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Old 03-29-2009, 04:42 AM   #1
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Default First All-Grain...Lots of Beersmith questions

I will try to be concise.

I am brewing BierMunchers Cream of Three Crops Ale next week. I am making a half batch...5.5 gallons. Here are the questions. For the first 4 questions what is a good point to set my numbers at for my first brew? And what if any should always remain the same for every brew?


40qt Megapot
5 gallon round Igloo Max water cooler...preheated

1) For my first batch what should I have my evaporation loss % set at?

2) Loss to Boil trub and chiller %?

3) Cooling Loss %?

4) Brewhouse Efficiency % for my first brew?

5) I am using 9lbs of grain at 1.25qt/lb for a total of 11.25 qts. for mash. Does that sound right?

6) So, after mashing I take the wort that was collected in the first run then subtract that from what Beersmith says should be my total boil this case 6.86 gallons.

In theory, if I collected all 11.25 qts(2.81 gallons) in the first running, then I would batch sparge with a total of 4.05 gallons, for total boil volume of 6.86 gallons RIGHT??

7) Beersmith says I should add the 11.25qts at 163.7F for a mash hold temp of 152F per BierMunchers directions. Does the 163.7F sound right? I am a novice but it seems low to me.

I guess that is it for now....until next time. Thanks guys!

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Old 03-29-2009, 05:43 AM   #2
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a lot is equipment specific, and can only really get accurate with experience on that equipment. 1) 15% is a fair number to start with, can vary by equipment and whether you do a nice rolling boil, or have the burner in blast furnace mode. I get about 20% with my keggle, around 29% when I use the wading pool (82qt SS stockpot)
2)depends on how picky you are, I always use hop bags so I don't get a whole lot of hop mess in the bottom of the pot, I use whirfloc, so I do get a lot of break material after everything is cooled down. I try to transfer as little of the break material as I can, so I usually lose close to 1/2 a gallon here. I use a regular copper wort chiller here, so no loss due to cooling.
3) I think the default 4% works pretty well all around
4) whatever you can get! 75 is a good baseline don't sweat it if it's lower, smile if it's higher. batch sparging my worst was 65% best was 88%.
5) looks good, I like it a little thinner, I go 1.5 per pound (seems) to have helped with my efficiency a bit.
6) doesn't sound right, the grain will soak up quite a bit on the first run.
in beersmith mash section hit choose, and look for single infusion batch sparge
light/ medium body, whatever you want. pick it, go back to main screen and hit mash detail, here you can click double batch sparge, equal batches. go back to the main screen, hit preview brewsheet up at the top, should give you all the info you need there.
7) that probably is low depends on what you're going into. I use a 10 gallon igloo cooler that I don't preheat other than leaving it in the house overnight, and 22 degrees over strike temp hits spot on everytime. beersmiths number works for me if I mash in the wading pool, first time around it's not a bad idea to have a gallon or so of boiling water and a gallon of cold water handy, if you have to adjust just subtract the amount you use from your total volume.

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Old 03-29-2009, 06:06 AM   #3
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In hindsight I wish I had planned on 65% efficiency my first AG batch. I planned on 70 but got close to 65 and becauee of that I got a much lower OG than I was hoping for. I personally would rather have a higher OG than a lower, and I've sinced learned that LHBS will give you a crappy grind that result in closer to 65% efficieny even if you have a good system
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:18 PM   #4
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I use Promash instead of Beersmith, but they do similar calculations.
  1. I have it set to 1 gallon per hour (which would be 14%), using a 40 qt kettle on a propane burner. I think I actually boil off a little more than this.
  2. I have it set to lose 0.4 gallons. (I have no idea how this could be expressed as a %. I think I actually lose a little less than this, so 1 and 2 cancel out.
  3. 4% should be fine unless you boil under pressure or in a partial vacuum.
  4. I'd also suggest about 75% to start off with, but check your gravity pre-boil, and add some DME to the boil to bring up the gravity if it is low.
  5. Looks good to me as a starting point. It can be increased/decreased for future brews if you want to experiment in future brews.
  6. The grains will absorb about 1 pt per lb, but your math is correct. Heat up a bit more sparge water than you think you will need. If you don't use it in the sparge, you can use it for cleaning up.
  7. Promash tells me 165 Ffor the strike water if the mash tun is pre-heated and the grain is at 68 F
Good luck

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