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Old 11-22-2012, 12:08 AM   #1
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Default My first all-grain batch of beer.

So last Sunday morning I finally got to use my new keggle (BIAB) and propane burner for the first time. I decided that for my first few all-grain batches, I'm going to keep things simple. I'm going to do SMaSH recipes to keep the process easy while I'm learning how to do all-grain.

Anyways, here's the recipe I brewed, and a short synopsis of the brew day:

Cascade SMaSH Pale Ale (BIAB)
Boil Time: 60 minutes
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
Boil Size: ~7.5 gallons
Predicted Efficiency: 75%
Predicted OG: 1.043
Predicted FG: 1.012
ABV: 4.05%
IBU: 15.6
SRM: 3.01

8.5lbs Pale 2-Row

0.5oz Cascade Pellet (4.6% AA)60 min
0.5oz Cascade Pellet (4.6% AA) 20 min
0.5oz Cascade Pellet (4.6% AA) 5 min
1oz Cascade Pellet (4.6% AA) FO

Mash Temp: 153F for 60 minutes, full volume BIAB (no sparge)
Mashout: 170F for 10 minutes

Yeast: Safale US-05, 1 packet re-hydrated in 2 cups 70F (preboiled) water

Fermentation: carried out in brand new DIY fermentation cabinet at 66F.


When I cut my keg, I decided to cut the entire top off of it, rather than just cut a 12" hold in the top. While this does get rid of the built in handles, it also drops the weight considerably, as well as gives great access inside the keggle. I use a 16" steel pizza pan as a lid. It fits the top of the keggle almost perfectly. Eventually I'll add a handle.

I used 4gal of bottled spring water and ~4.66 of tap water for the mash. I heated the strike water up to 158F (per Brewer's Friend calculator) to get a mash temp of 153F for the mash. I mashed for an hour, with the lid on the keggle and a heavy duty moving blanket wrapped around the keggle. I stirred the heck out of the mash when I first added it until I got the temp right. Then I covered and left for 30 minutes. I took the top off and stirred really well again, then covered it back up till mashout.

At mashout, I took the blanket off and started heating, checking temp every couple of minutes until it hit 170F. I held it there for 10 minutes, and then pulled the grains and squeezed the heck out of the bag. Setting it aside, I bumped the heat up to bring the wort to a boil.

Once it reached boiling, I put the first hop addition in a paint strainer bag and hung it in the center of the keggle. I also added 2 drops per gallon of Fermcap-S after it got to a good rolling boil. I didn't have any threat of a boilover.

At 10 minutes left in the boil, I dropped my sanitized (paranoid) immersion chiller into the wort.

At flame out, I added the last hop addition, added a 20lb bag of ice to my chilling bucket (30gal blue plastic drum) and started pumping through the chiller. I ended up having to use a second 20lb bag of ice to finish chilling.

Once I got the wort down to ~70F, I pulled the chiller and hops out of the keggle. I attempted to do this without disturbing the trub sediment too badly. I used a 5/8" autosiphon to transfer to my sanitized 6gal Better Bottle. I then shook it vigorously for about 2 minutes to aerate, and then pitched my rehydrated US-05 and put it in my new fermentation chamber.

Lastly I cleaned up, put the keggle and chiller to soak in oxi-clean, and then went to a basketball game.

Over the span of the hour mash, my temp dropped from 153.9F to 151.3F. A little more than I'd hoped for, but not bad considering the ghetto attempt I tried. I will try to get a better insulation setup soon.

I managed to chill from boiling to 66F in about 40 minutes using just icewater. I may start with tap water next time and finish with icewater to save a bag of ice.

My pre-boil gravity for ~7.5-8gal was 1.033.

My post-boil gravity for ~5.5gal was 1.043.

The calculators say that's good for 75.2% efficiency. Not bad for my first BIAB. I also milled the grains myself with my ghetto Corona Mill setup. Almost burnt my power drill out doing 8.5lbs. I'll have to get a better one...

