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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Best tip when making the switch to all-grain
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
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Default Best tip when making the switch to all-grain

Whats your best tip for someone who is making the switch to all grain? I've got everything I need to take the plunge but I'm looking for any helpful information.
Cheers!

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Old 02-08-2013, 11:45 PM   #2
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Remember to control your mash temps. Making the same beer with different temps will change the body of it.

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Old 02-09-2013, 12:24 AM   #3
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Make sure the thermometer you use to determine your mash temperature is accurate. Look at your crushed grain, any whole grain will not give up any sugars but too much flour will give you trouble when you try to lauter unless you BIAB.

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Old 02-09-2013, 12:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Make sure the thermometer you use to determine your mash temperature is accurate.
This is a great tip. Took me two or three batches before I realized my thermometer wasn't as accurate as I had thought.

I also just tell first timers to have a great time and not stress too much about it.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:39 AM   #5
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It's not hard to do. When you have the boil down from extract, it's just a matter of pre-heating your mash tun with boiling water and heating the strike water to the proper temperature. BeerSmith has a calculator that I use to tell what strike temperature to use to hit target temperature. I keep boiling water to raise mash temp if needed.

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Old 02-09-2013, 12:46 AM   #6
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All the above. Plus I think doing partial mashes, or at least keeping some DME around, is a great idea at first. Get a refractometer to take a pre-boil reading and add some more fermentables if you missed your mark. Also, if you get some iodine you can easily do a conversion test before you sparge/mash out. Accurate temps and a proper crush are a must!

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Old 02-09-2013, 12:48 AM   #7
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Have fun when you're brewing beer! Don't get too hung up on all of the technical aspects of brewing. It's supposed to be fun. You'll make mistakes but you'll still make beer. I enjoy every brewing session and every beer made (some more than others).
Get an accurate thermometer is the best advice I can give you. Secondly, mill your own grain. Everything else will take care of itself.

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Old 02-09-2013, 12:55 AM   #8
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After temps and gravity readings, accurate volume measurement is a big deal. Mark a stick at half-gallon or quart increments (or liters if you swing that way) as the water sits in your boil pot. I put this off and eyeballed for too long, and had some pretty radical goofs when it came to boiloff and strike volumes in my batches.

Doesn't hurt to correct volumes for heat expansion, either: room temp volume is 97% of volume at mash temps, and 96% of volume at boiling.

-Rich

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:05 AM   #9
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Buy a digital thermometer

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Old 02-09-2013, 01:17 AM   #10
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Great tips. If you want to retain as much knowledge about your brew day and what you are doing as possible, teach your significant other or a friend what you are doing while you are doing it... and the reasons for doing so as much as possible. Teaching others stimulates the brain to a higher degree than just following a spread sheet of procedures and allows for much greater retention. Works for just about anything...

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