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Old 03-08-2009, 04:40 AM   #1
Saint Aardvark
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Default Holy crap, did I just brew my first all-grain?

So right now I'm boiling the wort for my 3rd batch of beer. I thought I'd go partial-mash, following Death Brewer's excellent instructions. I'm making a dry Irish stout, with the recipe from my LHBS:

6.5 lb pale malt and 3 lb pale malt extract (partial mash)
1 lb Roasted Barley
1 lb Barley Flakes
1 oz Zeus (16%) @ 60 minutes
Wyeast 1084
Target gravity: 1.050

DB's method is dead easy (no pun intended), and I managed to make it even easier: I've got a 12 quart spaghetti pot with a strainer, and it turns out the paint strainger bag fits right inside. No need to excercise these weak forearms!

So after sparging, I've got about 4.5 gallons all together. I measure the OG, and correcting for temperature it's 1.047. At this point, I think to myself "Hell, why bother with the extract if I don't need to?"

I've downloaded a copy of StrangeBrew (GPL forever!), and here are the numbers it gives me:

Fermentables:
Name amount units pppg lov %
Barley (flaked)] 1.00 lb 1.032 2.2 11.8%
Canadian Two-Row 6.50 lb 1.036 2.1 76.5%
Light Malt Extract Syrup 0.00 lb 1.034 2.0 0.0%
Roast Barley 1.00 lb 1.029 450.0 11.8%

(Had to guess at the pale malt, as I didn't think to ask my LHBS...but the numbers all seemed pretty similar.)

Although it doesn't show above, StrangeBrew says I would've had 67% efficiency to get 1.047. That seems pretty darned good for my first try!

So I guess my questions are:

  • Do the numbers above seem reasonable? This is the first time I've ever used any software to help with calculations.
  • I know I'll get a lower ABV (StrangeBrew says 4.6%) from the lower gravity; this is fine by me. Is there anything else I'll be changing or missing?
  • and...holy crap, is AG really this easy? (I know there's a lot to learn, lots of knobs to twiddle if you want to. But this just seems like too much fun!)

Thanks, everyone, and wish me luck!
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:31 AM   #2
EvilTOJ
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You added hops to that, right? : Since you didn't add any LME or DME, then yes, you just did your first all grain. Congratulations! I don't have brewsmith at work, so I ran your numbers through tastybrew.com's recipe calculator and got 1.044, or about 4.3% ABV. Close enough for government work, I say.

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Old 03-09-2009, 12:30 AM   #3
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Yes, AG isn't really as hard as a lot of people make it out to be. People are afraid of it because they see some of the awesome set-ups that people use. I myself use a $20 cooler from K-Mart. It really is pretty easy. I like to do it because it is more fun for me.

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Old 03-09-2009, 04:05 AM   #4
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AG is as hard as you want it to be. A lot of the rigs and discussion you see here are about the pursuit of perfection. At its most basic level, AG (and brewing in general) is pretty simple.

More expensive and complex setups make the process shorter and easier, as well as increasing efficiency and consistency. As you grow and expand your knowledge, you will begin to see ways that you can improve your process and equipment. Whether or not you choose to is your decision.

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Old 03-09-2009, 06:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpo View Post
AG is as hard as you want it to be. A lot of the rigs and discussion you see here are about the pursuit of perfection. At its most basic level, AG (and brewing in general) is pretty simple.
Well put!!!!
I just learned this truth myself.
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