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Old 11-30-2011, 01:13 AM   #1
dienster
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Default First all-grain attempt

Been lurking for about a month since I started brewing. I've done a 2 extract+specialty and wanted to try all grain and the SWMBO slayer was too tempting of a recipe to not try. This is mostly so I have somewhere to remember what I screwed up so I don't do it again.

I built a stainless braid 75 quart mash tun before I realized that it might be a little big, too shallow grain bed depth, for a 5 gallon batch so grabbed a 5 gallon water cooler and swapped the hardware into it.

I filled it up half way with water and no leaks so thought I was good. Then I filled up 4 gallons with hot water to pre-heat it and it started leaking. I guess it would have been a good idea to do a hot water test. I had some alternate hardware and was able to switch it out and get it to stop leaking but that was annoying and wasted some time.

I got the grain for SWMBO slayer from the LHBS which looked well milled, hulls still together but empty and some good flour in the bottom. I doughed in at 172 at 1.25qt/lb which dropped to 155 (shooting for 154-156) after mixing it up really well. After about 20 minutes I tested and saw that the temp was dropping below 154 so added in a quart of boiling water. Let it mash for 60 minutes and it was at 154 when I added a gallon boiling water to get it up to 167+. I overshot to 175 and then threw in ice to bring it back down to 167 but overshot again and went down to 160... I had no more room in the cooler so started draining. Dumped the first 2 quarts back in the top after it cleared and then started draining to my boil kettle.

After it slowed I added in 2.5 G of 180 deg water, mixed it up and let it drain again. Once it got about 2 inches over the grainbed I put a steamer basket on top and started adding sparge water slowly until I hit ~6 gallons.

Pre-boil ~6G @ 1.047
Post-Boil - Ended up with 5G @1.055 with somewhere around 70% efficiency

I'm pretty happy with it for the first time and wouldn't have been able to do it without all the great stickies.

- Steve

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Old 11-30-2011, 01:20 PM   #2
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Welcome, Steve, and congrats on your first all grain brew - sounds like it went well!

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Old 11-30-2011, 02:05 PM   #3
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Congrats, Steve. Nice feeling, ain't it?

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Old 11-30-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
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Congrats on your first AG. Take some good notes of your steps so you have something to compare your next batches to. I would also invest the 20 or so bucks for the Beersmith software. The temperature game is frustrating sometimes until you get your system dialed in and know it like the back of your hand. Don't worry to much about a little higher or a little lower temps. Don't go nuts trying to hit the numbers dead on. Get close and trust your hygro and refractometer to lead you from grain to glass. AG is alot more rewarding and allows you to really experiment and customize your own recipes. Good luck and enjoy your homebrew.

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Old 12-01-2011, 02:40 PM   #5
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Thanks, the yeast are happily at work. I plan on getting Beersmith along with a refractometer soon, I just used a couple different online calculators to figure out the numbers but having it all in one place will be nice.

Now I have to figure out what to brew next... My wife is impatiently oogling the chocolate cherry stout I need to bottle this weekend.

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Old 12-13-2011, 05:14 PM   #6
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I did this batch 2 weeks ago

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f71/swmb...-blonde-26599/

I followed the recipe except used Wyeast Belgian Wheat 3942 instead of WLP400 or Wyeast Belgian Wit 3944 because that's what the store had. No starter.

It's been fermenting between 63-68.

OG of 1.055
Tested today at 1.018

With an attenuation of 72-76% does that mean I should expect a fg around
1.013-1.015? 1+(.055*.24) - 1+(.055*.28)

According to beersmith, this is right on target for the yeast at the end of primary for a 2-stage ale ferment. Is there any benefit to racking to secondary to let it taper down to FG or should I just let it sit for a week or two more in primary? Should I bump the temp a bit or just let it ride?

I've heard that belgians can take a while to hit FG so figure it may not be stuck just working its way down slowly. I gave it a little swirl to help knock down the krausen which let a lot of yeast into suspension so am hoping that will help kick things back up.

I'm using starters now and wonder if this might be a yeast pitching issue or if it is just a slow ferment?

Thanks

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