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Old 05-26-2012, 03:02 AM   #1
klars
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Default First AG this weekend - need confidence

Gents/Ladies,

First all grain this weekend. I have been doing PMs for a bit now. Please let me know if my steps are on/off etc. I apologize for my format. I feel like a newbie again! Worried about everything!

I have a 10g MLT cooler setup:

1- Heat strike water to beersmith calcs
2- heat additional water and put in mlt to pre-heat
3- add strike water to tun
4- dough in - add grains
5- stir like mad
6- take temp reading, if good cover for 90 mins
7- if bad, add some hot water
8- start sparge water and heat to beer smith calcs
9- vorlauf - drain and return to tun until grain bed settles and runnings
9- drain into kettle
10- start heating first runnings
11- Sparge - put in volume at correct temp, stir like crazy, wait 15 mins, vorlauf 2 quarts (1/2 gallon) until clear and grain bed settles, then drain
sparge and add 2nd runnings to kettle to reach boil volume
12- take sample from kettle and put in fridge
13- continue as normal PM brew

I have one additional question, the MLT has a spigot and no tube. Am I fine to simply place the kettle under the spigot and open it up? This will cause oxidization, but does it matter at this point?

Any suggestions are really appreciated....

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Old 05-26-2012, 03:21 AM   #2
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As long as you prevent as much splashing as possible, you're fine to drain into your kettle that way.

Also...90 mins is a long, paranoid mash...45-60 is fine for most mashes depending on temps and water profile...

Your technique looks solid...have fun bro! AG is the way to go...you'll love it!

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:05 AM   #3
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I've never encountered "hot side aeration", but the splash from draining your tun into the kettle may cause this. Can't you just go to the hardware store and get some tubing? Other than that, that is almost exactly what I do. A 90 minute mash is not always necessary, mostly when you mash at low temp like below 150F. Either way, I don't think it will hurt to do a 90 min mash. One of the tricky things that I had problems with when I first started all-grain was hitting target volumes. You need to figure out how much dead space your mash tun has, and then get your boil-off rate for your kettle correct. Good luck.

Edit: in addition to the tube you'll need a barbed fitting to couple your tube to your spigot.

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Old 05-26-2012, 05:16 AM   #4
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Don't heat additional water to preheat your tun. Just overheat the strike water by a few degrees, then add grain when it reaches temp. I usually adjust with few ice cubes after it stabilizes, before adding grain.

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Old 05-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #5
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I wouldn't trust Beersmith's water temps. You'll be getting to know your system on the next few brews and get to dial in water temps. For example, I just made a Witbier that had 9.5 lbs of grain. For "full body" setting, Beersmith said to add about 3G of 170.5F water. Your tun and grist will eat up some level of temp before getting to a steady state. I used 180F 3G water and put in the tun for 10min. I poured the grist in, stirred, and checked temp 10min later. I ended up with 152F mash and after 60min it was 150. I do sparge with 175F water. It raises the mash temp to 165+ degrees and that's good enough for me. Good luck and hope this helps. Cheers! Chris

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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How are you controlling the flow of your wort put of them mash tun?

Why are you stirring like "mad"?

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:10 PM   #7
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Also, there is considerable debate on hot side aeration. All I can say is that my process introduces a lot of hot side aeration. I have never been sited for oxidation in competition.

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:46 PM   #8
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The stirring like mad, to break up any dough balls.

I found some tubing in my "beer kit cemetary" and will put that on the spigot.

Thanks everyone, starting the strike water now..

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:56 PM   #9
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It's all been said, I think, but I'll quickly recap!

1. Add 180 degree water to cooler (your strike water) and let it cool to the strike temp. It'll drop quickly at first, and then "hold" well for the mash time, as the cooler will absorb lots of the heat from the water.

2. Not needed- see #1

3. Again, it's already in there- see #1

4. Yep.

5. Yes, stir very well and check temperature in a few places. If it's equal throughout, and if there are no doughballs, cover it and walk away.

6. 60 minutes, unless you're using lots of adjuncts

7. Have a few ice cubes handy, and some boiling water handy, just in case. But if you make changes, do it very very gradually. Otherwise, people add ice, go too low, add boiling water, go too high, etc. Just give it at least 5 minutes to equalize (and stir if it's too high, as that will help it cool). If it's still too high, usually like one or two ice cubes is enough to drop it a couple of degrees. If it's too low, a little boiling water will work. Better to miss high, and add an ice cube, than to miss low and keep adding boiling water! I'd mash in when the strike water is 11 degrees warmer than your desired mash temp. That way, you should hit it but if you miss you may miss a little high.

8, 9, 10, 11: Yep.

12. It's much easier if you make a little ice bath in a pitcher and cool your sample that way- it'll take a LONG time to cool in the freezer/fridge- your boil will be nearly half over by then! Cooling it in a little ice/water bath takes less than 5 minutes.

13. Once you have your runnings, you can proceed with the boil. Get the "hot break" first, so the kettle doesn't boil over when you add the first hops. Once you have your hot break, set your timer for 60 minutes and add the 60 minute hops.

That's about it- it sounds like you're all set!

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