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Old 02-08-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
theziggen
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Default First all grain brew...

I am planning to do my first all-grain brew and wanted to use a 5 gal. robust porter recipe of Jamil's that uses14 lbs of malt. he gives these instructions: "Mill the grains and dough-in targeting a mash thickness that will enable your system to achieve the necessary pre-boil volume and gravity. Hold the mash at 154 °F (68 °C) until enzymatic conversion is complete. Infuse the mash with near boiling water while stirring or with a recirculating mash system raise the temperature to mash out at 168°F (76°C). Sparge slowly with 170 °F (77 °C) water, collecting wort until the pre-boil kettle volume is around 5.9 gallons (22.3 L) and the gravity is 1.053 (13.2 °P)." My question is about the dough in procedure, specifically, what quantity of water should I be starting my mash with? I understand infusing, but if I use the 1.5q/1qt ratio I would think my first running a would be way to big for an adequate sparge. Also, how do I know when enzymatic conversion is complete? I have homemade rubbermade 10 gallon mash tun. Thanks.

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Old 02-08-2013, 04:39 PM   #2
Toga
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It really depends on your method and system. I use 1.25 quarts per pound give or take. I have gone as high as 1.5 quarts per pound. I batch sparge and found it really does not make much of a difference in extraction when I dough in with 1.25 quarts or 1.50 so long as I followed my normal sparge procedure and properly calculate my total pre-boil volume needed so I sparge with what I need to hit my target pre-boil volume.

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Old 02-08-2013, 04:39 PM   #3
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the 1.5qt/lb is on the higher end but workable, if you're worried shoot for closer to 1.25qt/lb. There will be some absorption by the grains, so you won't get all of that water out in the sparge.
If you don't have a go-to calculator, check out hopville, you can enter the recipe and the the process particulars and it will tell you what temp and volume of water for each step.

As for knowing the enzymatic conversion is complete - you can either use the iodine test to make sure there are no starches left, or simply hold the temp for the specified time and you should be good.

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Old 02-08-2013, 04:53 PM   #4
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The dough in depends on your system. Some systems work better with a mash not as thick(1.5qts/lb), and some work fine with a much thicker mash(1.0-1.25qts/lb). You are safer going with the 1.5 qts/lb of grain that the lower ones. So you will be using 21 qts of water, or 5.25 gallons. You will lose quite a bit of that to grain absorbtion. Probably about 1.5 gallons to 1.75 gallons. Listing your recipe would help us too as we can plug it into Beersmith and give you some better numbers. You will still be sparging with about 4-4.5 gallons so that should be fine. Most enzymes will be converted in 45 minutes, but you can buy conversions strips at you LBS. Another nice thing to buy would be brewing software, it will help you out a ton and you can keep nice records of your brews there as well.

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Old 02-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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I use at least 1.65 qt./lb. for most brews. It lest me get close to 1/2 my boil volume from the first runoff without having to do pre runoff infusions. It also increased my efficiency a little bit.

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Old 02-08-2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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I have only done 4 AG batches now, so I am still a rookie, but I have used 1.25qt/#, 1.33 and 1.5 and used the appropriate amount of water to sparge and reach boil size, my best efficiency was using 1.5 and a slightly smaller batch sparge at 170 for 10min.

I also have the HD 10g Mash tun also and found this to be the most accurate calculator after preheating with 1.5-2 g of water at 185 for 10-15min. I have hit my target temp spot-on every time since using it. http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

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Old 02-13-2013, 06:29 AM   #7
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Default Brew day...

Thanks all!

Brew day went great, went with 1.5 and the grains absorbed enough that I only got about half my volume, so there was plenty of room for sparging. Now I play the waiting game.

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