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Old 04-05-2009, 09:13 AM   #1
jjayzzone
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Default I'm exhausted, worried, and excited...in that order. First AG

Ya, it's 2 a.m., and i've finished my first all grain. I am exhausted. It makes it twice as difficult with a toddler trying to "help."

Everything seems to have gone wrong, but ended up right, lol. I guess we'll see in about four weeks! I brewed a Hefeweizen;

5 lbs 2 row
5 lbs wheat
2 oz saaz 2.8% (half for full boil, half for finishing)
1 oz. hallertauer Hersbrucker 2.7% (full boil)
1 pkg. American Hefeweizen Ale (white labs #WLP320)

So, I heard that you increase the temp by a few degrees when adding the mash water. I added 1 1/4 qt per lb of grain. Added at 160, but the temp after mixing was 140. I added some hot water to try to bump it up a bit, but didn't work out so well.....as you all probably know.

Upon sparging, I added 1/2 gallon per pound, and added it at 175 degrees. Once again, after mixing, I was in the high 150s.

There's two muff-ups!

Next, after arriving home from the brew store (an hour away), I realized I had no hop-socks. Nice. So, I bought a pair of tea balls (not tee-balls...I called my mother to see if she had one I could borrow....she thought I was referring to tee-balls). So, i hopped the wort with tea-balls. I thought there's be enough room for one ounce to expand in each. NOPE! Inside was dry. I pulled the hops out, then put some of it back into the balls. I ended up hopping with about an ounce and a half instead of two ounces, and split the 1 oz. of finishing hops into the two balls.

I also boiled down to five gallons.

After all this, my OG ended up being 1.04. I don't know how to calculate efficiency yet, nor do I want to try to learn at this hour

The trial version of beersmith that I have estimated a 1.05 OG, with the style typically being 1.044-1.048. Well, I missed the target, but came reasonably close to where it should be anyways.

I guess we'll see how it tastes in a month or so. I'm going to have nightmares tonight (or this morning) about AG brewing.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what the crap I did so wrong!

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Old 04-05-2009, 09:34 AM   #2
Denny's Evil Concoctions
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OK, I take it you are infusion mashing in a cooler? Preheat the cooler with hot water before adding your mash water.

You will need to set up beersmith for your system. There's a section where you can state mash tun material etc. There's also a section in there where you enter in the grain temp and tun temp (most like to preheat the tun if possible though).

It should get you pretty close to the right temp for water and your target mash temp and sparge temp.

I'm about ready for bed so I hope that made any sense.

Now as for your brew yesterday...

Mashing at 140 will get you a very dry beer. How long did you mash for?

Also was this a batch sparge or a fly sparge? Depending on how long the mash was at 150F, you might have allowed the alpha-amylase to get some work done and impart some unfermentables. Even if not, you will have a dry beer, but it's still beer! Live and learn.

On the up siide, the heffe yeast stays in suspension and tends to add to mouchfeel.

If you haven't already, give this a read: How to Brew - By John Palmer - Brewing Your First All-Grain Beer

That will explain how the temps influence fermentable and unfermentable sugars, etc.

RDWHAHB and welcome to AG brewing and HBT!

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Old 04-05-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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I dont think you're mistakes were too bad. As for the hops, i would just throw them in next time. Trust us, if they make it to primary, they will all settle out. When I made my first AG, I got low OG just like you. I'm not sure what you're preboil volume is, but I always collect engough to do a 90 minute boil. So, that about 7.5-8gal.

As for mash temps, Denny's right. Warm up the cooler before you mash, or you can do like "the Pol" does, if his strike temp is 160, he will heat 15 deg higher, then all the strike water to teh cooler, wait for it to normalize at 160, then add the grain and mix thoroughly. He claims his mash temps are spot on, and it help rule out temp loss from the cooler.

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Old 04-05-2009, 02:34 PM   #4
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Sounds like a decent first AG day...

Yah, I heat my strike to strike + 15F... then after the cooler soaks up some heat and I give it a stir, it will rest at my strike temp in about 5-10 minutes, then I mash in. It removes any variables in your brewing software trying to compensate for your equipment and your equipment start temp.

