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Old 01-02-2007, 01:47 PM   #1
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Default First AG: Meet the New Boss...

I had all of last week off, so I set aside a day to brew my first AG batch. Curiously enough , it was pretty much exactly like PM, just on a bigger scale. I made the move because I recently "inherited" a 50L stainless lauter tun w/ spigot and professionally-made false bottom.

The recipe was a hybrid British Brown / Brune Abbey. It has the hops and OG of an English Brown, but I subbed in some Aromatic and Sp. B, and used Wyeast 1214.

Mash went well...I just used my 32-qt kettle, then transferred over to the lauter tun when sparge time came. Did a stepped mash, as I do with PM, and it went fine. Sparging was a breeze using the 50L tun---I just batch-sparged. The one thing I noticed was that, no matter how many times I recycled the wort through the grains, it kept coming out with particulate. Oh well. I got it as clear as I could.

Boil went fine, as always. Put my brand new immersion chiller that santa brought me to use for the first time, and wow! No more ice baths, and I went from boiling to 75f in 15 mins. Hell yeah. Used the spigoted kettle to do a hop-back...which had the added benefit of allowing me to set up my carboy with the funnel strainer directly below the spigot---meaning that I would no longer have to pour or siphon the wort from the kettle. That was so nice.

Took a hydro reading, and lo and behold, I hit my target gravity of 1.056! 72% efficiency h'aint half bad for my first AG, no doubt.

The yeast got reused from my cranberry dubbel. The first time I used it, I didn't make a starter, and my lag time was 3 freakin' days! This time, I made a big 1L starter, and lag time was 2 or 3 hours. Fermentation was vigorous as hell, and finished very quickly. I pitched on Friday afternoon, and airlock activity had pretty much stopped by the time I woke up on Sunday. Took an SG reading yesterday...1.011! And it tastes excellent---nice and roasty/bready, with a little bit of stinkiness like I like in my Belgians.

All in all, I'm very happy with the whole process. Since I don't have a grain mill, I'm not sure if I'll be doing AG all the time, but it's nice to do it here and there.

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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
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Congrats.

Buying pre-milled grain is still a lot cheaper than extract.

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Old 01-02-2007, 02:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
Congrats.

Buying pre-milled grain is still a lot cheaper than extract.
My LHBS has a mill that they allow people to use free of charge, but there's no big difference in the cost of pre-milled versus non-milled.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesefood
but there's no big difference in the cost of pre-milled versus non-milled.

No, the big price difference is when you have your own mill and buy your 2-row in bulk

1.69 versus .80
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:47 PM   #5
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You're paying $1.69 for base malt? That's insane.

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Old 01-02-2007, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
You're paying $1.69 for base malt? That's insane.
well now that i look at it.....yea your right

Rahr 2-row is .99 a lb

Maris Otter is 1.69

hmm.....I need to start some experimentation with Rahr and compare it to MO

*edit Just read the Rahr needs a protein rest for improved clarity. I don't know, MO is a great base malt, but yea it is really expensive
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
Congrats.

Buying pre-milled grain is still a lot cheaper than extract.
Dude, don't I know it. Unfortunately, my closest HBS is 1.5 hours away...which means that, in order to do exclusively AG, I'd need to A) Order grain from an online HBS every time I need it and pay stupid shipping costs, or B) stock up on pre-milled grain, which doesn't keep as well as unmilled.

Anyone know how long milled grain is supposed to stay good? What if I vacuum-packed it?
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:40 PM   #8
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Ive let it sit a week and a half in my freezer and it was still good. Im not too sure what the limits are though.

My next big investment is a crankandstein and 55lb bags of grain.

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Old 01-02-2007, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
Anyone know how long milled grain is supposed to stay good? What if I vacuum-packed it?
Given how many batches you seem to brew, I don't think it'll be a problem...


The actual answer, I think, is a couple months if you keep it cool and dry. But yeah, building a mill is the next project for me, my mill rollers should be on the way shortly thanks to Yuri.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
Given how many batches you seem to brew, I don't think it'll be a problem...


The actual answer, I think, is a couple months if you keep it cool and dry. But yeah, building a mill is the next project for me, my mill rollers should be on the way shortly thanks to Yuri.
You aren't suggesting that 115 gallons of beer in 6 months is...too much? Since I'm married, I can legally brew 200 gals per year. Mwah ha ha!

How much are you going to end up spending on your mill?
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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