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Old 04-07-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
cuda6pak
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Default First All Grain Brew

And by first AG brew, I mean my first brew day period! I skipped extract, BIAB, partial mash, bottling, etc. Built a GE 7.0 three tap keezer with 525ss Perlicks, SS shanks & nipple, 10# aluminum CO2 tank, 4-way manifold, etc controlled by a digital A149. Also built a Fermentation chamber using a GE 5.0 and STC-1000 dual stage (cooling only hooked plugged in for summer).

Equipment - two 15gal Spike Brewing SS kettles with 3-piece SS ball valves and sight glass for HLT and BK. 10gal Industrial Igloo cooler with False bottom for Mash tun. Wooden Kero mash paddle, all silicon hosing, Blichmann burner, Ale Pails, etc etc.

Anyways, for my very first brew ever I did a Stone IPA clone 5.5 gallon (EdWort's). I entered 5.5 gal in BeerSmith vs 5.0gal to account for hop gunk and trub and hit all my volumes.

10.5# 2-row
1# Munich
1# Crystal 40 (they didn't have 20L)
1oz Warrior hops @ 60min
1oz Centennial hops @ 15min (1tsp Irish Moss as well)
1oz Centinnial hops @ 5min
Dry hopping in Keg with 1oz Centennial in a SS herb ball

I used a Cereal Killer Grain Mill and crushed everything myself with a power drill at low speed. I hit my mash temp very close, possibly a bit high, 153-154 several areas I checked (TW8060). Did a 60min mash and only lost about 0.5 degrees. Single batch sparge with 175* water, stirred for a few min, let settle for 10min, and then drained. Boil went smooth, threw in the Immersion Chiller in @ 20 min. Flame out and hit the garden hose realizing I had a bit of a leak that was splashing a bit of water into the Kettle Ran inside and grabbed some tools and fixed it and cooled the wort down to about 75* in about 15 min. I then grabbed an ale pail that I had soaked in PBW, rinsed, and then filled with StarSan, dumped it into another clean pail and used it for the fermenter along with a sanitized 3 piece air lock. I wanted to try out my stir plate but did not have enough time to do one and chill/decant in time so I aerated the wort and sprinkled an 11.5g packet of dry US-05 yeast.

OG was a bit low, 1.054. I'm thinking because my mash temp was slightly higher than anticipated I forgot to check my SG after the mash so I don't know my effeciency It tasted a bit sweeter than expected with very forward hop notes.

Right now it is sitting in the fermentation chamber at ~63* and I have yet to hear any bubbling out the air lock. It's been about 20 hours since I pitched. Trying to hold off peeking inside the bucket or getting too worried! If I haven't seen any activity by 3 full days I was thinking of pitching another packet of US-05 (Mr. Malty said 1.2 packets) and re-aerating.

I cleaned everything pre-boil with PBW and rinsed hot, and additionally used StarSan for anything post-boil. I also used a MoreBeer water filtration system for all the water.

Any tips/hints/comments for my first beer ever??? I'm thinking of building some sort of pickup tube for the BK as there was some wort that I missed out on due to the height of the ball valve. I did sort of whirlpool with the IC and then drained. I've learned a lot reading on here for the past few months and obviously went way overboard with my equipment from the get-go! Had a blast and next on-deck I'm planning is a Founder's Breakfast Stout Clone!

Now I'll just have to make sure everything goes right with kegging....



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Old 04-07-2013, 09:59 PM   #2
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Way to jump into it! I did the same thing. I did one extract brew and then went straight to all grain. I make terrific beer IMHO. Enjoy.



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Old 04-07-2013, 11:22 PM   #3
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Well, to add to my newbness. I totally forgot to fill the 3piece air lock up with water/starsan

Just went back and re-sanitized the air lock and filled it to the line with starsan and then put it back together.

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Old 04-08-2013, 02:54 AM   #4
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I'm just glad I read this post for the Stone IPA clone recipe. Let us know how it turns out as I love Stone and can't get it in Wisconsin.

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Old 04-08-2013, 03:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda6pak View Post

Any tips/hints/comments for my first beer ever???

Wait 72 hours before considering pitching more yeast. Also, airlock activity isn't always a reliable indicator. Any little leak at the top of the fermenter will let CO2 escape (= no bubbles), but fermentation is still happening.

One of the hardest things when you just start is to leave the beer alone to do its thing in the fermenter, but that's what you should do, leave it alone.

Next time:

1) chill your wort down to about 62-65*F before pitching ale yeast.

