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Old 03-22-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
odawg82
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Hey everyone, I was looking for some input of tips and tricks for going all grain. I am going to finish up my third batch of extract brewing and I would now like to go all grain.

Any tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:03 PM   #2
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Here are a couple that I wouldnt brew without...

1) Beersmith
2) Rice Hulls
2.5) skip the bazooka tube or other gadgets and get a false bottom.
3) Basic or advanced water treatments(basic is just campden and ph5.2)
4) Fermcap in boil
5) adjust efficiency down so that preboil you can dilute to hit target og instead of boil off to hit og
6) use a stainless steel shaker tin and submerge og sample in ice to cool to 65 for hydrometer instead of temperature adjustment. The temperature adjustment is never right.
7) Go ahead and treat your yeast right... Use a starter and oxygenate as much as possible. Use mrmalty.com

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
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If money is an issue, and you have a kettle large enough for full boils, look into brew in a bag (biab)

Basically you put your grains in a mesh bag that goes into your kettle. Then you can get your feet wet with just a few bucks.

If you can find someone to brew with, it may help. It really isn't that much more difficult than extracts.

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Add 1 quart of water per pound of grains to your mash tun(12 lbs. of grains = 12 quarts of mash water), add grains, stir, then add addtional water slowly until you hit your temps. This makes it easier to hit your temps while still maintaining the 1.25-1.5 quarts per gallon ratio.

I disagree with the statement above about water for your first all grain. I buy bottled water from Walmart and use the following link to adjust my water based on the style.(http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/) There is no reason to get fancy with water chemistry that early in the game.

Good luck and have fun with it. It's easier than it sounds!

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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Relax and realize no matter how bad you screw up you are going to make beer.

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:21 PM   #6
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Opinions all over I guess. Here are my rebuttals/refinements for someone just starting all grain.

1. Heck yes Beersmith
2. Bazooka screen is fine; been using mine for years. Rice hulls only needed if you're milling crazy fine or using wheat or rye
3. Water treatments haven't been needed for me; I brew with spring water from my local supermarket. When I need to do a Boho Pils I'll do water treatments.
4. Heck yes Fermcap, in boil *and* fermenter
5. Boil off will happen, just get a well calibrated dipstick for your boil kettle so you know how much
6. Buy a refractometer for pre-pitch gravity readings: they're down to $30ish, and consume less wort with no need to cool a big sample
7. Starter for liquid yeast, rehydrate your dry

Also:

A. Get as big a pot as possible and do full boils. 8 gal minimum if you do 5 gal batches. Go for 10 gal if you can.
B. If you do electric brewing buy or build a heat stick. Stovetop eyes need help.

-Rich

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:21 PM   #7
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The 5 gallon beverage dispenser system works great and isn't too costly for starting all grain, just a suggestion to check out. You will love the all grain process and won't want to go back to extract!

-Beersmith is a great tool. Will help make sure you've got what you need (don't get caught up in all the little settings and variables at first)
-Calculate with a low expected efficiency, 60 - 70 %, your first few times as you learn.
-Have extra boiling water & cool water at your disposal when you mix in, you probably wont hit your target exactly, and you can use either to raise or lower the temperature accordingly.
-Mix thoroughly at Dough-In (when you add water to the grain). This is one of the biggest mistakes new brewers make with All Grain.
-After mashing, it really is just the same as extract.
-RDWHAHB

Cheers!

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdauber64 View Post
I buy bottled water from Walmart and use the following link to adjust my water based on the style.(http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/bre...primer-198460/)
Thanks for this. I've made a note for that coming day when I do need to fiddle.

-Rich
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:34 PM   #9
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Take detailed notes. It takes a few batches to figure out volumes. So notes on how much is left behind in your mash tun, grain absorbtion , etc. Figure out a way to measure the volumes in you boil kettle. I have a stck that is marked with volumes. All this helps you figure out how much water you need for mashing and how much boil off you get. A few batches and you should be able to dial it in.

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:40 PM   #10
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If you are the handy type, you can save a lot of money by making your own mash lauter tuns, sparge arms, and the like.

I also agree with the bazooka screen/ diy screen comment. A false bottom will be muchles likely to give you a head ache.

It is a good idea to have a mesh bag laying around as a backup. My second all grain attempt, the screen got kinked and wouldn't let anything flow through. I could blow on the hose just fine-the kink effectively made a check valve. I ended up "converting" this batch to brew in a bag to get it done. As soon as the brew was finished I ordered a false bottom. No problems since.

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