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Old 02-22-2007, 01:31 AM   #1
Forrest
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Default My first All Grain Brew

Well this is a scary time for me. I have decided to make the leap from Partial Mash brewing to All Grain. I have always used real grains for my specualty grains but used extracts for my Base Grain. I have read the All Grain sections in "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, 3rd Edition" by Charlie Papazian and "The Brewmasters Bible" by Stephen Snyder. After reading these sections I must say that I fell abit overwhelmed. This process doesn't sound as easy as I once thought it would be. Apparently there are defferent mashing methods that can be used and I am not sure which one I should go with. In fact after reading this section, I am not even sure if I have the equipment nessisary to do this. I have a 5 gallon stainless steel kettle which means i can safely boil or heat about 4 gallons of water in it. According to these books, it sounds like I need to be able to boil seven gallons at a minimume which I don't understand as I only have two 5 gallon carboys so I only want to brew a 5 gallon batch. I guess I am just thinking about it too much but I just don't have any idea what to do. My reciepe includes a total of 12 lbs of both base grain and specualty grains. According to "The brewmasters bible" I should try to strive for 1.33 quarts per pound of Grain. Which puts my reciepe at needing 3.99 gallons of water for the mashing process. But after that much I am stuck. I am sure you guess get these kind of questions all the time but can someone help me out with this as I have no idea what I am doing but I really want to learn.

Thanks.

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:37 AM   #2
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yep real simple. here we go


Ok your going to collect 7 gallons of wort. It may take a time or two before you get to know your system, but the reason is that you are going to want to boil down and concentrate the 7 gallons into 5 by the end of the boil. Bringing your OG up to where it needs to be.

Now the sparge part. using 1.3 qts per lb of grain is for your mash. Now your going to loose a bit of this to it getting sucked up into your grains. But after your mash (normally 60 minutes) is up, you will then sparge with 168-170* water until your runnings reach a certain gravity, or you collect enough wort to start your boil.

clear as mud? good. if I confused you, let me know and Ill try again. Got a nice buzz allready though

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:44 AM   #3
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Well, the reason you need a bigger brew kettle is that you want to end up with 5 gallons. In my case, an hour boil boils off 1.75 gallons, so I need to boil at least 6.75 gallons. (I don't have a big brewpot, so I divide my wort into two pots but I don't recommend it- it's a PITA). Also, you get a bit more of a hot break with AG, so it foams up quite a bit before the hot break. So, that's why a bigger pot.

In my Dogfish clone, I used 1.2 quarts per pound of grain, and I wanted a maltier beer (not too dry) so I headed my water to 168 and mashed at 153 for an hour. This depends a bit on your equipment, but if you mash thicker you can add more hot or cold water to hit your temp.

Then, if you're going to batch sparge, you can heat the water to your mash-out temp (I used 170 degrees), add 1/2 the sparge water, stir, and let sit a while (10 minutes is what I did) and then add the other 1/2 and repeat. My runnings were still way above where I wanted (I wanted to stop at 1.010, but I was still getting alot of good stuff out!) so I stopped when I had almost 7 gallons. I'm sure my efficiency suffered as a result, but I didn't want to boil all day long!

If you have some brewing software, that can help you calculate the water volumes. I'm a math idiot, so I rely on that (to a point). There are many way more experienced brewers here than me, as I just made the jump to AG. But, it really is not that difficult to do it. Maybe post your recipe, and some of the beer gurus around here can help you tweak it with your equipment. What are you using for a MLT?

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:51 AM   #4
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Wow....

It looks like I have a lot more reading to do. And apparently I don't personally own the proper equipment as I don't own a pot big enough to hold seven gallons. Luckly, I am a chef, and have access to all of my kitchens big stock pots. I am sure I could get one for a week end until I can afford to get one my self as I am also saving up for a grain mill. But after reading you reply, it has become obvious to me that I need to go back and read those sections in the books again.

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest
Wow....
I am sure I could get one for a week end until I can afford to get one my self

think they would notice if you drill a hole and put a spigot in those pots?
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest
Wow....

