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Old 11-18-2008, 06:41 PM   #101
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I'm getting ready to do my first AG batch very soon and as I mull through every detail I can, I'm wondering how do you guys cool your samples quickly for gravity reading of mash and sparge runoff? I also get frustrated when I can't take gravity readings when I'm boiling a starter.

--Thanks for your suggestions.
You don't really need to cool the sample. When doing the mash I do readings at 155 degrees and add .020 to the gravity reading. At sparge temp of 166 or 167 I add .024
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Old 11-19-2008, 04:32 PM   #102
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I use a refractometer. I can watch the Brix climb and then plateau, and that alongside a starch test where I can see the starch amount dwindle and disappear tells me I have full conversion. THen it's a matter of extraction (sparge).

You can use a refractometer with a single drop from a tiny dropper, and a few drops on a white porcelain dish will be enough for you to drop one small drop of iodine tincture on. You can get refractometer online and the tincture and droppers at your pharmacy.

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Old 11-19-2008, 10:16 PM   #103
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I'll be starting my first AG as soon as I get my coolers converted, from the first sticky here I can tell I've found the right place to learn how to do it right. Looking forward to reading all the tips.

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Old 12-18-2008, 05:05 PM   #104
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This may or may not be a stupid question but why are you guys so concerned with the loss of temp of the strike water when it hits the grains when you could just preheat the grains in the oven to net you a 0* loss of temp?

My initial reasoning dictates that you would not want to heat the grains up due to possibly rendering them impotent (for lack of a better term)??

But then I cannot see why you wouldn't preheat them because you are adding 155* water to them anyway, and THAT doesn't hurt anything, but on the other hand putting the grains in water (or a soluble mixture) IS different than dry heat.

I think I am moving to AG sooner than I expected. I am already sick of extract twang and I haven't even drank my first batch entirely yet.

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Old 12-18-2008, 05:13 PM   #105
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This may or may not be a stupid question but why are you guys so concerned with the loss of temp of the strike water when it hits the grains when you could just preheat the grains in the oven to net you a 0* loss of temp?

My initial reasoning dictates that you would not want to heat the grains up due to possibly rendering them impotent (for lack of a better term)??

But then I cannot see why you wouldn't preheat them because you are adding 155* water to them anyway, and THAT doesn't hurt anything, but on the other hand putting the grains in water (or a soluble mixture) IS different than dry heat.

I think I am moving to AG sooner than I expected. I am already sick of extract twang and I haven't even drank my first batch entirely yet.
Do you have any idea how much of a PITA it would be to heat 8-14 pounds of grain in an oven to a consistent temperature? It would either take forever and dry out the grains, or you'd use high heat and stir a lot, which is also a PITA.

Adjusting water temps takes about 15 seconds in brewing software.
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:38 PM   #106
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This may or may not be a stupid question but why are you guys so concerned with the loss of temp of the strike water when it hits the grains when you could just preheat the grains in the oven to net you a 0* loss of temp?
Since most people alternate the addition of grain...then some water...then some grain...then some water (in order to avoid clumping), your grains would end up cooling down in the process.

Plus like KT said. It would be a royal PITA.

Use your software to determine your strike temp. Then keep some cold or hot water nearby to make some adjustments once you dough in. If I recall, I used to add 15 degrees to my desired mash temp when I was doing 5 gallon batches.

Now…with 10-gallon batches, my routine is repeatable and accurate. Take my total grain weight….add to my desired mash temp…and add 5 degrees.

So a 20 pound grist that I want to mash at 155 calls for a strike temp of 180 degrees. (20 + 155 + 5)

I nail it every time.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:55 PM   #107
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ive been brewing mash/extract for about ten years. i love the beer i make. however, know i must move to all grain at some point. that's just how i am. is there a particular book or perhaps a video that can walk me through it? i have read the process over and over but i am still sketched on trying it. any help is greatly appreciated

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Old 12-28-2008, 07:02 PM   #108
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ive been brewing mash/extract for about ten years. i love the beer i make. however, know i must move to all grain at some point. that's just how i am. is there a particular book or perhaps a video that can walk me through it? i have read the process over and over but i am still sketched on trying it. any help is greatly appreciated
Bobby M taught me how to do it!

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Old 01-05-2009, 07:24 PM   #109
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I head up my cooler by microwaving a quart or two of water for a while (during which I'm setting up my mash/sparge water and heating it).
Then I drain out the heating water and put all my mash water into the cooler, above the temp called for by a few degrees. I stir and watch it lower down to strike temp, then put in my grains (room temp).

The software will have told me what the water should be (and you can adjust your grain temps in it). It's pretty darn accurate, and when it's not, I can almost invariably attribute it to my grains being too cold or too hot.

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Old 01-08-2009, 12:29 AM   #110
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how did your fat tire clone come out? also, what yeast did you use? I have used the Belgian abbey ale and california ale and not gotten even close. both were good beers, but neither had that toasted, bready, crisp finish.

thanks for any info

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