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Old 05-10-2008, 09:23 PM   #1
cwhill
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Default Centennial Blonde First AG

My first AG brew went pretty good in my opninon. I had a pretty decent plan in placed and I am excited now to taste the fruits of my labor. Only one equipment failure on the burner and I bought a new fryer so problem solved. The proces took ymabout 8 hours start to finish. The sparge time took longer than I thought. It drains very slowly is that normal? Sometimes only a trickle. Not sure what my efficencies are like and don't know if I'll try and calculate them. Seems like alot of work..=) In any case I pretty much followed the BeerSmith instruction and a little bit from this site http://www.suebob.com/brew/allgrain.htm and hopefully I end up with a great beer. Thanks to BierMuncher for what looks to be a great beer. The BeerSmith brew sheet is below. My gravities were higher than BierMuncher has in the recipe but dead on with what BeerSmith calculated. My gaviies are as follows:
Pre-Boil: 1.042
Post Boil/OG: 1.048
No sure why they are so much higher and hopefully that dosn't screw up the beer too much.
**********************************************
Recipe: BierMuncher Centennial Blonde
Brewer:
Asst Brewer:
Style: Blonde Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.41 gal
Estimated OG: 1.047 SG
Estimated Color: 3.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 38.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
7 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 80.00 %
1 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 11.43 %
12.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 8.57 %
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (55 min) Hops 18.3 IBU
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (35 min) Hops 15.5 IBU
0.25 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (20 min) Hops 3.1 IBU
0.25 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (5 min) Hops 1.0 IBU
1 Pkgs Nottingham Yeast (Lallemand #-) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 8.75 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 10.94 qt of water at 165.3 F 150.0 F

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Bottled: BierMuncher's Centenial Blonde,Oatmeal Stout
Kegged: Centenial Blonde
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:42 PM   #2
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Nicely done.
Give us a run-down on your mash tun setup and we can maybe help with the slow sparge issue.

A light grain bill like this should flow pretty smoothly so if you go to a bigger beer, your problems might increase.

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Old 05-11-2008, 03:24 AM   #3
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Thanks! My lauter tun is a standard Coleman 48 quart cooler (rectangular). I installed a 1/2" brass nipple through the drain with a ball valve and brass barbs on each side. The inside uses the brainded line method. I guess it seemed slow but I don't really know how long it should take as it is my first. I spent about an hour sparging, maybe a bit more. About 15 to 20 minutes per round. I actually only opened the ball valve a little in the beginning so the wort didn't come out too fast thus disturbing the grain bed. But after a few minutes of good steady flow it would slow to a trickle at some points. Like I said about 20 minutes or so per round. I also estimated I was recovering about 60% of the liquid that I put in. I assume it is normal to put in 3 gals and get back only 2 from absorption?

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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
...I still stare lovingly at my fermenters every day.
**********************************
There are two rules for success in life:
1. Never tell anyone everything you know
2.
**********************************
Primary: Air
Secondary: Air
Bottled: BierMuncher's Centenial Blonde,Oatmeal Stout
Kegged: Centenial Blonde
On Deck:

Last edited by cwhill; 05-11-2008 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwhill View Post
Thanks! My lauter tun is a standard Coleman 48 quart cooler (rectangular). I installed a 1/2" brass nipple through the drain with a ball valve and brass barbs on each side. The inside uses the brainded line method. I guess it seemed slow but I don't really know how long it should take as it is my first. I spent about an hour sparging, maybe a bit more. About 15 to 20 minutes per round. I actually only opened the ball valve a little in the beginning so the wort didn't come out too fast thus disturbing the grain bed. But after a few minutes of good steady flow it would slow to a trickle at some points. Like I said about 20 minutes or so per round. I also estimated I was recovering about 60% of the liquid that I put in. I assume it is normal to put in 3 gals and get back only 2 from absorption?
I'd recommend one of two things:

1) keep an abundance of rice hulls in stock I use them for all my brews.

2) Switch to a manifold drain system. Braids tend to be more prone to slow/sticky sparges.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post
I'd recommend one of two things:

1) keep an abundance of rice hulls in stock I use them for all my brews.

2) Switch to a manifold drain system. Braids tend to be more prone to slow/sticky sparges.
Good thoughts. I'd like to swich to a manifold. Should I open the valve all the way and just let the wort drain once I recirc a couple quarts?
Also why do you think the gravities were higher than predicted?
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
...I still stare lovingly at my fermenters every day.
**********************************
There are two rules for success in life:
1. Never tell anyone everything you know
2.
**********************************
Primary: Air
Secondary: Air
Bottled: BierMuncher's Centenial Blonde,Oatmeal Stout
Kegged: Centenial Blonde
On Deck:
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwhill View Post
Good thoughts. I'd like to swich to a manifold. Should I open the valve all the way and just let the wort drain once I recirc a couple quarts?
Also why do you think the gravities were higher than predicted?
Never open the valve all the way. That will create too strong a suction and compact the grain bed even more and cause worse sparging issues.

Try some rice hulls before you change out your equipment. Dump in one sauce pot full in your next batch.

Gravities are and individual result. If your first AG had "X" as an efficiency, use that as the driver for your next AG batch. everyone's individual setup will give them unique results. Just dial in your numbers in your own recipe setups.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:06 PM   #7
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Question about Rice hulls while on the topic. I assume they don't get crushed and what kind of quantities are usually used, and do they just get dumped in with everything else mixed in at dough in?

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Old 05-14-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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Rice hulls; Just mix 'em in there with everything else. I think when you go to the manifold system you'll have much better luck. I think your issue is that the braid is collapsing? Perhaps a braid user can chime in on that point.

I use a bullet screen, which is rigid like a manifold will be. After I vorlauf, it's wide open into the brew kettle. The entire sparging process takes about 10 minutes if I have the water heated and ready. I've never had a stuck sparge(knock on wood).

EDIT - you're gonna like that Centennial. It didn't have much of a chance to age at my house.

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Old 05-14-2008, 08:38 PM   #9
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[/QUOTE]EDIT - you're gonna like that Centennial. It didn't have much of a chance to age at my house.[/QUOTE]

+1 on the Centennial. I'm drinking one as I type this, and I think this may be my summertime brew! Great job BM!

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Old 05-15-2008, 02:48 PM   #10
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EDIT - you're gonna like that Centennial. It didn't have much of a chance to age at my house.[/QUOTE]

+1 on the Centennial. I'm drinking one as I type this, and I think this may be my summertime brew! Great job BM! [/QUOTE]

I can't wait to try it! Unfortunately it has only been fermenting for about 6 days....Still bubbling along nicely as of last night. It will be a few weeks before I can taste it. I'm getting nervous though reading some astringency threads on here..This is a smaller grain bill not to mention my first AG and I'm praying I didn't "over" sparge. After the initial drain I sparged twice in accordance with BrewSmith. Once with about 3.5 gallons and the last one about 1.5 gallons. I didn't have to add any make up to my wort it pretty much came out right on the money. I guess I'll wait and see.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
...I still stare lovingly at my fermenters every day.
**********************************
There are two rules for success in life:
1. Never tell anyone everything you know
2.
**********************************
Primary: Air
Secondary: Air
Bottled: BierMuncher's Centenial Blonde,Oatmeal Stout
Kegged: Centenial Blonde
On Deck:
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