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Old 11-22-2010, 01:57 AM   #1
El_Goapo
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Default First All Grain...Nightmare

I was so excited about my first all-grain brew this morning. Last week I built my mash tun, converted a keg into a brew kettle (that was horrible), bought a turkey fryer, bought a fridge for controled fermentation, and picked up a new wort chiller. I researched my grain and hop bill for weeks, and even tested my water ph.

First off, 20 minutes in, my mash was only 138 degrees. I added 1.5 gallons of water trying to warm it up, but there was no change...ahh well...game on. After the sparge, I was at 6.5 gallons...good enough. After 30 minutes of my new burner going on and off, I find that there is a safety shut-off spring which only the intended turkey kettle would trigger...my keg brewkettle had a round bottom. I pored the wort into the sanitized turkey kettle...then of course I had a pretty bad boil over. After transfering the wort BACK into the keg brewkettle, I dismantled the safety device, and had to rig it with two firebricks and an old shovel...from end of mash to end of boil was 3 hours. I then connected my new chiller to my kitchen faucet, and set to work cleaning the mess I made from the boil. Apparently, the chiller connection was sub-par...I discovered this when I saw water dripping into my basement from the kitchen...(HUGE MESS). After I finaly had the beer in the fermentator, and the kitchen clean, I reach for and subsequently dropped my last New Castle...so I had a Keystone Light and felt sorry for myself. Guess I should have gone to church. (



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Old 11-22-2010, 02:03 AM   #2
avidhomebrewer
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Wow. Bad brew day. I hope your brew turns out better than your day did. Your next ag batch won't go that badly. Can only get better.



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Old 11-22-2010, 02:39 AM   #3
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Sounds like a rough day for sure, but lots of lessons learned, I bet.

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Old 11-22-2010, 02:48 AM   #4
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+1 on only getting better. My first AG brew was today. Cut the keggle, homemade mash tun, turkey burner... made my own ribcage chiller. I must have gotten all your luck though with my brewday as everything went better than I expected. Watch, my beer will be nasty and yours will be the best you've ever had. We popped our cherries now lets make some good beers.

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Old 11-22-2010, 03:33 AM   #5
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Sweet! You made all your mistakes on your first batch. Next one will be flawless. Brew on!

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Old 11-22-2010, 03:48 AM   #6
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Just did my fifth AG batch this morning and all I have to say is that you'll work it out and the process will get much smoother. My first AG was stressful and confusing as I did a ton of research and didn't understand all of the concepts.

Needless to say, I hit all my numbers dead on today (as i'm sure your will once you get the process down). Just take notes, record what you did wrong and make improvements for the future. There is no where to go but up!

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Old 11-22-2010, 12:50 PM   #7
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Yeh, that sounds like one tough brew day. But, the good news is, they will only get better from here!

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Old 11-22-2010, 01:01 PM   #8
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You'll learn a lot from this experience. In hindsight, it is always good to go through a dry run with your equipment (using just water). This allows you to better estimate boil off rates, chilling procedures, etc.

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Old 11-22-2010, 01:28 PM   #9
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well whatever you do, dont let this deter you from trying again!!!!! Next time will go much smoother now that you have the above listed kinks identified and hopefully worked out.

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Old 11-22-2010, 01:34 PM   #10
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Ugh nightmare indeed. Good luck!



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