The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > Brewing Events & Local Gatherings > North East USA > Pennsylvania HomeBrew Forum > Is there someone near Wilkes Barre that would be willing to help out a new brewer?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-14-2013, 03:40 AM   #1
max384
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
max384's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sugar Notch, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 451
Liked 98 Times on 66 Posts
Likes Given: 227

Default Is there someone near Wilkes Barre that would be willing to help out a new brewer?

Hey guys, I need some help. I seem to be pretty terrible at this all grain brewing thing! I just finished my fourth AG brew, and my efficiency has been terrible, and is getting worse! My first three AGs I got right about 50% mash efficiency. The latest one (which is cooling right now) only got 40% mash efficiency! Granted, this was the first one that I crushed my own grains, so that likely had something to do with it, but even so, I'm obviously doing something wrong.

Would someone be willing to come over to my house and watch/help me brew an AG? I've watched a million YouTube videos and read a bunch and I can't seem to figure out where my mistakes are. I think I need an experienced set of eyes watching me working with my own equipment to help me out.

I would be willing to meet for lunch or something (my treat!) beforehand in case you're worried I'm some kind of creep. If you take me up on my offer, I'll have all the beer you can drink on hand!

I live in Sugar Notch. Weeknights work best for me... But beggars can't be choosers!

Thanks guys

Max

__________________

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” -Winston Churchill

IBA # 56,419

max384 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-14-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
hercher
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Scranton
Posts: 893
Liked 46 Times on 43 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

A couple things come to mind right off the top. There are a couple homebrew clubs in the area that might be able to help you out. I live outside of Scranton -- perhaps just a touch far away.

First of all, describe your mash process. What temperatures are you mashing at, how much water are you using (should be around 1.25 gallons/lb). What is your sparging process? If you are fly sparging, bear in mind that slower is better. If you are batch sparging, remember to really stir the bejeebers out of your mash when adding the sparge water.

If your efficiency went down when you started milling your own grain, the most likely culprit is your crush. Set your rollers a bit more fine.

__________________
Two Kids Brewery

Primary: Amber Ale. :(
Seconary: Don't use one, generally
Kegged: Stein beer
Planned: Saison, pale ale, brown ale

"For a quart of ale is a dish for a king." - Shakespeare
hercher is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-14-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
max384
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
max384's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sugar Notch, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 451
Liked 98 Times on 66 Posts
Likes Given: 227

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hercher View Post
A couple things come to mind right off the top. There are a couple homebrew clubs in the area that might be able to help you out. I live outside of Scranton -- perhaps just a touch far away.

First of all, describe your mash process. What temperatures are you mashing at, how much water are you using (should be around 1.25 gallons/lb). What is your sparging process? If you are fly sparging, bear in mind that slower is better. If you are batch sparging, remember to really stir the bejeebers out of your mash when adding the sparge water.

If your efficiency went down when you started milling your own grain, the most likely culprit is your crush. Set your rollers a bit more fine.
Thanks for the reply.

Hmmm... I'll have to look into these clubs.

I use 1.25 gallons/lb, as per the instructions on my kits, for the mash. I found a calculator to determine how hot you should make your water for the mash to hit the desired mash temperature of 152 degrees. Every time I've been a degree or two over (153-154). I mash for 60 minutes. The first two AG batches I used the fly sparging method. The last two I used batch sparging, and stirred when adding the sparge water. My sparges have all lasted between 60-90 minutes.

__________________________________________________ _____________________________________



Oh wow. I just spent some time Googling pictures of properly milled grain, and it seems that all of mine have been WAY under-crushed. Two of my AG brews were crushed grain kits from Midwest Brewing and the other one was an AG recipe from the internet that my local homebrew shop crushed. I then tried to replicate these crushes (but obviously must not have!)... Maybe the crush has always been why my efficiency has been so poor. I mean, I always feel like my process is good.

Is it common for stores to under-crush grain?

I guess I'll try and crush the grains much finer next time and see how my efficiency improves.
__________________

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” -Winston Churchill

IBA # 56,419

max384 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-15-2013, 01:37 AM   #4
hercher
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Scranton
Posts: 893
Liked 46 Times on 43 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Did you get your ingredients from Beer Solutions? I had the same experience with his crush. He's a nice guy with a good selection, but I don't think he mills the grain fine enough.

__________________
Two Kids Brewery

Primary: Amber Ale. :(
Seconary: Don't use one, generally
Kegged: Stein beer
Planned: Saison, pale ale, brown ale

"For a quart of ale is a dish for a king." - Shakespeare
hercher is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-15-2013, 03:16 AM   #5
max384
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
max384's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sugar Notch, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 451
Liked 98 Times on 66 Posts
Likes Given: 227

Default

Yep. That's where I got them from.

__________________

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” -Winston Churchill

IBA # 56,419

max384 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-25-2013, 08:24 PM   #6
scottyg354
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Hazleton, PA
Posts: 423
Liked 23 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

Simply Homebrew in Drums is were I go. You should check them out. I have been having problems with my mash tasting way too grainy. Its driving me nuts.

__________________
brewSTEIN Beer Co.

Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer.

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

On Deck: Helles, Oktoberfest, Saison, Apple Graff

Primary: IPA, Scottish Export

Secondary: Saison Brett

Bottled/Kegged/Gone:
Cream Ale, Peanut Butter Brown, Belgian Golden Strong, Brown Sugar Cider, Cream Ale, Double IPA, Saison, Summer Ale, Honey IPA, Maple Apple Graff, Holiday Stout, Hard Cider, English Brown, Scottish Heavy
scottyg354 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-14-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
VladOfTrub
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: , Pa
Posts: 541
Liked 95 Times on 70 Posts
Likes Given: 121

Default

Pete uses a Corona grinder. Curt has a roller and may have to adjust it, if it is the type that can be adjusted..... If anyone is interested. On Apr. 20, Simply HB is putting on Blichmann Equipment Day and brewing a 15 gallon batch of Boh Pils using the triple decoction method and Blichmann Equipment.

__________________
VladOfTrub is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-18-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
LosEsco25
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Plains, PA
Posts: 32
Default

Im from WB, getting setup for an AG... I usually go to Beer Solutions. How is his grain selection there?

__________________
LosEsco25 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-19-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
hercher
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Scranton
Posts: 893
Liked 46 Times on 43 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Grain selection is just OK. He has the basics, but doesn't carry brown malt or pale chocolate. I also find him a touch pricey -- not outrageous, but you aren't getting a bargain, either.

__________________
Two Kids Brewery

Primary: Amber Ale. :(
Seconary: Don't use one, generally
Kegged: Stein beer
Planned: Saison, pale ale, brown ale

"For a quart of ale is a dish for a king." - Shakespeare
hercher is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-22-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
LosEsco25
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Plains, PA
Posts: 32
Default

May have take a ride to drums... and check them out

__________________
LosEsco25 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First time brewer, last name Brewer! Brewcrew02 Introductions 2 08-12-2012 06:07 AM
Converting from Home Brewer to Commercial Brewer FensterBos General Beer Discussion 10 03-16-2012 02:37 AM
greetings from wilkes-barre,pa jgglass Introductions 3 09-04-2011 06:16 AM
Hello from Wilkes, N.C. Silby8919 Introductions 2 03-19-2010 12:12 AM
New Brewer+Nut Brown Ale Extract Kit+Northern Brewer Brewfyre Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 02-24-2010 02:12 PM