Does Beer Smith take into consideration the TEMP of the MLT when you are computing strike temp based on the equipment thermal mass? I dont recall seeing that. BUT a 40F cooler that is in the garage will soak up more heat than a 70F cooler that is sitting in the house.

This is why I do what I do, it covers all of the variables. 40F MLT or 80F MLT, it will rest at the strike temp after cooling a little.

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Old 04-05-2009, 03:03 PM   #5
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Well, I preheated the cooler somewhat. I filled about halfway up with water from the faucet....130 degree water, dumped that out after a little while, added the grain, then added the water that I had heating up on the stove.

Denny's Evil Concoction; I mashed for about 1:15. As for sparging, I can't recall what the definitions are. I mashed out, then added all of the sparge water at once, let it soak for ten or so, then ran it out. I did read "how to brew." I just kinda stumbled through the process, lol.

JesseRc; I've only brewed four extracts, then I did this AG. About adding the hops, I did that on my first batch. It had a very bitter aftertaste, and I thought that maybe it was from leaving the hops in through the process. Apparently that's not the case?

The Pol; I don't recall seeing beersmith take into account the temp of the malt.

So, here's one of the important things I got from your guys' responses. Heat the strike water to about 15 degrees higher than target. Add to cooler....let it cool down to close to target (152 target), then add grains? How much temp decrease do you expect from adding the grains?

Thanks for all your help, people!

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Old 04-05-2009, 04:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjayzzone View Post

So, here's one of the important things I got from your guys' responses. Heat the strike water to about 15 degrees higher than target. Add to cooler....let it cool down to close to target (152 target), then add grains? How much temp decrease do you expect from adding the grains?

Thanks for all your help, people!
No no, if your strike water is suppose to be 164F before the grain addition heat your water up to about 180F or so. Then put that in the cooler and let it come down to your desired strike temp (164F). That takes care of preheating your mash tun. Once you hit your strike temp add your grains and the temp will come down again to what your mash temp is scheduled for (154F).

I like this methold because you're not having to heat up two batches of water and it's a lot easier to monitor your strike temp. If you bring your water up to your desired strike temp and then transfer it to your cooler you will have heat loss.

This is always the first thing I do on brew day, while the cooler is preheating I start getting all the other equipment out.

Also, make sure you take the temp of your grains. Where it has your mash profile in BeerSmith click on 'Details' right beside it. You will see the field to enter in your grain temp. It's probably set at 72F right now.


Hope that makes sense.
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Old 04-05-2009, 04:09 PM   #7
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It gets better I used to stress all day when I started AG. I kept thinking this isn't really all that fun maybe I should go back to extract, but now while it takes more time it's easy and actually to me a lot more fun.

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Old 04-05-2009, 04:16 PM   #8
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In BeerSmith, the DETAILS button next to the Mash profile allows you to adjust for temp of the grain and the tun. Make sure you have Adjust Temp for Equipment checked.

The details button next to the Equipment selector lets you set your tun material etc.

I've used these values from BeerSmith in my two AG's, and the mash temp has been within a degree of where it should be.

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Old 04-05-2009, 08:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefchris View Post
No no, if your strike water is suppose to be 164F before the grain addition heat your water up to about 180F or so. Then put that in the cooler and let it come down to your desired strike temp (164F). That takes care of preheating your mash tun. Once you hit your strike temp add your grains and the temp will come down again to what your mash temp is scheduled for (154F).
Makes complete sense.....now that i'm done brewing, lol.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:24 PM   #10
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Update: well, twelve hours after the fact, the batch is fermenting away! Good sign....but I hope it ferments all the way through. What can I expect from this batch? Will this batch likely ferment all the way down from 1.040 to 1.010 with the trouble that I had with batch temperatures? Are the sugars that brought the OG up to 1.040 likely all fermentable, but will just leave me with a "dry" beer as Denny's Evil Concoctions stated earlier?

I know, I know, wait it out and see!

Update: Overflow alert! Right on through the airlock....

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