My first AG experiece started Christmas morning when I was given a gift certificate to my closest real HBS, 2 1/2 hours away. I picked up enough grain to do a batch of APA similar to the one talked about in UNOmar's "House Pale Ale" thread. Here was the grain bill:
8 3/4# 2 row Pale Malt
1/2# Crystal 20L
1/2 oz. Northern Brewer (60 min)
1/2 oz. Cascade (30 min)
1/4 oz. Cascade (15 min)
1/4 oz. Cascade (Flame Out)
1/4 oz. Northern Brewer (Flame Out)
Wyeast 1056 recycled from last batch.
Strike with 17 quarts (1.5 qt/lb) @ 165 F
Sparge with 4 gallons @ 170
Yesterday I made a starter with 8 oz. XLDME and 1 3/4 quarts of water in a 1/2 gallon container. Blew the top off in 8 hours. Today was perfect. 11 hours playing with my 7 month old, followed by a nice dinner and a 4 year old bottle of wine with my wife, then Brew Time! But wait, an old friend calls as I am filling my buckets and he is an hour away and dropping in to say hi. Better yet, he spent a year living with a Brewing Science major in college and has lots of experience. Perfect!
The first burner was lit at 7:10 to preheat my cooler, and all went well. Grain bed was right at 153F after the first stir. (Thanks Beersmith!) I only lost about a degree or two in the hour of mashing.
Boiling went well, but I forgot
(too many of those) the Irish Moss in the boil. The new home made immersion chiller got the temp down to 75F in 18 minutes, and the yeast was pitched 4 hours 15 minutes after the burner was lit.
Had 3 hours of good conversation, and a sampling of brews from the previous batches.
4 3/4 gallons of wort, plus the 1 3/4 quarts of starter was just right.
Efficiency was 69.3%. I was hoping for 70%, but I am not at all displeased. OG was 1.054.
Now, hopefully my keg system will be here and set up before this batch is out of the secondary!!!