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Old 01-18-2010, 08:37 PM   #1
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Default All-grain Tutorial

How's this for a tutorial? Just wrote this up last night after my roommates brew session went a little long (6 hours) and we didn't hit our numbers exactly. I'm sure the beer turned out great, but he wants me to really lay it out for him so he can quickly start doing this on his own.

Any confusing bits or feedback? If anyone could take the time to point out areas that could be made more clear or see if I missed anything, I'd appreciate. Understand it's a bit long, sorry

I plan to later make a How To thread using the feedback I get.

Equipment

Brewing:
1 – 9 gallon boiling pot with false bottom
1 – 7.5 gallon hot liquor tank
1 – Mash tun (10 gallon igloo cooler with false bottom)
1 – Mash paddle
1 – 1 gallon saucepan (for transfer)
2 – Thermometers
1 – Hose setup with in-line filter
1 – Immersion Chiller (with pre-chiller)
2 – Burners with propane

Fermentation:
1 – 6.5 gallon carboy
1 – Airlock
1 – Stopper

Testing:
1 – Turkey baster sampler
1 – Refractometer
1 – Hydrometer
1 – Sampling vessel

Sanitation:
Star San or Iodine
1 – 5 gallon sanitizing vessel

Recipe

Grains:
9.75 lbs – Pilsner, Munich, Carafa II & Chocolate Malt

Hops:
1.0 oz Bitter @ 5.3 AA Pellet
0.5 oz Aroma @ 2.5 AA Pellet

Yeast:
WLP 838 Southern German Lager Yeast (3 vials or a 2 L starter)

Water:
Treated and filtered Oakland water
3.5 gal – Strike water (to make 150°F mash)
2.0 gal – Mash out infusion (to make 168°F mash)
3.0+ gal – Sparge water (to maintain 170°F mash during sparge and to top off)

Other:
1 Capsule – Servomyces
1 Tablet – Whirfloc

All-grain Tutorial

Note on cleaning: Clean all equipment immediately after use. Most equipment needs only a HOT rinse and a dip in the sanitizing solution. Mash tun must be dumped, then taken apart and thoroughly cleaned. Stainless equipment used for boiling needs to be taken apart and/or scrubbed. Hops must be dumped, bags sprayed out, and bags hung to dry.

Step 1: Mash In

1. Calculate strike water temperature based on grain temperature
2. Heat strike water
3. Preheat mash tun with hot water
4. Pour in water, then grain, alternately, while stirring
5. Stir well
6. Throw in thermometer and check temperature after 10 minutes
7. Start mash out water 30 minutes into

Step 2: Mash out

1. Remove thermometer and check mash temperature
2. Calculate infusion amount for 205°F (boiling) water
3. Add water and stir well
4. Add thermometer
5. Move mash tun to run-off position
6. Start heating sparge water and prepare hose assembly
7. Check temperature after 10 minutes and let sit until sparge water is ready

Step 3: Vorlauf, Run-off and Sparge

1. Open valve slowly and run wort into saucepan
2. Close valve and pour wort over top
3. Repeat. Fill several times until wort runs clear and grain bed is set
4. Slide hose assembly on and allow wort to pour into boiling pot
5. After wort has begun to fill, apply very light heat to maintain wort at ~185°F
6. Using saucepan, carefully pour sparge water as needed to maintain level 1-2 inches above grain
7. Adjust sparge water temp as needed to maintain mash temp at 160-170°F

Step 4: Check gravity

1. When volume reaches 5.5 gallons, stir well, being careful not to upset run-off
2. Take small sample for refractometer
3. Cool sample and take reading
4. Calculate efficiency.
----a)If desired efficiency is reached, stop run-off and top off with filtered water to 7.25 gallons
----b)If lower than desired efficiency, continue sparge to achieve more extraction
----c)If desired efficiency is high, top off and recalculate hops
5. Take a final reading after top off, if necessary
6. Calculate hops as needed, based on projected final specific gravity and volume

Step 5: Boil and First Hop Addition

1. Turn up heat to start a light boil
2. Allow hot break to complete, to avoid boilover
3. Achieve a steady, lightly rolling boil
4. Add hops and begin 90 minute total countdown
----a)75 minutes until Step 7
----b)80 minutes until Step 8
----c)90 minutes until Step 9

