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Old 04-30-2007, 04:08 PM   #1
mozicodo
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Default First All-Grain Botched

No, that's not a misspelling, I did mean botched because that sums up how the day went. For my first attempt at brewing all grain I decided to try an all-grain batch of my red ale. At the time when I picked up my ingredients I bought ingredients for my second batch of a different recipe as well. I measured out the 2-row and munich malts as they were the common malts. I then tossed in the 60/120 caramel mix and the chocolate malt. "Hmm, that seemed like an awful lot of chocolate malt. Doh!"

I was supposed to only put in 1/8# but dumped in 1/2#. No biggie, I ran back to ProMash to find out that I had the color for an American Brown so I toned down the hops a bit so my first all grain batch will be my Mystery Brown Ale.

The second mistake was with the strike water. I heated up the strike water to 160 deg and added that to the grain but I ended up with only about 140 deg or so in the mash tun. I still had some room in the cooler so I added some hotter water to bring it up to 148. Is there a way to calculate in ProMash what this should be or is it an experience thing?

My final mistake was that I forgot to recirculate the first runnings until things ran clear. I didn't see any husks in the wort so I'm not sure how much this will hurt. What negative side-effects can I expect from this?

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Old 04-30-2007, 04:57 PM   #2
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My first partial mash went about the same as far as strike water went. I put water in and it was way too hot, so I loaded it with some cool water and dropped the temp to around 130. I spend the next hour trying to bring the temp up to within mash ranges. It settled out at 149. I also sparged wrong. To date, this is by far the best beer I have ever made. It's a lot more forgiving than you might think. Don't worry about it, and take it as lessons learned.
I use beersmith and it gives me what my strike water should be and it's pretty accurate. I would think promash would do the same. But you should be aiming anywhere from 10-20 degrees higher than your desired mash temps.



Dan

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Old 04-30-2007, 04:59 PM   #3
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RDWHAHB - Your beer will turn out fine, although maybe not what you originally planned for. Chalk up all those things to valuable experience. Take good notes with every brew, and keep honing your methods and process with every batch. In a few more brews you'll have it all down and feel like a pro.

Edit - Willsellout beat me to the punch, but he DID forget the RDWHAHB.

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Old 04-30-2007, 05:00 PM   #4
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Oh, and I'm not as familiar with Pro Mash (I also use Beer Smith), but I'm sure it's got some kind of calculator for water infusions.

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Old 04-30-2007, 05:19 PM   #5
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ProMash has tools for determining your strike temp. It's under calculators and is about 2/3 way down the list "Strike Temperature". There is also an icon on the Promash desktop that says strike temp.

I take a pocket therm and bury it in the grains when I first start heating my water. As the water starts getting above 100 I'll pull the term out and plug that into the calculator and it tells me what my strike temp should be. I almost always hit it on the nose.

If you dig around on the Promash website, they also have a few calculators like strike temp and hydro calc that you can dowload and run on a Palm device or Windows CE. Somewhere on the site you can find the same tools and run them on PocketPC which is what I do and use my smartphone. There just isn't an installer for the PocketPC ones.

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Old 04-30-2007, 05:20 PM   #6
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Hmm. Maybe it's that big button that says "Strike Temp" on it?

Now all I have to do is find the Thermal Mass of a Rubbermaid cooler.

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Old 04-30-2007, 05:37 PM   #7
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I forgot one good thing that did come out of this brew session. This was the first time I used my brew pot since I added a valve to it. No leaks and the stainless steel braid managed to strain all but I small glob of trub.

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Old 04-30-2007, 06:35 PM   #8
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The stike temp thing is picky to your setup. I go about 14 deg over my temp because that's where mine works. I hit my temp on the head everytime now, so I guess it takes a little experience to figure this out.

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Old 04-30-2007, 06:54 PM   #9
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Chalk it up to experience. I'd bet a six pack your next batch goes MUCH better. My first all grain ended up with a stuck sparge when the hose came off the false bottom.

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Old 04-30-2007, 07:03 PM   #10
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The software does a good job of figuring grain temp affect on overall mash temp and helps you compensate with a hotter infusion temp. The amount of heat the cooler will pull out is the hard part. If the software says to infuse at 168F, you have to go higher. I put the water into a cold cooler at 190F, in 5 minutes it's down to 170 and ready for me to add the grist. So... throw 3 gallons of 190F water into your cooler and close it for 5 minutes. Test the temp again. This tells you how much you need to raise your infusion temp.

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