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Old 08-11-2008, 07:57 AM   #1
mysteryberto
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Default First and second all grain

Brewed my first couple of all grains. First was a pale ale with

10 LB 2-row
1 pound Munich
1 pound Crystal 20L

4 oz cascade

Hit around 60% efficiency and after a couple weeks it tastes very good. Love the grapefruity cascade flavor.

Second is a Pliny the Elder clone which I planned to brew as my first but the homebrew shop was out of most of the hops I needed. So it was brewed the next weekend. Was awesome to brew although the whole hops sucked up a ton of wort. Took a hydrometer reading while racking to secondary after a week and it was at 8.11% ABV and tasted similar to Pliny but lacking the full aroma. However the 6 oz of dry hops should help with that.

Overall I really enjoy all grain but still think extract makes great beers. The only thing I want to improve is my efficiency. Would probably increase my eff by getting my own mill so I could crush finer. Also I was opening up my mash tun at full speed before but have read sparging slower helps extract more.

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Old 08-11-2008, 03:44 PM   #2
Warped04
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Congrats on the AG! I think you can make great beers with extract, but I noticed a significant increase in the quality of my beers when I moved to AG. I guess you can chalk it up to knowledge, research, quality of ingredients, or anything really.

I took a while to make sure I got my system down, was hitting my temps / volumes, and then started addressing my efficiency issues. You'll be able to raise that eff.

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Old 08-11-2008, 04:35 PM   #3
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Fermentation temperature is one of the things that is overlooked by a lot of newer brewers and makes a huge difference in the quality of beer. The first 10 days are the most crucial because that is when the yeast make the most of their esters and by keeping it at a lower temperature excessive esters are reduced which makes a much cleaner tasting ale or lager. Even if you only use a water bath and ice the outcome will be very noticeable. Conditioning and lagering is the other overlooked item that needs attention because the temptation to drink it is so great. The answer is to brew enough beer so you dont have to buy commercial beer to avoid drinking your beer too early. Refrigeration and digital controllers are about the only way to be sucessful when brewing lagers because of the lower temperatures required.

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Fermentor 1: Bill's House Ale II, Fermentor 2: German Helles, Fermentor 3: Bill's Schworzbier (Black Bier)
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:28 AM   #4
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mysteryberto - Welcome to AG.
Extract makes good to great beers, All grain give you more control over everything and allows you to make fantastic beers. For me moving to AG was going back to basics and really learning the art and the science. I clearly see in my future making extract beers, time and other demands over-ride my hobbies.
It took me 4 batches before I got things down to being able to get OK efficiency, and working out all the kinks.
Extract, is add water, boil, hops ferment.
Steeping and PM is is adding grains.
AG, is building everything from scratch, and seeing if your really a good cook or not. The more I focus on, the more I realize I know and have never know Jack. But somehow I have always been able to make good beer/cider/mead. Go figure.

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In Secondary: Braggot, pale ale, end of the world white.
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On Tap: Clones, Chimay Blue, Red, Porter, malted cider.
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