I'm sure you'll get other responses... I started doing mini-mashes last
winter/spring. Some of this is empirical, some conjecture from reading
up. From everything I've read, you are better off without the bag. You
can see the mash first and foremost so you know it is well mixed and
there are no doughballs and such. The grain is in better contact with
all of the water and part of the mash is the right proportions of water
What has worked well for me was to calc. the mash water needed and the
strike temp. Then, in a pot, heat the water to the strike temp and stir
in the grains. I've never had to add cool water to lower or hot water
raise the temp but it may be necessary. Cover and put in the oven at
160F for the mash time. Then the whole thing gets dumped into a stainer
and sparged with 180F water. My sparge technique is crude... ladling
water onto the grain. I have hit between 65 and 75% efficiency this way
which is plenty good for me. I'm sure I end up with extra crud, I don't
vorlauf but the beer clears in the secondary and tastes just fine.
I'm about to try a 2.5 gal. all grain batch and plan to improve a few of
the steps (a cover (al. foil w/holes punched) to distribute the sparge
water better, vorlauf, etc.)
> Hello all:
> Well fall has finally came to Southcentral PA..well...this summer fall
> was never that far away. :^) Anyway, it's time to do some brewing.
> I've been doing mini-mashing as of late. What I have done in the past
> was use a muslin bag to hold the grains then pour water from a Pyrex
> measure to sparge. What I'm planning this time is to dump the grains
> in the pot along with the required amount of water. Also instead of
> having the pot on the burner, I'm going to set the oven to 160 and
> mash in the oven.
> I bought a sparging arm from Listerman's (Hi Dan! :^), which now I'm
> not sure how I'm going to use it. My plan was to do the mash, then
> place a paint screen in the low strainer that came with my propane
> burner and dump the grains in the strainer to sparge. I can probably
> put the sparge arm on the strainer. Provided the strainer has a large
> enough ID and is deep enough (I have a deeper strainer that came with
> a 30 qt pot if this won't work). The arm is for 5 gal buckets.
> Question is, what is the best way to mash, in a bag or directly in the
> Remove HORMEL
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