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Old 11-13-2012, 03:09 PM   #1
wyowolf
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Default 1st All Grain Brew!! and some questions...

I just completed my first AG brew this past Sunday. Irish Red Ale from NB.
everything went pretty well, temps were good, OG was right there at 1.044.
Used a converted Rubbermaid cooler as a MT with a pex manifold. seemed to work well, no stuck sparges. I did a sort of fly sparge, slowly poured 170 degree water over the grain bed til i got my 6 or so gallons... was going to do a batch sparge, but changed my mind at the last min... seems to have worked well enough...

it did leak when i poured the water in... then when i poured the grain in and stired it.. not a drop?

I just loved the smell !!

Questions...

thinking about doing a lager during the cold months.

I notice on the instructions they call for different temps during the mash

ie

Protein Rest: 122 F for 20 minutes
Beta Sacch’ Rest: 149 F for 30 minutes
Alpha Sacch’ Rest: 158 F for 30 minutes
Mashout: 170 F for 10 minutes

How are you supposed to do this in a converted cooler MT? or can you?
i dont see how you can raise the temps in it, unless you have a burner of some sort...


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Old 11-13-2012, 03:14 PM   #2
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i may be wrong since I do BiaB but you can do the temp raises one of two ways - decoction or adding hot water to raise to temp.

there are calculators for both and I'd think that adding hot water to raise temps would be easier. Just start with a thick mash since you'll be adding water to it 3 times.

also, you may be able to skip the protein rest depending on how well modified your malt is.


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Old 11-13-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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Ok, so are you saying to keep adding water and then drain it all out at the end?
sorry just a bit confused by the process...
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyowolf View Post
Ok, so are you saying to keep adding water and then drain it all out at the end?
Yes,

I am a BIAB'er so I simply direct fire the pot to do step mashes but back when I was doing 3V brewing with a converted cooler MLT I used the following process:

Start with a thick mash and then, using readily available calculators, add various amounts of boiling water at the required intervals to raise the temp to the desired step.

OR......simply do a single infusion mash and then batch sparge using water hot enough to raise the temp to mashout range (168-170).
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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First off the step mash is not because its a lager, it's because of the grain bill and the different malts being used.

It takes a certain amount of water at a certain temperature to raise a given volume of water to the increased rest temperature. Each addition becomes part of the mash until all steps are reached and mash is complete, then you mash out/sparge

IMO you get some brewing software to hade the volume and temperature calculations for you. I use Beersmith but there are several out there,some are free. Beersmith allows a free trial so you can play around with it before you buy it
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
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Oh Ok, i think i see now. So your just adding more hot water, depending on the temps needed, to bring it to the desired temps. then draining the mash out at the end...

what does the "protein rest" at 122 do? that seems really low
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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A protein rest breaks down proteins - not starch. That was essential in traditional lighter beer recipes. Modern 2 row is much lower in protein and does just fine without this step. If you are using a traditional higher protein 6 row, then you'll often see this step included.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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One other thing I noticed. The fermentation on this one is a LOT less vigorous then the last few have been?
My gravity was pretty low 1.044 and I used a White Labs Ale yeast, first time using WL. The date was very fresh, maybe a couple weeks old. I did not do a starter, but in the past I never did either with Higher Gravity beers and they all came out fine.

I did notice this yeast seemed to "clump" together, I tried to shake itup as best i could to break them up before I pitched.

temp was right in the middle of suggested range...


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