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Old 06-03-2009, 02:08 PM   #1
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Default Moving Up

First off, no, I'm not dead, but those of you who were following me know there has been some personal crap in my life I'm dealing with. If you're interested in how *that* is going, see my latest comment in that thread. Now, back on topic.

So I have a buddy in town who brews, and he wants to get together for a brew day this weekend. He might let me piggyback on his equipment, so I'm thinking I may take this opportunity to do an all-grain recipe, since the cost of equipment has been my primary barrier thus far.

I have a few partials under my belt, I have a hard copy of How to Brew, and I will be working under the supervision of a more experienced brewer. I will probably spend some time re-reading HtB, but for all you AG brewers, if you had to condense your knowledge into a single sound bite, catch phrase, etc.--that is, if there's one nugget of wisdom you feel I absolutely must bear in mind come brew day--here's your chance to lay it on me.

Also maybe recipes to avoid for the first go at this, decent recipes that are harder to mess up... whatever.

And let's keep it limited to advice that would apply to AG in particular, rather than extract/partial and AG brew equally, since I'm pretty solid there.

Reason: changing the title! why won't the title change??
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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Biggest advice for first time AG I can give is RDWHAHB. I looked at my first run and just going through the motions and got beer out of it. If you've done a partial mash then you've brewed AG. just doing a larger scale mash now and not adding DME.

Hope everything ended up ok for you on the other thread as well. I was just thinking yesterday, I wonder what ever happened to Brownie Bite

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Old 06-03-2009, 02:25 PM   #3
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I always suggest Ed's Pale( Haus) Ale. Hop to suit.

Find a rectangular container of a few gallons to put your equipment into a mix of star san.

Mind your water volumes, mash temps, and sparge temps, and you'll be fine.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:02 PM   #4
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I have two different thoughts on this. One is to make your favorite PM batch as an AG for your first batch. That way, you can see how the AG changes and what differences you can pick out. Fresher? Grainier?

The other thought is to do what I did- pick your favorite style of beer and make it.

Any recipe will work, except for a multi step mash. So, no German bocks with decoctions, or anything that requires a protein rest. (Most beers don't need a protein rest anyway). No adjuncts that require a cereal mash. If you want to make an IPA, do it! If a stout, just do it! All grain bills are relatively simple. 99.9% (I just made that figure up, but you get the idea!) of ales can be done in a single infusion mash, with a saccrification rest at 153 degrees.

I think just about any style of beer you want to make can be done as a first AG.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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Watch the temps and volumes. Beersmith can make this easy as pie if you like.

Also note that if you did not know, mash temp affects the body and residual sugars of a beer. The warmer the temp, the more body and residuals it will have. I did not know this my first AG and my IPA turned out much sweeter than I really like.

You know, other than that, it's just the same or PM or Extract. If you have someone with experience there with you, you will be fine. RDWHAHB!
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:19 PM   #6
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Definitely, RDWHAHB, or 2,3,4....

"How to Brew" is awesome. Plus, you've got someone whose been there before to help.

Advice, patience in spades! Don't try to rush anything. Plan on your first AG experience to be an all day event.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:55 PM   #7
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make sure your thermometer is accurate.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:16 PM   #8
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Document everything. Volumes, temperatures, times, etc. Have everything written down so that someone else could pick up your notes and recreate the events.
This sounds meticulous, and it kind of is at first, but you get used to it, and it makes subsequent batches easier from all the information you've written down.

oh and relax....take your time.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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Organize the process in advance.
Calibrate your thermometer.
Have fun during brew day!
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:04 PM   #10
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The best piece of advice is to watch and learn. You can learn a lot from reading and books but just like most things, nothing compares to hands on teaching. Watch what he does and ask lots of questions. Question everything he does and why he does it that way.

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