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Old 02-09-2009, 12:33 AM   #1
Greenglass
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Default First AG brew!

All went pretty smoothly, considering; just had a 2 minute break during the boil when I had to switch out the gas cylinder .

Anyway, I think I should at least have a baseline to work from, now I know how everything went and what kind of efficiency I'm getting. I'd be grateful if somebody could audit my math, though...

Started with:

11 lbs 2-row
8 oz 80L crystal
8 oz dextrin

4 gallons mash water, heated to 168F before adding to cooler mash tun (10 gallon) to get mash temperature of 152F. Mashed for 60 minutes, then batch sparged with additional 2x 2.5 gallons of sparge water at 180F.

Extracted 7.5 gallons of wort at gravity of 1038.

After 30 minute pre-boil, 60 minute boil with hop schedule, reduced to 4.5 gallons of wort at gravity of 1048.

If I have this right, I think the potential points of the grain should be about 37 per pound per gallon, which makes my extraction efficiency about 65% and brehouse efficiency about 50%. That sounds low, but I'm not sure exactly what to expect...

I didn't add additional water to bring the final volume up to 5 gallons. I wasn't very keen on the idea of adding tap or spring water to the wort after carefully boiling it all for 1 1/2 hours. 4.5 gallons of IPA will be more than enough if it turns out ok .

One other thing: I didn't use the chiller in the way that I've seen suggested here, but I don't think it makes any difference. Rather than put the immersion chiller in the boil pot for the last 10 minutes, I put it in the plastic fermenter. When I sanitized the fermenter beforehand by filling to the brim with idophor, I submerged the whole chiller (including the hoses) in it, and never removed it when I dumped out the sanitizer. I then strained the wort into the fermenter still hot, and chilled it in place.

Anyway, any thoughts or suggestions much appreciated!

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Old 02-09-2009, 03:23 AM   #2
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Oooh. Just realized my hydrometer readings are all wrong, because I was measuring hot wort and not compensating for temperature. D'oh...

The first reading would have been at end of extraction, maybe 130F?

Second reading at end of boil, maybe 180F?

Didn't take a note of the temperatures. D'oh again...

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Old 02-09-2009, 03:28 AM   #3
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I just read a post that said hydrometer's are very inaccurate over 100*. There's a chart where you can scale it to where it would be, but if its reading inaccurate it won't matter. It's too late now. Just gotta RDWHAHB. One thing I would recommend is next time cooling the test tube in a glass of cold water til it gets down to the mid 60s. And also I wouldn't recommend pouring hot wort into plastic fermenters. I just dont know how well they'd hold up to near boiling temperatures. And if its a glass carboy that sudden change in temperature could possibly result in a catastrophe. It seems like a lot safer bet to use the IC in the brew pot as most everyone else does. All in all sounds like you were pretty successful. Check the gravity in a week or so and compare it to your recipe and go from there.

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Old 02-09-2009, 03:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimSTi View Post
. One thing I would recommend is next time cooling the test tube in a glass of cold water til it gets down to the mid 60s.
I tend to throw my tube into my chest freezer after filling the sample with hot wort. Cools it down pretty quickly.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:06 AM   #5
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It's too late now. Just gotta RDWHAHB.
I guess so... luckily I do that part pretty well

I certainly wouldn't pour anything hot into a glass carboy or bottle. That would be bad. The plastic fermenter did just fine, though. Maybe I should revert to chilling in the pot next time...
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:09 AM   #6
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sounds like your process was good and I wouldn't be surprised if your efficiency was closer to 70-75%.

Here's a couple things to keep in mind:

1) your efficiency calculation is only as good as the numbers you put into it; meaning, if you just eye ball your volumes and temps, and don't get accurate hydro reading (due to temps) it can really skew things.

2) get a refractometer so you can get accurate readings of your runnings without having to temp correct

3) make sure your thermometers are accurate - esp. for sparging - you can lose a lot of heat between heating and adding the water back to the MLT

4) finally, who gives a sh!t about efficiency if you're making good beer!

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Old 02-09-2009, 05:12 AM   #7
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AZ_IPA,
thanks for the suggestions:

1) Yes, understood, and unfortunately my readings are not useful. Don't know if I can recover anything meaningful.

I took a sample from the fermenter an hour or so ago, about 5 hours after pitching, using a wine thief (once I figured out how to sanitize it...) through the airlock hole in the top. The sample was completely opaque. I haven't pulled a sample that early in a brew before after pitching, so I don't know what it should look like. Maybe that's massively multiplied yeast? No meaningful CO2 generation yet. Anyway, the reading was 1.070. No idea if that's even meaningful.

2) Don't know what that is, but it sounds expensive . I might look into that for next time, or at least make sure I write down the temperature...

3) Yes, I went and tested mine after reading a thread here about that. Looks like it overreads at low temperatures (ice/water mix) and underreads at high temperatures (saucepan of boiling water). Definitely need a better thermometer.

4) Couldn't agree more!

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Old 02-09-2009, 05:23 AM   #8
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you can pick up a refracto on ebay for pretty cheap. you may want to look into it if you get as painfully adicted to this hobby as I have!

Here's the deal though - walk away from what you've got fermenting now! Let it do it's thing! If it's at ~1.070, that's a big beer. Regardless, give it some time - about 2-3 weeks in the primary and you will be happy, especially when you drink your brew!

Again though, give it longer than you think before you bottle.

What was your hop schedule??

And again - don't worry, your beer will be fine, and damn good! And keep posting and tell us how it turns out!

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Old 02-09-2009, 05:44 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tip - I'll definitely look out for one on ebay. I think I need to get a better thermometer as a priority, though...

And yes, I'll leave it to do its thing, honest . Might take a while.

Hop schedule here:

60 minutes: 1oz Zeus (aka Columbus, 16.8)
22 minutes: 1oz Cascade (6.0)
15 minutes: 1/2oz Zeus
10 minutes: 1/2oz Cascade
5 minutes: 1/2oz Cascade
1 minute: 1/2oz Zeus

I think that should be plenty of bitterness and aroma...

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Old 02-09-2009, 06:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_IPA View Post
1) your efficiency calculation is only as good as the numbers you put into it; meaning, if you just eye ball your volumes and temps, and don't get accurate hydro reading (due to temps) it can really skew things.
I did my first all-grain batch today and the one thing I did not take into account was how to measure the amount of wort collected after the mash. I did some quick (probably wrong) geometry to venture a guess, but I have to think you all have better ways.

I have a plain SS 40qt brew pot, so what is the best way for me to measure the wort volume?
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