Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > My first all-grain experience

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-29-2006, 02:58 PM   #1
gopherhockey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 23
Default My first all-grain experience

Ok, so yesterday I set out to do my first all-grain brew.. a Hoegaarden clone.

I started with a 5 gal. cooler (hot water tank), a MiniBrew MiniMash 15 gallon lauter tun, and a 10 gal. brewpot. (among other devices)

The first issue was how to get things to flow. I had to build a tower out of boxes to hold the cooler and had to stand on a ladder to pour hot water into it. (not fun). The lauter tun sat on another couple of boxes, and the pot had to sit on the ground.

My first step was to do the strike and mash. I did it in the brewpot. Immediately I was sad because the water was not enough to go over the brewmometer, which I shelled out $40 just to help with this process. Even once I got the grain in there it was just at the top and would register the coolest temp even while stirring. I struggled with the temps as I had 3 different thermometers giving me all different readings. (I finally set on the digital one and hoped it was accurate) I think I struggled with the temps being real scared to get to 168. I think if I had the brewmometer calibrated and able to actually read the temp it would have been better. I'm a bit upset about this and am unsure what to do next time around. I don't want to just add more water as I feel it migh thin out the mash?

Ok, so I dumped the mash into the lauter tun and dumped the hot water in the tank. I was ready to see my new sparge arm work. Unfortunately in order to get 5 gal. of hot water to flow through in 30 minutes or more requires a VERY small trickle of water... so low that the sparge arm was worthless. What the? This was not at all what I expected. The arm swung freely, but to get it to spin I would have gone through the hot water in like 5 minutes or less. What is going wrong here - this is not at all what I expected. It was very hard to keep the water flow and flow into the pot correct. The runoff was nice and sweet but even when I apprached 7 gal. in the pot it was still pretty sweet - not bitter like I thought it would get. I'm concerned the whole process failed somewhere.

Ok, so my first experience with an immersion chiller had some major problems. First the plastic hose busted off the chiller in two places, shooting water all over the place (and on me, and some in the brew). I was either trying to push too much water through or it wasn't built very well. I will replace with better fasteners next time. (one of the fittings didn't even have a fastener!)

Its all in my Minibrew conical fermenter now. Its been 12 hours and no activity... not usual for my brews. Since this is all grain I'll be patient but I'm hoping I haven't wrecked it.

From start to finish it took me over 6 hours... much longer than I thought.

I can't wait to do it again!

However.. I need to rig up a better three-tier tower. Anyone have plans on how to do this from basic home depot materials? The boxes thing can't happen next time around.

__________________
Primary: Double Bock
Secondary: Bock, Chardonnay
Conditioning in Bottles: Kölsch
In Keg: Kölsch, Phat Tyre Ale
Bottled: German Alt, St. Paul Porter
On Deck: Hoegaarden Clone
gopherhockey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-29-2006, 04:07 PM   #2
Mikey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: I'm gone!
Posts: 668
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

Before you brew again, trying doing a complete 'dry run' with your revised setup. This will help minimise show stoppers when you're brewing for real.

I forgot that water doesn't run uphill during my first AG batch.

__________________
Mikey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-29-2006, 06:07 PM   #3
Matt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 31
Default

Today was supposed to be my first AG batch too. Last night I decided not to buy the grains and hops until I did a "dry run" with plain water. I ran into much the same problems, and was so disappointed. No beer today. Don't get too discouraged though. I'm sure it will work out better next time.

__________________
Matt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My first AG experience nyer All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 18 07-29-2008 02:36 PM
Very bad first all-grain experience... Ryan All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 07-11-2008 04:31 PM
First All-Grain... A learning experience I hope quickerNu All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 20 07-07-2008 03:29 AM
First All-Grain Experience okactuary All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 12-03-2006 02:32 PM