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Old 03-26-2009, 05:22 PM   #1
Nov 2008
Posts: 36

geez, lotta cherries gonna be popped this weekend

Some advice is needed:

I have a recipe that I'm committed to at this point, for better or worse.

It is for an IIPA with an OG of 1.090 and an 18lb grain bill. I have huge mash/hlt coolers (70qt) and a 8 gallon boil kettle. Am I going to be able to pull this off with an 8 gallon pot? I'm using beersmith and it's telling me everything is a okay...but then there is that self-set variable of efficiency that I feel I need some assistance with.

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:27 PM   #2
Runyanka's Avatar
Dec 2008
Providence Village, Texas
Posts: 1,536
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts

Be sure to keep a hand on your regulator valve. Also, have a squirt bottle filled with water handy, this can knock down hot breaks pretty well. Also, cant hurt to have a fan blowing over the top of the boil pot. Good Luck.
Diverse Haus Brewery

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
Feb 2009
Posts: 104

Im getting my cherry popped this weekend too.

Now I know what I feels like when doves cry...

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:42 PM   #4
Nov 2008
Posts: 36

Originally Posted by Runyank View Post
Be sure to keep a hand on your regulator valve. Also, have a squirt bottle filled with water handy, this can knock down hot breaks pretty well. Also, cant hurt to have a fan blowing over the top of the boil pot. Good Luck.
In that sticky thread there was a lot of talk about "boiling down to volume" when using a large grain bill. Since I have a relatively small boil kettle...and I going to have trouble hitting my OG? Does beersmith account for this?

I plan on mashing with 1.25qt/lb

So for 18 lbs of grain that's 5.6 gallons in the mash. After grain absorption and equipment loss, I'll probably end up losing at least 3.5 gallons.

So if I want 6.5 gallons to get to my kettle (60 min boil) I should sparge with an additional ~5 gallons?

Am I figuring this correctly?

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Old 03-26-2009, 10:36 PM   #5
Apr 2008
Stony Brook, NY
Posts: 486
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You will probably get more than 2 gallons of first runnings. Whatever you get just subtract it from your desired volume, then you will have your sparge volume.

Since you are brewing a large beer and not using a lot of sparge water, you efficiency may suffer somewhat. I don't think Beersmiith accounts for this, it just has a default efficiency value that you can change. (I think, have tried it in the past but don't use it) I think you could probably get away with 7 gallons in your 8 gallon pot, just can't boil to hard at first. If you do a 90 or so min boil it will boil down some before your first hop addition (if you do 60 mins) and you will have some more head room if it foams up. Usually after the first 10 mins of boiling I don't have foaming up issues.

If you are batch sparging and have not crushed your grains yet, you can give them a better crush to up the efficiency a bit. If they are pre-crushed you may just end up falling a little short on your OG. You can always make it up with some DME if you want to.

One other bit of advice...preheat your MLT. Put your strike water in there about 10 degrees higher than what you are going to mash at. Seal it up and let it sit for 5-10 mins. Check the temp and then stir it to get it to the temp you are aiming for.

Good luck! AG brewing is great, worth the extra effort I think.

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Old 03-26-2009, 10:56 PM   #6
AZ_IPA's Avatar
Jun 2008
The Cold Part of AZ
Posts: 54,039
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Does your pot truly hold 8 gallons, or is it just called an 8 gallon pot? Most 8 gallon pots I've seen won't hold 8 gallons....

what efficiency are you shooting for? For your first AG, I'd have some DME or dextrose on hand to make up points if your efficiency winds up being crappier than you think.

If your pot does hold 8, you can probably boil 7 -- but be really careful during the hot break and the hop additions -- or just accept the fact that you'll boil over

good luck; have fun, and enjoy the brew session!

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Old 03-26-2009, 10:58 PM   #7
McKBrew's Avatar
Oct 2006
Hayden, Idaho
Posts: 8,204
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Good Luck.

It'll be fine and you'll learn and apply those lessons to your next AG.
Make Beer, Not War.

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Old 03-26-2009, 11:24 PM   #8
Jun 2008
Posts: 436
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Beersmith is usually pretty close with liquid amounts. If its your first ag most ppl set their efficiency to 65 or 70.

You can always boil half or 3/4 your wort in one pot and half or 1/4 in another, divide your hops accordingly.
Primary : Honeybuns Weizen, Ode to Arthur(with partial sour)
Bottled: Cream of Three Crops, Hazed and Infused Clone
Planned: A green chile beer, I live in New Mexico gotta have the green chile beer.

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Two days into my last batch made and the scent of the farts of a thousand rhinos is permeating the basement...

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Old 03-27-2009, 01:27 AM   #9
Jan 2009
Posts: 78

This is definitely extra work, but I'm a stovetop only brewer and I usually end up using two pots simultaneously for a boil. I can do up to 1.080 all grain using a 4 and 5 gallon pot on my stove, just dividing the hops additions between them.

Sounds like you are probably set to use just 1 pot, but if you end up with extra runnings, it will help your efficiency to catch any extra wort in another pot and boil it separately. If you are just a little over in volume, you can boil things down and probably add the extra wort back into your main pot halfway through.

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