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PitsPale 06-03-2007 06:39 PM

New AG Brewer with ?'s
 
Hey all -

I'm planning on switching to all grain and have a few questions:

1) How is efficiency calculated?

2) My understanding of the mash process is:

-Select your grains and crush
-"Dough in" with water at a specified temperature (160 deg) at about 1 qt per pound of grain
- maintain at ~152 for about 60 minutes until starch conversion
- stir occationally to avoid cold spots
- Collect the first runnings and recycle
- When runnings are clear begin collecting in brewpot

Given all that - I'm a big unclear about sparging - how much water is sparged? Should you use a sparge arm? If you using a sparge arm, when should you begin sparging - after you've recycled the initial runnings?

3) then boil/brew as normal.

4) What should I use as an HLT? Another cooler?

Can anyone provide any additional information or clarify anything I got wrong?

Thanks,
Andy

ajf 06-03-2007 07:53 PM

1. With Promash :)
2.
-Select your grains and crush. Yup
-"Dough in" with water at a specified temperature (160 deg) at about 1 qt per pound of grain. I dough in with water at 185 - 192 (depending on the temperature), to get a mash temp of 154 - 156, but I don't pre-heat the cooler which sucks up a lot of heat.
Others can probably give you better recommendations. Try to some boiling water available in case the mash temp is too low, and some cold water or ice cubes in case the mash temp is too high. It'll probably take a few tries to get the right temperature for your equipment.
- maintain at ~152 for about 60 minutes until starch conversion. Yup
- stir occasionally to avoid cold spots. Some do, some don't. I mash in a cooler, and it keeps the temp within 1 degree for the 60 minutes
- Collect the first runnings and recycle. Yup
- When runnings are clear begin collecting in brewpot.

For a description of sparging, see http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/3rd-all-grain-done-first-decoction-mash-31009/ post 4.

Hope this helps,

-a,

Orfy 06-03-2007 08:44 PM

1) How is efficiency calculated?

The Basics.


If you have 5lbs of grain with a gravity potential of 1040 per lb per gallon.

Then you have a total potential of 200 (5*40)

if you get 5 gallon in the fermenter and it is 1038 or a total of 38*5= 190

(190/200)*100=95% efficiency

abracadabra 06-04-2007 03:10 PM

You don't need a sparge arm.

Here's what you can do instead:

Take a large piece of preferably heavy duty aluminum foil punch small holes in it and cover your grain bed then slowly pour your sparge water over the foil.

I made a sparge arm only to find that the foil works at least as well if not better.

slushy1975 06-04-2007 08:53 PM

Order a copy of "How to Brew" by John Palmer and buy a copy of Promash or Beersmith (my preferred choice) for the computer. Both are wonderful additions to my beermaking process in terms of remembering the little steps and documenting my all-grain recipes.

IPA_33 06-06-2007 05:57 AM

the big thing to remember is don't be intimidated by any of the process. Chances are you'll learn 8,000,000,000 x's more with your first session than asking any of us. After a few batches, not only will you have more confidence, you'll have a system down that is your own. Then you should share that system with all of us :) .

D2T 06-06-2007 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orfy
If you have 5lbs of grain with a gravity potential of 1040 per lb per gallon.

How do I get/calculate the gravity potential? The calculations are simple, but I think that might be where most brewers get stumped (myself included).

I just use Beersmith, but it'd be nice to further my knowledge :)


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