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Old 07-08-2006, 11:50 PM   #1
ahoym8e
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Default First AG in the fermenter. holy cow...

Didn't really go the way I wanted. lots of drama/trauma.

first off the recipe: (the world's easiest):

9.5 lb two row
1/2 lb Cara pils
1oz cascade hops
1 oz Liberty hops.
recycled WL California V yeast from the (minimash + extract) AAPA I racked to secondary last night.

ok, everything starts off great (except for all the orange plastic shavings I keep trying to rinse out of my brand new (rubbermaid) mash/lauter tun. I keep rinsing and rinsing, but I just can't seem to get rid of them all).

I have my tun preheated with hot water, and put in 11 quarts of water at 170F. I add my grist, stir for a bit and take the temp.. 154 on the nose. awesome! I close the lid and busy myself elsewhere. About 40 minutes later I stir gently and take the temp again: 153F not bad!! I get my sparge water up to 180 on the stove and try to set up the 3 levels of height that I need, and that turns out to be rater difficult I end up with my HLT (my bottling bucket) balanced up on my primary fermenter plus a phonebook and a something else really inappropriate that I cannot remember at the moment. Anyway, I recirculate a bunch of times until i get nice clean sweetwort. I then sparge and sparge, keeping the water level about 1/2 to 1 inch above the grist. I had initially used about 3.5 gallons of sparge water. I finish sparging, move the wand out of the way and take the temp. 130F FOOK. I heat the remaining gallon and a half of water to 190, carry it outside and swirl it around in the pot until it is about 170 and dump it (sort of gently) into my tun. The water makes its way through the grist, and finally out the hose into the boil kettle. I measure the sweetwort temp and it is 140.

Anyway, I start my boil and whine about my sparging experience on the internet.

Just as I come to a rolling boil lightning strikes nearby and the thunderclap nearly knocks me over. wtf? It was sunny just 10 minutes ago!!?!?! It starts raining. I carry my boil onto the stove inside, and stink up the house with hop soup. It promptly stops raining. I move the brewkettle back outside onto the propane burner. The sun comes out. Figures, now that the house stinks...

I put my flavoring hops, and my wort chiller in the pot. The sky is blue. 12 minutes later it's a freaking downpour… I boil for another 5 minutes or so with the lid deflecting 90% of all wort-aiming raindrops. I pull the pot off the burner, set it in a tub full of ice and water just inside my kitchen door, hook up the wort chiller to the hose, and go turn on the hose. Well, I thought I had fastened the tubing where the water exits the wort chiller between two deck planks, but I guess not. The 4 foot piece of clear tubing is flailing around inside my kitchen squirting water everywhere. I dive for the tube, forgetting that the exiting water is near boiling. After scalding my hands/forearms and soaking my t-shirt with boiling water I pull the shirt off, fling it somewhere and go running for the faucet that turns the hose off (outside, where it’s raining cats and dogs of course).

Well, I get my wort chilled and transfer to the primary fermenter. As I carry it up my stairs to where it lives, I remember that not only did I forget the bru-vigor, but also the Irish moss during the boil. Oh yeah, I forgot the Burton Water Salts during my mash as well. This thing is called “blonde ale” for a reason I guess.

In the end my wort is very light yellow in color and opaque (milky, actually). Very much to my surprise it is maybe a couple fluid oz.s over 5 gallons ( I had started with 7.5gals). my gravity sample reads 1.050 (corrected).

I may use a “super clear” wine/beer cleaner in secondary for this one to make up for the lack of Irish moss in the boil.

Anyway, much more eventful than I would have liked. The next one I will be paying more attention, maybe have a chart handy so that I don’t forget to add all the stuff I should be


CLIFF’S NOTES:

First all grain: blonde ale. Sparge temp only 130F. It rains twice during the boil. Kitchen receives much of my immersion chiller discharge (only mild injuries for the brewer). Yeast food, water salts and irish moss are forgotten. However final volume comes out near perfect, and OG is exactly as local HBS had predicted.