It looks like I have a lot more reading to do. And apparently I don't personally own the proper equipment as I don't own a pot big enough to hold seven gallons. Luckly, I am a chef, and have access to all of my kitchens big stock pots. I am sure I could get one for a week end until I can afford to get one my self as I am also saving up for a grain mill. But after reading you reply, it has become obvious to me that I need to go back and read those sections in the books again.
No, no- I don't want to intimidate you at all. Don't be discouraged! You can do it. Someone around here has a homemade video that has the whole process- I'll see if I can find it (or if someone else is able to, please post that link). I have to split my boil into two pots, because I can't afford a new 10 gallon pot right now. But, you can use a turkey fryer outside, two pots inside, etc. There are more ways than you can imagine to get the job done!

The only thing that I see as a need is a MLT (mash lauter tun) and even that can be improvised with buckets and blankets if need be. Go ahead and read those chapters again, as there is always information to be gleaned. But you can learn all you need to know from the experts around here! I learn something every day!

It's not difficult at all, and you can make good beer even with no experience. That's the beauty of the whole thing!

Ask questions whenever you need to, and keep reading. Read this too:
http://howtobrew.com/section3/index.html

It'll help clear things up.
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:24 AM   #7
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Thanks for the encouragement. I would very much like to see the video as I am very much a visual learner.

And yes, i think they would notice if I drill a whole in the bottome and put in a spigot unfortunatly.

I am posting my reciepe though as was recommended. It is actually my own reciepe that I have developed with the help of another book I have. I posted a version of it before as I origonally developed it to be a malt extract recipe. I never had time to make it though so I decided to go for it with all grain. it actually comes out to 11.25 lbs of grain but I rounded up to 12. Here it is below:

Forrest's Rye Stout
8 lbs British Pale Ale Malt
12oz Malted Rye
8 oz Black Patient Malt
8 oz Black Barley
12 oz Chocolate Rye Malt
8 oz Cara-Rye
4 oz Dark Crystal Malt
2 oz Kent Golding Hops for bittering
2 oz Fuggles Hops for flavor
2 oz Williamette Hops for aroma
1 tsp Irish Moss

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:41 AM   #8
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Check this video out.


While not a true instructional video, it should get you in the right direction... There are 5 "parts" and they should all be in the "related" tab on the right of the video. This guy is fly sparging and I batch sparge so the only new piece of equipment I had to get was a small 5 gallon round cooler for my lauter tun ( I mash in my kettle ), a small length of copper tubing and a stainless steel braid from a toilet water supply hose. Check this out too: http://cruisenews.net/brewing/infusion/page1.php

Between those videos and the above link, you'll be brewing AG in no time. Oh, everyone here is very helpful too

I've been doing 3 gallon batches lately with my AG and extract batches... Doing full boils just seems to yield better results and my gas stove has a hard time bringing more than 4 gallons of liquid to a nice rolling boil... Once I get a propane burner, I'll probably go to a larger batch size since I can brew outside and heat a fair amount of wort.

Read up and watch the youtube video and brew away!
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Old 02-22-2007, 04:42 AM   #9
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Hmm,

So it seems I guess that my next step should be to construct a Mash/Lauter Tun. I looked at the link you sent and the videos and it looks easy enough. I will let you guys know once I get it constructed. I usually work like 65 to 70 hours a week so it might take a while. Thanks for the help.

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Old 02-22-2007, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest
Hmm,

So it seems I guess that my next step should be to construct a Mash/Lauter Tun. I looked at the link you sent and the videos and it looks easy enough. I will let you guys know once I get it constructed. I usually work like 65 to 70 hours a week so it might take a while. Thanks for the help.
The_bird posted some easy instructions/hints for me a couple of months ago on how he built his mash tun- http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=17659&highlight=dick%27s+cooler

I ended up getting something else, but if you are handy it looks like it could be fairly easy to do.

If you ever have any questions at all, feel free to ask!
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