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Old 10-30-2014, 12:09 AM   #1
Aquanaut
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Default First AG Batch

Aloha!
(This being my first post, please excuse any rookie mistakes)

After five batches of extract and hop pellets, my wife and I are going to start our first AG batch on Friday. My wife is employed at a Brew-pub, so along with our constant questions to the brewers, we have been doing extensive research in an effort to not botch our first batch.

As OCD as it sounds, we like to conduct a "dry-run," and have a logbook so we are able to keep a proper record of times, temps, additions, etc. for our batches in an effort to minimize initial error and prevent the recurrence of future mistakes.

After success in our first few extract batches, we are cautiously confident in our general cleaning/sanitization an brewing/bottling procedures.

HOWEVER; we would love to hear some input on general mistakes to avoid in a first AG batch, lessons learned, helpful tips, etc.

Our recipe is a modified AG Hazed and Infused Clone found here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/haze...d-clone-77871/

Differences in recipe include: No Cara-Pils/Dextrine, Wyeast London Ale yeast (Starter with light, unhopped DME), mixture of flower and pellets for both primary and secondary fermentation(s).

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Old 10-30-2014, 02:30 AM   #2
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Sounds like you are well prepared and am sure will do fine. If you are going to batch sparge I highly recommend you take a look at the Denny Conn (Denny Brew) site. This method greatly simplifies the water calculations. Take lots of notes, especially on water temps used and the results. That was my biggest headache on my first all grain batches, figuring out what water temps I needed for my system to give the results I was targeting.

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Old 10-30-2014, 02:52 AM   #3
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yes, water temps, and temp control in general, are a big part of AG brewing. Be sure to heat up your mash tun with a gallon or so of hot water before you put your strike water in it. It'll warm up the mash tun so you'll hit closer to your target mash temp.
It does sound like you've planned your brew day well and you're ready to get it on. Have fun and good luck!

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Old 10-30-2014, 03:02 AM   #4
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The other thing that I had a little problem with in my 1st attempts at AG, was volume control into my BoilKettle. My 1st AG, between 1st runnings and sparge, I had a volume of 8.5G for a 7G BK. With advice from Denny, I figured out to sparge only enough volume to make up the volume that I want to get in my BK. In other words, only sparge what you need.
And I agree- keep records of everything, especially the 1st couple times.
Sounds like you two will be fine. Good Luck!

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Old 10-30-2014, 03:08 AM   #5
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Denny's site is a good resource. Another is Greenbay Rackers.com. And another is Braukaiser.com. And of course J.P.'s 'How to Brew', and Charlie P.'s 'The Complete Joy of Homebrewing', and I liked Stephen Snyder's 'The Brewmaster's Bible'. Hey, what can I say- I like to read.

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Old 10-30-2014, 05:17 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input! Hadn't yet checked out Denny's site, so that's a good find. Good Temp. control has been a concern as our plan to batch sparge seems inexact to begin with; so has our initial sparge volume... we'll dig a bit deeper into ye ol' internet for a bit more data prior to brewing; but there's only so much theory to discuss without actually rolling up the sleeves and getting busy! Any other input is greatly welcomed, otherwise, I'll figure out where to post an update post-brew!

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Old 10-30-2014, 12:21 PM   #7
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I was a bit skeptical about doing an all grain batch, having to get a mash tun, sparging volume, temperature drops, yes is sounds pretty daunting. Then I found out about Brew in a Bag (BIAB) and decided to try it with just a 2 1/2 gallon batch, you know, don't risk a lot until it was proven to work. It turned out so simple and so effective that I forgot all about buying a mash tun. If your boil pot is big enough you can do a full volume, no sparge batch so you don't have to worry about sparge volume or getting a stuck sparge. The results shocked me because I expected some kind of problem to crop up but the worst that happened is that I got better efficiency than planned so my OG was high and the beer turned out good but higher alcohol than expected.

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Old 10-30-2014, 01:13 PM   #8
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My only response to @RM-MN above is having just gotten into AG as well, there's something very satisfying about going out to home depot, buying a bunch of random parts you've never heard of, watching a DIY YouTube video, building a home made mash tun and turning all this sweet smelling grain into malt extract by yourself. Doing it closer to the more traditional way I think made it feel more self gratifying. You gotta watch yourself too, it's easy to develop an ego after doing it the first time haha. It's like someone who just learned how to drive stick and now they think they're hot sh*t lol.

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