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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First All Grain Brew Notes
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
doublehaul
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Default First All Grain Brew Notes

Thought I would post up my notes from my first AG attempt because I have a feeling I have made a few critical mistakes that made me miss my OG. I'd appreciate any feedback!

Recipe Arrogant Bastard Clone
15 lbs grain
Mash temp: 148, OG 1.071, FG 1.019, ABV: 7.13%, Batch size 5.25 gallons, Boil Size: 7 gallons, efficiency: 70%
Batch Sparge
Equipment – 10 gallon round cooler, ss braid, 10 gallon boil pot

Thurs.
Got Yeast starter going

Sat 8am BREW DAY
First of all I calculated my water amounts/temps from brew365.com with the default settings.

EDIT - this screenshot should say mash temp 148, strike temp 159.73.
Put 2 (1 gallon?) pots hot tap water in cooler, put on lid to pre-heat. Shook a bit.
Brought 5 gallons to 162degF
Drained pre-heat water from mash tun – note water left after drain under ½ gallon.
9am Doughed in – adding grain/water a pot at a time. Only hit about 143 so stirred in (½ gallon) pot of boiling water brought it up to 149. Put lid on. I don't know that I could handle a much bigger batch, which surprised me.

Ran to hardware store to get another hose for my wort chiller – wife watched the stove.

9:30 am Stirred – temp still 149.

Overheated sparge water so turned off flame, cooled to 175 and dumped into a spare (sanitized) cooler. Closed lid an put a towel on to insulate.

Mashed for 70 minutes – recipe did not give a time.

10:10am Recirculated and finished lautering at – process went smooth. Collected a little over 3 gallons. Should I have had more?



Strike water temp a little low (barely 165). Tried stirring in a bit of boiling water and didn't help. Temp was maybe 162? Added 5gallons of strike water scooping the first half with a pitcher and then holding the cooler over my mash tun, pouring through the drain spout – pain in the ass. Let sit for 15 minutes. Collected so I had a little over 7 gallons which is what I needed, but there was definitely more – I poured at least 1 gallon down the sink – should I have collected this and boiled it off? Were my water numbers incorrect? Is this what made me miss my OG?

Pre-Boil Gravity 1.057. From the palmer book – (57 * 7.05)/15 = 26.79. “The result should be somewhere around 28. 27 is OK, 29 is better, and above 30 is great. If it is 25 or below, you are not getting good conversion in the mash..” I was pretty happy with 26.79 for my first attempt. Is this my efficiency?

11am
Started boil
90 minute boil
Finished with 6 gallons in the pot, hops and all. Had a litte freak out, but ended up with 5.25 gallons in the ferementer, just like I was supposed to – so I guess the calculator was good in that respect. Cooled with wort chiller (first time using one – awesome!).

I'm calling my FG 1.6 - the temp is 70 so you are supposed to add a point - what do you think?

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Old 03-11-2012, 11:26 PM   #2
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The thing that throws me is if I measured my boil gravity correctly, my efficiency at that point was 72.48% according to - http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/. Maybe I needed to stir before taking this reading? Or what went wrong after lautering?

And how would it have only changed from 1.057 to 1.06 after a 90 minute boil? I'd really like to iron these problems out and try another batch.

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Old 03-12-2012, 01:35 AM   #3
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Overall looks like a successful brew!

You mention temperature correction for your hydrometer reading, did you do that for both the pre-boil sample and the OG sample?

Pouring that extra gallon down the sink did cost you some sugars, so next time you will want to compensate by using less water to start with. About the boil, was it a strong rolling boil or a mild boil? Looks like you might be doing it on the stove, that would lead to less boil off, hence a smaller increase in gravity between the pre-boil sample and after the boil.

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Old 03-12-2012, 01:52 AM   #4
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A temperature of 148 seems a bit low for a mash. It produces more fermentables, but you will have a drier beer for sure. I usually aim for 152-154 depending on the style, but that is just my preference. For a rubbermaid mash tun, heat the strike water to 169 for 154. I couldn't really follow you sparge. Were you trying for a hybrid fly sparge technique or a batch sparge? If you were trying to batch sparge, which I recommend for beginner all grain brewers, you do not have to add the entire sparge water gently to the grain. You will add your water, stir like crazy, let sit for 10 minutes, then vorlauf and collect. Vorlaufing is when you settle the grain bed and gently add the collection (usually 2-3 quarts for me) back to the grain. The idea here is to not disturb the grain and cause places in the grainbed for water to channel through. A typical batch sparge should be about half an hour total. A fly sparge or hybrid technique should not be less than an hour. During the sparge, the goal is to get the temperature of the grain bed as close to 170 as possible without going over. You must account for heat absorption by the grain during this process. For a batch sparge, I heat my sparge water to 185 and I can get my grain bed to 169 in my rubbermaid mash tun. Your efficiency is a measure of how effectively you converted starches into sugars and collected them from the grain. Anything around 80% is very good. Overall, it sounds like you have the procedure down, you just need to fine tune your temps and volume through calibration of your equipment. It will get easier with future brews. Keep up the good work and cheers!

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrybrewer
Overall looks like a successful brew!

You mention temperature correction for your hydrometer reading, did you do that for both the pre-boil sample and the OG sample?
Yep but I took the reading at 110F so I was like a 10 pt. adjustment. I don't doubt I could have made a mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrybrewer
Pouring that extra gallon down the sink did cost you some sugars, so next time you will want to compensate by using less water to start with. About the boil, was it a strong rolling boil or a mild boil? Looks like you might be doing it on the stove, that would lead to less boil off, hence a smaller increase in gravity between the pre-boil sample and after the boil.
I had a pretty good boil but yes it was on my gas stove - 2 burners. How do u decide how much water to start with? I would have thought I'd use less water on the sparge step. I was thinking I should have used grist ratio of 1.5 too.
Thanks for the great advice.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:21 AM   #6
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Mike I thought 148 was low too but that was the "clone" recipe. I was batch sparging sorry for not being.clear.

missing my OG by 11 pts seems pretty.bad - there's not one big mistake that jumps out? Or do u think just my sparge temp could've caused that? How big of gravity change should o expect between pre and post boil?

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:48 AM   #7
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how bout posting that recipe

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougie63
how bout posting that recipe
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/all-...estion-311195/
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:19 AM   #9
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Yea, it is probably due to sparge temp plus the crush on the grain. Do you mill your own grains? Most often, HBS will use a larger crush to avoid a stuck sparge. The closer you are to 170 during the sparge, the more sugars you extract. I only got efficiency above ~70% when I bought my own mill. I wouldn't stress about it; the beer is still going to be good and very drinkable. You learn a lot during the first couple brews. You will get better with practice and good research. Cheers!

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:29 AM   #10
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My opinion on gravity checks.... and this depends on how many hydrometers/test tubes you have.

I personally have ended up with like 5 don't ask how or why!?

But I fill 2 tubes 1 with mash runnings and 1 with post boil. I let them sit for a while sometimes over night then record my resulting gravities. I find it to be more accurate and less frustrating than checking it hot.

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