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Old 01-19-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
m25wilson
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Default Looking to do my first all grain

I Have only done 3 extracts and they all have turned out great. So after the first one ended up good I decided I wanted to work on an all grain set up. Now that I have a decent tower worked out (thanks to all of the advice on this forum). I am looking for advice on a good one to start on! I like just about anything but stouts. I didn't know if I should get an all grain kit from Midwest and follow directions or go from scratch based on a good recipe from one of you. I don't care either way. If I buy grains and hops in bulk that is fine with me as long as I know that they are ingredient I can use a lot. Thanks for any advice. You have all been a huge help so far!

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Old 01-19-2012, 11:25 PM   #2
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Either way (kit or not) you'll be good. When I began, the kits were a nice safety net because of the detailed step by step instructions. Here's one I would avoid on your maiden all grain. Don't do a recipe with a lot of wheat because it can be harder to sparge especially when flaked. Efficiency can be a bigger challenge.

If you like pale ales, that would be a strong choice because the malts are highly modified and mash successfully with a single infusion. It's also easy to see the mash and see results of the iodine test for conversion due to the light color.

Cheers

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. A pale ale is always a great beer! I think I will try that out. First then try and branch off from a few kits.

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:53 AM   #4
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I like the kits to dial things in.

I did 4 extract kits, then a partial martial mash recipe, then a partial mash kit. After that I had confidence to do 2 partial mash recipes of my own design.

I then had assembled the hardware to go all grain. I did 2 kits, a recipe and now have done 2 brews to my own designs.

I have bought some bulk grains and will be doing proven recipes and ones of my own design.

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Old 01-20-2012, 01:59 AM   #5
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These are all great beers:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/bee-cave-brewery-haus-pale-ale-31793/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/centennial-blonde-simple-4-all-grain-5-10-gall-42841/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f67/nut-brown-ag-30187/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/o-flannagain-standard-41072/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/bee-cave-brewery-ipa-59907/

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Old 01-20-2012, 03:40 AM   #6
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Skip the kits. Look at a few recipes that sound like your kind of beer, and buy ingredients that will work in all of them. If you decide after your first pale ale you really dont feel like doing a brown ale, you have a versatile pantry to pull from. Keeping ingredients on hand once you start all-graining is of paramount importance.

Get your paws on a grain mill and find a local group buy on grain. Having 150 lbs of base malt waiting in my basement means as long as I have some staple specialty grains and yeast I can brew whatever, whenever. Once you start getting a stockpile of grains, always keep a few packets of your dry yeast du jour around, too. You never know when you'll just HAVE to brew.

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Old 01-20-2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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I was in the same position you were a few years ago, 8 extract batches under my belt and looking to go AG. After tons of feedback, I decided to KISS (Keep it simple stupid), and do a SMASH recipe for my first AG.

I did:

10 lbs Maris Otter
0.5 oz Amarillo @ 60
0.5 oz Amarillo @ 15
0.5 oz Amarillo @ 5

S-05 Yeast

Ferment @ 63F for 21 days
Condition @ 70F for 14 days

You can substitute your favorite hops, but you get the idea. This makes a great Pale Ale, and you can focus on your process and keep the ingredients simple.

Good luck!

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Old 01-20-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
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Awesome info here.

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Old 01-20-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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I just posted a thread about my first all-grain batch this last Sunday (the "March haters Ale" post). I chose to do an American Pale Ale. On my blog I outline the recipe and the process I used, along with pictures.

Also, I have read a lot of good words about the recipes that shelly_belly links to above.

Good luck and have fun!

I know I got a little anxious and obsessive before brew day. I stressed about the recipe and ingredients. I ended up making a detailed list of steps. Once you've done your homework, done some grappling with your brewing texts, then let go and use the force. There is some new equipment and you are bound to make some small flaws, or learn lessons the first time. I did. You don't have to have every detail perfect. For instance, I didn't obsess about my water chemistry this time. My water is decent enough. Enjoy each part of the process.

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Old 01-20-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
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Kits aren't a bad way to start. They are proven recipes that taste pretty darn good. The big thing is to figure out your system. Boil off rate, water volumes needed to get the resulting bottle or kegging volumes you are looking for. These things will effect your gravities of your beer greatly. Conversely effecting the resulting hop and malt presence

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