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Old 08-02-2009, 07:54 AM   #1
Gremlyn
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Default First AG (ended up not so AG)

So I was pumped today to do my first AG. I have three batches to brew this weekend for the upcoming HbT competition. Today was the dunkelweizen! Everything went just perfectly, couldn't have asked for all my new equipment to work better. I used my new 8 gal Megapot with weldless fittings installed, heatstick, and IC. Pot didn't leak, heatstick helped the boil amazingly and didn't pop the GFI, and the IC cooled it all down super quick. My boil off rate was even just about dead on.

My only problem was that I ended up with 55% efficiency I mashed everything for 90 mins at 153F. My temp at the end of the mash was 149, so I lost a little (probably took the lid off a few times too many to stir), but still not horrible. I sparged twice with 2 gal each time at 168F. My mash pH was between 5.2 and 5.5, which is the best I could measure with my strips. I did an iodine test from the mash water and it came up nice and light brown.

So no idea how my efficiency sucked so much, but hopefully it's better for tomorrow's batches. I had the foresight to add an extra pound of wheat DME at the end of boil based on my pre-boil gravity, so my SG was OK when all was said and done.

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Old 08-02-2009, 11:09 AM   #2
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Did you take SG readings from each runnings.
How much do you usually boil off?

I just did a Crystal wheat, target was 6 gallons.
22:20 First runnings 2.3gal, SG 1.068
22:28 Bed 158F Second runnings 2.5gal, SG 1.028
22:35 Bed 168F Third runnings 2.5 gal, SG 1.012
It's cooling now, got a little more volume than I had planned, missed the temps by a few degrees, etc. It's kind of humid here so it did not boil down as much as normal.
It took me a few times to get the volume and process down and still I'm off at times.
Just take lot's of notes and it will help you work it out.

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Old 08-02-2009, 11:24 AM   #3
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How many pounds of grain and what size MLT?

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Old 08-02-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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Maybe the grains weren't crushed enough.

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Old 08-02-2009, 12:06 PM   #5
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How long did it take you to sparge??

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Old 08-02-2009, 12:38 PM   #6
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I just did my first AG and it was recommended that you allow you sample to cool significantly before taking any S.G. readings. If you did not do so, did you correct your readings for the temperature of the sample? BeerSmith has an option to correct your readings. My initial reading was 1.06 @ 118 degrees and a corrected reading was 1.07. My second or post boil reading was 1.057 @ 86 and was corrected to 1.058 using BeerSmith. I believe these numbers can significantly change your efficiency, so you need to have accurate readings.

My first AG efficiency was 85.6% based upon the adjusted numbers. I was quite amazed that I got such results on my first attempt. I am probably black catting myself, but I sure hope I can keep up with these kinds of results.

I also stirred my mash several times (lightly) during the 90 mash period. My temp during the mash maintained 150 -151. I sparged with 169 degree water.

Good Luck with your brew. I am sure it will be very good.

Salute!

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Old 08-02-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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Try sparging with hotter water.

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Old 08-02-2009, 06:33 PM   #8
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It was 9.75 lbs of grain (~65% wheat), which should have come to about 1.055 with 75% effciency. My MLT is a 5 gal round drink cooler and I used 1.25 qt/lb and made sure to stir the bajesus out of it before letting it sit.

I didn't take gravity from each run off, I only have a hydrometer and don't want to mess with it. I did take a pre-boil gravity after combining it all, and that was what got me to add the DME. I put it in the freezer to bring the temp down, measured it when the sample was about 84 degrees and made the appropriate calc with my hydrometer. I ended up with 1.053 including the DME.

As for the crush, I milled it at the store and it seemed pretty well milled, but I don't really know. I don't remember seeing any whole grains in there.

To sparge, I added the water, stirred it all around, vorluafed 4-5 times with about a gallon each pass through. Did that twice. I never left the sparge water to sit, should I? I will try hotter water, maybe 170F this time.

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Old 08-02-2009, 07:08 PM   #9
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By hotter, he means like 185F. Don't worry about letting the sparge sit, just make sure you stir it in well, vorlauf a couple quarts, then drain.

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Old 08-02-2009, 07:35 PM   #10
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Did you see any dough balls? A little round cooler is hard to stir, particularly when loaded with a large grain bill.

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