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Old 06-28-2007, 02:25 PM   #1
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I am most likely going to switch over to AG very soon from extract...even though I've only done a couple of batches in extract. There are however a couple of things I'm worried about.

First- Looking online for bulk supplies in Grain I found that while I can get a 50-55 pound sack for in the 30s, it is going to cost me around 40 bucks to get it shipped. Anyone know somewhere where the shipping is free or much less? I am in Boston.

Second-I have seen a lot about efficiency ratings. How difficult is it to get a good one? I am a bit worried about this.

Third- How difficult is the process? I 've read a couple of guides, howtobrew and a few others, and it seems pretty easy, but I'm confused on a few parts. From what I understand is i put the grain in my cooler or main bucket, then add hot water(in the 160 degree range) and stir...Then I let it sit for about an hour, then add more water to it and recirculate that water until it is an amber color, then drain this into my wort pot and have it boil and continue on. Is this right? Will this give me good efficiency?

Lastly, was going to follow the guide of http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=23008 there. I don't see how that has a false bottom though?

Anyways, thanks for your patience and help!
Daum

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Old 06-28-2007, 02:44 PM   #2
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When you recirculate, you're not looking for an amber color exactly, You're just looking for clear runnings devoid of husk particulate. In simple terms, you mash at about 1.25 quarts per pound of grain for an hour, recirculate until clear (about 2 qts) then drain into your kettle or holding bucket. Add sparge water at about 185F to get your grain bed up to 168F (your temp requirement may vary to acheive 168). Stir it up, recirculate again for clarity, then drain into your kettle. You can do another sparge if you're not at your desired kettle volume (probably around 6.5 gallons). Getting the temps and volumes correct is the hardest part.

That cooler in the thread you linked to is using a stainless braid as a filter instead of a false bottom. This is ideal for the batch sparge process I just described.

My advice is get yourself setup for full boils including a big pot, a turkey fryer style burner, and an immersion chiller first. Do a couple extract batches on that, then go all grain.

Oh, to go bulk grain, you'll need to drop $140 on a mill. If you're still on board, check local home brew stores or ask a local brewpub if they'd sell you sacks.

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Old 06-28-2007, 03:25 PM   #3
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My advice would be to do an all grain kits from a good supplier as your first AG adventure.

they eliminate all the guess work including amount of water at what temp at what time for how long, etc. The best beer I ever made was an AG kit Vienna lager.

I found some cheap sacks of grain in my area, but man the legwork was a bitch.

FYI, I don't have a false bottom

It is good that you are asking all these questino, but above all relax. Think of it like making oatmeal. It is quite simple. Only as complicated as you make it.

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Old 06-28-2007, 03:46 PM   #4
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Alright will do, as for the grain mill was going to build one of my own, i think there was a link on this forum for how to do it relatively cheap. Just want to get fully educated in all the areas that I would need to know before I go about trying this.
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:37 PM   #5
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http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Premium-Cast...hippingPayment

Wouldn't that work for the grain mill?
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Old 06-30-2007, 03:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daum
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Premium-Cast...hippingPayment

Wouldn't that work for the grain mill?
Daum
The problem with a lot of grain mills that aren't specifically intended for brewing is that they're not adjustable and will make flour out of grain (which is their purpose). You don't want flour, you want the grain to be crushed to expose the kernel while keeping the husk intact.

You don't need a homebrew grain mill to go AG but it's helpful and moreover is just another toy.

Cheers!
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Old 06-30-2007, 03:59 PM   #7
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Look over these 2 site pages. They sure helped a few of us get the process clearer.
http://cruisenews.net/brewing/infusion/

http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

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Old 06-30-2007, 07:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daum
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Premium-Cast...hippingPayment

Wouldn't that work for the grain mill?
Daum
If you are going to use a false bottom or manifold (especially if you are fly sparging), I wouldn't recommend this mill. It can give a decent crush, but it shreds the husks a lot more than a roller mill would. You may have trouble with stuck sparges, unless you crush very coarse, in which case your efficiency will be poor.

However, if you are going to use the SS braid (as in my MLT conversion thread), these mills work perfectly fine. You can crush reasonably fine and not worry about a stuck sparge. See this link for lots of reports of people that have had good success with Corona and Corona-style mills:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=32437

If you are looking to save a few bucks on AG brewing, and you are already prepared to buy your base malts in bulk, then an inexpensive mill like this will pay for itself pretty quickly.
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