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Old 04-20-2013, 07:10 AM   #1
balrog429
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Default First All Grain

Ok. So after a few extract kits I made the move to all grain. It took some time to get my equipment sourced and set up. I went with Two keggles that I converted myself with fitting from bargainfittings.com. That store is awsome by the way. super fast and the prices are great. Anyway I decided to do an Anchor clone because my dad like the beer. First I heated my strike water to 164 to mash in at a final of 152. Well, I missed that by about 8 degrees. So, like I read on here, I had some hot water standing by to raise the temp. I added it and got the temps to about 151. I didn't want to add too much. I let it sit for about 70 min. Did my vourlf and collected my first runnings. Added my water at 170 and waited 10 min and collected the rest. I got 1.040 for my original and was shooting for 1.049. I think that was pretty good for the first time. The rest of the day went good and I accomplished my goal of beginning to dial in my equipment. I didn't have any homebrew so I had to relax with some Sam Adams.

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Old 04-20-2013, 07:28 AM   #2
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Congrats and welcome to the dark side. Sounds like you've got a handle on it but I'll offer a couple thoughts.

You don't need to wait 10 minutes after stirring in sparge water. Just stir it up good and run it off.

You could have increased the OG with some dry malt extract. I don't recommend it a standard practice because you should take good notes and know your system's efficiency enough to predict it but in a pinch DME can give a boost to an OG that comes in too low.

Again congrats! It sounds like you're on your way.

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Old 04-20-2013, 08:45 AM   #3
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Thanks Elk. I had some DME I was going to use for a starter but didn't get my stir plate in time. Anyway when I thought about it, it felt like cheating. I'm good with a few learning bumps. I took good notes and had a check off list. Thanks for the tip on not having to wait 10 min. I'll do that next time. On my next brew I'll have to raise the temp of my strike water by about 10 degrees then transfer into my mash tun. I'll let is sit there while it soaks up all the heat then I'll dough in at the right temp and see where that gets me. I starsaned the heck out of everything and didn't "fear the foam". Everything soaked for about 30 min because I'm a germaphobe. I think that helps in this case. And best of all I got to try out my Speifel fermenter. I'll have to do something about getting the water cooler to chill my wort. My IC did a good job but the ground water in southern cali isn't the coldest. Maybe I'll use my IC as a precooler and get or make a counterflow. I did find out my burner was not up to par. I never really got that rolling boil I've seen on youtube. Maybe because it was a keggle? Oh well I made beer! And now I'll stop rambling.

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Old 04-20-2013, 11:50 AM   #4
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One thing I have learned is to make sure that conversion has taken place during the mashing step, I take a small sample on a white plate and look to see if its cloudy or clear if its cloudy it needs longer.
Or you can use iodine to check to see if there is any starch left.
Although the instructions say mash for 1 hour, it may more or less time.
Learn to get a good feel for what is happening when you are brewing instead of only brewing by the clock, that was my biggest lesson.

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Old 04-20-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrog429 View Post
I was going to use for a starter but didn't get my stir plate in time.
If you want to make a starter and don't have a stir plate another option is to mix the starter, cool, aerate and pitch, then every couple hours give it a good long swirl to bring in oxygen. I did this for a long time, before building a stir plate. I'd keep it on the coffee table in the living room. I'd give it a good swirl every hour or two, then another right before bed. First thing in the morning I'd give it a really good long swirl. It doesn't beat a stir plate, but it seems to work.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip cluckk. Ill do that next time if I don't have it by then. When I left for work this morning the fermenter was bubbling away. I like the Speidel tank a lot. Solid and when I moved it there was no air or fluid sucked back in. The airlock is huge too. With the 7.9 gallon I don't think there wolves need for a blow off.

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