2) rehydrate your dry yeast before pitching. Sprinkling dry into wort kills as much as 1/2 the cells in the packet. Basic steps are at - http://www.danstaryeast.com/library/rehydration-and-usage-tips-ale-yeast

3) Since you can control your ferment temps (Good for you. It's one of the most important keys to good brew), start the ferment at the low end of the optimal range for the yeast you are using and hold it there for the first week. After that, slowly step it up to the middle of the optimal range for that yeast until it's finished. You'll get a nicer, cleaner flavor.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:31 AM   #6
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Wow, you jumped into the deep end of the brewing pool. Congrats! You have done your homework, and will make great beer.

Stone is pretty awesome stuff, let us know how it turns out!

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Old 04-08-2013, 06:36 PM   #7
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Let us know how it turns out! I also jumped straight in to all grain brewing, no extract, partial mash or BIAB. My first batch turned out "OK", it was very drinkable but had some flaws. The good thing is that I knew my sanitation standards were good and I learned a lot. My second batch turned out absolutely world-class IMO after putting what I learned into practice and I've been taking it from there!

Your process sounds good, keep it up!

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Old 04-08-2013, 11:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post

Wait 72 hours before considering pitching more yeast. Also, airlock activity isn't always a reliable indicator. Any little leak at the top of the fermenter will let CO2 escape (= no bubbles), but fermentation is still happening.

One of the hardest things when you just start is to leave the beer alone to do its thing in the fermenter, but that's what you should do, leave it alone.

Next time:

1) chill your wort down to about 62-65*F before pitching ale yeast.

2) rehydrate your dry yeast before pitching. Sprinkling dry into wort kills as much as 1/2 the cells in the packet. Basic steps are at - http://www.danstaryeast.com/library/rehydration-and-usage-tips-ale-yeast

3) Since you can control your ferment temps (Good for you. It's one of the most important keys to good brew), start the ferment at the low end of the optimal range for the yeast you are using and hold it there for the first week. After that, slowly step it up to the middle of the optimal range for that yeast until it's finished. You'll get a nicer, cleaner flavor.
Thanks for the feedback. I planned on rehydrating the yeast but was unsure of the sanitization standard when doing it. Say if I was going to do it in an Erlenmeyer flask. Would I need to sanitize the entire flask before pouring water in? Do I then need to boil the water and bring it down to temp before hydrating?



UPDATE: Fermentation has kicked off! Sometime between 36-46 hours after pitching. I'm now getting healthy bubbling every 3-5 seconds. Now I'm worried I might blow the lid off! I think I'll let this one slide and then plan on blow off tube for my next beers when I hydrate the US-05 or make a starter off something else.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:36 AM   #9
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You've got the right idea. I use a Pyrex glass measuring cup as you want to sprinkle the yeast over the whole surface area of the water. I keep a bucket of Starsan on hand so I just drop my measuring cup and thermometer in there while I boil water for a few minutes. Empty out the starsan, pour water into the measuring cup and cool to the correct temperature (usually somewhere between 85-105*F depending on manufacturer). I put my sanitized thermometer in the water to keep an eye on the temp. It can actually take quite a while to cool off, so I usually put some cold water in a bowl and put the cup in there to chill it until it's at at the temp I want. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the boiled, cooled water and don't touch it until at least 15 minutes has elapsed (or 30 depending on the manufacturer's advice). Then stir, wait a few more minutes, and pitch into your wort.

What happens (anyone please feel free to chime in and correct me if I'm wrong) is that the water rushes through the cell walls of the dehydrated yeast instantly on contact, and there is an ideal temperature that this happens while keeping the cells viable (too hot or too cold and it can kill them). You don't want to wait too long after rehydrating to pitch because the yeast cells have been cultured in a way that they are ready to eat and if you leave them too long they will start to die.

Many folks just sprinkle directly on the wort as you did, and some manufacturers say that's a totally viable option. I've been hydrating.

Congrats on the fermentation, it's exciting (I have a batch that I've been peeking in on every few hours just because I love watching the bubbling). After a few batches you won't be as worried about the fermentation starting and you will be able to relax and just let it do its thing.

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Old 04-10-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
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Update: Fermentation kicked off in a hurry that night and by the time I went to sleep I had 3-4 bubbles per second. I was afraid of blowing the lid off but luckily it did not happen. Next time I will start with a blow off tube and move to an airlock after vigorous fermentation is done.

For those of you that have frequently used US-05, should I ramp up my temperature towards the end of primary? I was planning on kegging two weeks after primary (after a few FG checks show good) but didn't know if it would benefit me to ramp up primary to 65-67 for the last few days to try and grab a few more points. Or should I leave it at 63 and keg right after that. Thoughts?



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