Step 6: Sanitation

1. Sanitize carboy
2. Sanitize hose, sampling vessel, airlock, stopper and yeast vials in sanitizing vessel

Step 7: Chiller, Whirfloc & Servomyces

1. Add chiller and hook up hoses
2. Add whirfloc & servomyces (pull capsule apart) with 15-20 minutes remaining

Step 8: Aroma Hops & spigot

1. Add aroma hops with 5 minutes remaining
2. Run wort through spigot to help sanitize

Step 9: Cooling Wort

1. At the end of the 90 minute boil, turn off heat
2. Start cooling water at a light flow through the immersion chiller
3. Periodically stir to help cool
4. Once cool, let sit 15 minutes without stirring before run-off

Step 10: Run-off

1. Spray sanitize spigot and attach hose
2. Slowly open valve to a light pour
3. Let splash into carboy for aeration
4. Pour a small amount into sampling vessel and taste, take reading
5. Chiller can still be used while running off to further lower temperature
6. Run off until stockpot is empty and/or at desired volume in fermenter

Step 11: Pitching & Cleanup

1. Pitch yeast into fermenter
2. Attach stopper and airlock
3. Move fermenter to temperature-controlled environment and store away from light
4. Clean all equipment

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:05 AM   #2
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Very nice DB.

Do you plan on expanding or providing links for items like 1.1 and 2.2?

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:17 AM   #3
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I was thinking links wherever it could be opened up for options.

For instance, 1.1 - Calculate strike water temperature.

This would lead to a page where there are different methods for calculating strike temperature and how to get them.

1. The formula - to use as you see fit, and how to enter in excel, html, etc.
2. Software (promash, beersmith) and how to use it
3. Web sites - for easy reference

There would also be discussion on variations, such as thermal mass and differences with elevation, etc. I could just do the initial thread, and then add and change as I go, using multiple threads to ensure the first post of each thread has the necessary information.

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:57 AM   #4
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What about testing for startch conversion?

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Old 01-19-2010, 03:14 AM   #5
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Good write up. I'm just starting with All Grain (my last batch was the first one with decent efficiency), so I probably can use this to improve my method...

Here are a few comments:

What I do with my strike water/cooler tun is to heat it to about 15F above strike temp, then dump it into the cooler and let it heat the vessel for 10 minutes. After 5-10 minutes I adjust to strike temp if needed, and dump the grains at once. Not sure if it's better, but cuts one step.

Quote:
2. Close valve and pour wort over top
Perhaps add some hints for doing this without disturbing grain bed? (in most videos I've seen people use a piece of foil on top of the grist)

Quote:
5. After wort has begun to fill, apply very light heat to maintain wort at ~185°F
Did you mean the sparge water? heating the boiling kettle during runoff will be very hard for someone boiling on a stove

It seems you're using a stockpot as a hot liquor tun, and then fly sparging with a saucepan. That sounds like an odd compromise - it seems you could either just batch sparge, or get/make a sparge arm. Depending on how fast your runoff is, that could be a long time holding a saucepan to pour it right... (disclaimer: I'm lazy).

Quote:
----b)If lower than desired efficiency, continue sparge to achieve more extraction
Since you're fly sparging, maybe you should put a warning here about tannins. Also, make sure to not sparge more than you can boil off later (this was my mistake on one of my first brews... sparged a lot to try to get more efficiency, then couldn't boil everything off and ended up with a lot of weak beer)
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:26 AM   #6
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If you're going to write a tutorial, you might want to define terms. my opinion.

sparge, vorlauf, etc.

very nice writeup

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Old 01-19-2010, 03:26 AM   #7
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This is a project I would LOVE to work on if I had time. I read through the list very quickly. One piece of constructive criticism that I would offer is that it comes across as a tutorial from an experienced brewer to an experienced brewer. You know me pretty well in that I am new to the hobby, but I have learned a massive amount of information incredibly quickly. To me, the steps are very clear, but for someone who would like to step into all grain and doesn't have the balls-out personality and insatiable drive to know everything (like I do)...a more casual approach if you will, I could see how it could be totally overwhelming.

I mean, many of these steps on here could be expanded (through a link like you said) to have a bit more information/background/explanation of the science behind, etc. With that, it would be phenomenal. I guess what I am saying is that on its face, it should be "dumbed down". The spine should be 2nd grade, but the links behind should be collegiate...which I have no doubt was your intention in the first place.

Props to you man...way to give back! I hope this helps.

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Old 01-19-2010, 03:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Robinson View Post
I guess what I am saying is that on its face, it should be "dumbed down".
You know, looking back, maybe it is too "dumbed down". Looking back, maybe it is too "bullet-like". In an outline format, brevity is a good quality, but maybe not in this context. Some bullets could be expanded on the face of the outline without a link, but then the links could be added to stuff like strike temp calcs, pitching rate calcs, etc.

