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I'm transitioning to some all-grain recipes and the Brew-In-A-Bab mashing technique seems to be a perfect match for the 2 1/5 gallon batches. Problem is that even the small batches seem to require a 5-gallon pot and I don't have anything that big. I just bought a set of stainless pots for around $20 from Harbor Freight that includes a 4, 3, 2 and 1 1/2 gallon and have been working on a way to get the right amount of starting wort. I ran across this Maxi-BIAB method whereby those crafty Aussies are managing full-size batches of beer in pots just barely larger than the finished wort size. By mashing at capacity in a pot that won't quite fit the boil size and doing a serious dunk-sparge to get more liquid to work with, the boil can proceed with the extra, thinner wort can be added to top up as needed. I've done some testing to determine how well I can hold mash temp and to figure out my boil-off rate and I'm about ready to give it a try. Approximately like this: 4.375 lbs grain +2.625 gallons water in 4 gallon pot Mash 155 degrees for 90 minutes (maximizes efficiency) - Grain absorption should leave 2.125 gallons of high-gravity wort, maybe more with a squeeze 1.125 gallons sparge/mash-out water in 3 gallon pot - Should have minimal loss to grain absorption Pre-boil volume = 3.23 gallons (2.125 gallons strong wort + 1.125 thin wort) - Just fits in the 4 gallon pot if the thin wort is added after strong wort boils and breaks. Boil time of 60 minutes should reduce to just over 2.5 gallons at target OG. Anybody else doing something like this?
Peter/Josh/Diane (or anyone else), if you deem this inappropriate for this message board, feel free to remove it. Not trying to step on any toes... For anyone interested in learning to all-grain brew, this looks like a promising online course. I think that this technique for one-gallon batches would be a great way for a Mr. B brewer to learn to do a partial mash with their Mr. B extracts (which I have done several times). You can follow this technique and then add a Mr. B extract to it to create entirely different beers. I did some test batches for Emma's new brewing book (http://www.amazon.com/Brew-Better-Beer-Making-Pilsners/dp/160774631X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8), and it looks like a great book, so I expect this to be a good course as well. It is a 20 day daily course (with a few weekends following), that involves brewing a one-gallon batch. I'll probably participate in it to see how it all goes... Let me know if any of you are participating and maybe we can track our progress here.