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Old 04-19-2010, 04:57 AM   #1
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Default Have questions before first all grain brew..


I have 9.5lbs of grain for a blonde ale. I would like to do a no sparge/vorlaugh method of brewing. I anticipate a 55% efficiency which I'm OK with. Please correct me if my efficiency will be more.

-My cooler is a 36qt (9 Gallon) cooler.

-I would like to put 7 gallons of water in the cooler with the grain to sit at 154.

QUESTION - Beersmith says I need the strike water to be at 165. Yet, on the new brewers primer it says: "Heat strike water in your kettle to ABOUT 185F and dump it into your cooler, then close the lid. Wow, doesn't that seem a bit hot? Your cooler is going to absorb quite a bit of heat in the first 5 minutes. Leave it alone with the cover closed to let it warm up. After 5 minutes, open it up and stir the water, then test the temp. You're going to want it to cool to about 168F." So I dont understand.. Do I put in 185 or 165 like BeerSmith says? I told beersmith that I am adding 7 gallons to the 36qt cooler size and it says to add 165 to the wort for a ferment temp of 154. What should I do?

-When draining into the boil kettle, there should be 5.5 gallon of wort (0.15 gallon per lb from what I hear?).

-Boil until down to 4 gallons in an hour to acheive 1.47 OG. .5 lost to trub... this is assuming 55% efficiency according to

-Ferment 3.5 gallons. Keg 3.3 or so at 4.5% ABV?

Does all the above seem accurate? Also when would I put in a protien rest and at what temp? How exactly do I do the rest.

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Old 04-19-2010, 09:57 AM   #2
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I only have 3 AG batches under my belt, but the most valuable lesson I learned about strike temp was during the first batch. I was WAAAYYYY under, at only 140F initial mash temp despite trying to preheat the tun.

The MLT cooler will suck up a lot of heat, as will the grain. Beersmith is probably assuming you're preheating your MLT and won't lose any more heat to it, and is only factoring in the heat lost to the grain at room temp.

I found the best method for me is to add most of the strike water to the MLT at about 185F, and let the temperature stabilize (at least 10 min or so). I measure the temp of the water, trying to hit the temp that Beersmith says for a non-preheated mash tun (in your case it sounds like that's the 168F). Then based on whether I need to get the temp higher or lower, I add more water to get to what I want the volume of strike water to be and at what temperature I want the strike water to be. THEN once the temperature and volume are stabilized at the strike specs in the MLT, I add the grain slowly and stirring to keep doughballs from forming.

Using that method (add grain to strike water) I hit my mash temp on my 2nd and 3rd batches dead-on.

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:39 AM   #3
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You won't need a protien rest with fully modified grains. They will do just fine with a single infusion mash.

If your boil pot is big enough to boil 5.5 gal of wort, you should look into the BIAB method. This is basically what your doing anyways and it will give you better efficiency and a shorter brew session. This would work well for you. There are plenty of threads on here that explain it in detail.

Good luck,


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