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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First all grain tomorrow...
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Old 10-24-2014, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default First all grain tomorrow...

also gonna be my first time controlling fermentation temps (underline fridge with STC). I want to brew something light so I was thinking of 6-7lbs of 2 row, 2lbs rice and or corn and a bittering hop only (I'm going for a lagerish feel, sound ok?). I have a pack of BRY-97 that I need to use up so that's there in the "on deck circle". I have a 7 gal round cooler MLT, a 30 quart BK (I know, its small) and a 5 gal round cooler HLT.

My plan is to mash at 1.5quarts per pound of grain. I wanna mash at a low temp maybe 148-50, for 60min. Then batch sparge to around 6 gal (I'll heat lots of sparge water and add whatever amount needed to reach my boil volume).

I've done a few extract batches so the boil and cooling is not new. I'm a classically trained chef so large amounts of hot water and ingredients are what I do everyday so I'm not too worried but I do have some questions about the procedure above...

1.What temp should I ferment at to get this yeasts cleanest finish?
2. Would you mash in the 5 gal cooler or the 7 gal for this beer? (I assume the 5 gal)
3. Is a 60min mash long enough?
4. Whats a good guess for strike water temp with 8-9lbs of grain and whichever cooler is suggested? (I heat strike water with a temp controlled heat stick in the MLT so no heat lost to the cooler at all)

I eventually will do lagers (I also have a industrial ice cream freezer with STC) but to start I wanted to do a temp controlled ale to because I've only had room temp fermented ale and wanted to taste the difference.

Thanks a bunch to anyone who can offer some help!!

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Old 10-24-2014, 02:36 PM   #2
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Awesome first beer for all-grain and for temp control, as if you mess up, it will show your every flaw and then you can get better, or right off the bat brew a great beer and know you nailed it! No hiding behind hops and roasted malt.
1. Go to the lowest the yeast will tolerate. And don't pitch until your wort is AT fermentation temp. Sometimes that means putting your fermentor into the chamber to allow it to finish cooling, and THEN pitching.
2. 5 will be fine for 9 pounds at 1.5 per pound, and will have less thermal mass and less head space to lose heat into.
3. At the cooler mash temp, I'd go to 75 to 90, but you could always do a conversion test at 60.
4. For calculating strike water temp I always use software, so I can take into account the grain's thermal mass and temp. Good job on the heat stick. Heating the mash tun eliminates another variable.

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Old 10-24-2014, 02:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SmokeyMcBong View Post
also gonna be my first time controlling fermentation temps (underline fridge with STC). I want to brew something light so I was thinking of 6-7lbs of 2 row, 2lbs rice and or corn and a bittering hop only (I'm going for a lagerish feel, sound ok?). I have a pack of BRY-97 that I need to use up so that's there in the "on deck circle". I have a 7 gal round cooler MLT, a 30 quart BK (I know, its small) and a 5 gal round cooler HLT.

My plan is to mash at 1.5quarts per pound of grain. I wanna mash at a low temp maybe 148-50, for 60min. Then batch sparge to around 6 gal (I'll heat lots of sparge water and add whatever amount needed to reach my boil volume).

I've done a few extract batches so the boil and cooling is not new. I'm a classically trained chef so large amounts of hot water and ingredients are what I do everyday so I'm not too worried but I do have some questions about the procedure above...

1.What temp should I ferment at to get this yeasts cleanest finish?
2. Would you mash in the 5 gal cooler or the 7 gal for this beer? (I assume the 5 gal)
3. Is a 60min mash long enough?
4. Whats a good guess for strike water temp with 8-9lbs of grain and whichever cooler is suggested? (I heat strike water with a temp controlled heat stick in the MLT so no heat lost to the cooler at all)

I eventually will do lagers (I also have a industrial ice cream freezer with STC) but to start I wanted to do a temp controlled ale to because I've only had room temp fermented ale and wanted to taste the difference.

Thanks a bunch to anyone who can offer some help!!
Do you have false bottoms/braids/manifolds in both your HLT and your MLT?

