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Old 11-06-2010, 10:44 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Optimus_Pwn View Post
Oh wow, so I guess with my first batch I actually did a partial mash. I soak my grains in the water at 155 for half an hour or so, and then I add the LME. After that I add hops, gypsum powder, and irish moss. I then boil for an hour, and in he last 5 minutes I add .5 oz of hops. Then I strain everything. So mashing is just soaking the grains in hot water? I thought it was something else I guess. Tomorrow I will just add the flaked barely with the rest of the grains unless anybody says differently. Thanks guys, as I said, very new to brewing, and loving it.
You do remove the grains before you boil? It's not clear.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:52 AM   #22
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AHH! Crap this is actually sounding more difficult as I am reading this. I am going to stick to the box beers this winter probably, then when the weather breaks I'd like to do some of the mash, partial mash, AG, space travel and magic stuff. But damn, what is a good book to read that covers this stuff from front to back? This site is great, but I think I also need a numbered 'how to' also.

Well after a few definitions and reading the ins and outs this doesn't seem as bad. I'm picking up a Turkey fryer Monday (CL, almost new, $25) so all I have left to do is modify the base to comfortably and safely hold a keggle. Tuesday's progect. Hell, I might be mashing by the end of the week
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:42 AM   #23
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You do remove the grains before you boil? It's not clear.
Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, I remove the grains before I boil, or else you get tannins or something. I actually brewed my dry irish stout today. I added all the grains, including the flaked barley, into the wort, for half an hour at 155. My OG was 1.061, when the recipe said that it should be 1.050-1.052. Did I mess something up?
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:50 AM   #24
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My OG was 1.061, when the recipe said that it should be 1.050-1.052. Did I mess something up?
Did you shake the heck out of the fermenter to mix up all the wort really well after topping off to your finished volume? If not, incomplete mixing might cause the reading to be off. Another thing is the temp of the sample, did you cool it to 60F? Your hydrometer is likely calibrated to 60F. You can take reading at a higher temp, but then you have to correct it (for instance if you take the sample at 70F, add 0.001 to your OG, if at 80F add 0.003ish). The correction tables can be found in "How to Brew", by Palmer. Be aware though that many people don't trust the correction table for temps above 80 to 90F. It's best if you cool to 60F. The other really important thing to the OG is your volume. For example, if you think you have 5 gallons, but really there is only 4.5 gallons, then your OG measurement will be off be quite a bit (0.005 if you're talking about a 1.050 beer with that example).

Basically though with a recipe that's made up primarily of LME or DME (without a large proportion of grains in a partial mash or steeped), as long as you make sure your finished volume is what it should be, you can trust the OG that's stated in the recipe.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:18 AM   #25
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You remove the grains after the period of time you decided you need to either steep (no enzymes) or mash (enzymes). You rinse them (sparge). Then, you either throw them away, save them for making soup or quickbread or doggie treats, or compost them.

They are edible and have a lot of nutrition in them still -- just a bunch of their starch was turned into sugars. They are actually a low-carb alternative to whole grain, if you are the health conscious type.

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Old 11-07-2010, 12:20 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by cwaite37 View Post
AHH! Crap this is actually sounding more difficult as I am reading this. I am going to stick to the box beers this winter probably, then when the weather breaks I'd like to do some of the mash, partial mash, AG, space travel and magic stuff. But damn, what is a good book to read that covers this stuff from front to back? This site is great, but I think I also need a numbered 'how to' also.
[BIAB evangilist warning]
It really is easy to go all grain and mash yourself, you can use the Death Brewer method. It is just as easy as steeping grains. Just be sure you have the grains milled 1st of course:
DB All-Grain method

You can even make it slightly easier and do a thin mash like the Aussie's do it and not even worry with the sparge, etc:
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/for...asc&start=0/fa

There are a few downsides, but they are minor.


  1. The Aussie method results in slightly different amounts of the sugar types created b/c of the thin mash, I don't know the details but this can limit your recipes if you are using 30% wheat or so. Maybe someone else here knows them and will elaborate.
  2. High gravity 5 gallon batches require lots of grain, which can be really difficult to lift when soaked. I usually do a half batch when I do high gravity so its not a big deal for me.
  3. There is a bit more trub in the fermenter than normal AG brewing, but I don't see how this is a big deal. I am still able to wash my yeast for reuse just fine

If you can steep, you can mash. It really is easy and I don't see why BIAB is not more popular.

I tell people I meet that I do all-grain and they are like, "well I would do all grain but I can't afford the equipment" or "I don't have the time to modify a cooler to....". When I tell them the only extra equipment I have is a bag they say, "wow, I've never heard of that" or "I didn't know you could do that" and "does that really work?".

Even the guys at the LHBS stores that I a have met haven't tried it and know very little about it.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:29 PM   #27
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I think I have the gist of it between here and howtobrew.com. Does anyone know if the AG kits from Austin or Brewmasters Warehouse need any other ingredients? Do they come complete?

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Old 11-07-2010, 12:45 PM   #28
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I think I have the gist of it between here and howtobrew.com. Does anyone know if the AG kits from Austin or Brewmasters Warehouse need any other ingredients? Do they come complete?
Yes, they are complete. They have all the grain and hops you need. They will even crush the grains for you, just make sure you have it checked "yes" to crush the grain on the order form. AHS' site has that option when you're looking at the kits, Brewmaster's Warehouse has that has an option in the end, when you're checking over your order. The "Crush Grains" is left of the place where you put in your zip code.

The kits come with hops and grain, and you select the yeast you want.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:04 AM   #29
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If you forget to get them crushed, you can crush them yourself with a rolling pin. It takes a while, though... and remember, "crushed" is not "pulverized into dust".

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