I've been drinking a bit and have probably been listening to DevilDriver a bit too loud.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wing-it View Post
What about testing for startch conversion?
Good point. I suppose you would want to do that before the run-off. Or you could take it at the run-off just to double-check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qvantamon View Post
What I do with my strike water/cooler tun is to heat it to about 15F above strike temp, then dump it into the cooler and let it heat the vessel for 10 minutes. After 5-10 minutes I adjust to strike temp if needed, and dump the grains at once. Not sure if it's better, but cuts one step.
I don't like adjusting strike temp...I like to hit dead on, so no calculations for adjustment are needed until the next step in the mash. But this method will be mentioned, and is very similar to my partial mash thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qvantamon View Post
Perhaps add some hints for doing this without disturbing grain bed? (in most videos I've seen people use a piece of foil on top of the grist)
Nice catch. I often don't use a piece of foil, but I'm very careful about it (and purposely stirring up the top a bit) but it's always good practice. Of course, the sparge section would cover different methods. I think Doc has made a good point with simplifying the basic step-by-step. That's originally why I thought of other pages detailing the methods, as well...let them do the talking. Have to draw a line, tho. I don't want this to read like an ISO manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qvantamon View Post
Did you mean the sparge water? heating the boiling kettle during runoff will be very hard for someone boiling on a stove
I don't see why heating the run-off water would be difficult on a stove. I suppose I could open the "185°F" range a little, tho, make it clear that you want it hot and you don't want to boil until you're done with your run-off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qvantamon View Post
It seems you're using a stockpot as a hot liquor tun, and then fly sparging with a saucepan. That sounds like an odd compromise - it seems you could either just batch sparge, or get/make a sparge arm. Depending on how fast your runoff is, that could be a long time holding a saucepan to pour it right... (disclaimer: I'm lazy).
I just use the saucepan, checking the level and the temperature, and adjust heat on the water as needed to keep the mash at the right spot. I'M the lazy one Not sure how I'll define this in the tutorial, but it's just my current method.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qvantamon View Post
Since you're fly sparging, maybe you should put a warning here about tannins. Also, make sure to not sparge more than you can boil off later (this was my mistake on one of my first brews... sparged a lot to try to get more efficiency, then couldn't boil everything off and ended up with a lot of weak beer)
Step 4.4 mentions this, and I think that I could make it more clear. I want to make it so you stop running off when you hit efficiency at whatever volume it happens. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by motobrewer View Post
If you're going to write a tutorial, you might want to define terms. my opinion.

sparge, vorlauf, etc.

very nice writeup
Will do. With pop-ups defining them, I think...just little windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Robinson View Post
This is a project I would LOVE to work on if I had time. I read through the list very quickly. One piece of constructive criticism that I would offer is that it comes across as a tutorial from an experienced brewer to an experienced brewer. You know me pretty well in that I am new to the hobby, but I have learned a massive amount of information incredibly quickly. To me, the steps are very clear, but for someone who would like to step into all grain and doesn't have the balls-out personality and insatiable drive to know everything (like I do)...a more casual approach if you will, I could see how it could be totally overwhelming.

I mean, many of these steps on here could be expanded (through a link like you said) to have a bit more information/background/explanation of the science behind, etc. With that, it would be phenomenal. I guess what I am saying is that on its face, it should be "dumbed down". The spine should be 2nd grade, but the links behind should be collegiate...which I have no doubt was your intention in the first place.

Props to you man...way to give back! I hope this helps.
Exactly my intention The original is, of course, written for my roommate. It just gave me the idea and I'll build off it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Robinson View Post
You know, looking back, maybe it is too "dumbed down". Looking back, maybe it is too "bullet-like". In an outline format, brevity is a good quality, but maybe not in this context. Some bullets could be expanded on the face of the outline without a link, but then the links could be added to stuff like strike temp calcs, pitching rate calcs, etc.

I've been drinking a bit and have probably been listening to DevilDriver a bit too loud.
No, this is just the information. Images and design will come later and I'll enjoy seeing your feedback there, as well.

Good stuff, guys. I'm going to have a lot more time on my hands coming up and I'm looking forward to it.

Cheers.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wing-it View Post
What about testing for startch conversion?
+1 on this. I just brewed an all-grain batch that was way under my expected OG. A first for me as I assumed conversion was complete.
I like kaiser's suggestion on his youtube decoction video... using iodophor on chalk method. Just my .02
Great write up BTW!
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