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Old 07-09-2006, 12:22 AM   #2
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Thats great. A few weeks ago my chiller did the same thing several times. Got me once and soaked my friend another time. Would have been funnier at the time but I have hardwood floors. I bought hose clamps this time.

Believe it or not it sounds like it turned out better in the end than my first PM I tried today.

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Old 07-09-2006, 12:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahoym8e
CLIFF’S NOTES:

However final volume comes out near perfect, and OG is exactly as local HBS had predicted.

theres a bright side to evrything.


grats dude
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Old 07-09-2006, 01:32 AM   #4
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wow, re-using yeast sems to be the way to go.

I pitched maybe 2 hours ago, and the airlock is going full tilt.

I better keep this one cool.

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Old 07-09-2006, 01:41 AM   #5
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Congrats - it sounds good.
I am still collecting equipement/info for my first AG - and ths site (thanks to posts like yours) has been awesome.
Keep us updated - stuff like this really helps.

Cheers.

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Old 07-09-2006, 02:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahoym8e
Didn't really go the way I wanted. lots of drama/trauma.

first off the recipe: (the world's easiest):

9.5 lb two row
1/2 lb Cara pils
1oz cascade hops
1 oz Liberty hops.
recycled WL California V yeast from the (minimash + extract) AAPA I racked to secondary last night.

ok, everything starts off great (except for all the orange plastic shavings I keep trying to rinse out of my brand new (rubbermaid) mash/lauter tun. I keep rinsing and rinsing, but I just can't seem to get rid of them all).

I have my tun preheated with hot water, and put in 11 quarts of water at 170F. I add my grist, stir for a bit and take the temp.. 154 on the nose... I try to set up the 3 levels of height that I need, and that turns out to be rater difficult I end up with my HLT (my bottling bucket) balanced up on my primary fermenter plus a phonebook... It starts raining. I stink up the house with hop soup... the wort chiller tubing is flailing around inside my kitchen squirting water everywhere. After scalding my hands/forearms I forget the bru-vigor, also the Irish moss during the boil...I forgot the Burton Water Salts during my mash as well.

In the end my wort is 5 gallons ( I had started with 7.5gals). my gravity sample reads 1.050 (corrected).

I may use a “super clear” wine/beer cleaner in secondary for this one to make up for the lack of Irish moss in the boil.

Anyway, much more eventful than I would have liked.
Sounds like a good job to me. Did you drill the cooler yourself? Im wondering why their is any shavings at all? I have the ten gallon rubbermaid, and i just unscrewed the tap and replaced it with a ball valve.
You might want to try a mash-out. This will raise your mash temp to 170F, and it should stay thier during the sparge. A simple formula is to add 1/2 the amount of strike/mash water @ 212F to the mash after 60 minutes, stir well and let it sit for 10 minutes then vorlauf/sparge. (ex. 11 qt mash = 5.5 qt mash out h20)or just use this calculater:http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

I wouldnt worry about the lack of irish moss, or burton salts either. The main thing is that you got an og of 1.050 which is really good, around about 75 percent efficiency.
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Last edited by Ivan Lendl; 07-09-2006 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:22 AM   #7
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Welcome to the dark side. Congrats. You just made your first true "own" beer.

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Old 07-09-2006, 05:09 AM   #8
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Laughing right now thinking about my own 1'st all grain which was only 2 brews ago... had some problems of my own ( ss tubing coming off while stirring in the grains). My brew buddy and I tore up his garage building the mash tun and getting everything together.

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Old 07-09-2006, 02:21 PM   #9
ahoym8e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Agassi
Sounds like a good job to me. Did you drill the cooler yourself? Im wondering why their is any shavings at all? I have the ten gallon rubbermaid, and i just unscrewed the tap and replaced it with a ball valve.
no I bought an assembled tun made with the orange 10 gal cooler and the rest was Phil's parts (phalse bottom, sparger).

Thanks
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Old 07-09-2006, 03:53 PM   #10
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That is the kind of brew day that will make that beer unbelievable in a month. We have all had sessions go nuts but I am impressed with your focus to not go HOSTEL.

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