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Old 06-16-2009, 01:48 AM   #1
Buzz_Armstrong
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Default Thanks HBT, I made my first all grain!

I've been a fan of the partial mash recipes for a while now. Been brewing about a year and I've done 12 batches so far. Except for a couple extract kits I've always done partial mash recipes. I was nervous about going all grain because I always figured, if I botch the specialty grains, at least I'll still have some sugar water to ferment.

Recently, I had the privilege to go and hang out at another local home brewer's home while he made a batch of all grain oatmeal stout. On here, he goes by "niquejim". He put an open invitation to local home brewers to come and hang out while he cooked up this batch a few weeks ago.

Well it turns out he uses a rectangular cooler to mash his grains, identical to one I had as a spare in my garage! I was able to check out his setup and get step by step guidance from this gentleman and decided I was ready to take the plunge!

I bought a good old fashioned Corona mill [eBay FTW!] and set sail for my first all grain adventure yesterday - a Chocolate Bock made with Safale-05 to ferment at room temperature. It went really well, hit my target mash temp like a pro, very nearly hit my target OG, and really pleased with the outcome which is bubbling away nicely today.

I'll post some pics in the photos forum tomorrow or so. Obviously, a gratuitous thermometer shot will be included.

Thanks to all of you for the hundreds of posts I've been able to study prior to taking this step and a special thanks to my local home brew hero, "niquejim" for taking the time to give me some first hand experience.

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Primary 1: Belgian Wit
Primary 2: Chocolate Bock
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Secondary 2: Empty
Kegged: Mexican Cerveza Ale, Amber Ale, ApfelWein
Bottled: just a few assorted items remain (BIG SAD FACE)

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Old 06-16-2009, 06:09 AM   #2
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i made my first AG today as well and everything turned out really really well. I was really really close to hitting my target OG as well. I am happy I am doing AG now and have a feeling that I will never do an extract batch ever again.

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Old 06-16-2009, 09:56 AM   #4
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Yeah, that PM to AG jump is mostly a mental thing. The process is the same, it's getting the confidence to take off the training wheels. Congratulations to you and thanks to Jim for sharing his experience. Hope you were lucky enough to sample some of his brews. (I have one of his Barleywines that keeps taunting me from the back of the fridge.)
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOldUR View Post
. Congratulations to you and thanks to Jim for sharing his experience. Hope you were lucky enough to sample some of his brews. (I have one of his Barleywines that keeps taunting me from the back of the fridge.)
Glad I could help Buzz

I remember Buzz saying (after the 4th sample) "my wife asked if we would be drinking and I said it's 9am of course we won't be drinking"

As for the Barleywine, I tried one the other day and it is alot like Flying Dog Brewery - Double Dog Double Pale Ale, so I guess it's more of a blend of an IIPA and a Barleywine, which is what I hoped for.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:32 PM   #6
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OH NOOOOO!!!! Mine didn't turn out as it should have. :-(

After nearly a month in the fermenter, my chocolate bock is stuck at 1.026 from as starting gravity of about 1.060. It might still be ok to drink, although a bit (or a LOT) sweeter than I would prefer.

Good news is, I know what I did wrong... I like a sweeter, maltier brew, so when I was making partal mash recipes, I would mash the grains in the high 150's to 160 degree range. In those cases it worked out fine because a large portion of the fermentables were in the extract and the beers came out exactly as I wanted them. With 100% of the fermentables coming from the mash, I should not have mashed so high. When I hit it with the strike water it didn't lose as much as I calculated, so the starting temp was 165. I left the lid off and stirred it for a while and got it to around 160 and put the lid on it. After an hour, it had barely lost any heat at all.

The even BETTER news is, the beer isn't "disgusting" or anything, and I guess if a beer has to be too sweet, a chocolate bock would be appropriate. I've got two more all-grain batches to make and I am SO glad I held off on making them because I would have made the same mistake over again.

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Primary 1: Belgian Wit
Primary 2: Chocolate Bock
Secondary 1: Oatmeal Stout
Secondary 2: Empty
Kegged: Mexican Cerveza Ale, Amber Ale, ApfelWein
Bottled: just a few assorted items remain (BIG SAD FACE)

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Old 07-12-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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Well, at least no one has to convince you that mash temp affects wort fermentability.

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