Well, I took the plunge and did my first all grain batch today. I used a 5 gallon igloo style cooler for a mash tun, but instead of a manifold, I used a 5 gallon paint strainer bag. It worked out pretty good. Next time, I probably will go ahead and make a manifold for the cooler though.
My first AG attempt was BierMuncher's Cream of 3 Crops Ale. I made a 5 gallon batch using 6 lbs. of two row malt, 2 lbs. of flaked maize, and one lb. of flaked rice. I used one ounce of Willamette hops at 60 minutes, and some irish moss at 15 minutes, and then cooled down with my immersion chiller to 68 degrees, and pitched one package of Safale US05 yeast.
According to BeerSmith, pre-boil gravity was 1.041, and I hit 1.040. Estimated post-boil gravity was 1.047, and I hit 1.045. Estimated FG is 1.010. I think I will leave it in the fermenter for 3 weeks, then bottle it up and let it sit for 3 weeks, then try one.
It tasted good when I sampled the hydrometer sample, kind of sweet, but not too sweet! Can't wait to see how this turns out. I don't have fermentation temperature control yet, and it will be kept in a room where the ambient temp is 68. I know this is a little high, but I will just have to live with it.
I will let you know how it turns out.
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