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Old 04-26-2010, 04:32 AM   #1
CrAzYmOuSe
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Default Long day, first all grain, not happy

Today I brewed my first all grain. I thought I had thought of everything to check but of course I forgot things. My mash tun sucked ass and after one go around, I am thinking of making changes. I didn't check it for temp loss when adding strike and it lagged badly. It took me an additional hour to bring my temp back to where it needed to be. My mash volume per Beersmith ended low so I added water to reach my pre boil volume and my SG turned out low. Should have been 1.044 and was 1.034. I said F%@^ it and proceeded. I learned a lot but I will brew next time on a Saturday so I have a day to reflect before going back to work.. I will recover but had to vent. I know it will be beer but not what I wanted to start with. Sorry beer drinkers but I have to have a nice neat glass of The McCallan to take this edge off. Thanks for the ear.

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Old 04-26-2010, 05:11 AM   #2
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I am newer to the AG game, and it has worked good for me so far.

I am going to prempt other brewers here by saying...

recipe, equipment and everything we need to know to help a successful brew next Saturday.

Chin up, all will be well. If I don't make great beer, there is an aisle close by that does.

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Old 04-26-2010, 05:49 AM   #3
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Right...so what I do when mashing in is add my strike water at strike at 190F or hotter, and let the water warm up the mash tun. Then I let the water cool off to a little bit over strike temp..maybe 5 degrees over, and then stir in the grain. If I'm still warm after that, a little extra stirring with the top open will get it to the right temp within a couple of minutes.

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Old 04-26-2010, 05:57 AM   #4
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It takes a few rounds to dial in your gear and system.

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Old 04-26-2010, 06:21 AM   #5
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I've been brewing all grain last maybe 15 batches and it's still a lot of work. I've had good results but I'm thinking of brewing an extract or two just to save some time..the 4 to 5 hour brew day is a killer if you're short on time and patience.

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Old 04-26-2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Moose777 View Post
I've been brewing all grain last maybe 15 batches and it's still a lot of work. I've had good results but I'm thinking of brewing an extract or two just to save some time..the 4 to 5 hour brew day is a killer if you're short on time and patience.
I did just that this year and now back to AG. Made for a quick brew day and some good beers! Going to add some extract batches to the brewing calendar from now on.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:55 AM   #7
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Default ag drag

I have done two ag batches and I agree that I am going to be adding some extract brews to my schedule. I work and go to school so brewing time is limited. I had swore off extract after buying and building my grain setup but I am really missing the quick brew day. I am looking to up my brew days up to two weekends a month so one of those brews will prob be extract.

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Old 04-27-2010, 01:10 AM   #8
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Crazy, sorry to here you had problems. In actuality they were not much of a problem. So you missed you mash temp low, thats a heck of a lot better than missing it high. If you miss high you have already started to destroy the enzymes you want. FYI with todays malts I can get complete conversion at 144 in 40 minutes. You end up with a drier beer but that is what most people on here seem to be shooting for. Don't be discouraged. Did you dial in beersmith before this brew? That is very important to hit you projected volumes. As some of the others have said extract is easier but the control of the process is missing. The day I went AG, I never looked back. Yes their were problems for several batches, but every one was drinkable. You wanted to go AG for a reason, stick to it and you wont be disappointed.

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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It does take a few batches to get dialed in. Don't worry, just take one problem at a time. I generally heat my strike water to 15 degrees above strike temp, then pour it into my cooler and wait a few minutes. It's usually 5-10 degrees hotter than it should be, so I just stir it until the temp drops.

With gravity, try to err on the side of too high, as you can always add some water to compensate. At the same time work on getting your setup dialed in, and in a few batches you'll be hitting the right numbers.

I was really frustrated too when I started AG, but my last dozen batches have gone like clockwork.

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Old 04-27-2010, 03:28 PM   #10
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One trick you can use is to keep a pound or two of pale extra around just in case you miss your SG target. Once you dial everything in you will not need to compensate with extract unless you want to.

I like to shoot for the high side on volume so that I can keep some for spiese or krausening and if I get a SG thats too low pre-boil I can just boil for a little extra to match the target OG. If I am on the mark the spiese that is held in reserve is a bonus, if not then I am still safe with my OG.

What was your grain bill?

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