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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Preparing for my first all grain; barrage of questions within.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:33 AM   #1
Auspice
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Default Preparing for my first all grain; barrage of questions within.

Alright, so I'm planning on finally making the jump into all grain since I've had my equipment ready for a few months and my wedding is behind me and I've got some questions since it's been a few months since I've read up on the all grain process and frankly I'm a bit worried that I'll be rusty with only 3 batches done and all partial mashes!

Here's my recipe:

9.5 lb 2 Row
2 lb Crystal 20L
1 lb Caramunich
1/2 lb Chocolate Malt
1 1/2 oz Hallertauer 90 min
3/4 oz Hallertauer 10 min
Wyeast #2206 Bavarian Lager

I've got two 5 gallon aluminum stock pots that I'll be splitting the boil between on my electric stove top and I have a 10 gallon orange cooler HLT for sparging my grains. I plan on step mashing under the following schedule:

Protein rest for 30 min @ 122F by adding 16 1/4 quarts H20 @ 130F
Heat to 158F for 15 min
Heat to 168 for 10 min

Here's my first question. According to the Joy of Homebrewing I need to add 1/2 quart of 200F H20 per pound of grain to raise my temps by 18F. If I do this, I'm not going to hit the 158F mark(and by association the 168F point) without adding way more water than I want(I'm doing a 5 gallon batch). What do I need to change with this process for everything to work out fine? I want to end with about 6 gallons of wort for my 90 minute boil which should put me at 5 gallons when everything is all said and done.

My next question is about cooling. I have a CFC but my tap water temp is ~70F so I can only get my beer down to mid to low 70s after running it through the CFC. Is it going to hurt my beer to cool it down the rest of the way in my kegerator? I was planning on sealing it in my fermentation bucket and tossing it in the kegerator as long as I need to for it to hit ~50F so I can pitch my yeast but I imagine this would probably take overnight, correct?

Finally, I plan on making a starter for my yeast. If I use 2 packs of yeast I can get away with a 1L starter according to MrMalty. Sadly, I do not have a stir plate and I can't really guarantee that I'll be able to monitor it enough to shake it frequently so I picked "simple starter with O2 start". If I switch it to "intermittent shaking" I can drop down to 1 yeast pack and 1 3/4 L of starter according to MrMalty but I'm not sure if it's worth risking since I may not be able to shake it every few hours depending on what time I can actually get around to making the starter. I won't be receiving my ingredients for the beer until Monday night and was hoping to brew Wednesday; will that give me enough lead time to make the starter? Sure seems like a stirplate is going to be worth the $30-$40 investment!

Thanks again for the help; you guys(and gals) all rock!

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Old 10-11-2009, 12:46 AM   #2
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lets work backwards for moment. any starter is better than none. two days is enough to get a starter going to krausen,which is when you want to pitch it anyway.


when i do a lager i pitch around 70ish and let the ferment start then cool it down to my ferment temp(this is usually overnite so the next morning i drop it in my ferm cabinet).

the water issue i can't help with since i dont do step mashes

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Old 10-11-2009, 12:50 AM   #3
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Why are you doing a protein rest? I'd lose that. It's not needed, and may impede your head retention.

Next question- why are you doing a 90 minute boil? I don't see any reason for that, either.

So, if you lose the protein rest and do a 60 minute boil, you could do some refiguring and probably have an easier time with hitting your mash volume and boil volume.

I usually use 1.25- 1.5 quarts per pound of grain in a single infusion mash, and then sparge to reach my boil volume of 6.25 gallons.

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Old 10-11-2009, 12:54 AM   #4
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I have heard a 90 minute boil is good for avoiding dms in lagers but keeping it simple and easy is more important.

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Old 10-11-2009, 12:55 AM   #5
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I have heard a 90 minute boil is good for avoiding dms in lagers but keeping it simple and easy is more important.
Maybe that's true for lagers that utilize pilsner malt as the base malt, but I don't see the need here at all.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post

Next question- why are you doing a 90 minute boil? I don't see any reason for that, either.
Auspice, by "2 Row" in your recipe do you mean 2 row Pilsner malt or regular 2 row pale malt?

If you're just using regular 2 row pale malt you can go with a 60 minute boil.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:06 AM   #7
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My advice would be to avoid step infusion mashes, especially on your first all-grain. Like YooperBrew said, a protein rest really isn't necessary and can actually be detrimental.

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Old 10-12-2009, 03:47 AM   #8
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http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...products_id=83 <-That's the 2 row that I picked up. I'm assuming that it's the "Brewer's Malt 2-Row (Briess)" that is listed in my Beersmith but I wasn't sure.

As for my mash; I had absolutely no idea what to go with and wasn't sure if a single infusion would work for me. My original mash schedule was this:
Mash in add 16 1/4 qt H2O @ 172F(step temp 158F) for 45 min
Mash out add 6 1/2 qt H20 @ 197F(step temp 168F) for 10 min

If I can get away with pitching yeast around 70F and tossing it in my kegerator to lager at 50F then I'll be totally happy. Boy, I can't wait to get this brewed!
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:00 PM   #9
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Your mash may not be fully converted after 45 minutes. Don't be surprised if it takes longer. Do you know how to do a conversion test?

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Old 10-13-2009, 08:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspice View Post
If I can get away with pitching yeast around 70F and tossing it in my kegerator to lager at 50F then I'll be totally happy. Boy, I can't wait to get this brewed!
I personally prefer Jamil's method of fermenting. He almost always pitches at the low end of the fermentation temperature range and lets the ferment slowly warm over the first week. This will provide you with the cleanest fermentation.
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