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Old 11-12-2005, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default First All grain is in the tun

Well I just mashed in about 20 minutes and it's going nicely. I decided to go with a Kolsch today and it's seemed easy enough.

9.5 lbs of grain. Single infusion mash, Strike in at 163, Sacrification Rest at 152 for 1 hour and Mash-out/batch sparge in at 183, rest 10 min at 170 and bing/bam/boom, I've got wort.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Old 11-12-2005, 09:37 PM   #2
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Well my yield was kind of low at only 67% My target was 1.050 and I hit 1.045. I suspected that this being my first all grain, I'd fall a little short, that's why I targeted the high end of the specification.

Suspected reason for the low extraction rate is the single infusion mash on the Durst Pilsner malt. I had 8 lbs in my grist and even though they claim suffecient enzymes to fully convert, I suspect that a step or decotation mash would have yielded much more from it.

My mashtun worked great.

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Drinking from Keg: Ordinary Bitter, Kolsch

Drinking bottled: Brown Autumn Wee Heavy
Hefe Weizen
Peaches and Cream Weizen


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-Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck.

Next up: Hefe Weizen

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Old 11-12-2005, 09:54 PM   #3
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It is good to hear it went well!

Don't worry about your efficiency too much--you can tweak here and there and fix that.

Forgive me if I missed your thread on your mashtun....but what did you end up going with? Cooler? Manifold or braid?

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Old 11-12-2005, 09:54 PM   #4
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Congrats!

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Old 11-12-2005, 09:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORRELSE
It is good to hear it went well!

Don't worry about your efficiency too much--you can tweak here and there and fix that.

Forgive me if I missed your thread on your mashtun....but what did you end up going with? Cooler? Manifold or braid?
I used stainless braid in a loop configuration to each end of a 1/2" T in a 5 gal igloo drink cooler.
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Bottle Conditioning: Oatmeal Stout

Drinking from Keg: Ordinary Bitter, Kolsch

Drinking bottled: Brown Autumn Wee Heavy
Hefe Weizen
Peaches and Cream Weizen


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-Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck.

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Old 11-12-2005, 10:16 PM   #6
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67% is respectable. To get your efficiency up, you can tweak things like your mash pH, concentrate more on your sparge, try a mashout, different grain crush, etc. Did you fly sparge?

You probably could have gotten more with a decoction, but IMO modern base malts should have plenty of conversion power, making a decoction mash moot. Sure you might gain a couple points, but to me it wouldn't be worth all the extra effort.

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Old 11-12-2005, 10:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottT
I used stainless braid in a loop configuration to each end of a 1/2" T in a 5 gal igloo drink cooler.
Aha!
Exactly like mine--but I ended up cutting the braid so it wasn't looped anymore. My efficiency went up almost 10 points.

Do a few more batches with your setup, and if you are still having problems, cut down the braid. It might help.
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Old 11-12-2005, 10:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam75
67% is respectable. To get your efficiency up, you can tweak things like your mash pH, concentrate more on your sparge, try a mashout, different grain crush, etc. Did you fly sparge?

You probably could have gotten more with a decoction, but IMO modern base malts should have plenty of conversion power, making a decoction mash moot. Sure you might gain a couple points, but to me it wouldn't be worth all the extra effort.
I used the 5.2 ph stabilizer in my mash and sparge water. I had ph test strips but didn't use them. I used a batch sparge and I know that this isn't as effecient as a fly sparge, it is simple and quicker. 10 minute sparge instead of a 60 minute sparge. My wheat, munich and honey malt were all crushed well but the Durst Pilsner malt was pretty coarse.

When I dumped my grains, I noticed that the wheat was still pretty much intact. This concerns me a little. I almost did a protien rest step mash but read Palmer this morning and he said that is was only necessary if wheat was over 25% of your grist and that doing one for less would make a watery brew with no head. So taking his advice, I did the single infusion.

Next time I may just do a seperate protien rest in a pot with an equal amount of base malt. This way only a small portion of my base malt will go through the protien rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ORRELSE
Aha!
Exactly like mine--but I ended up cutting the braid so it wasn't looped anymore. My efficiency went up almost 10 points.
Really? My loop is pretty small, keeping about 1.5" from the outside wall. Are you suspecting channeling?
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Bottle Conditioning: Oatmeal Stout

Drinking from Keg: Ordinary Bitter, Kolsch

Drinking bottled: Brown Autumn Wee Heavy
Hefe Weizen
Peaches and Cream Weizen


"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption... Beer!"
-Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck.

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Old 11-12-2005, 11:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottT
Really? My loop is pretty small, keeping about 1.5" from the outside wall. Are you suspecting channeling?
I think mine is about 3-4 inches from the cooler walls.

Honestly, I think the biggest problem I was having was the excess braid was getting stirred accidentally, and the braid would be a good 2-3 inches into the mash. I'm sure that is what was hindering my efficiency, cause it is better now.
I've never suspected my crush, nor have I had much difference in my efficiency from batch or fly sparging. I still do both, depending on time/weather/etc.
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Old 11-13-2005, 07:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottT
Well my yield was kind of low at only 67% My target was 1.050 and I hit 1.045. I suspected that this being my first all grain, I'd fall a little short, that's why I targeted the high end of the specification.

Suspected reason for the low extraction rate is the single infusion mash on the Durst Pilsner malt. I had 8 lbs in my grist and even though they claim suffecient enzymes to fully convert, I suspect that a step or decotation mash would have yielded much more from it.

My mashtun worked great.
Great job....so how much running around did you do? The first couple of times I felt like I ran a marathon trying to get everything ready. I wouldn't bother changing anything until you get 5 or so batches done. This will allow you to work out the kinks in the system. A 67% efficiency is more than enough for your first time....only 3% off a good target efficiency and that can be gained easily.

Get ready to drink the best beer you've ever made . I still think its the coolest thing to start with grain and end up with great beer!

-Eric
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