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Old 04-11-2009, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default First all-grain...problems, problems, problems.

That was a mess!!! My first all-grain did not go well at all. I posted a thread earlier on a stuck sparge, so a few of you may have read that thread already.

Everything started off alright. Pre-heated cooler, added grain, then 170F water. Hit my desired mash temp of 150F dead on. The cooler held that 150F for the entire hour...never lost a degree.

Vorlaufed(sp), then slowly drained off the wort. About a gallon went really well, then a STUCK SPARGE!!! Tried my air compressor to blow back thru the line, that didn't work. Ended up just straining the grains in a 5-gallon paint strainer.

Pre-boil gravity was 1.028, was supposed to be 1.036. I then boiled the wort, no problems there. I used my new copper wort chiller. It took about 20-25minutes to cool it down. I was not happy with the performance of the chiller.

I am having a very difficult time figuring out my efficiency. I think it is VERY low. Here are my numbers. Maybe someone can help me out.

9lbs Pale malt- 2 row
.75 Dextrine
.50 Crystal malt-10l
.50 vienna malt

Pre-boil gravity= 1.028
Post boild gravity=1.051
Total of 5 gallons into fermenter.

I am not sure if you need anymore numbers. If so let me know and I will post them.

Can someone calculate my efficiency for me?? Thanks!

I do have Beersmith. Under the heading Brewhouse efficiency it says "Actual OG" If I put my pre-boil number in there, my eff. comes out to 36.17%

If I put in my post boil gravity I come up with 65.88%

Any information would be appreciated.

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Old 04-11-2009, 10:58 PM   #2
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Yeah, brewhouse is post boil gravity into the fermenter. Did you sparge at all?

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Old 04-11-2009, 11:11 PM   #3
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Yeah, brewhouse is post boil gravity into the fermenter. Did you sparge at all?

I got about a gallon if that.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:43 PM   #4
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With the copper chiller, I'm getting a 5 gallon batch down to low 70's in about 10-15 minutes tops by swirling the wort with a spoon. You need to keep it moving over the coils or it takes forever.

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Old 04-11-2009, 11:50 PM   #5
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You should get some rice hulls for your next mash. I had problems with stuck sparges when I went AG. I add 1-1.5 lbs of rice hulls to every mash now.....haven't had a stuck sparge since. 1.051 is about right for that much grain at 5 gallons.....besides the stuck sparge it doesn't seem that bad......take a deep breath, pound 2 beers and start planning the next brew....

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Old 04-11-2009, 11:51 PM   #6
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What was the post boil target to begin with? Dont worry I have failed several times at this.

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Old 04-12-2009, 12:54 AM   #7
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What was your water to grist ratio? You shouldn't need rice hulls unless you're using a really thick mash.

1051 looks pretty close for that grain bill.

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Old 04-12-2009, 01:36 AM   #8
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Sorry about the stuck sparge. I suspect that is something everybody has to do for their first AG.

Putting your grain bill into beersmith and assuming you got about 5 gallons at 1.051, beersmith is claiming a 72% efficiency. Those are really good numbers for your first AG. Oddly enough, I am showing an expected pre-boil SG of 1.043. If you posted your batch size and mash profile, it could help us more.

So I would guess you may not have stirred well enough before taking your pre-boil sample. That happens fairly frequently and can really mess your numbers up.

Can't help with the IC. It takes me about 20 minutes to cool 5g down to pitching temperature. I have an aquarium pump that will be used to recirculate ice water next time.

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Old 04-12-2009, 02:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikfire View Post
Sorry about the stuck sparge. I suspect that is something everybody has to do for their first AG.

Putting your grain bill into beersmith and assuming you got about 5 gallons at 1.051, beersmith is claiming a 72% efficiency. Those are really good numbers for your first AG. Oddly enough, I am showing an expected pre-boil SG of 1.043. If you posted your batch size and mash profile, it could help us more.

So I would guess you may not have stirred well enough before taking your pre-boil sample. That happens fairly frequently and can really mess your numbers up.

Here it is. I went with 1.25qt/lb.Edit: I added 170f water for mash in. I used 185F water for both sparges.

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Old 04-12-2009, 02:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyebrewer View Post
You should get some rice hulls for your next mash. I had problems with stuck sparges when I went AG. I add 1-1.5 lbs of rice hulls to every mash now.....haven't had a stuck sparge since. 1.051 is about right for that much grain at 5 gallons.....besides the stuck sparge it doesn't seem that bad......take a deep breath, pound 2 beers and start planning the next brew....
I take it that the rice hulls hinder stuck sparges, but how does this happen?
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