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Old 08-30-2009, 06:51 AM   #1
cheezerman
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Default First All Grain Brew, check my procedure please!

So I am preparing for my first all grain brewing experience.
I've been reading everything I can get my hands on, but I know experience trumps research, as always.

I'm brewing Ó Flannagáin Standard Stout

I'd like anyone who wants to, to look over my rough procedure. I want to make sure I'm going in the right direction, before I begin. I'm sure I'll mess something up, but that's life. I'll just relax and have another beer.

The part I'm mostly concerned about is the mashing. I'm not sure if I am understanding the sparging process fully. Does this look right? Am I way off here?

  • Heat ~10 quarts of water to ~175°F (9.25qt needed)
  • Mix the hot water and 9.25lbs of grain to converted picnic cooler mash-tun.
  • Let the mixture sit for 60 minutes.
  • While the mash is sitting, start heating 4.5 gallons of water to approx 168°F for sparging.
  • After 60 minutes of mashing, drain ~2 quarts from the mash-tun, pouring it back into the grain bed, repeating until the flow clarifies.
  • Drain the entire MLT, add the sparge water, stir, and cover.
  • Let the sparge water sit for 10 minutes.
  • Start boiling the previous mash liquid.
  • Drain the sparge water and add to wort pot, along with the first mash.
  • Check SG, if too low, add some malt extract
  • Bring to boil, add hops, boil for 60 minutes.

The rest, of course, is just like extract brewing (which I've done).
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:24 AM   #2
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Bump bump bump

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Old 09-01-2009, 06:46 AM   #3
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It looks like you've got it pretty solid. A couple thoughts

Some people prefer a thinner mash and go for 1.25qts of water for each pound of grain. There is some opinions out there that a thinner mash (more water) helps with conversion. 1qt per lb is sufficient though.

Figure on losing approximately .1gallon of water per lb of grain to absorption during the mash. By your present numbers that would only give you about 6 gallons going into your boil kettle. I do not know what your planned finished batch size is or what your loss to boil off rate is on your kettle, but for a 5.5 gallon batch your volume looks a bit low.

168-170 is your target sparge water temp, and just like when you mash in you have to use hotter water in as the grains will be somewhere around 150 and will cause heat loss in the incoming water. Figure about 180ish for the water for the sparge to hit the 168 mark. I usually go in a bit warmer and keep some room temp water in a jug to bring the temp down if I overshoot by a couple degrees.

You don't say what size your mash tun cooler is, but if it 5 gallons you will not fit 4-5 gallons of sparge water in it. Just split the water into two sparges which generally helps your efficiency anyway. If you have a larger cooler a single sparge is fine.

If you miss your OG into the kettle, hold off on your extract addition until the final 20 minutes of boil. The lower gravity will help with your hop utilization, and the extract won't tend to darken the wort as much which is ,more omportant for light styles.

Good luck. You'll do fine. Cheers

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Old 09-01-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen_Brew View Post
It looks like you've got it pretty solid. A couple thoughts

Some people prefer a thinner mash and go for 1.25qts of water for each pound of grain. There is some opinions out there that a thinner mash (more water) helps with conversion. 1qt per lb is sufficient though.

Figure on losing approximately .1gallon of water per lb of grain to absorption during the mash. By your present numbers that would only give you about 6 gallons going into your boil kettle. I do not know what your planned finished batch size is or what your loss to boil off rate is on your kettle, but for a 5.5 gallon batch your volume looks a bit low.

I plan on a 5 gallon batch.

168-170 is your target sparge water temp, and just like when you mash in you have to use hotter water in as the grains will be somewhere around 150 and will cause heat loss in the incoming water. Figure about 180ish for the water for the sparge to hit the 168 mark. I usually go in a bit warmer and keep some room temp water in a jug to bring the temp down if I overshoot by a couple degrees.

You don't say what size your mash tun cooler is, but if it 5 gallons you will not fit 4-5 gallons of sparge water in it. Just split the water into two sparges which generally helps your efficiency anyway. If you have a larger cooler a single sparge is fine.

I have a 10 gallon mash tun cooler.

If you miss your OG into the kettle, hold off on your extract addition until the final 20 minutes of boil. The lower gravity will help with your hop utilization, and the extract won't tend to darken the wort as much which is ,more omportant for light styles.

Good luck. You'll do fine. Cheers
Thanks for the info, its nice to have some feedback! I can't wait to get brewing!
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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Goodluck! I am doing my first All grain this weekend as well following pretty much the exact same technique.

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Old 09-01-2009, 10:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezerman View Post

  • Heat ~10 quarts of water to ~175°F (9.25qt needed)
  • Mix the hot water and 9.25lbs of grain to converted picnic cooler mash-tun.
  • Let the mixture sit for 60 minutes.
  • While the mash is sitting, start heating 4.5 gallons of water to approx 168°F for sparging.
  • After 60 minutes of mashing, drain ~2 quarts from the mash-tun, pouring it back into the grain bed, repeating until the flow clarifies.
  • Drain the entire MLT, add the sparge water, stir, and cover.
  • Let the sparge water sit for 10 minutes.
  • Start boiling the previous mash liquid.
  • Drain the sparge water and add to wort pot, along with the first mash.
  • Check SG, if too low, add some malt extract
  • Bring to boil, add hops, boil for 60 minutes.

The rest, of course, is just like extract brewing (which I've done).
It looks like you are Batch sparging, with two drains of the mash tun, so you will need two recirculating steps.

  • ...
  • After 60 minutes of mashing, drain ~2 quarts from the mash-tun, pouring it back into the grain bed, repeating until the flow clarifies.
  • Drain the entire MLT, add the sparge water, stir, and cover.
  • Let the sparge water sit for 10 minutes.
  • Start boiling the previous mash liquid.
  • add step-->drain ~2 quarts from the mash-tun, pouring it back into the grain bed, repeating until the flow clarifies.
  • Drain the sparge water and add to wort pot, along with the first mash.
  • Check SG, if too low, add some malt extract
  • Bring to boil, add hops, boil for 60 minutes.

when you disturb the grain bed by adding the sparge water you will have re settle it or you will get grain in the boil. This leads to a bitter taste, that over time will dissipate in the beer, if you age it.
looks good
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