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Old 11-26-2010, 05:42 PM   #1
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Default 1st Post - Notes on my first All-Grain brew

So, after years of Extract and Partial Grain brewing, I decided to move to Al Grain. However, I did not have my rig established, and decided to 'just do it' with a 2.5 gallon batch on my kitchen stove, using an improvised brew in a bag type of process that sounded so good in my head. 5 minutes into th mash I cut the bag out and let the grain go loose. So cooking on the flat top stove proved PITA as my mash temperatures fluctuated wildly. Or my temperature readings were off. But I got a temperature of 175 within about 10 minutes of beginning the mash. After an hour of relaxing, not worrying, etc. I decided enough was enough and moved to the improvised sparging using a spaghetti colander. This seemed to go rather well, however messy as my wife came home about now to see the disaster in the kitchen. I forgot to get Iodine, and not being the type (yet) to take a preboil gravity reading, went right to the boil. All went well. OG reading was 1.045. I fermented for 7 days, which is longer than I usually let it go, but at this point I was convinced that I had no conversion due to the temp swings. So I racked it and what do you know it smelled like beer. I got a gravity reading of 1.019, which by the way tasted better than my last 10 extract batches. It needs to be bottled sometime soon, but should be damn acceptable as my first attempt. I learned a lot and found this forum, so I should be better prepared next time. Also I now have an outdoor burner as well as a sweet Mash Tun. Though I could use a larger boil pot, I should be okay for a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 11-26-2010, 07:00 PM   #2
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Your first AG experience sounds really familiar to to mine. I used a mash tun that I converted from a rubbermaid cooler but I failed to install a stainless steel braid. Needless to say, I had a stuck sparge instantly so I filtered the grain with a spaghetti collander. My wort was cloudy and had bits of grain in it. Unbelievably, the beer fermented down to 1.005 and tastes great. It is crystal clear (thanks to WP California Ale yeast). This was the best batch of beer I've ever made and definetly was better than ANY extract batch I had brewed previously. Being sold on AG, I've done a few more batches and each time it gets easier as you become more efficient with each process. Now I'm more on autopilot with the cleaning, sanitizing, mashing, boiling, botlling, etc. It seems the more AG batches you do, and as your equipment improves, your AG batches get better and better.

It's really exciting to brew a successful AG batch and be able to enjoy a beer that rivals anything commercially produced. Congratulations on your first AG batch!!
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:31 PM   #3
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Good job. And, don't worry about the mess. One day, you'll tell the story and the mess will be much bigger than it actually was.
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