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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Second all grain batch, far better brew day
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:45 PM   #1
supaphly42
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Default Second all grain batch, far better brew day

So, my last AG brew day was kind of a disaster. Couldn't get the boil going, OG was way under, all sorts of issues. Today went far smoother. It's nice out (started lightly raining at end of boil last time, haha), so that helped. I may have had the air intake damper partially closed last time (that was first time using outdoor burner, didn't know it had that on it), which may have affected my boil.

Anyway, today went well. A little more used to all my equipment. Also, built myself a wort chiller. My mash hit right at temp, which was nice. Here I am collecting it. I need to add an elbow so my hose doesn't kink from the heat like that. Measured my kettle beforehand this time so I collected the right amount! It came to a boil far quicker, and was much more vigorous. Did a 90 min boil. My dog protected the boil for me. Had a lot more boil-off this time, looks like a hit my target post-boil volume. It's cooling right now.

My chiller is a piece of coiled copper, connected to a $12 Harbor Freight aquarium/pond pump. I stuck it in the bath of ice water, continual circulation with far less waste than just running from faucet/hose and dumping it all out, plus the ice gets it colder and the water around it helps the cooling.

My recipe is a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone, from here.

Edit: My OG was pretty low (1.034 vs 1.052), but I'm thinking my sparge technique was bad. I'll be reading up on that before next brew day.



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Old 04-25-2013, 01:43 AM   #2
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I'm going to assume you're single. Your wife would never let you mash and lauter indoors. How did you not slosh water and wort everywhere?

I like your cooling setup. I hope you get your efficiency under control. Good luck!

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Old 04-25-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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Haha, actually married, but I brewed while she was at work for the day. I'm very careful so as not to make a mess (makes for easier cleanup too). And she wouldn't mind me mashing indoors anyway, she used to be a waitress at a brewpub. I'll work on my efficiency, hopefully my next one goes better.

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Old 04-25-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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Sounds like my second AG batch.
I was using an online calculator for mash and sparge water volumes. Since I only do 1 gallon batches and all the presets are for 5 gallon batches I adjusted the batch size and grain bill, but left the rest at 5 gallon batch size.
It told me to use over a gallon for the mash and over 2 for the sparge. I ended up with over 1.5 gallons post boil and a OG of 1.020.

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Old 04-25-2013, 03:34 PM   #5
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Congrats on the successful brew day. I think my first 6 brew days all had some different issue that made it less than fun, but in the end i still ended up with tasty beer.
On your efficiency issue, how are you sparging batch or fly? I recently started taking note to calculate my efficiency and improve it. I batch sparge and two things i have done have improved my efficiency a bit. One, splitting my sparge into 2 - 3 batches, so if i am sparging with 3-4 gallons, split it into 1.5 and 1.5 gallons, or 1 gal and then 2 and 2. Also make sure the sparge water is hot, it seems to help get the sugars out. The other thing is to recirculate the wort ( i believe vorlauf?) several times, i use a lid from a plastic coffee can to pour the wort back onto so as not to disturb the grain bed.
I am by no means an expert, but it seems to help. Also if your not hitting your OG, keep some DME on hand and use that to buff up your OG back to where it should be.

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:26 PM   #6
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Cheers- looks like a successful brew.

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masskrug View Post
I'm going to assume you're single. Your wife would never let you mash and lauter indoors. How did you not slosh water and wort everywhere?

I like your cooling setup. I hope you get your efficiency under control. Good luck!


My SWMBO dumps grain in to the mash tun for me while i am mashing,Brewing indoors none the less.Some of us are just lucky i guess.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:06 PM   #8
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Congrats on your 2nd AG. One question, since you boiled outside, why not do the mash/lauter outside too? This way you can have the kettle on the burner and once you collect a few gallons you can start the boil, which will save you some time as opposed to waiting for a full kettle to boil. You will learn as you get a few more brews in, that there are several things to do to shorter an all grain brew day and that is one.

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Old 04-26-2013, 01:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jdauria View Post
Congrats on your 2nd AG. One question, since you boiled outside, why not do the mash/lauter outside too? This way you can have the kettle on the burner and once you collect a few gallons you can start the boil, which will save you some time as opposed to waiting for a full kettle to boil. You will learn as you get a few more brews in, that there are several things to do to shorter an all grain brew day and that is one.
That's a good idea, I'll have to try that for next time. And I batch sparge. Will keep your ideas in mind. Thanks for the comments guys!
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