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Old 12-04-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
CemeteryCellarsBC
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Default Reading the Mash Profiles

I have not yet ventured into all grain brewing but have been reading and watching a lot. I downloaded iBrewMaster and BeerSmith for my iPad and understand it for the most part. What I can't seem to figure out is them any mash profiles.

Can anybody explain the different mash profiles for me or direct me to a website that is specific to a beginners guide to reading recipes on those programs.

I mostly get it but I'm not perfect. Some have a sparge but some use a mashout. Don't you always sparge? How do I heat over 2 mins in a mashout if I'm using a plastic igloo cooler? Why do some Sparge directions say to sparge 170 degree water over 60 mins then it says 10 mins at 170? Which time do I use? Should I assume if it doesn't say Fly Sparge that it's a Batch and if that's the case what does time have to do with it at all as long as I collect it fully?

Sorry to sound so dumb, just trying to understand so I can make the next step. "How to Brew" makes the AG process look easy but these recipes do not.

Thanks



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Old 12-05-2012, 12:28 AM   #2
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I'm new to all grain brewing and had all of the same questions. Honestly I still don't have it all figured out. The "mashout" is before sparging. It is when the temperature of the mash is raised to 170 degrees before the first runnings. I think this is some how sopposed to help ease draining the first runoff. I use a cooler mash tun and personally do not mess with this step.
There is such a thing as no sparge brewing. Other, smarter people on here can probably explain it better than I can. I believe you could just add the mash water and sparge water both to make a thin mash and just have a single runoff.
As far as reading different or conflicting directions, well that's where it gets interesting. As a new brewer you need to find your own process and make your own directions. I know that doesn't answer any questions. You need to chose a sparge process and experiment with it. I started with fly sparging and was unable to get consistent results, now I batch sparge and know about where my numbers will be.
I hope some of that helped.



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Old 12-05-2012, 12:36 AM   #3
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If you're using a cooler for a mash tun, you obviously can't increase or decrease the temperature of the mash without adding a good deal of hot or cold water. Those different steps are only possible with mash tuns that have a heating source/element involved.

Forget what some recipe calls for, this is your beer that you are creating. Find the temp you want to mash at (I usually aim for 150-152 with most brews) and a good batch/fly sparge temp. That's really it, nice and simple.

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:45 AM   #4
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All grain brewing is only as hard as you want to make it. I've been all grain brewing for a while and I like to just keep it simple. Mash at xx temperature. Batch sparge with the proper amount of water to get me to my pre boil volume. Easy as that. I find that getting my sparge water to about 185 is just right to get my sparge temp to 168. You'll have to tweak to fit your system but you'll find what works for you. My advice, don't over think it.

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Old 12-05-2012, 05:44 AM   #5
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If your using a cooler its simple. Add 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain. if the grain is at 70F then you add water at 170F and it should settle out at about 152F. There are plenty of sites on line that will calculate the temperature of the strike water. Here is one. http://www.brewheads.com/calc.php

Let it sit an hour. Drain it into your BK. Add another 1.0 quarts per pound of grain at 185F, stir, let sit 10 minutes, start draining. Add .5 quarts per pound at 185F slowly as the liquid level approaches the top of the grain. Something simple like setting a plate on the grain bed and pouring over it will work if you don't have a fancy sparge arm. If you have a false bottom on your cooler you'll get better efficiency with a continuous sparge, but this method works good for me.

For 10 pounds of grain you end up adding 30 quarts which is 7.5 gallons. Grain retains .1 gallons per pound so you lose 1 gallon of liquid for 6.5 gallons of wort for your boil which is a typical target.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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All great thoughts, thank you everyone for restoring my faith in AG. I was getting a little nervous!

Basically I can figure out what works best for me but still use others recipes.

Thanks again!

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogmanx82 View Post
If your using a cooler its simple. Add 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain. if the grain is at 70F then you add water at 170F and it should settle out at about 152F. There are plenty of sites on line that will calculate the temperature of the strike water. Here is one. http://www.brewheads.com/calc.php

Let it sit an hour. Drain it into your BK. Add another 1.0 quarts per pound of grain at 185F, stir, let sit 10 minutes, start draining. Add .5 quarts per pound at 185F slowly as the liquid level approaches the top of the grain. Something simple like setting a plate on the grain bed and pouring over it will work if you don't have a fancy sparge arm. If you have a false bottom on your cooler you'll get better efficiency with a continuous sparge, but this method works good for me.

For 10 pounds of grain you end up adding 30 quarts which is 7.5 gallons. Grain retains .1 gallons per pound so you lose 1 gallon of liquid for 6.5 gallons of wort for your boil which is a typical target.
Dude, that's all just a little too specific for your setup. I'd suggest the guy puts the recipe info in to a much simpler calculator (I've tried the ones you posted, way too advanced for a beginner), read about AG from something like How to Brew, and go from there.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metanoia View Post
Dude, that's all just a little too specific for your setup. I'd suggest the guy puts the recipe info in to a much simpler calculator (I've tried the ones you posted, way too advanced for a beginner), read about AG from something like How to Brew, and go from there.
I thought he was looking for specific, and he's using a cooler. If your using a cooler its all pretty much the same process. A first running, and a second running. The water volumes are pretty standard, right out of How to Brew. The only thing I do different is a bit of a continuous sparge at the end but it's pretty low tech.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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You're talking about some mix between batch sparging and fly sparging, the later of which is going out of style these days. Not saying that one is better than the other (definitely a no-no here), but straight up batch sparging is certainly easier (set it and forget it) for a beginner.

And the volumes aren't that standard at all. How to Brew (3rd edition) suggests 2 qt/lb, but the general consensus I've seen around here is 1.25 qt/lb. Truth is, the mash water volume depends on style. The OP says he is down with doing lots of research before all grain brewing, and spending a few hours learning about the style of beer he plans on brewing will provide him with an idea what mash water-to-grain ration he should be using. I start out assuming 1.25 qt/lb but then I adjust based on style; not necessary to make beer as an end product, but it is an easy way to adjust your process towards making better beer.

Plus, the heating of water to 170* is specific to your setup and procedure. You've dialed in to how you preheat your cooler and how much heat it retains. His cooler will more than likely be somewhat different; it may retain more or less heat depending on its construction. That temperature of 170 also depends on many other things: grain temperature, temperature outside (or wherever the mash tun is located), how long the mash tun is open while stirring.

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Old 12-06-2012, 02:39 PM   #10
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OK kids, lets get back on topic and be more helpful, rather than pick on each other.

To the OP: You have a great head start for yourself, with investing in quality, proven homebrewing software. I myself have never used beersmith, but it seems to be THE software of choice. I have, however, fumbled through my first handful of batches while I try to find calculations for this temp and that water volume. I now use an android free app, but point being that sofware really makes life easy.

Here is a simple mash layout: Heat strike water, dough in (or mash in if you want to call it that), rest for 60mins, vorlauf and lauter (drain your first runnings), batch sparge to mashout temps, vorlauf and lauter again. Done with the mash.

As previously mentioned, everything is system specific. Find what works for you on your own equipment.
Batch sparging is a simple, high efficiency method, but you will find what you like best.
"Single infusion" is the simplest mash type, heat water to get your grain to 152F, and let it sit for an hour. You can get way more complex than this as you go, doing triple decoction if your heart desires but a great introduction is a simple one.

Of the recipes you find, you have to do some interpreting on your own. If I fly sparge and direct fire my mashtun, the instructions I post on a recipe might not seem quite right to you. Find the key point in a post: mash temp. If something confuses you, post on that recipe thread before you brew.

Brew on!



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