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Old 01-19-2013, 01:52 AM   #11
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It may take a few batches to get your volumes dialed in with a new set up. Heat up some extra sparge water, so if you end up short you can add a little more to get to your volume.

The recipe looks fine, a good solid basic tripel recipe. Adding the sugar after fermentation slows works well, and it stresses the yeast less. Pitch the yeast in the mid sixties and slowly let the temp rise. Once the temp gets up keep it at that temp or even slightly warmer until it finishes. Belgian yeasts do not like to be cooled down.

Good luck with your first AG brew. It is really not that difficult.
Thanks. I plan to ferment at 64 for the first bit, then slowly ramp it up. I'll add the sugar once I hit 50% or so attenuation.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:59 AM   #12
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Thanks. I plan to ferment at 64 for the first bit, then slowly ramp it up. I'll add the sugar once I hit 50% of so attenuation.
Sounds right.

One tip that might help. When you drain the first runnings out of the MLT, measure them. That way, you know exactly how much sparge water to add to the MLT. I know it seems obvious, but "about 3 gallons" can be 2-4 gallons, and it makes a huge difference!

Extra hot water on hand is a must, in case you miss your mash temp and need more sparge water later, but also is a couple of ice cubes.

Once you mash in and stir, stir some more and again. Then check the temperature in at least three different places. If it's different, stir some more. Then, when it's the same throughout, consider the temp. If it's too low, then add some boiling water. If it's too high, add two ice cubes. But don't get into adding boiling water, adding ice, back and forth. Give it a few minutes to equalize first.

If you're going to miss the temp, that's ok. Anywhere from about 147 to 155 is "ok" for this beer, but 148-151 is optimal. If you hit, say, 153, don't worry. Just stir some more. Only if you're at something like 156 should you add an ice cube or two. Otherwise it will cool too much and you'll be trying to bring it up!
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:01 AM   #13
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Sounds right.

One tip that might help. When you drain the first runnings out of the MLT, measure them. That way, you know exactly how much sparge water to add to the MLT. I know it seems obvious, but "about 3 gallons" can be 2-4 gallons, and it makes a huge difference!

Extra hot water on hand is a must, in case you miss your mash temp and need more sparge water later, but also is a couple of ice cubes.

Once you mash in and stir, stir some more and again. Then check the temperature in at least three different places. If it's different, stir some more. Then, when it's the same throughout, consider the temp. If it's too low, then add some boiling water. If it's too high, add two ice cubes. But don't get into adding boiling water, adding ice, back and forth. Give it a few minutes to equalize first.

If you're going to miss the temp, that's ok. Anywhere from about 147 to 155 is "ok" for this beer, but 148-151 is optimal. If you hit, say, 153, don't worry. Just stir some more. Only if you're at something like 156 should you add an ice cube or two. Otherwise it will cool too much and you'll be trying to bring it up!
Thanks for the excellent advice.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:10 AM   #14
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FWIW I think its always easier to shoot high on your mash temp and temper with cold water than try to increase with hot water.

+1 on measuring your first running... This is always how I figure out my sparge volume, it simple subtraction.

Desires volume - 1st running volume = sparge volume.

Depending on my grain bill I will do a single or double sparge, usually I don't bother with two unless my sparge volume is greater than 4 gallons.

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Old 01-19-2013, 02:12 AM   #15
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FWIW I think its always easier to shoot high on your mash temp and temper with cold water than try to increase with hot water.

+1 on measuring your first running... This is always how I figure out my sparge volume, it simple subtraction.

Desires volume - 1st running volume = sparge volume.

Depending on my grain bill I will do a single or double sparge, usually I don't bother with two unless my sparge volume is greater than 4 gallons.
Why the demarcation at 4 gallons? Equipment limitation? Personal preference?
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #16
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Why the demarcation at 4 gallons? Equipment limitation? Personal preference?
In my mind 2 gallons is really the minimum amount of water needed to get the mash thin enough for the sparge to be productive. With that said I don't have any data to back that up, it is just my process.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:03 PM   #17
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In my mind 2 gallons is really the minimum amount of water needed to get the mash thin enough for the sparge to be productive. With that said I don't have any data to back that up, it is just my process.
Cool, thanks.
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