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Old 02-05-2010, 05:21 PM   #1
Gfei
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Default Started My First AG Batch

Here it is:


My first AG batch and my first time using that MLT.

Wish me luck, hopefully I get decent conversion and end up with wort when I'm done...

Edit: I just started the mash and hit my target temp Holy crap that chocolate smells great!

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Old 02-05-2010, 06:13 PM   #2
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Good luck with it! I'm hoping to do my first AG in the next few weeks.

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Old 02-05-2010, 06:16 PM   #3
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congrats! tell us how it turns out

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Old 02-05-2010, 06:24 PM   #4
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When do you add the Tostitos?

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Old 02-05-2010, 08:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speter View Post
When do you add the Tostitos?
Mmmmm...

Ok, so I was shooting for a pre boil gravity of around 1.046, instead I ended up with 1.032. Fortunately I thought to buy some DME while I was buying my ingredients so I can adjust but....

Why so low?? I hit my target mash temp, although the temperature had dropped about 9 degrees by the end of the mash. Could that be the cause or is 52% efficiency hat I can expect to get from the setup I'm using?
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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9 degree drop sounds like an awful lot for that gatorade cooler. I have the 10 gallon round gatorade cooler and I usually drop 1/2 to 1 degree over an hour.

I also used to use that thermometer that you are using in the picture, but found out after my first AG that if that cord gets any condensation on it, it throws off the temp readings. You should use two thermometers to make sure that one is not off.

You should also make sure that you are getting a good crush on the grain. Did you crush yourself? or did you buy it crushed? where did you buy it? next time, take a picture of the crush before you brew and post the picture here.

we can let you know if it is a good or bad crush. That is another common problem to low efficiency.

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Old 02-05-2010, 09:10 PM   #7
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Did you pour boiling water into the cooler prior to mashing to get its thermal mass warmed up to your mash temp? A cold cooler can suck the heat out of your mash.

What was your water grist ratio? Did you stir it in REALLY well? How long did you mash for? Did you test for conversion at the end of the mash? What temp did you sparge at?

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Old 02-05-2010, 10:25 PM   #8
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Before we get all complicated.

Did you adjust the gravity for your wort temp. If your wort was 120* which mine typically is then your corrected reading is 1.042 which is nearly exactly what your were shooting for.

After the simplist explanation we can move to other things like crush and sparge methods.

If in doubt mash longer no down side really. It will make up for a bad crush. Even unmilled grains will convert if left long enough.

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Old 02-05-2010, 10:44 PM   #9
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Ok, as far as crush, it looked pretty good to me... not that I have much experience with it, but it seemed to be cracked open well (say a little smaller than steel cut oats, if that helps).

I did pre-heat the MLT; I heated my strike water to about 10 deg. above the strike temp Beersmith gave me and waited until it came down to strike temp inside the MLT. After I added the grain and stirred everything up I measured the temp and it was right on.

The only issue I see with this cooler is that the lid has no insulation, it's just a single layer of plastic that screws on... that may be where all my heat went. Unfortunately with the 2 gallon cooler I filled it just about to the top with 5 lbs of grain plus water, so there's no room to throw some insulation on top. Could I use a 5 gallon igloo cooler for 2.5 gallon batches? Would that give me enough grain bed?

I mashed for an hour and batch sparged at 168 deg.

I did adjust my hydrometer readings, and after adjusting with DME my OG was right where I wanted it. (at least I have math skills if not brewing skills yet)

Thanks for all the replies.

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Old 02-05-2010, 11:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfei View Post
The only issue I see with this cooler is that the lid has no insulation, it's just a single layer of plastic that screws on... that may be where all my heat went.
Yeap, that's probably where it went. Hot air goes up, so if there's no insulation on the top it'll escape pretty quickly.
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