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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > i'm ready!.....i think
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:12 AM   #1
Javier25
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Default i'm ready!.....i think

I feel pretty confident with extract and partial mash brewing, and have been thinking of taking a step forward. However, I am really intimidated by all grain. I have alot of reading material, and videos, and the endless amount of info. on the web, but I don't feel like that's nearly as useful as hands on experience. Anyway, I have 2 question for you. 1:Any advice you can give? 2: How would I convert my extract and partial mash recipes over to all grain? And is there even a point in doing that? Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-07-2012, 03:44 AM   #2
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Welcome to AG brewing. It's much easier than you make it out to be in your head.. Ideally, it's the SAME process once you get the boil going, with the matter of just doing a little calculating and some measuring of water.. Temperatures are the most important when you mash, so keep that in mind.

Go slow.. you will add roughly 1.5/2 hours to your brew day.

If you've done partial mashes, you are familiar with keeping temps right for your grain and the times. If you have recipes you like, get a program like Beersmith 2, and you can put your equipment in the profile, it shows you online on the site how to do it. Program looks... confusing as hell at first, but trust me, watch the videos and play around. It's a great tool that makes your brew day easier for sure. You can use a trial version of it for a while before you buy it, and it's not expensive.

The program will also convert your recipes from extract to all grain somewhat. I'm not familiar with that, but people here use it all the time. It's pretty simple from what I've played with.

Fire away at your first recipe, or find one here.. I started with a simple IPA, if it came out low, then I had a nice pale ale...

Basically get your tun, use the beersmith that will tell you how much water to heat up, and to what temp. Add it, then add the grain, and stir like mad. Check the temp and get it where it needs to be for the recipe. Close it up and forget it for an hour. Then you drain it slowly into a pitcher until it runs clear and slowly let it fill your kettle. Add back the cloudy grainy wort in the pitcher to the tun, and empty the tun out until it's gone.. While you mashed in for an hour, you should have heated up more water, beersmith calculates what you need there too for the size of your recipe, and to what temp as well. Add the sparge water, stir like hell. I let mine sit for 10 minutes to settle back, and then repeat the process. Drain it until it's clear and let it fill the pot to the volume you need for your boil.

If you want a 5.5g recipe, and will lose .5 gallon in the kettle to trub and break material, you need 6 gallons of wort when you are done. But you also need to figure how much you boil off in an hour.. Say.. 1 gallon.. So you need to start with 7 gallons of wort, that will boil down over time.

Volumes, Times and Temps... Go slow.. you'll wonder why you fretted about it in the first place.

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Old 10-07-2012, 04:09 AM   #3
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thank you for your response. Very helpful. I will definately read this several times over! I have beersmith 2, didn't know you could do all of that with it. I mainly used it to form recipes. It's definately a cool program though. I should play around with it a little more! Thanks for the great advice!

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Old 10-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #4
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Like FATC1TY says all grain is not hard,don't let it intimidate you. You've done partial mash so you are most of the way there. You don't mention what equipment you have,what would you need to get going all grain?

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Old 10-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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I actually need everything for all grain. I just have a 5 gallon kettle, so I need to get a bigger one of those as well. I'm still indoors, so a keggle wouldn't be useful for now (til I get out of my apartment and into a house) i've thought of just building my own mash tun, but with my lack of experience and craftsmenship, I would probably mess it up somehow.

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Old 10-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javier25 View Post
I actually need everything for all grain. I just have a 5 gallon kettle, so I need to get a bigger one of those as well. I'm still indoors, so a keggle wouldn't be useful for now (til I get out of my apartment and into a house) i've thought of just building my own mash tun, but with my lack of experience and craftsmenship, I would probably mess it up somehow.
You actually need very little to start all grain. The mimimum would be a pair of paint strainer bags (a pair only because they come two in a package). You can do a 2 1/2 gallon batch right in your 5 gallon kettle and do it on your stove in your apartment. The technique is called brew in a bag (BIAB) and info on it is all over HomeBrewTalk. That's how I started as I was a bit intimidated by the process and once I found how easy it was to do with BIAB, I haven't done an extract batch since.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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I just started with a buddy of mine and we were intimidated as well. We got a good deal on initial start up equipment and went to our local brew supply store to ask them to hook us up with a simple pale ale recipe. It was a very easy process. A little long but much cheaper than extract. About 42 cents a beer for our 5 gallon batch. It turned out great. 2 wks in primary, 2 wks secondary, and 2 wks after bottling with 1 wk to cold condition it.

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #8
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Thanks guys! I may try the BIAB method to get my feet wet. I've definately noticed that in most cases all grain is much cheaper. I know that the quality is better, but most people can't even tell that what I had brewed was extract / partial. Thanks for the tips guys, I am soaking it all in!

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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Yeah, if you want to try the process, hit up BIAB.. You won't really get the jist of the whole vorlauf and sparging process, and you might find a lower efficiency, which will allow you to only go so big in your pot and process.. However, it will get you accustomed to mashing in, hitting temps, and experiencing how good all grain is.

Building a mash tun is SUPER simple by the way. Look on here, there's a step by step process, with the parts numbers from home depot. Buy a 10 gal cooler, and a 10 gallon pot and you are set for all grain 5 gallons batches, easily. check out homebrewfinds.com for deals on pots. They can be had for cheap if you shop around!

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Old 10-07-2012, 11:07 PM   #10
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thanks for posting that site. Really great prices there. I would prefer to brew 5 gallon batches, so if I buy a 10 gallon kettle, I may as well, go all the way! I will post my progress. maybe document my first all grain brew!

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