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Old 04-23-2012, 06:07 PM   #1
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Default first AG

I am thinking about doing my first AG. I converted a 5 gal Igloo cooler I had laying around by adding a SS braid and a ball valve and have a converted keg a friend let me have for a while. I've been looking at some Hef recipes and it looks like most of them are 5-7 lbs wheat/4-6 lbs munich or german pils with hallertaur for hops and a Hef yeast.
Having no idea what kind of efficiency my system will have, what would be the best (or safest) way to go with the exact numbers on the grain bill and volumes for mash and sparge?

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Old 04-23-2012, 07:41 PM   #2
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Exact numbers would equate to 100% efficiency. You can safely bet that it won't be that high (nor would you want it to be). As a new system, and especially as a new-to-AG brewer, you can also safely assume that you won't be running the system at peak efficiency in your first batch. Many brewing apps use 75% as a default efficiency. BYO publishes all of their recipes assuming at 65% efficiency. I'd consider those numbers to be your high mark for your first batch.

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Old 04-23-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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I use a converted cooler and batch sparge. I have been getting 70% efficiency and have a buddy with a similar system who gets about the same. I would say shoot for 70% efficiency as a baseline and go from there. It's going to take quite a few brews to make sure you have your efficiency dialed in.

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Old 04-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OClairBrew View Post
I use a converted cooler and batch sparge. I have been getting 70% efficiency and have a buddy with a similar system who gets about the same. I would say shoot for 70% efficiency as a baseline and go from there. It's going to take quite a few brews to make sure you have your efficiency dialed in.
+1. i started on a similar setup, and got similar numbers.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:37 PM   #5
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:41 PM   #6
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Thanks. Will figure on getting about 70% and go from there. So looking on hopville's recipe calculator
6 lbs wheat
5 lbs pils
.5 Rice hulls
.75 hallertau @ 60 and .25 @ 15

with WLP300 should put me around 4.8% with about 12 IBU

Does that sound like a reasonable Hefe? Wanted to try out a basic one and if it works throw some of my blackberries in another batch if it works out.

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Old 04-23-2012, 09:03 PM   #7
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Re: black berries in the secondary. Either pasturize them or soak them in vodka first. blackberries have a ton of bacteria on them

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Old 04-23-2012, 09:40 PM   #8
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That recipe looks good and very similar to something I plan to brew soon. Just keep in mind you will need a 90 minute boil with the Pilsner malt to drive off the DMS so adjust your pre-boil volume to compensate.

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Old 04-23-2012, 10:42 PM   #9
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Thanks, I was figuring I would probably want to do a little extra sparging and come up with a little more preboil volume to account for my expected low efficiency on my first batch. looking at some of the on-line calculators and best guessing the losses I figure it'll probably take about 3.5 gal for mashing and 5.5 for sparging to end up with 6.5 gal of wort which should leave me with a little over 5 gallons post boil.

Should I take gravities from the mash and sparge as well as the combined preboil wort to figure out the efficiencies and losses?

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:11 PM   #10
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I know many people go that route, I only take my pre-boil volume and gravity to determine my efficiency, as far as losses go most people experience about 1 gallon absorption per 10lbs of grain. I have never really calculated my losses, but that seems to be what I experience. I don't whirlpool or anything after the boil, I just place a sanitized 5 gallon paint strainer and set in my Ale Pail before pouring the chilled wort into it and get the trub filtered out that way without losing much liquid volume.

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