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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 1st AGB in fermenter
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:57 AM   #1
sbushwhacker
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Default 1st AGB in fermenter

Completed 1st AGB yesterday, took me almost 5 hrs start to finish, lot of learning. One thing I was not sure of how clear the wort should be after vorlauf. I drained a couple of qts. and started my run but was not happy with the clarity so I dumped it back in and started again, much clearer after. My grains included 9.5 lbs of 6row malt .5lbs of hi-drymalt and .5 lbs of crystal I was shooting for an American ale hope the first brew is a winner


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Old 11-25-2009, 01:59 AM   #2
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Thats awesome. I just did my first AG a bit ago, and now am hooked! You will notice the difference.

Cheers


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Old 11-25-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
NYCHomebrewer
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I just keep vorlaufing until the wort is clear. And by clear, I mean that there are no more grain husks coming out, no more little bits of grain and it isn't cloudy. You should (for most styles at least) be able to look through the wort as it is draining and be able to see things on the other side. I have a length of tubing I attach and generally I just keep vorlaufing until I can see through it and the liquid inside is crystal clear.

Even so, good enough is good enough. If you have circulated 1-2 gallons and your wort is still cloudy, circulating another 1-2 gallons is unlikely to change that. I'd personally just call it at that point and start sparging. Sometimes the cloudiness will disappear during the boil after the hotbreak, and I've had cloudy beers that clarified in the secondary, and I've had cloudy beers that were supposed to be clear and never clarified that looked bad, but tasted great.

At the end of the day you have a beer that you made, and thats the best beer in the world. RDWHAHB!
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:48 PM   #4
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I hear what you are saying but still I can see small particles getting through the grain bed. I have a copper manifold that I made and it took a hell of a long time to cut all of those slots with a hacksaw, so I really want this to work. I was thinking all would settle out in the fermenter. Anyway the yeast are munching away and the color is a copper shade. My SG was 1.058 was shooting for 1.050 and close to 5.5 gal
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:04 PM   #5
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The occasional little particle is fine. These are going to occasionally work through or lose. I think of it as a big natural filter. The vorlaufing works to compact the grain bed and I sort of picture the first few cloudy pitchers as the grain bed attaining equilibrium, moving the loose grains and small particles and non-dissolved solids from the bottom of the grain bed to the top. Slowly those loose grains and solids get moved to the top until what you have is a nice stable gradient. When the wort that you are draining is consistent and hopefully clear, its time to sparge.

The occasional full piece of grain isn't going to contribute enough tannins to make an astringent beer.

If, no matter how long you vorlauf, your wort remains cloudy or you consistently get tons and tons of grain and solids in your beer, then you will need to troubleshoot your mash process.

I would first take a look at your grain crush. Is it too aggressive? Are you getting tons of flour?

Then I'd look at your mash temps and make sure your thermometers are properly calibrated. If you think you are at 152 but your thermometers are off, you could really be mashing at 148 or lower. Unconverted starches in your wort could be rendering it cloudy (imagine flour in water).

If your crush and temps are fine, then you will have to look at your equipment. It could be that the slots in your manifold are too large. I doubt you would have to remake them, you could probably just cover them with a stainless steel mesh etc.

But truly, I think you are fine. What you are describing doesn't sound like cloudy wort to me, it sounds like clear wort with small particles of finely ground grain and husk in it. I think that is probably pretty common in square coolers, since the grain bed is generally thinner, and I think it is going to settle out and taste fine.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:35 AM   #6
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Bottled, yesterday all went well. Not sure how this beer will taste? The aroma was quite different than I have smelled from my other brews, I think it was a alcohol smell. I asked my wife and son to smell it and they told me it smelled like beer! After checking my FG I came up with 6.1 ABV I have never thought much of brewhouse efficiency but tried a calculator, only guessing on the pre boil wort amount of 6-5 gal and came up with a insane number of 91 percent? also guessing at part of my grain bill, 1/2 lbs Hi-Dry. This 1st AGB was to be a APA like Haus Ale but the grain bill was changed to fit malt I had on hand, everything else was done as Ed's recipe. The color looks to be right, lets see after another 2 wks.


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