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Old 05-23-2010, 02:51 AM   #1
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Default First time All Grain questions

I posted part of this on another thread earlier today and got an answer (thanks). But since I have more questions, I thought I would start a new thread as to not hijack that one. I converted a 10 Gal Rubbermaid today and once I finish the manifold, will be making my first AG batch. So here are my questions:

If I am assuming 1-1.25 qts/lb for my infusion and .5 gal/lb for my sparge water, that comes to this: 8.5 lbs grains @ 1.25 qts/lb = 6.8 qts (or 1.7 gal) and my sparge would be approx 4.25 gal. Is this correct? Just want to make sure I understand this properly.

I guess where I am most confused is finding the correct mash temp and length of time. I have seen so many different ideas on proper temp and times that I confused. I know that different temps do different things, but is there a "standard" for single infusion? I ask this because all of the Northern Brewer AG kits I have seen call for a 60 min Sacch Rest at 150* and a 10 min mash out at 170*. So is this a "standard" that can be followed?

As usual, thanks to everyone on HBT! Almost everything I know about brewing I learned here!

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Old 05-23-2010, 02:56 AM   #2
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extract myself but through my research(and it has been pretty extensive) the magic mash temp number i have seen seems to be 153 give or take a few also depending on beer style. as for the sparge size im still learning but from what ive seen and read your numbers dont seem far off.

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Old 05-23-2010, 03:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_Merritt View Post
I know that different temps do different things, but is there a "standard" for single infusion? I ask this because all of the Northern Brewer AG kits I have seen call for a 60 min Sacch Rest at 150* and a 10 min mash out at 170*. So is this a "standard" that can be followed?
I am an AG brewer and sometimes do a single infusion at 153 and sometimes do a stepped infusion at 135 and then 153. That thing about a 170 mashout is more for fly sparging. I fly sparge myself and do a mashout. At least what I've read here, some experienced AG batch spargers here have not seen a difference without a mashout. If you're batch sparging, I'd say the main thing you should try to shoot for with your 1st AG is your mash temp. Hitting 150 to 153 and mashing for 60 minutes will be your main "standard".

Also, for doing quick calculations of mash temps, I just use greenbay rackers. The temperatures and volumes are a rough estimate: you'll find that there is some temperature loss with the container you're using....so it's best to measure the temp as you're stirring hot water in. 8.5 lbs times 1.25 quarts per pound equals 10.625 quarts. An exact number for an inexact science. I tend to aim for 170 degree water and then will keep adding that until I reach 153 degrees.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:48 AM   #4
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i have been using the 1.25 qts/lb and then sparging whatever i need to attain my preboil volume. And I do it in 2 sparges usually. I don't do the 170 mashout either. I batch sparge. The way I understand it is the 170 thing is to stop conversion, but that really isn't necesary cuz the batch sparge takes like 5-10 minutes tops and its on to boiling. Just me though. I'm still learning too.

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Old 05-23-2010, 04:33 AM   #5
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I will weigh in with another noob opinion. I have been doing double sparges ( seem to get far better efficiency) I do a 150 degree mash for 60 mins at 1.25 qts per pound...Then sparge with 185 degree water .... so far so good. Just measure your spoarge water to make sure you hit your preboil volume.. for example if you are shooting for 6 gallons preboil and your mash run off is two gallons, your sparge needs to be 4 gallons. either single or split.

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Old 05-23-2010, 02:23 PM   #6
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Jason, what others have said is correct. 153 F is a compromise to get good activity from the malt enzymes beta amylase and alpha amylase; shoot for that temp and you can't go wrong. This is especially true for your first few batches until you get your system dialed in. Once it's dialed in, you can play w/ your mash temp to tweak the beer: lower mash temps will result in a thinner, drier beer; higher mash temps will result in a sweeter/maltier beer. Here's a good, concise summary on mashing: http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ch14.html

Cheers.

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Old 05-23-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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Great info guys, thanks! I can't wait to make my first AG. Unfortunatley, this months "brewing budget" went to making the mash tun! hahahaha So it's on for next month. I'm thinking of making a Kolsch, since that was going to be my next brew anyway. I just bottled a pale ale, so something else light for summer is what I am going for.

Thanks again to everyone on this site!

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Old 03-18-2011, 10:48 PM   #8
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Sounds like you need a bigger brewing budget... don't we all.

Great thread. I'm going AG for the first time in April, and this helped answer a few of my own questions.

Brew on, brother.

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Old 03-18-2011, 11:24 PM   #9
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The mash temp is going to vary between 147 and 158 depending on your recipe. If you are doing a dry belgian or saison you don't want to mash in at 153. most AG kits will tell you what temp to mash at. It may be best to start with a proven recipe (kit) and get your process down. I do recommend getting a nice digital thermometer. I use one very similar to this that is spot on

http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CE8Q8wIwAA#

go to brew365.com and you will find some good mash and sparge calculators. I have been getting 5 -5.25 gallons into the fermentor every time.

read up on the stickies in the AG section and write down your process before you start

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Old 03-18-2011, 11:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildGingerBrewing View Post
IIf I am assuming 1-1.25 qts/lb for my infusion and .5 gal/lb for my sparge water, that comes to this: 8.5 lbs grains @ 1.25 qts/lb = 6.8 qts (or 1.7 gal) and my sparge would be approx 4.25 gal. Is this correct? Just want to make sure I understand this properly.
Your math is wrong. 8.5lbs grains @ 1.25qts/lb = 10.625 qts

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