Gameplan for first AG recipe
I've read numerous posts and a few chapters on the subject and think I'm ready to try my first AG recipe. I have a kit for an irish red from morebeer.com and have bought some yeast at a semi-lhbs. I'm looking for comments on my gameplan outlined below for any tips on 'gotcha's' I might encounter. If not an unreasonable request, I'd appreciate 'Replies for Dummies'. I know that there are fancier methods of sparging, and debatable ratios for mashing/sparging waters, but I don't think I'm ready for those debates as comments on this thread - I want to get my first batch under my belt to understand the process and look at tweaks in the future.
6.5g bucket with false bottom and valve
Turkey Pot 6.5g or so
2x 3 gallon pots
Tubes, racking cane, thermometers, hydrometer, etc.
9lb of 2-Row
1lb Crystal 120L
2oz Black Roasted
2oz Special B
1oz Magnum Hops
2oz Willamette Hops
Wyeth 1084 Irish Yeast
4oz Corn Sugar
3.75g water for Mashing
5g water for sparging
Allow grain to raise to room temp for 24 hours
Heat mashing water to 168 degrees
pour hot water into mashtun
Slowly stir grain into mashtun to avoid clumping
maintain temperature around 154 degrees by adding water and by capping mashtun
After 60 minutes recirculate a few pitchers full
??Drain all but 2" of water into kettle
Heat 2.5 gallons of hot water in extra kettle to 170 degrees
Gently add to mashtun
Create a shallow hatch pattern in the mash with a spoon
Let water sit for 30 minutes, drain slowly into kettle
Repeat with second 2.5 gallons of water filling kettle to 6.5 to 7.0 gallons
Recirculate if practical
Boil for 90 mins total
Add Magnum after 30 minutes
Add whirfloc after 70 minutes
Add Willamette after 85 minutes
Transfer wort to carboy
Cool carboy in sink until wort is 80 degrees or so (no wort cooler)
Take OG reading
Dissolve yeast into 1 quart of sterilized water at 80 degrees
Stir yeast solution into wort for three minutes
Add blow-off tubing and store in 70 degree, low light area.
One week in primary, one week in secondary, bottle and go!
Thanks in advance for everyone's tips and expertise!!! I think I'm going for it on Sunday!!!
Looks like a plan. Are you intentionally using the batch sparge method, or is it necessity because of the 3 gallon pots? You can sparge continuously with all of the 170 degree water adding a little at a time.
If you are rehydrating dry yeast you might read this http://consumer.lallemand.com/danstar-lalvin/beerfaq.html#rehydrate also if bottling let your brew decide when it needs to be bottled. Do a final gravity reading and when your readings are steady for 3 days in a row you are ready to bottle.
A couple of questions. I assume you are using a propane burner. How are you cooling your wort? Keep in mind that much wort in pot is going to be heavy trying to move it to a sink is not going to be easy. Also it is going to take a while to cool it down using the sink and icebath method. An immersion chiller really is not that expensive you can make for less than $20 and can cool your wort in under thirty minutes. Be careful transfering hot wort to a glass carboy can break it.
I just saw the (2) 3 gallon pots. Why are you using 2 three gallon pots if you dont mind me asking.
1. The mash tun will absorb heat from the water when you pour it in. I didn't compensate for this on my first AG brew and the mash dropped below my target temperature. I think it was down to about 148 degrees. Once the mash drops below your target, you have to add hot water and it can be tough getting it back up to where you want it and your mash can get pretty thin. What you might consider is pre-heating your Mash/Lauter Tun with hot water. Then add your strike water to the tun at a slightly elevated temp and let the water drop to your mash in temp. This method will get you closer to your target temp.
2. If your Mash/Lauter tun is un-insulated, you may get quite a drop in your mash temp. If you can rap it in some form of insulation it will help tremendously. I would also recommend finding an insulated cooler for your mash/Lauter tun. Your temperatures will only drop a couple degrees if at if you use one. Keep your eye out for a sale on the Gott/Rubbermaid type coolers.
Other than that I think you are on track. Good luck and welcome to the fun and busy world of AG!
I was not thinking I could do a full AG cause of the brewpot size. Is 6.5gal big enough? From what I have read so far it seems very borderline.
I use a 30 qt kettle and yes , I have to watch it carefully.
As Rich points out, you're going to need a higher initial strike water temp. The mash tun can absorb a decent amount of heat. For my system, I usually have to have my water 20 degrees (F) over target to heat both. Another way to compensate is preheating you mash tun.
If you're batch sparging, you'll also need to up the temp on your mashout water temp. To get your mash up to 170F, you'll need to add water that's hotter. ProMash an a couple of other software packages will tell you exactly how much of what temp water you need to achieve this.
Thanks for the great tips.
The two 3 gallon pots are to heat the batch sparging water. The reason I'm batch sparging is really for simplicity's sake. My impression on recirculating seems harder than I'm prepared for at the moment.
I'm a bit worried about the size of the pot (I haven't measured it but remember having decent headroom on 5 gallons+) and moving it around. I'm thinking about getting an immersion wort cooler today at a local hbs which I realize will cause further displacement of wort when inserted. Not ready to buy a bigger kettle yet. Trying to wait to do a big order online for all this stuff, promash, etc.
When using a big rubbermaid cooler to mash, I assume people do not use the built-in spigot but install their own? I might try to find a cooler today as well. I didn't think about pre-heating the mashtun so I'll definitely get that into the equation.
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