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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First All Grain Today
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:09 AM   #1
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Default First All Grain Today

Hi everyone, I just finished my first all grain cali common this afternoon. I semi happy. It will be beer and one of lower than hoped for acholol content. Hit about 50% eff had acouple of problems with the MLT that will be fixed next time and I hope to see the eff to increase to at least 65%. Until then any tips would be well recieved.

Thank you

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:16 AM   #2
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Congrats. As you do more all grains, you'll come to understand the specifics of your system well. Without knowing how you're doing things, my advice is take a lot of notes as far as mash tun heat loss, grain water absorption, etc. This will allow you to hit all your numbers dead on in the future.

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:18 AM   #3
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I was hitting low EFF. my first 4 all grains and today.....through hotter mashing and hotter sparges I have finally hit 75% eff. I think that is what it was sparging with to cool of water temp.

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:19 AM   #4
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I've also found that when I split my sparging into 2 smaller sparges my efficiency goes way up.

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Old 04-06-2008, 01:26 AM   #5
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I am having similar problems. I always end up with too much water than I need, lose alot of heat during transfers, and the gap on my BC might be off. My eff about 45%.

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Old 04-06-2008, 01:51 AM   #6
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=30466

Go read this thread, or at least the first post. Rich pretty much nails it. Remember, it's a process. You have to learn how your equipment works, and you can only get so far with software.

My other suggestion is to measure your grain temperature before doughing-in. It matters.
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Frink
I've also found that when I split my sparging into 2 smaller sparges my efficiency goes way up.
You actually maximize your efficiency for batch sparging with two equal runnings batches. See this article I put together a while ago.

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Old 04-06-2008, 03:52 AM   #8
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Rule #1:

Don't try to fix everything at once.

First thing to do is to accept your 50% efficiency and adjust your recipes accordingly.

After that, you'll start making changes that just "feel" right.

We all started out with low efficiencies and worked our way up.

Basics include:

  • Finer crush of your grains.
  • Longer mash times (75-90 minutes)
  • Slower sparging (If you batch sparge, try adding the sparge water (180 degrees) slowly and gently to the tun and fill only as fast as the wort is draining)
  • Use a PH buffer
  • Increase your pre-boil volume (more spargin) to insure your are rinsing the grains sufficiently.
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:55 AM   #9
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I've changed my information in beersmith to refect my numbers, but exactly how do I adjust the recipe? Is there a method to increase grain amounts or just some trial and error? I don't want to add more of the wrong grain and not enough of the correct grain to keep the beer with the style. Here is what I made Friday.

Type: All Grain
Date: 4/4/2008
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.82 gal

Ingredients

8.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 61.54 %
1.00 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
1.00 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
1.00 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
0.50 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
0.50 lb Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %

I guess my question is do I really need the specialty grains in these quantities to get the flavor and color I am looking for? I kept things rounded to 1/2lb, but got a scale to measure everything out from now on. Each time I brew I find something else to think about. Reading Ray Daniel's book makes more sense now making AG's, but it opened so many more doors. I honestly like the flavor more from AG and enjoy the challenge. I'm sure I will refine my process with my system, but take things one step at a time. I read my last recipe for this same brew and found my OG was 1.052, but I mashed for 90min instead of 45min. I am calculating water loss in both coolers and the keggle tonight and that looks like around 2gal(does that sound right?)


Thanks,

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Old 04-06-2008, 03:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptMyCpt
I've changed my information in beersmith to refect my numbers, but exactly how do I adjust the recipe? Is there a method to increase grain amounts or just some trial and error?
If you have a recipe you've received from somebody, enter the recipe as you got it. Change your target efficency to whatever you're shooting for, then use the Adjust Specific Gravity tool (on the Actions menu) to scale the recipe. to your target OG.
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