Well, to make a long story short, it was a success overall but I made some pretty stupid mistakes that I will know how to correct next time. In the end - I made beer. And you can't beat that.
In honor of the spring-like temperatures here in sunny Florida, I decided to make a simple Hefe.
Here's the recipe:
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.41 gal
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 13.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Amount Item Type % or IBU
1.00 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 9.1 %
5.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 45.5 %
5.00 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 45.5 %
1.00 oz Hallertauer [3.70%] (60 min) Hops 13.6 IBU
1 Pkgs Hefeweizen Ale (White Labs #WLP300)
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 11.00 lb
Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 13.75 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F 60 min
Mash Out Add 7.70 qt of water at 196.6 F 168.0 F 10 min
I learned a lot:
I sparged WAY too fast, and as a result I didn't get nearly the efficiency (about 62%) that I wanted. Subsequently I missed my OG, but not terribly - 1.050 instead of 1.055; it still should be a pretty decent Hefe within ABV characteristics for style. More importantly, it should still taste good.
The fast fly sparge was due to my inexperience with the process and the equipment - I definitely won't have that problem twice! I think I'll actually batch sparge next time, since I'm using a SS braid in my MLT. It's one less variable to mess with until I get the hang of it.
Other than that, everything was perfect. Using BeerSmith I hit my volumes and temperatures dead-on. If I had only been more careful with the sparge it would have been perfect. But, for a first shot at all-grain I'd have to say, not bad at all.
I made a (nearly) 2L yeast starter, and pitched it once the wort had reached 75F. I put it in the chiller and within six hours I had an awesome and delicious smelling fermentation going: