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Old 01-04-2013, 03:13 PM   #1
jarnock
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Default 1st All Grain this weekend!

Greetings!

1st post, thought I would introduce myself! I'm fairly new to homebrewing, I have brewed probably 4 or 5 batches 3 years ago and just recently picked up the hobby again. I have brewed 3 batches since December and just received a 9 gallon stainless steel pot to do my 1st all grain.

I made a Mashtun out of a 10 gallon Rubber Maid cooler with a bazooka tube. I will be using Edworts Haus Pale Ale recipe.

So a big thank you to the community here and would like to ask for any last minute tips! Thank you for everything!

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:20 PM   #2
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Watch your mash temps closely and be sure to have a HomeBrew by your side.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:21 PM   #3
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Good luck with the all-grain!!! It's not as hard as you think, you'll be fine.

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistr25 View Post
Watch your mash temps closely and be sure to have a HomeBrew by your side.

Thanks and I will be sure to have a homebrew by my side!
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarnock View Post
Greetings!

1st post, thought I would introduce myself! I'm fairly new to homebrewing, I have brewed probably 4 or 5 batches 3 years ago and just recently picked up the hobby again. I have brewed 3 batches since December and just received a 9 gallon stainless steel pot to do my 1st all grain.

I made a Mashtun out of a 10 gallon Rubber Maid cooler with a bazooka tube. I will be using Edworts Haus Pale Ale recipe.

So a big thank you to the community here and would like to ask for any last minute tips! Thank you for everything!
Oooohhhhhh, you're beating me to the punch by a few weeks.

Just kidding, I should be ready to do my 1st AG beer in about 2 weeks tho. I did an extract batch today for the pipeline.

Good luck with this and let us know how it goes.

Rick
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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Put a layer of aluminum foil on top of your mash before you start the 60-minute mash. This has been a big help in keeping my mash temps stable, and it's a pretty cheap insurance policy.

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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Make sure you heat some extra water (qt or 2) just in case you don't hit your mash temp the first time. I find that my strike water has to be about 170-174F in order to hit my mash temp (152F) but your equipment losses will vary. It's much easier to throw some ice into the mash if it's too hot then it is to realize it's too cold and then have to wait for water to heat up on the stove.

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppheadIPA View Post
Good luck with the all-grain!!! It's not as hard as you think, you'll be fine.
And if you do manage to screw it up, then use it as a learning experience. Take a lot of notes so you know what to fix next time.

Things that my brew partner and I messed up on and how we fixed it:

Our initial mash temp was way off because we had no clue on how much temp we were going to lose from heating the strike water to when we closed the lid on our mash tun. Experience taught us that if we pre-heated the tun, then we lost about 15 degrees in the process. If we didn't pre-heat the tun, then we lost about 17 degrees in the process. It was also very helpful to have about 4 quarts of boiling water / 4 quarts of cold water ready in case our mash temps were off.

Our mash tun was too small for the strike water and grains that we were using. We didn't do the calculations right. We fixed this by getting a bigger mash tun, but we could have fixed it by making sure the numbers were right OR by reducing the water-to-grains ratio to a more manageable number.

Our bigger mash tun had a lot of dead air (headspace) on certain batches, and that seemed to severely affect the stability of the mash temp, so we put some aluminum foil over the mash and that helped us out a lot. And a sleeping bag over the mash tun probably didn't hurt either, but we used that from the get-go.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:44 PM   #9
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I just did my first AG about a week ago and everyone recommended I take notes on everything... I took the advice and I'm glad I did. I suggest the same. Take good notes (pre-boil volume, post-boil volume, mash temp, target OG, actual OG, etc.). Even things that you feel are not important (i.e. let grains sit in sparge water for "x" min to run to the bathroom). Everything matters when it comes to AG is what I'm gathering, and if you come out with an excellent beer (or vice versa) you want to be able to duplicate the process or change something.

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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Use a good brewing software like BeerSmith... makes your brew day much less complicated.

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