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Old 08-09-2013, 02:21 PM   #21
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I would start with batch sparging. The other advice I would give is to buy 5.2 from 5 Star Chemicals. It is good way to control your mash ph while you are figuring out everything else. Mash ph plays a big role in the outcome of your beer. You can test it and try to adjust it, but at this point 5.2 does it really easily.
I don't want to start a holy war in this thread. There are others that go into this product. But as a new brewer, try a batch or two without this stuff first. You likely won't need it. If you're curious, search for other threads about it.

All grain is really pretty simple. We all make it more complicated than it has to be to make good beer.

Your idea of KISS is perfect. Do that and you'll have a blast.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:46 PM   #22
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I don't want to start a holy war in this thread. There are others that go into this product. But as a new brewer, try a batch or two without this stuff first. You likely won't need it. If you're curious, search for other threads about it.

All grain is really pretty simple. We all make it more complicated than it has to be to make good beer.

Your idea of KISS is perfect. Do that and you'll have a blast.
i agree with this too. keep it simple until you master the process and then focus on the smaller details.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #23
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Expect to mess up somewhere along the way on your first batch. No two systems are identical, so your first few brew sessions will be to zero in on the quirks of yours as well as getting familiar with the process. You'll still likely make a great beer, but be prepared (like with your first extract brew session) that something will pop up that you didn't or couldn't have prepared for.

One thing I made sure to do for my first AG session was to make sure I had all day devoted to it. The process is much more involved than extract, so it's MUCH more time consuming. My brew day effectively doubled in length.

And as always RDWHAHB.

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Old 08-09-2013, 09:01 PM   #24
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I believe my brew history fits well in this thread.

I went straight to All Grain brewing from nothing. Took me two weeks to get all of my equipment and assemble. First two attempts while doing a run though I realized I was missing small parts.

Finally the third time I brewed a Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA clone recipe and boy did I luck out. Never calculated fly sparge water needed but looking back and recalculating my just ignorant guess was about spot on. Had to pour the beer directly from chilled wort nozzle into carboy with no hose. Had a blowout from the yeast strength. Kegged my first brew (didn't, haven't, and will never bottle) only 3 gallons out of 5 because of syphon issues.

Let me say when I drank my first one even with my mistakes, my unbiased buddy described it as enjoyable and I agreed. Thought I'd force it down and pour out some but it was great.

I then poured out my next two batches because of mash calc issue which I got no sugars and dropped the other (BIG cleanup). I am now on my 4th and 5th batch. This is what I have learned.

Calculate:
Mash Strike water temp and amount
Sparge water amount (generally about 169F)
Yeast cells needed (I use starters now)

Upgrades:
My cleaning knowledge (cleaner>sanitizer>brew)
False bottom
Yeast starter
Two corney kegs (I used a sanke first)

Really the thing to consider is a lot of information on the internet is subjective to the brewers liking and the other way to actually learn and retain is trial by fire so go ahead and make the leap.

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Old 08-09-2013, 10:22 PM   #25
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Agreed on keeping it simple for your first go, the 5.2 was intended for very hard tap water applications. Worry about water chemistry way after you've got the other nuances of AG down. And if you are using a cooler, batch sparging is the way to go. Drain your first runnings. then just add however much sparge water you need to get your preboil volume/gravity.

My first AG was a Best Bitter. That way, if I under or over-shot the efficiency I could adjust the hops in the boil and come out with an ESB on the high side or a ordinary bitter on the low side.

But if you want to stick with the beer you mentioned, first call it a CDA and then here's a recipe I have made a couple times and it's great, although there's a bunch of variability to this style.

For 5.5 gal @ 80% efficiency,

10 lb 2-row
1 lb Carafa II (sometimes the III can be hard to find, but the II is still huskless which is the important part)
1 lb C60
1 lb Munich light (10L)

Mash at 152F

Bitter @ 60 min with something neutral to ~50 IBU, I used Chinook.

1 oz each CTZ, Citra, Simcoe @ flameout
1 oz each CTZ, Citra, Simcoe dry hop

Ferment with Wyeast 1056, using an appropriate starter

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Old 08-09-2013, 11:36 PM   #26
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Stay simple...but most of all...' Don't worry... ' follow the process...stay clean...eyeball your temps and you will be just fine.

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Old 08-10-2013, 04:57 AM   #27
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Do, and the rest will come. Read up, pay attention, take notes. Jump in and dial it in. Your gonna stumble the first few times but you'll figure out your system. Just be patient. I've been doing all grain for about 4-5 months and its getting easier, more consistent. Don't be discouraged by a couple off batches. Evaluate and start again. Before you know it you'll be kicking ass.

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Old 08-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjohnson View Post
I don't want to start a holy war in this thread. There are others that go into this product. But as a new brewer, try a batch or two without this stuff first. You likely won't need it. If you're curious, search for other threads about it.

All grain is really pretty simple. We all make it more complicated than it has to be to make good beer.

Your idea of KISS is perfect. Do that and you'll have a blast.
Here is why I suggest 5.2, the mash PH is very important to the outcome of your beer. Tannin extraction is heavily effected by the PH. If you sparge too hot, but you have 5.2 in your sparge water you won't get a lot of tannins because your PH is under control. I would buy the smallest container of 5.2 possible or better yet borrow some. After you have a few successful beers, buy some PH strips and test your water. You may never need it again. It is worth spending 30 cents a batch to ensure the correct PH (5.2 corrects both high and low PH) and not have tannin extraction. Most of this information is from Gordon Strong's Book Brewing Better Beer.

Having said that, you could probably never adjust your water and still get really good beer.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:51 AM   #29
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Here is why I suggest 5.2, the mash PH is very important to the outcome of your beer. Tannin extraction is heavily effected by the PH. If you sparge too hot, but you have 5.2 in your sparge water you won't get a lot of tannins because your PH is under control. I would buy the smallest container of 5.2 possible or better yet borrow some. After you have a few successful beers, buy some PH strips and test your water. You may never need it again. It is worth spending 30 cents a batch to ensure the correct PH (5.2 corrects both high and low PH) and not have tannin extraction. Most of this information is from Gordon Strong's Book Brewing Better Beer.

Having said that, you could probably never adjust your water and still get really good beer.
I hate to admit it but the stuff does work for me at least. My water is very hard and since i started using it i hit 83 % on my mash eff when i dont i hit mid 70's. That being said I would prefer to not us it but its a lot easer then then trying to fix my crappy water
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:34 AM   #30
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I hate to admit it but the stuff does work for me at least.
What did your pH meter say when not-using 5.2 vs using 5.2 on the same recipe? Were all other variables the same?
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