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Old 05-08-2010, 06:08 PM   #1
artyboy
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Default First attempt at all grain

So I finally decided to make my first attempt at an all grain. I'm just doing a simple American ale.

8 lbs pale 2 row
1 lb crystal 40l
1 oz chinook (.25 oz @ 60, .25 @ 30 and .5 @ 15)
1 oz cascade (.5 @ 60, .25 @ 45, .25 @ 15)
Cooper's ale yeast

I'm now in the lautering process and I seem to be having troubles. I think that I started sparging too quickly at first. My wort started at 1.060 and after about 2 gallons it had already dropped to 1.016. I went ahead and slowed my sparge down a lot and after about 20 minutes what was coming out was at about 1.018. The wort's only at about 1.035, though, with 2 gallons more needed. OG is supposed to be 1.053. Hopefully, it will get closer to where it needs to be after it boils off. I don't think I'm going to get anywhere near where I need to be, though.

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Old 05-08-2010, 06:47 PM   #2
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What was your process and equipment? Did you do a "mashout"?

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Old 05-08-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
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No mashout. I used 1.25 quarts per lb of grain. I did mash for an extra 15 minutes, though, due to my baby needing a bottle RIGHT NOW. I mashed at 148 although I was shooting for 152. My sparge water was 170. It looks like I'm sitting at 1.022 preboil.

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Old 05-08-2010, 07:44 PM   #4
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You could do a decoction with about 3 gal. to get your mash up to 168, then rest for 10 minutes, vorlauf and the slowly drain out your mash. This should convert more sugars and help in extracting them. I don't think you'll get great efficiency but much better than where your at.
Good luck,
Bull

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Old 05-08-2010, 07:50 PM   #5
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How much did you collect? If your runnings were at 1.018, you could have added more sparge water. If you collected 7.5 gal, you would boil off to 5 gal. at 1.053. But it sounds like you are leaving a lot of sugar behind. You can sparge with no taste problems until 1.008 or a bit lower.

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Old 05-08-2010, 08:21 PM   #6
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I collected about 6 gallons. I'm pretty sure that I left a lot behind but I was trying to avoid a boilover. I added a couple of cups of DME and boiled off at least a gallon so we'll see how it ends up.

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Old 05-08-2010, 09:30 PM   #7
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Here's my mash tun http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/rate-my-mash-tun-175718/

As for the boil pot I'm just using a 30 quart turkey fryer. I had to split the batch into two boils. The grain that's left in my mash tun isn't sweet at all and I was down to 1.010 when I stopped sparging. I probably could have squeezed out a little bit more but I wanted to get the boil started.

I ended up with 4 gallons of wort at 1.034 OG. I guess I'll know to be more careful when sparging next time.

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Old 05-08-2010, 09:34 PM   #8
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nothing at flamout? I like a little there, and maybe a bit of dry hop. Maybe just me, but when the glass is to my face I like to smell the hops (with a pale ale).

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Old 05-08-2010, 09:36 PM   #9
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batch sparge?

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Old 05-08-2010, 10:29 PM   #10
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It was supposed to be a continuous sparge but it ended up being more like a batch sparge. Before I dumped my mash tun I went ahead and got another gallon of wort out of it. It measured 1.036 so I probably could have gotten MUCH better efficiency if I had taken things slower. I'm going to pick up an ounce of hops at the LBHS tomorrow, add some DME and make a small batch of beer out of it tomorrow. I'll try again in a few days. I really want to get a full size kettle so that I don't have to split the boil. It wastes propane and I don't like having half of my wort sitting around before and after the boil.

As for adding more at flameout or dry hopping I only had a couple of ounces of hops lying around. It was supposed to be a cheap, easy, quick and dirty recipe. Once I get my efficiency up I'll start spending money on hops. Till then the finished product doesn't warrant it.

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