Personally, I'd definitely use your 7 gallon cooler for the mash. Using 1.5 quarts/lb, you're going to have close to three and a half gallons of water in there, plus 8-9 lbs of grain. That's going to be pretty tight and difficult to stir in a five gallon cooler. I use a 10 gallon MLT for my five gallon batches, and heat loss over an hour is about one degree.

All of my mashes are 60 minutes.

Don't guess with your strike water temp. Pour some hot water into your MLT to avoid temp loss to your equipment. Then with a thermometer, measure the temperature of your grain. Then use this online strike water temp calculator: http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

This will tell you exactly how much you need and at what temp. This gets me right to where I need to be, or only a degree off, every time.

EDIT: I missed the part about you using the heat stick in the MLT. Same advice, just ignore preheating your MLT.
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:04 PM   #4
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As I mentioned, I use software to calculate my mash volume. With 9 pounds of 2-row, figuring in grain volume and absorption, you'll need 4.08 gallons of space in your mash tun. The 5 gallon cooler is fine.

http://www.haandbryg.dk/mashcalc.html#mash

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Old 10-24-2014, 03:20 PM   #5
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As I mentioned, I use software to calculate my mash volume. With 9 pounds of 2-row, figuring in grain volume and absorption, you'll need 4.08 gallons of space in your mash tun. The 5 gallon cooler is fine.

http://www.haandbryg.dk/mashcalc.html#mash
It will work, yes, but if he has both sizes available, why not use the one with room to give a good stir? It's miserable trying to use equipment just barely big enough for what you're doing. The extra air space makes very little difference in heat loss over the course of an hour.
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:24 PM   #6
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He asked if it would work. It will. Less head space is better than more. Why go big when you don't have to?

I only re-commented because I didn't back up my suggestion with an actual number, and a link to the calculator, so that he would know that 5 gallons really IS fine.

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Old 10-24-2014, 03:35 PM   #7
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He asked if it would work. It will. Less head space is better than more. Why go big when you don't have to?

I only re-commented because I didn't back up my suggestion with an actual number, and a link to the calculator, so that he would know that 5 gallons really IS fine.
Have you ever tried to stir grain into a mash tun with less than a gallon of head space? I have. It doesn't work well. Keep in mind that the 4.1 gallon number is the volume after the grain has absorbed the water. Picture 9 lbs of dry grain, and what that looks like. That's going to take up probably 2-3 gallons of space when dry. As you're stirring, the dry grain is absorbing water, so that 4.1 number is actually higher while stirring. You can ameliorate this somewhat by adding the grain more slowly (and actually that is the only way to do it using such a small mash tun), but it's still a miserable thing to do.

I'm not trying to get into a pissing match with you, I'm just trying to make life easier for the OP. And using the bigger MLT will make life easier for him.
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:44 PM   #8
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Dude. I mash nine and a half gallons in a 10 gallon brew in a bag system all the time. It's not a big deal. And the guy who says he's not trying to get into a pissing match usually is.

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Old 10-24-2014, 04:37 PM   #9
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Dude. I mash nine and a half gallons in a 10 gallon brew in a bag system all the time. It's not a big deal. And the guy who says he's not trying to get into a pissing match usually is.
I'm truly not trying to get into a pissing match. I realized that my discussion could come across as being argumentative, so I made a point to let you know that I wasn't intentionally doing this.

If that works for you, than who am I to argue with that? I'm just giving a different perspective that so that the OP can make an informed decision. And truthfully I thought that you probably never tried mashing at such high volumes for your container. Guess I was wrong on that point.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:08 PM   #10
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I'm truly not trying to get into a pissing match. I realized that my discussion could come across as being argumentative, so I made a point to let you know that I wasn't intentionally doing this.

If that works for you, than who am I to argue with that? I'm just giving a different perspective that so that the OP can make an informed decision. And truthfully I thought that you probably never tried mashing at such high volumes for your container. Guess I was wrong on that point.
Fair enough. Multiple perspectives are what this forum is great for.
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