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Old 02-25-2013, 04:41 PM   #11
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Up until recently I was a two pot on the stove brewer. I used two 16qt pots, one I had from extract days, another I grabbed at Wally World for $12 to get up to 8 gallons of boil capacity.
Ha!! That's great to hear...and encouraging. I definitely need another boil pot to match one that I have so I can at least have more boil capacity. The fact that you can have some fun insanity like that and then as a result of your sweat and tears (hopefully not into your fermentation bucket) you have a delicious beverage is amazing. I'll tell you, it seems like the more insane the brewing process the more you appreciate the end-product.

I don't have any fermentation yet so if it isn't going by this evening I might go get a smack-pack of 1084 and pitch it before I crash tonight.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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Any recommendations for a slower vorlauf? I guess as mentioned above I could lauter into my bottling bucket then just control the flow back into the grain bed...pouring 3-4 gallons back on top of the grain bed was very pointless given the amount of debris I got in my runnings haha!

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #13
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Great job adjusting on the fly!

I have never had to vourlof more than 2-3 pints, then I pour it over my mash "paddle" to break up the stream and not disturb my grain bed too much. Ive thought about pouring it through a colander but eh im not that worried about it!!

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #14
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I did my first all-grain batch last week and lessons were learned. But overall it was a great experience. Here's what I learned:

1. Use an accurate thermometer for your strike water. I grabbed the nearest cheapo thermometer and I think my water was way too hot.

2. Have some patience after adding strike water. My temperature spiked (see No. 1 above) and I started to freak out. I probably should have let it sit for a bit to reach equilibrium. Instead, I started to dump in cold water which led to more problems.

3. Remain calm and do not, as they say in the flying world, "chase the needle" I went from too hot, to too cold, and back to way too hot. It finally settled in at 154 and stayed there nicely for 50+ minutes.

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #15
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Great job adjusting on the fly!

I have never had to vourlof more than 2-3 pints, then I pour it over my mash "paddle" to break up the stream and not disturb my grain bed too much. Ive thought about pouring it through a colander but eh im not that worried about it!!
That's a great idea...I can definitely handle that. I did notice that the 1st runnings were running pretty clear after the first couple pints had been lautered so that does make sense.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:26 PM   #16
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Any recommendations for a slower vorlauf? I guess as mentioned above I could lauter into my bottling bucket then just control the flow back into the grain bed...pouring 3-4 gallons back on top of the grain bed was very pointless given the amount of debris I got in my runnings haha!
As davekippen said, use something to break up the flow as you pour back over the grain bed. I use an aluminum pie tin with thumbtack-holes punched every half-inch or so, suspended by fishing line.... it's a bit of a pain keeping it balanced, but it distributes the wort really nicely, I honestly can't say for sure if it's any better than just pouring it over a slotted spatula or something, but I made it, dammit, and I'm gonna use it!

Some other tips from a n00b which will make life much easier:

- Use two collection vessels when you're vorlaufing, so you can have one sitting under your spigot while you're pouring the other one in at top. This way, you're not constantly opening and closing your ball valve, which messes up your grain bed and is also a pain. I use a couple of cheapo plastic half-gallon lemonade pitchers.

- Collect your vorlauf runnings with the ball valve only just open enough to create a steady stream. Theoretically, the slower pull will result in a less-compacted, more freely-flowing grain bed when you open the valve up a little more and start collecting wort for the boil; practically, this will give you time to slowly pour off one of your collection vessels before the other one has a chance to fill all the way up.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:40 PM   #17
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As davekippen said, use something to break up the flow as you pour back over the grain bed. I use an aluminum pie tin with thumbtack-holes punched every half-inch or so, suspended by fishing line.... it's a bit of a pain keeping it balanced, but it distributes the wort really nicely, I honestly can't say for sure if it's any better than just pouring it over a slotted spatula or something, but I made it, dammit, and I'm gonna use it!
Great idea - I will certainly use the two containers next time while vorlaufing. I did notice some grain bed compaction last night and I was sure it was because I had the ball valve opened the entire way haha

I think I'll try to get something going where I can fly sparge instead of batch sparge as well...well, if I find that I have the patience to babysit it at least.
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