Best tip when making the switch to all-grain - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Best tip when making the switch to all-grain

Thread Tools
Old 02-08-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
May 2012
Davie, FL
Posts: 107
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts

Whats your best tip for someone who is making the switch to all grain? I've got everything I need to take the plunge but I'm looking for any helpful information.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 11:45 PM   #2
Jan 2011
Yuba City, ca
Posts: 195
Liked 16 Times on 16 Posts

Remember to control your mash temps. Making the same beer with different temps will change the body of it.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 12:24 AM   #3
Nov 2010
Solway, MN
Posts: 10,243
Liked 1944 Times on 1542 Posts

Make sure the thermometer you use to determine your mash temperature is accurate. Look at your crushed grain, any whole grain will not give up any sugars but too much flour will give you trouble when you try to lauter unless you BIAB.

norsk Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 12:34 AM   #4
Jan 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 937
Liked 45 Times on 34 Posts

Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Make sure the thermometer you use to determine your mash temperature is accurate.
This is a great tip. Took me two or three batches before I realized my thermometer wasn't as accurate as I had thought.

I also just tell first timers to have a great time and not stress too much about it.
Burning Fence Brewery

"blessing of your heart, you brew a good ale"

Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 12:39 AM   #5
Mar 2012
West Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 361
Liked 67 Times on 43 Posts

It's not hard to do. When you have the boil down from extract, it's just a matter of pre-heating your mash tun with boiling water and heating the strike water to the proper temperature. BeerSmith has a calculator that I use to tell what strike temperature to use to hit target temperature. I keep boiling water to raise mash temp if needed.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 12:46 AM   #6
Jul 2011
Lincoln, NE
Posts: 332
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

All the above. Plus I think doing partial mashes, or at least keeping some DME around, is a great idea at first. Get a refractometer to take a pre-boil reading and add some more fermentables if you missed your mark. Also, if you get some iodine you can easily do a conversion test before you sparge/mash out. Accurate temps and a proper crush are a must!
Well, I think that you meant "oz" not "lbs"
Did you brew this from the couch on your porch?

Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 12:48 AM   #7
Jeffinn's Avatar
Jan 2013
Roseville, Michigan
Posts: 215
Liked 25 Times on 23 Posts

Have fun when you're brewing beer! Don't get too hung up on all of the technical aspects of brewing. It's supposed to be fun. You'll make mistakes but you'll still make beer. I enjoy every brewing session and every beer made (some more than others).
Get an accurate thermometer is the best advice I can give you. Secondly, mill your own grain. Everything else will take care of itself.
Just drink it!

Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 12:55 AM   #8
Acolyte of Fermentalism
Echoloc8's Avatar
Feb 2012
Alabaster, Alabama
Posts: 363
Liked 35 Times on 29 Posts

After temps and gravity readings, accurate volume measurement is a big deal. Mark a stick at half-gallon or quart increments (or liters if you swing that way) as the water sits in your boil pot. I put this off and eyeballed for too long, and had some pretty radical goofs when it came to boiloff and strike volumes in my batches.

Doesn't hurt to correct volumes for heat expansion, either: room temp volume is 97% of volume at mash temps, and 96% of volume at boiling.

Primary: 2013 EdWort's Apfelwein | 2012 JAOM 3-gal | 2013 JAOM 5-gal
Secondary: Nada
Bottled: 2014 Peach Sauvignon Blanc | Rich's Legal Wit | 2013 Fireside Barleywine | 2007 Oaked orange blossom mead | 2013 Kit Cabernet | 2012 Kit Raspberry Merlot
Kegged: Sierra Nevada Celebration clone | 2014 Peach Sauvignon Blanc, sparkling
On Deck: Black Cherry Ancho Chile Mead | Leffe Blond clone

Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 01:05 AM   #9
martiniw2olives's Avatar
Oct 2012
Palos Verdes, California
Posts: 773
Liked 195 Times on 152 Posts

Buy a digital thermometer
"How about you, Lash LaRue? You think you can keep your spurs from jinglin' and janglin'?" Winston Wolf

Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 01:17 AM   #10
norsk's Avatar
Dec 2010
San Simeon, CA
Posts: 526
Liked 50 Times on 37 Posts

Great tips. If you want to retain as much knowledge about your brew day and what you are doing as possible, teach your significant other or a friend what you are doing while you are doing it... and the reasons for doing so as much as possible. Teaching others stimulates the brain to a higher degree than just following a spread sheet of procedures and allows for much greater retention. Works for just about anything...


mongoose33 Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Making the switch to AG! moorerm04 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 11-09-2012 12:58 AM
Making the switch Pilotpip All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 7 11-09-2011 02:32 PM
Making the switch to all grain davidamerica General Techniques 19 01-01-2011 01:40 PM
Making the Switch to AG!! bigmanbt Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 06-30-2009 01:29 AM
I'm making the big switch Cheesefood General Chit Chat 23 02-15-2007 06:36 AM

Forum Jump