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16qt stock pot problems and second sparging possibilities


May 17, 2012
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-I have a tiny ass 16qt stock pot and I ferment in only glass so everything's gotta stay in the pot or a temp bucket till it's cool enough to pour into my primary.  All my grains are going to be put in a cheesecloth like bag and mashed for the first step.  Any suggestions on sparging with these instructions: 

-And is it ok to pour 170 degee water over the malts again (second sparging so to speak) to get more flavor out of the last bit of fill water instead of just adding pure water to top off primary?

In 1 gal. water mash crystal, black, chocolate, and mild ale malts at 155° F for 60 minutes. Sparge with 1.5 gals. at 170° F. Add 1 gal. water to kettle and bring to a boil. Add dark dry malt, maltodextrin, and molasses. Stir well to avoid scorching. Add Cluster hops and boil 60 minutes. At kettle knockout steep your spice combination (in a mesh bag) as wort cools. Pour into fermenter and top up to 5.25 gals. Cool to 75° F and pitch ale yeast. Ferment seven to 10 days at about 70° F, rack to secondary, and condition at 60° F for two weeks. Prime with corn sugar, add strained spice tea (1/2 cup boiling water over spices for at least a half hour), and bottle. Age two to three weeks cool (55° F).

Any suggestions would really help I'm new to sparging I've used cheesecloth steeped grains before but I've never had a recipe call for sparging on top of a mash that's already been cooking for an hour.  Or maybe it's just been too long and I don't remember that part.

Anyways thanks and Cheers to all!!!

Your system sounds satisfactory. It's one of an infinite number of satisfactory systems and if you like the results, it's not only satisfactory, but also perfect - for you.

Rinsing/sparging your grains will probably give you slightly more fermentable sugars and grain character. You may or may not notice the difference. Try it and see if it's worth the extra effort.

Beware! What you have described is a variation on the BIAB system and can lead you down the primrose path to all-grain brewing, a larger brew pot, dedicated beer refrigerators, and a huge stockpile of beer. Enjoy the journey!

Brewmaster5150 said:
... a temp bucket

-And is it ok to pour 170 degee water over the malts again (second sparging so to speak) to get more flavor out of the last bit of fill water instead of just adding pure water to top off primary?

If the "temp bucket" is food grade, you could soak first in that, heat the 2nd part of water in pot, move bag o'grains to pot at 155F, let steep, and then pour bucket into pot, essentially steeping twice.  While it's rising to boil, put bag somewhere you can collect drippings and add those as well.  Sparge the bag if you like, but after two soaks, may not be needed. 

I'd ferment <68F rather than 70F since the carboy will heat slightly during active fermentation. 
Thank you both for your suggestions and advise.  I'm going to brew at the end of the week so I'll report on how it all went.  I'm just waiting for my sarsaparilla bark and lactose powder to get here from an online order.  I've decided to add the lactose powder at the beginning of the boiling stage with the dry malt extract since it is not mentioned in the instructions.  I'm also going to add a cup of honey with the molasses for a bit higher alcohol content and a half teaspoon of vanilla extract while cooling for a little smoother root beer flavor.  Unless this turns out way above my expectations I don't think I'll do it again but it will be nice to have some good hard root beer ready for the holidays.  Thanks again and any more suggestions are more than welcome.  Cheers!  -BM5150