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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First AG experience
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:51 PM   #1
jezter6
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Default First AG experience

Yesterday was brewday...first AG experience, and it was awesome.

Notes:
$22 for all ingredients including 11.5# grain, liquid yeast, and hops by the oz...sure beats the $40 kits I was using before!

All told, 5 hours from boiling water to heat the Mash tun to packing up the equipment outside and pitching the yeast. Not all that bad, most of it was done inside while relaxing.

My mash was about 75 minutes due to the fact we didn't start heating sparge water until 45 minutes in, and it wasn't up to temp by the 60 minute mark. Don't know if that will hurt in the long run.

Used beersmith to calculate how much water I needed and how much would be lost...it was DEAD ON how much I had in the brewpot to boil...however I lost more in the boil than I wanted to and had to add about a quart of water to the fermenter.

Recipe:
5# pils
5# munich
1# crystal 80
5oz wheat
3oz carafa


Questions:
How do I calculate efficiency? We set beersmith up at 68% eff and got exactly in the brewpot what it said (6.92 g). However, we noticed in the end we were short water. And while cleaning the mash tun there was a lot more water left after we had let it settle for a few hours...wonder if we should have tried to catch that?

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Old 12-17-2006, 08:52 PM   #2
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The efficiency is determined by your OG. Did you take an SG measurement? If so post the results and I'll figure out the efficiency for you.

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Old 12-18-2006, 12:28 AM   #3
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First running: 1.085
2nd Running: 1.031
Preboil: 1.049

Post Boil: 1.056

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Old 12-18-2006, 01:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jezter6
However, we noticed in the end we were short water. And while cleaning the mash tun there was a lot more water left after we had let it settle for a few hours...wonder if we should have tried to catch that?
Did the program account for water trapped in the grain, the loss due to the boil, or both? I think you would want to avoid the last of the sparge water trapped in the grains because you can get tannins in to the beer.
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:20 AM   #5
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The water in the MLT below the pickup is dead-space. There is a calculation for that in beersmith. You just have to know your specific MLT's dead space.

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Old 12-18-2006, 01:40 AM   #6
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Assuming you have 5 gallons in your fermenter beersmith says you have 1.080 in potential.

56/80 = 70%

so your efficiency is 70% Of course lessing the dead space in your tun would increase that efficiency a little bit.

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Old 12-18-2006, 02:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jezter6
Yesterday was brewday...first AG experience, and it was awesome.

Notes:
$22 for all ingredients including 11.5# grain, liquid yeast, and hops by the oz...sure beats the $40 kits I was using before!
Congrats on the successful first AG experience! And I'm glad to hear that it went well for a noob since I'm going to be doing my first batch in the next week or so!
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:21 PM   #8
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Congrats, welcome to the dark side.

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Old 12-18-2006, 05:34 PM   #9
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I will be doing my first all grain batch next week and I can not wait. The information here is great. What a simple calculation for efficiency.

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Old 12-18-2006, 05:59 PM   #10
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Diego: As Nike says...Just DO it! We had all the equipment and were desperately looking for someone experienced to help us out, but we wanted to brew so bad we just 'figured it out.' I saw some guy post that his first AG took somewhere around 9 hours...that's just NUTS.

Mine took longer than expected because my sparge water wasn't hot enough in time to sparge, so I had to let my mash sit a little extra time. That would have shaved probably another 15-20 minutes off my total. Plus, I gravity feed into counterflow, so that takes like 20-30 minutes to get from boil kettle to primary. A lot of things could really get this down to 4 hours or possibly less. Just need practice.

While mashing I bottled a previous batch and started cleaning/sanitizing for this batch. Always multi-tasking. It also helps that I have another brewer in the house. I could not imagine doing this solo. It's a pain to get set up and clean things with 2 people...doing it by myself would pretty much be a no-go. I'd stick to extract if I had to do it myself, but I'm a fat lazy bastard anyway.

Good luck and just do it, man. The cost savings will be worth it. I'm down to paying about half as much per batch as a kit, and can shave another $8/batch off if I start reusing yeast and buy hops in bulk.

If I get my own grain and purchase in bulk I can probably really bring the cost down, but I find it much easier to walk in with a recipe to my LHBS and have them grind it all up and put it in once nice bag ready to throw in the mash water!

And a final note-- cleaning the mash tun with a false bottom SUCKS. I bought it as part of a whole kit, so I'm stuck with it...but if I would do it again, I would have a removable piece of braided steel or some sort of drilled copper or something other than the 'Grain Trapper 2000' as I call it.

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