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Old 03-06-2011, 04:39 PM   #1
theRick
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Default First AG batch recipe question

I've been brewing off and on for 22 years, almost exclusively partial mashes. I finally built a picnic cooler mash tun and am ready to try it out. For my first batch I was thinking of doing 10 lbs 2-row and no specialty grains to get a good idea of my system efficiency (5 gallon batch). It will make a drinkable beer, I'll get an idea of my efficiency (using LHBS milled grains) and I'd like to see the lightest color I can get using 2-row. The only con I can think of is it will be just a basic beer, (but still beer!). Yes, I'll use hops and good yeast.

After searching I couldn't find anyone else who did this, most were pretty ambitious in their recipe selection. I think I have enough experience and knowledge to reach close to maximum efficiency for my set up and grain crush the first time. Is it worth it to do a batch this way? Should I just brew a normal recipe and keep track of efficiencies as I brew more? Any comments will be appreciated.

Also I think this forum is extremely helpful, I've been lurking a long time and now ask for your help, thanks!.

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Old 03-06-2011, 05:12 PM   #2
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Look up SMaSH recipes - Single Malt and Single Hop. Lots of people do this and make great beers.

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Old 03-06-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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Default Along those same lines.

I am back to brewing after a long layoff (15 years). Previously I did only extract brewing. Now since coming back it is all grain brewing. Point is this - I started with a basic recipe to play with. A amber ale. 10 pounds 2 row, 1 pound crystal malt and 1 pound carared. Mainly cascade hops but here is where the varation comes in. I make small changes to see the difference. It has been fun to work out the fine points and just nail the process and the recipe....have fun Mike

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Old 03-06-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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You can do a single malt if you want or you can do a couple of specialty malts with it. The real key for figuring out your efficiency is to make a beer with an average OG because the bigger the beer the lower your efficiency. Welcome back to brewing!

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Old 03-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #5
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I think your idea is great, and there are plenty of styles out there that can be made with only one malt. Simplicity is great for your first AG.

Most important thing for a first time AG: TAKE A PREBOIL GRAVITY READING.

If you do this, you'll know if you hit your target efficiency, and you'll know if you need to add more DME before the boil. Nothing is more frustrating to your first AG batch than coming down to pitching time and realizing you missed your OG by 10 points or more.

DON'T FORGET

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Old 03-07-2011, 12:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for your input, I think I'm going to do a smash recipe with the 2-row and use a hop I don't normally use to taste the flavor of it. Being from the west coast I tend to use alot of Cascade, I mean alot of Cascade (hey, my wife's from Chico).

As for pre boil gravity, is it proportional to volume? If I reduce volume by 20% will my gravity go up by 20% post boil? If I go from 7 gallons to 5.5 gallons in the boil (about a 20% reduction in volume) will my gravity go up 20%? Seems so. I do have some Lt DME on hand just in case.

I'm not exactly getting back to brewing, just finally taking the AG plunge, which is long overdue. I have a Celebration clone and an american brown on tap right now. Thanks again for the advice! This site rocks!

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Old 03-07-2011, 12:33 AM   #7
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Yep, gravity and volume are linearly proportional.

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Old 03-07-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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(pre boil volume x pre boil gravity units)/post boil volume=post boil gravity units

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Old 03-08-2011, 12:07 PM   #9
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Default Need OG > 1.050

My cutoff point for OG is 1.050. In my process this gives me the ABV as well as the flavor I want. So I do not add all of my sparge water untill I get an OG reading. After I get the OG reading I will add the sparge water to add volume but not allow the OG to be less than 1.050.

My $0.02 - MIke

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Old 03-08-2011, 12:45 PM   #10
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Do you mean that an OG of 1.050 is your minimum but you don't mind if it's higher? If that's true, then there's no need to hold back any sparge water. Just run it all through.

If 1.050 is your MAX, then you still should be able to dial in your system a little better than this. Or put it this way - keep running off until you have your target volume, take a reading, and if it's too high you can just pull out a quart of wort and replace with a quart of water to dilute.

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