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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First All grain coming up, advice welcome.
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:19 AM   #11
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Want to see what happens to a plastic spoon... here you go....
I had the same thing happen to me. I went out and purchased a long stainless steel spoon that works much better. I wonder how many of those spoons have broken like that?
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:25 AM   #12
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Oh forgot to ask... how are you connecting the false bottom or manifold to the outside world? I used regular vnyle tubbing my first AG and it softened up and disconnected! I now have high temp stuff and SS clamps just to be on the safe side.

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Old 07-04-2006, 03:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by RichBrewer
I had the same thing happen to me. I went out and purchased a long stainless steel spoon that works much better. I wonder how many of those spoons have broken like that?
The plastic paddle did not snap on AG #2 but was bending I was wondering when it was going to snap (stupid me of course did not have a second one just in case). Dude's paddle is awsum!
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:39 AM   #14
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Want to see what happens to a plastic spoon... here you go....

A picture is worth.... I think they run about $4

I didn't snap mine but came damn close!!! My spoon is solid so I just had to bend it back so it was straight
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:45 AM   #15
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Here is Dude's paddle... nice one....

http://www.instawares.com/Stainless-...7A18402B600120

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Old 07-04-2006, 03:57 AM   #16
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this is what I use... I marked it so that when I sink it in my boil I can see exactly how much I have.

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Old 07-04-2006, 09:33 AM   #17
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Not a bad idea at all. I marked that on the pots themselves. Worked like a charm. I suppose thats another good tip... somehow in someway you need to know how much is in the boil pot. I estimated in my first AG and was WAY off. Then I put a gauge on the pot with a perm. marker for the second one and it turned out GREAT. So one way other another you need to know how much is in there. You'll be starting with a lot and boiling some down.

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Old 07-04-2006, 10:36 AM   #18
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Good luck, AG isn't that difficult and it's good fun too. I haven't read through the thread but some points off the top of my head which have probably already been mentioned:

Use a good sturdy thermometer and have a back-up. Glass thermometers break easily and digital ones can be innacurate if you get them wet. Take extra care when taking temperature measurements and you'll be fine... I use a jam thermometer incased in metal which works a treat. Getting the mash temperature is the hardest part first time so you might want to do a trial run before brew-day. Ideally you want to get it right first time, software like promash will help you calculate your strike temperature. Obviously remember to aerate well if you're doing a full boil. Account for at least a gallon of evaporation during the boil, probably more. Prepare a couple of extra gallons of sparge water.

Good luck!

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Old 07-05-2006, 10:12 PM   #19
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The couple extra gallons of sparge water is a good tip as you donot want to run your mash out of water prior to geting you boil volumeprobably close to 7 gal for a 5 gal batch. It is easier to lower th mash temp than raise it you can also lower the temp by sturing vigerously , and cold water or ice it won't take much. I use Beer Smith and pro mash for all of my all grain recipes and strike temps I tend to add a couple degrees to their recomendation.

I did 25 lbs of grain and to raise it from 152 to 168-170 it took 210-208 deg water to get it their. Keeping heat on the water waiting to sparge with helps keep it warm. Even if you need to catch your runnings in a 5 gal bucket untill you get the hot sparge water out of your brew kettle.

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Old 07-06-2006, 03:40 AM   #20
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How critical is the sparge temp? I don't have an insulated hot liquor tank at the moment, so i will start my liquor off at 170, but I might lose 10 degrees or so before it's all run out... BAD or just bad?
To sparge, you want to keep the temperature of the grist and sparge water at 165 - 170 degrees. Lower temperatures will reduce efficiency, and increase the probability of a stuck sparge; while higher temperatures will cause excess tannin extraction. According to Dave Miller, you can decrease the tannin extraction by acidifying the sparge water to a pH of 5.6 or less. With your grain bill, you are unlikely to get a stuck sparge, but if you add a pound of flaked barley, you might.

If you start sparging straight ofter the mash, then your mash temperature will probably be in the low 150's, and you will need some pretty hot water to raise this to 165 - 170.

I "mash out" by adding a 1.5g of 200 F acidified water, which raises the mash to about 170. I add the water before the grain, which helps to prevent the grain bed from getting compacted (which with my system is very likely to cause a stuck sparge). After 15 minutes, I recirculate a couple of gallons before starting the sparge. The recirculation cools things down a bit.

For the sparge, I heat acidified water to 190, and add it to a 5g cooler that had been pre-warmed with hot water from the tap (about 140). By the time it has meandered though the plastic tubing and out of the sparge arm, the temperature has dropped considerably, but the grist being sparged stays below 170.

Since I started the mash out and increasing the temperature of the sparge water, my efficiency has increased by about 10%.

I have an older version of the sparge arm that you described. It works great, but has a couple of idiosyncrasies.

First, there is a big temperature drop between the HLT and the exit from the sparge arm. You need to increase the temperature of the water in the HLT to allow for this.

Second, you need (at least, I need) a considerable head of water to force any water through the sparge arm. With my set up, I need at least 2g of water in the HLT to get anything out of the sparge arm. Your mileage may differ.

I'd do some experiments to determine the temperature drop between the original temperature of the sparge water, and the outlet from the arm; and to determine how much head of water you need to get any output from the sparge arm.

Good luck.

-a.
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