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Old 08-06-2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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Add your water to your tun a bit hotter than your strike temp (for ease and to account for the cooler tun eating up some heat), then slowly add and stir your grain and continue stirring until you hit your mash in temperature, then start your mash. My first few AG I had a hard time hitting my mash temp by adding the water to the grain and messing with hot and cold adjustment water. Also remember to put a foil baffle over the top of the grain if you are going to pour wort back onto the grain bed.

And don't stress, make sure you relax if something goes wrong - your beer will be fine!

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Old 08-06-2012, 09:15 PM   #12
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Ditto alot of the stuff mentioned. Make a graduated measuring stick for your mash tun. Make sure you stir enough to where you have the same temp reading in multiple spots through out your grain bed. I started using a chorded meat thermometer. Works great plus I can watch the temp the whole mash without opening the lid every 10 minutes(which you will want to do the first time) Also when I sparge I only leave the water in as long as takes for me to stir and get good grain bed temps. Conversion has already happened. Your just trying to rinse the grain at this point. I used to wait 30 min, now its 10 min tops. Cuts down on brewing time. Consider picking up a refractometer also to measure your preboil gravity. That way youll know if you hit your mark and if you havent you can adjust appropriately with DME. Good Luck. Cheers!! SW

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:44 AM   #13
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This is a great thread as I'm also in the process of converting to AG; great tips

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Old 08-07-2012, 02:06 AM   #14
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The sparge water temperature is arguably inconsequential to the quality of the wart you will get from it as the conversion is done. However, if you got above 170 F, you'll get astringency. It takes a while to get the wort boiling, so warmer the better, but don't risk your worth by heating sparge higher than 170.

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Old 08-07-2012, 02:11 AM   #15
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I sparge with 180-190f water with no issues... When the grain bed is in the low 150s it takes a bit of work to get it over 170. YMMV. For brew day, have a written list with your times and additions. Don't start drinking until you start the boil. Most importantly, have fun with it and don't get stressed out. A bad day brewing is 1000 times better than a good day at work. Having some DME on hand in case you have poor efficiency, and some extra hops in case of higher than expected efficiency is always a good idea too.

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Old 08-07-2012, 07:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atimmerman88 View Post
This is a great thread as I'm also in the process of converting to AG; great tips
This is why we're here!!! Don't be afraid to ask questions!!
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:44 AM   #17
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1st of all : AG is not difficult, but it is a time intensive process. don't rush anything.

a couple of gadgets that have helped me
a refractometer is a godsend for taking gravity readings while midprocess
a couple of digital thermometers like these http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Digital-Meat-Thermometer-with-Removable-Stand-00994W/14913173 one for the mash tun and one in your sparge water
you will need a strong long handled spoon(not a plastic one as they will bow considerably in the mash) stainless isn't needed but is preferred

some additional points to consider
look in my sig for an easy extraction calculator to find where your running if you dont have brewsoftware
take it easy with hot pots and never grab one without some hand protection( yes this is personal exp. i grabbed a boiling pot and dropped it but the splash-up hit me directly in the face) and eye prot is never a bad idea for splashing sparge water

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:25 AM   #18
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The sparge water temperature is arguably inconsequential to the quality of the wart you will get from it as the conversion is done.
I think the point of using 170F sparge water is to "mash out" and denature enzymes in the mash, preventing the conversion from continuing beyond your desired mash time - specifically if you are fly sparging and taking 90 minutes or more to sparge (that's 90 or so minutes of extra conversion). Most people probably don't need a mash out, especially if batch sparging, but that's the logic behind it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iambeer
The sparge water temperature is arguably inconsequential to the quality of the wart you will get from it as the conversion is done. However, if you got above 170 F, you'll get astringency. It takes a while to get the wort boiling, so warmer the better, but don't risk your worth by heating sparge higher than 170.
Your talking sparge water temp not grain bed temp. You need to get the grain bed up to 170 to complete mash out. 170 added to 152 isn't going to change temp much. I use 185 consistently with no astringency. I know guys that use boiling water though I wouldn't ever go that high. SW
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OClairBrew
I sparge with 180-190f water with no issues... When the grain bed is in the low 150s it takes a bit of work to get it over 170. YMMV. For brew day, have a written list with your times and additions. Don't start drinking until you start the boil. Most importantly, have fun with it and don't get stressed out. A bad day brewing is 1000 times better than a good day at work. Having some DME on hand in case you have poor efficiency, and some extra hops in case of higher than expected efficiency is always a good idea too.
Ya good one. Don't start drinking when you start your brew day. Things tend To go awry. Or get missed. Like hop additions, SG readings, ect
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