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Old 09-30-2008, 08:18 AM   #1
Adam's Apples
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Default Getting ready for first all grain

I'm trying to work out my brewing schedule for my first all-grain beer, which I reckon I'm about 1 week away from starting, depending on the arrival of my cooler. Re-reading Palmer, I had forgotten that ph is a lot more important in all-grain. It's interesting what he has to say about how the grain bill can change ph.

How much attention do you guys pay to ph? Do you take the ph during the mash, as Palmer suggests, and then adjust if necessary? He mentions gypsum and and baking soda as additives to change the ph either way, is this what is usually used?

I think this is somethig I may fine tune over time, but I have just ordered a digital ph tester to try and keep the mash to between 5.1-55 as Palmer suggests. I'm guessing, as long as I'm not horribly outside the ph range the beer produced should still be good.

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Old 09-30-2008, 10:55 AM   #2
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How's your water? And what's your grain bill? Those two things play a big part in how much you need to worry about mash pH. If you don't have ridiculously hard water, don't worry about it. You can usually look up your city's annual water report on the public works website. Palmer has a recommended range for all of the common water properties. All of mine are within range so I don't worry about adding anything to my water.

Your grain bill is another factor. If you are making a very pale beer -- a Pilsner, for example -- you need to worry a little more about mash pH. If you've got any dark specialty grains in the grist, however, they're usually enough to bring the mash pH down into the proper range.

Do NOT start adding gypsum, chalk, salts or anything else to your mash water without first tracking down your city's water report. According to many sources, most municipal water in the U.S. is perfectly fine for brewing as-is. Only add water adjustments if you know for sure that you need them.

By the way, congratulations on your first AG! It'll be hectic, but if you've got a checklist it'll be a lot easier than you think it's going be.

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Old 09-30-2008, 05:53 PM   #3
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All Grain is great! I'll be brewing my 2nd this weekend. You have so much more control, it's amazing.

I will be using 5-Star pH 5.2 buffer this time around in hopes to raise my efficiency (I got 68% last time)

I want to fine-tune EVERYTHING in my process before i start doing brewing salt additions (My water is VERY, VERY soft).

Good luck, have a checklist, and RDWHAHB (Not too many though )

Dave

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Old 09-30-2008, 07:50 PM   #4
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Cheers guys.

I'm in the UK and I know my water is quite hard as we get lots of limescale.

I have my water report downloaded and it's format doesn't seem to match what Palmers book says, so I haven't yet really tackled it properly. I think I will just dip my ph tester in the mash and hopefully I won't be way outside the ranges I need to be.

What's the 5 star ph 5.2 buffer, I haven't heard of this?

Cheers

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Old 09-30-2008, 07:58 PM   #5
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As long as you have some good crystal or darker grains I wouldnt worry about it too much, but as a procaution I would get some Mash Stabilizer.5.2 Mash Stabilizer- 4 oz. :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

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Old 09-30-2008, 08:07 PM   #6
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Didn't realize you were in the UK. You might try Orfy's Hobgoblin clone as your first AG. It's a well established recipe with enough dark grains to balance out your water. It's a great beer, too.

Chad

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Old 09-30-2008, 08:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad View Post
Didn't realize you were in the UK. You might try Orfy's Hobgoblin clone as your first AG. It's a well established recipe with enough dark grains to balance out your water. It's a great beer, too.

Chad
Good call.

I do enjoy quite a few of these as they are readily available locally, although I have never seen it on tap yet.

I had already picked this as my 1st effort and will be printing off Orfy's ingredients and intructions.

I'm ready for all grain!
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:54 PM   #8
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I have been brewing 36 years and am now drinking a brown ale and loving it. If you have good sanitary practices and use fresh ingrediants and Age it long enough you will make an excellent beer. Orfy's brews should be just right for English taste as I am planning to brew 12 gallons of his mild mannered ale soon. Keep your fermentations in the proper temperature range and success is yours.

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Old 10-01-2008, 01:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam's Apples View Post
I have my water report downloaded and it's format doesn't seem to match what Palmers book says, so I haven't yet really tackled it properly.
Same here. I called my water provider and they gave me all the info i needed. I think the only thing the water report told me was chlorine and sodium levels, but that's about it.

Brew on!
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishinDave07 View Post
Same here. I called my water provider and they gave me all the info i needed. I think the only thing the water report told me was chlorine and sodium levels, but that's about it.

Brew on!
Tell them you brew beer and need a detailed report and list the types of items you are interested in.


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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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