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Old 09-23-2011, 06:56 PM   #1
calicojack
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Default My learning process thread - questions as I go

Okay. So i'm new to home brewing. As in I'VE NEVER DONE IT BEFORE. I'm starting this thread so that I can ask all my questions as I go, and be able to reference back to it, without having to read 9 million threads.

So The first thing i thought i needed to research is wtf a mash tun is, and the processes involved in using one.

THIS is the basic style that I have decided on. My first question is:

1) If I build something like this, do i just dump the grains straight into the liquid and let it sit for "x amount" of minutes?
a) If I do, the drain will act as a filter correct?

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Old 09-23-2011, 07:06 PM   #2
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1) yes
2) the SS braid acts as a filter to allow the now sugar rich wort to run off while the grain stays put so you can sparge.

If you are just starting off I suggest going to howtobrew.com and giving it a read.
"How to Brew" by John Palmer it the gold standard for basic brewing books and the 1st edition is free to read online. The most recent 3rd edition has more up to date info but it is basically the same. People have been brewing for 1,000s of years. You will eventually buy the hard copy because your eyes will feel like falling out after you are glued to your computer screen soaking in the info for hours on end. It is a great reference.

Happy brewing!

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Old 09-23-2011, 07:51 PM   #3
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First of all, that mash tun works, but be careful of the brass. It can/will leech lead into your brew. Easy fix: Look in the metallurgy area of Palmer's book (yes!! Get it) and see
how he says to soak the fixtures in peroxide and vinegar. Worth saying again: get the Palmer book and start studying a bit. And don't believe what they say "Brewing is easy!!". GOLF is easy - it's just doing it acceptably that makes one want to pull one's hair out. But there is plenty of help out there and with good equipment, patience, care and desire, you'll do well quickly.

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Old 09-23-2011, 09:14 PM   #4
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When I first started, I brewed with extract and only did partial boils. A partial boil only boils about half of the required water at a time, saving space/time/money in the beginning. With extract, you don't need a mash tun. You can buy a basic starter kit at your local homebrew store or go online and find a kit there.

When you'd rather not use extract, or you are ready to upgrade to all-grain brewing, that's when you'll need more equipment such as the mash tun.

To answer your questions:

1) There are more details to using a mash tun, such as mash temperature, sparging (basically rinsing the grains), and other things. But basically, you put some hot water in the cooler, add the grains, wait about an hour, start draining, and then the sparge.

2) The drain will prevent the grains from going into your boil kettle, but the grains sort of act as a filter as well. You can read more about this in Palmer's online book (howtobrew.com).

I suggest reading as much as you can, and then asking more questions as you go along. Many of your questions will be answered in the books, and some of them won't be. Good luck!

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Old 09-23-2011, 09:26 PM   #5
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Please don't rush into AG (all grain) brewing. I'm not trying to be mean or anything, you're setting yourself up for failure.

Get to know your equipment prior to trying all grain.

First do some extract brews. Then some mini mash brews. Then some BIAB (brew in a bag brews) then some All grain.

This is all about baby steps and easing your way into it too ensure you get good quality beer all along the way no matter what brewing process you use.

I know my stove like the back of my hand for keeping temperatures at a full boil BIAB or mini mash, I know that I can get the water up to 155 degrees and it will sit there with one burner on almost the lowest setting and I can walk away for 30 minutes for my mash in. Then I can boil some water on another burner bring it down to 170 degrees and mash out.

If all that's greek to you, then get an extract kit.

Boil your water throw in your extract bring it to a roaring boil throw in your bittering hops. 15 minutes prior to boil finish throw in flavoring and aroma hops and finings if you use them. Use an ice bath to cool it down as fast as possible for a cold break.

Anyway we can all talk for hours on end about different types of brewing there pros and cons. However I think we will all agree if you haven't done it, have nooone to help you please don't do an AG batch first.

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Old 09-23-2011, 09:30 PM   #6
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1) Not quite
Firstly, you have to adjust the water temperature so that when the grains are mixed in you achieve the required mash temperature.
Secondly, after dumping the grains in, you have to stir really well to ensure that the grains are thoroughly and evenly wetted. You also need to stir really well when adding the sparge water.
2) The braid acts as the filter.

-a.

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Old 09-23-2011, 11:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elweydoloco View Post
Please don't rush into AG (all grain) brewing. I'm not trying to be mean or anything, you're setting yourself up for failure.

Get to know your equipment prior to trying all grain.
yea. that's why i'm researching each piece as i go. I want to figure out the best designs, the methods to utilize those designs and then start brewing. Hence the question. I just drank an unsuitable amount of skeeter pee, so i'll be asking more questions when my head isn't spinning.....
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:30 PM   #8
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Get a brew kettle, an extract kit already put together, a beer brewing kit already put together, two cases of pop top bottles, and follow the directions.

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Old 01-14-2012, 11:26 PM   #9
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hardware question:
I'm planning on turning two kegs into electric brew kettles. I know how i'm going to install the elements. What I don't know is how i am going to control them. What is better? a triac based controller or a phase angle controller? why?

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