had to split the runs. I ran a strip run of the first 13 gallons, 200 ml fores/heads tossed and then got about 3/4 gallons of drinkable alcohol (ran down until about 40% ABV)

Second run I put my 11 gallons in plus my 3/4 gallons from strip run, plus 1-2 gallons backset I left in the boiler from the first run (partly lazy, partly curious). I did have enough head room...Whew!

Final totals: Four plate 4" flute: 300ml fores/heads discarded, about 2800ml alcohol airing out as I type. I started collecting around 90% ABV and pushed until around 45% ABV when it got a little cloudy.

It was a difficult to really tell the hearts/tails junction since this is only my second all grain, so I just collected a lot and will really have to work out the cuts. The tails.... they were the best tasting tails I have ever had! Even the cloudy stuff was not bad.... almost didn't want to stop collecting.

All in all I think this is a winner... it is simple, makes handling the grain a snap, and has good results. I will plan on continuing this in the future.... all corn next on the list!
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby FMJ » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:37 am

rgreen2002 were you every able to determine how much water was added to the mash via the steam? Get post by the way!
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Re: Steam Mashing in a Bag

Postby rgreen2002 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:53 am

FMJ wrote:rgreen2002 were you every able to determine how much water was added to the mash via the steam? Get post by the way!


I guessed around 5 gallons, but this is in no way scientific. i put about 12 gallons in the boiler before steaming and at the end I drained about 7 from the keg... so about 5 gallons! I saw over at AD punkin had an elaborate formula for it but I forget exactly were I saw it.
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