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Old 09-14-2008, 03:40 AM   #1
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Default First AG Attempt

Well tonight I tried my first AG and it ended up a PM... dang it! The OG was about 20 points off so I boiled up a pound and a half of DME and added that in to get the OG closer. Here is the picture walk through of the brew session.

All ingredients lined up.


Strike water going.


All grains in a grain bag and into the cooler.

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Old 09-14-2008, 03:43 AM   #2
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Temp is going to work nicely over the whole hour.


Sparge water going after 45 minutes into mash


Brew kettle cleaned and ready to accept wort.

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Old 09-14-2008, 03:46 AM   #3
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I hour of mashing.


Wort without grainbag. smells awesome!


Sparging the grains- tea-bag style

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Old 09-14-2008, 03:49 AM   #4
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Sparge results.


All mixed in ready for the boil.


Hops ready to go!

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Old 09-14-2008, 03:55 AM   #5
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Boil almost over.


Chilling the wort in an ice bath.


Fermentation station!


The part I didn't add was the mad scramble to get 1 1/2 lbs of DME boiled and tossed in to get the OG close to where the recipe called for. My efficiency must have stunk because I was 20 point low! Well and AG turned PM. Looks like I will be going back to extract brewing again for the ease of it- not to mention cost (grain bill and extract cost = $$). It was fun though.

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Old 09-14-2008, 02:18 PM   #6
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How big is your brewkettle? What did you use for your grain to water ratio for the mash, it looks a bit thin to me. How much water did you use for your sparge step?

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Old 09-14-2008, 05:16 PM   #7
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My brew kettle is 23 qts. I used two gallons to mash and two gallons to sparge with. My brews are 2.5 batches. Suggestions on how to make it work with this equipment? I may be stuck with just doing PM's.

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Old 09-14-2008, 05:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhuff View Post
My brew kettle is 23 qts. I used two gallons to mash and two gallons to sparge with. My brews are 2.5 batches. Suggestions on how to make it work with this equipment? I may be stuck with just doing PM's.
I think the "dunking" technique for the sparge could be an issue. Maybe put the grainbag in your bottling bucket, and sparge like that? Make sure that the grains are "loose" in the bag, as if they weren't in a bag at all, so that the fluid can easily move through it. That would help.

I'd suggest mashing with 1.25 quarts per pound of grain, and sparging with up to .5 gallons per pound of grain, to reach your volume.
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:39 PM   #9
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Thanks Yooper. I re-read Death Brewers instructions and he said to let grains "soak in the sparge water for 10 minutes to get better efficiency." I tea-bagged for probably half that time (which was what he suggested in the PM tutorial he put together). That is where I am seeing the problem.

Here is a question though. If I end up with more volume to boil off, do I boil of first and then add hops and adjuncts?

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Old 09-15-2008, 02:45 AM   #10
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I don't know where 2 gallons falls in the ratio because I don't think you mentioned what the grain bill was. However, I know on my typical 5 gal batch, I have say 10 pounds of grain and mash with 3 gallons. That would runoff about 2 gallons. That leaves me with 4.5 gallons of sparge water that I'd use in two infusions of 2.25 gallons each.

If your batch is similar, but just half the size, that would be mashing with 1.5 gallons, running off 1 gallon. With a 4 gallon preboil goal that leaves two 1.5 gallon sparges.

Your efficiency would easily increase doing it that way.

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