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Old 01-28-2012, 03:05 AM   #1
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Default Doing First AG in the Morning - Advice or Pointers?

Well, I've decided to go with ag brewing, so in the morning I'll be doing EdWort's Haus Pale Ale!! Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Any of those uh oh moments you might have had on your first ag batch. Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:20 AM   #2
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Haus Pale Ale was my first AG also. It was pretty simple, but a great learning experience. Mine was Biab but all I can say is enjoy your first all grain! I have made this one two times and the first one I messed up because I got in to big of a hurry and did not take the time to enjoy the new prosses. But dont worry, like I said take your time and enjoy the new prosses so you don't miss or skimp on the AG steps.

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:23 AM   #3
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Take lots of notes. Dont stress hitting temps or anything exactly this time around but use those notes to help in the future. Take your time and by all means have fun, you're making beer.

Cheers and good luck!

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:27 AM   #4
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Preheat your mash tun (not that I know your equipment set up, but still)

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:35 AM   #5
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Don't worry about efficiency! Just get your process down and learn your system and equipment....

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:37 AM   #6
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Take good readings on your water volumes so that you can get a good feel for your grain adsorption amount and of course your normal evaporation rate during boil (which you may already know by now). Also that helps with efficiency calc's so you can be sure to hit your SG in the future.
Have fun!

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:55 AM   #7
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I know I'm repeating everyone else. One trick is to figure out how to get to the mash temp you want, whether you pre-heat your mash tun or don't (I don't), with the desired ratio of water to grain. The best way to do that is *relax*, note the temp and amount of what your are starting with, the volume of water and the temp of water that you are introducing, and how close you got to what you were intending. You can always tweak and learn from there. (Of course, using software and other people's guides help. If you try to mash at 1.25qt/1lb then you can easily adjust up or down with cold or hot water and end up less than 1.5qt/1lb.) Also, stir all those dough-balls out carefully and completely.

The reason I don't pre-heat my mash tun is I experimented with exactly how to hit my mash temp *without* preheating, provided I set everything up the night before so everything was at room temp the next day.

It really helps to record your history of certain attempts in a notebook or on your ipad or whatever. In the excitement of the moment, or after chasing down a thing or two, or perhaps even drinking a beer or two I've forgotten the details.

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Old 01-28-2012, 05:43 AM   #8
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Keep a notebook. Don't rely on printouts of whatever calculator page or recipe you are using, write it down with pencil and paper. Keep notes on it until you drink the last bottle. Record expected and actual gravities, grain bill preferably with brand names, etc... Be specific in your notes so if there is a problem maybe you can trace it back.

If you are fly sparging, be very patient. If you're batch sparging (like me) make sure to stir your mash well between sparges.

If you are grinding your own grain, be careful of your crush. If you are sticking sparges you went a bit too fine. If you are seeing any whole berries pass through without being crushed, you need to tighten up. Grinding finer will net you more efficiency, but also bring potential headaches.

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Old 01-28-2012, 06:20 AM   #9
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Completely different advice from me. Don't take any notes, just do your first AG and have fun without worrying about anything but getting comfortable with the process. Next time get serious when you realize it wasn't a big deal to move to AG.

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Old 01-28-2012, 06:24 AM   #10
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Err on the warm side of strike water temp and let it cool down before doughing in. It is a major pain adding boiling water to increase temps.

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