So, as of today my Cascade SMaSH pale ale is happily fermenting away at 66F in my wonderful ferm chamber. I am hoping to brew again Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, or possibly all 3 if I can.

So what do you guys think? I know this is a really long post, and kudo's to anyone who makes it this far ( ). Any questions, comments, concerns, praise?

BeardedIdiot

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Old 11-22-2012, 12:13 AM   #2
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Hahahhaha...

What I think.... you did a good job for your first go. A very good job. If you keep your fermentation temps going well and carbonate correctly you will have good beer.

What I predict, you will have lots more all grain equipment shortly.... credit card beware!

cheers

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Old 11-22-2012, 12:17 AM   #3
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Congrats on a successful first all grain brew day!! Sounds like you did a great job of paying attention and documenting your efforts.

A question: Why BIAB? You seem to have taken advanced steps in other areas? Why not create a mash tun out of a rubbermaid cooler? Or did you want to have the ability to direct fire it.

You may want to avoid squeezing the grain bag, as it is said that this could release tannins into your wort.

Again, congrats on the first AG brewday!!

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Old 11-22-2012, 12:32 AM   #4
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I do BIAB also. Sounds like you had a great brew day. I love doing BIAB. Very simple and fast and produces great beer. I'm sure your beer is going to turn out great.

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Old 11-22-2012, 01:31 AM   #5
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Dude, you killed it. Great job. Way to understand the process and execute the details. Admirable

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Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:32 AM   #6
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But, don't listen to this Tony guy, at all

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Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tre9er
But, don't listen to this Tony guy, at all
Yeah, he hasn't made a good beer yet! Wait a minute...
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyc318

Yeah, he hasn't made a good beer yet! Wait a minute...
Just messing with you. Now go drink some herbal tea for that cold
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:27 AM   #9
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Thanks guys. I've been on here for a while now, and I've been soaking stuff up like a sponge. I'm glad to hear that I did decent for my first all-grain go-round.

I am doing BIAB because I am on a pretty tight budget. I've had this keg for almost 6 months now, and the propane burner for 3 months now, but I've been collecting other stuff and wanted to get my ferm chamber done before I brewed again. I will put up a post detailing it in the DIY forum this weekend.

My first upgrade from here will be a ball valve and pick up tube for easier draining. After that, I do have a Little Giant pump that I plan on adding eventually. I might initially try fly-sparge BIAB to see if it works ok. If not, then I may just use it to whirlpool, chill, and transfer to fermenter.

All in all, I was actually pleased with how long the brew day took. I think it was a total of 4.5 hours, and that included heating the water, mash, boil, chilling, transferring, and putting into the ferm chamber. I milled the grain the day before, and boiled the water for the yeast rehydration while the strike water was heating up.

I think I can probably trim some of that time off, and I'm going to (I think) build a small brew cart. I would like for it to hold the burner and keggle on one side, with a tabletop next to it that I can out my tools on.

Eventually I want to get into kegging as well. I already have a 20lb CO2 tank and 7-8 ball lock kegs. I just need to get a regulator, tubing, and connectors. Maybe for Christmas...

Sigh. So much to buy, so little money .

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Kegged: Wheat
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On Deck: Milk Stout, SNPA clone, maybe a pale ale so I can use my homegrown hops to dry hop.

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Old 11-22-2012, 03:30 AM   #10
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This was also my first full-boil brew. I've done half a dozen stove-top, partial boil extract brews, and a couple of them turned out decent (red ale compared to Killian's, pale ale compared to a less-hoppy SNPA).

I've got about 67lbs of grain and 6lbs of hops left to experiment with. If I can do 2-3 brews this long weekend, then I'll really be happy .

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Kegged: Galaxy/Vienna SMaSH Pale Ale
Kegged: Prohibition Lager
Kegged: Ricks Red Ale
Kegged: Wheat
Bottled: LH Milk Stout Clone
Primary 1: Biermunchers Centennial Blonde
On Deck: Milk Stout, SNPA clone, maybe a pale ale so I can use my homegrown hops to dry hop.

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