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Old 06-16-2012, 08:03 AM   #11
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(which you already said in the OP if I'd been paying attention)

Also, agree with above. It's shockingly easy. I mean, you can make it as nit-picky as you want (mash pH, water reports, adding salts, multi-stage mashes, fly sparge contraptions, etc.) but you don't have to, and you'll get good beer regardless.

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Old 06-16-2012, 11:42 AM   #12
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Preheating the mash tun with a gallon of boiling water was something I wish I had done from the beginning. Makes hitting your mash temp a snap.

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Old 06-16-2012, 12:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavandeh View Post
Tomorrow, I will embark on my first all-grain experience brewing a very simple IPA. My question for you, the HBT reader, is: what are some simple things that you wish someone would have shared you before your first batch all-grain? Things that you don't see in videos, ie. stir your strike water to make sure your temp is even throughout your pot... can't think of any other good examples... Maybe I had too much homebrew!

What do you wish you knew before starting AG? GO!
How much money I was gonna spend getting an "ideal" brewing set up built and functioning well enough to make great beer. I have spent way too much on way too little, because I was trying to save money and got a bunch of cheap stuff that I will ultimately have to replace in the long run. Stainless kettles and pots being the most blatant example of that. So plan wisely, budget your funds and get the good stuff the first time around. It will save you money in the long run. But I am still having a great time, so the loss really isn't that great all things considered. Have a great day and an even better weekend.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rbeckett View Post
How much money I was gonna spend getting an "ideal" brewing set up built and functioning well enough to make great beer. I have spent way too much on way too little, because I was trying to save money and got a bunch of cheap stuff that I will ultimately have to replace in the long run. Stainless kettles and pots being the most blatant example of that. So plan wisely, budget your funds and get the good stuff the first time around. It will save you money in the long run. But I am still having a great time, so the loss really isn't that great all things considered. Have a great day and an even better weekend.
Wheelchair Bob
I'd second this sentiment for future batches, but it sounds like the equipment isn't as much your concern with brew day looming.

I'd also reemphasize how easy it is.

For BIAB, insulating with blankets would be my first choice, followed by adding heat as necessary.

As a diatribe, I'm partial to using an ice chest for a mash tun because it stays so well insulated. You'd be surprised how easy it is to convert one. I converted my igloo Ice Cube 48qt ice chest with just a bazooka screen, connector, 1/2" tubing, #6 stopper (i think that was the right size), brass ball valve and a few hose clamps. All in all, because I repurposed the cooler I already had, it cost me somewhere around $40. Of course, that was not including the larger pot and banjo burner I needed in order to do full volume, but it sounds like you already have that. With that equipment I've brewed nearly 100 gallons of delicious brew so far. Just my unsolicited $0.02 for future endeavors...
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:33 PM   #15
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Pay attention to your volumes and aim a little high. All grain has a lot more trub than extract.

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Old 06-16-2012, 02:35 PM   #16
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Aim high on volumes like the above poster. That 50-55% efficiency is a bad thing if you hit that range every single time.

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Old 06-16-2012, 05:06 PM   #17
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Do all your prep the night before, i've finally figured out how great it is. I write up a template in my notebook with everything I normally record, so all I have to do is fill in the blanks instead of scrambling to do everything while writing it down. Also leave a space so you can record your times, mash-in, sparge out, boil start, hop additions.

There's a lot to keep track of and do, but if you get everything you can ready the night before you spend most of your time sitting around drinking watching the HLT, Mash Tun, and brew kettle.

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:55 PM   #18
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Good suggestions so far, though for me, it's pre-measuring as much as you can the night before (water might be the exception). I have found that multitasking is the bane of brew days...lots of "OH SH*T" moments when trying to work super efficiently through multitasking...messy!

Good luck BTW!!!

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Old 06-16-2012, 09:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavandeh View Post
I'm doing BIAB, so hopefully I won't need the extra water since all the temp loss will be due to grain immersion and steam loss.

However, since I'm mashing in a pot instead of a cooler, the metal will conduct heat, and thus lose it considerably better than a cooler. Should I, A.) Let it sit a little longer, B.) Wrap it in blankets, or C.) Continue heating it from the bottom and stirring?

D.) none of the above?
i did that for a while when i thought my mash tun was broken. i did the same thing for the 12+ lbs of grain that i did when i was doing partial mashes. i.e bring the water up to strike temp and checking it constantly stirring every ten minutes and adding heat as necessary. its a tedious process and not the best most efficient way but it will work if you're careful and attentive. also you need a big brew pot. straining and sparging is a whole different beast. i just used my mash tun (again thought it was leaky, it wasnt). good luck
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:28 PM   #20
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The time. 4+hours is a huge chunk of the day. Not too bad when you start early in the day...a real pain when it's dark, you're tired and you just want to be done. I've learned to be sure my schedule is open for six hours on a brew day.

Oh yeah, and making sure you have enough propane on hand.

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