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Old 06-16-2010, 03:33 PM   #1
1620HBC
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Apr 2010
Plymouth
Posts: 47


Hi Guys Ive been brewing great extract and partial mashes for about 3 years now and decided to start all grain. Over the past few months Ive built a 6 tap keezer with perlick faucets, built a 50ft chiller, made a keggle, Ive converted a 10 gallon mash tun, Ive bought a mill , etc etc and I have read and been excited to start. Well yesterday I set up my burner got all my ingredients and heading out to the yard and spent hours just excited about my new setup and next step in brewing. I did everything I read but of course it was my first time so somethings need tuner. Well I come to the very end and got NOTHING for a reading and had the beer look and taste like water. So i figured wtf ill just do another batch while i have everything out....well you guess it and once again got nothing for an OG.

I believe some of this may have to do with sparging because thats the only part maybe im not fully clear on. I thought the recipe would come with the amount of mash water and sparge water needed but it didnt so I used the guidelines in charlie's book for water ratios.

I am so bummed. I really wanted to have beer flowing for an upcoming party and now I got water!! I feel like grabbing an extract kit Im so discouraged. I have spent so much time and money making sure I was ready for this and now Im feeling blah. What are some key things i need to make sure I do?

 
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:38 PM   #2
JOHN51277
 
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Nov 2005
Orlando, FL
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It took me months of reading before I was sure I knew what I was doing when doing my first A/G brew.

Sounds like the mash/sparge did'nt convert starches to sugars. I do a fly sparge and start with water anywhere from 165-175 which settles down to 150-160 once it stabilizes. Then let it hang out for an hour and do its thing. Vorlauf, drain, and add additional water to get to my desired boil volume.
I was sooo confused until I read a few books, and now i have confidence and am hitting about 70% effeciency everytime.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:39 PM   #3
Mischief_Brewing
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Jan 2010
Montpelier, VT
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Could you give more details about your grain crush and your mash? Mash temps? Sparge temps? Amount of grain?

Hard to diagnose a problem without the basic information...

 
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:44 PM   #4
samc
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Aug 2008
Portland OR
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http://www.suebob.com/brew/Bobby_Mallgrainprimer.pdf
http://www.hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

If you read and understand those 2 primers on AG I think things will be clear for you.
Try not to take advice from too many sources as it will confuse everything. It's really a very simple process when you block out all the extra details that confuse the issue. Also use an online brewing calculator to figure your recipe volumes. There are many to choose from, just google it. Or better yet invest in BeerTools or Beer Smith, etc.

 
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:53 PM   #5
1620HBC
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Apr 2010
Plymouth
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I did a wheat kit from northerbrewer Id have to look at recipe to know exact grain bill but i followed the chart. I took say 7lbs of grains that came crushed and mixed them in with approx 1.75gal of 170deg water then let it rest around 154 but did have some temp problems. then i let it sit for 60 min while i brought 3.5 g of water to 170. then i opened the valve on the mashtun and waiting til only an inch was left and started letting the 170 deg water into the mash tun from a tube that i had at a slow flow over grains. I then collected everything plus 1.5 gallons and began my boil. What do ya think?

 
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:54 PM   #6
1620HBC
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Apr 2010
Plymouth
Posts: 47

samc, I have tried to download software but having issues with finding one for the mac , any ideas?

 
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:07 PM   #7
Catt22
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Jan 2009
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IMO, it's nearly impossible to not achieve at least a partial conversion and something other than a zero OG reading. You say you have a mill, so I must assume that you actually milled the malt before mashing. Was the grain you used actually malt and not just plain un-malted barley? Was the grain bill made up entirely of crystal or highly kilned malt? Those lack the enzymes needed for conversion. I'm guessing that there was something wrong with the malt, but I'm not at all sure what that might be. So long as your mash temperatures were somewhere in the ball park you should have gotten some conversion and something other than a zero OG as a result. This is a very unusual situation and even more so as it happened twice in a row.

Let's have a look at your recipe. That may reveal something.

 
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:18 PM   #8
Lefe21
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Feb 2010
London, ON
Posts: 76

Even with problems controlling your mash temperature you should have gotten some extract from the grain. Twice in a row on top of that is really odd.... Are you sure your hydrometer isn't broken?

Also, next time you might want to consider the iodine-starch test for conversion.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
1620HBC
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Apr 2010
Plymouth
Posts: 47

Ok that reading really helped. I think I def sparged wrong. I started draining my wort before adding sparge water? Also I am getting iodine strips today for my next brew. I got 1 kit crushed and 1 not so I dont think its the mill, the hydrometer appears fine but I can grab a new one of those for the hell of it too. I really think it had something to do with sparging. So now I have 10 gallons of who knows what , is there anything i can add to fix this?

 
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:25 PM   #10
Lefe21
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Feb 2010
London, ON
Posts: 76

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1620HBC View Post
Ok that reading really helped. I think I def sparged wrong. I started draining my wort before adding sparge water? Also I am getting iodine strips today for my next brew. I got 1 kit crushed and 1 not so I dont think its the mill, the hydrometer appears fine but I can grab a new one of those for the hell of it too. I really think it had something to do with sparging. So now I have 10 gallons of who knows what , is there anything i can add to fix this?
Just test the hydrometer in pure water, should read 1.000.
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