Is there someone near Wilkes Barre that would be willing to help out a new brewer? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Brewing Events & Local Gatherings > North East Homebrew Forum > Is there someone near Wilkes Barre that would be willing to help out a new brewer?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-14-2013, 03:40 AM   #1
max384
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
max384's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2010
Hazleton, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,515
Liked 499 Times on 323 Posts



Hey guys, I need some help. I seem to be pretty terrible at this all grain brewing thing! I just finished my fourth AG brew, and my efficiency has been terrible, and is getting worse! My first three AGs I got right about 50% mash efficiency. The latest one (which is cooling right now) only got 40% mash efficiency! Granted, this was the first one that I crushed my own grains, so that likely had something to do with it, but even so, I'm obviously doing something wrong.

Would someone be willing to come over to my house and watch/help me brew an AG? I've watched a million YouTube videos and read a bunch and I can't seem to figure out where my mistakes are. I think I need an experienced set of eyes watching me working with my own equipment to help me out.

I would be willing to meet for lunch or something (my treat!) beforehand in case you're worried I'm some kind of creep. If you take me up on my offer, I'll have all the beer you can drink on hand!

I live in Sugar Notch. Weeknights work best for me... But beggars can't be choosers!

Thanks guys

Max


__________________
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” -Winston Churchill

IBA # 56,419

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
hercher
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Jul 2009
Scranton
Posts: 1,002
Liked 59 Times on 56 Posts


A couple things come to mind right off the top. There are a couple homebrew clubs in the area that might be able to help you out. I live outside of Scranton -- perhaps just a touch far away.

First of all, describe your mash process. What temperatures are you mashing at, how much water are you using (should be around 1.25 gallons/lb). What is your sparging process? If you are fly sparging, bear in mind that slower is better. If you are batch sparging, remember to really stir the bejeebers out of your mash when adding the sparge water.

If your efficiency went down when you started milling your own grain, the most likely culprit is your crush. Set your rollers a bit more fine.


__________________
Brody's Brew House
Primary: Rye Saison
Seconary: Imperial Stout
Kegged: Pale Ale
In the fridge: Genesee IPA

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
max384
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
max384's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2010
Hazleton, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,515
Liked 499 Times on 323 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by hercher View Post
A couple things come to mind right off the top. There are a couple homebrew clubs in the area that might be able to help you out. I live outside of Scranton -- perhaps just a touch far away.

First of all, describe your mash process. What temperatures are you mashing at, how much water are you using (should be around 1.25 gallons/lb). What is your sparging process? If you are fly sparging, bear in mind that slower is better. If you are batch sparging, remember to really stir the bejeebers out of your mash when adding the sparge water.

If your efficiency went down when you started milling your own grain, the most likely culprit is your crush. Set your rollers a bit more fine.
Thanks for the reply.

Hmmm... I'll have to look into these clubs.

I use 1.25 gallons/lb, as per the instructions on my kits, for the mash. I found a calculator to determine how hot you should make your water for the mash to hit the desired mash temperature of 152 degrees. Every time I've been a degree or two over (153-154). I mash for 60 minutes. The first two AG batches I used the fly sparging method. The last two I used batch sparging, and stirred when adding the sparge water. My sparges have all lasted between 60-90 minutes.

__________________________________________________ _____________________________________



Oh wow. I just spent some time Googling pictures of properly milled grain, and it seems that all of mine have been WAY under-crushed. Two of my AG brews were crushed grain kits from Midwest Brewing and the other one was an AG recipe from the internet that my local homebrew shop crushed. I then tried to replicate these crushes (but obviously must not have!)... Maybe the crush has always been why my efficiency has been so poor. I mean, I always feel like my process is good.

Is it common for stores to under-crush grain?

I guess I'll try and crush the grains much finer next time and see how my efficiency improves.
__________________
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” -Winston Churchill

IBA # 56,419

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 01:37 AM   #4
hercher
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Jul 2009
Scranton
Posts: 1,002
Liked 59 Times on 56 Posts


Did you get your ingredients from Beer Solutions? I had the same experience with his crush. He's a nice guy with a good selection, but I don't think he mills the grain fine enough.
__________________
Brody's Brew House
Primary: Rye Saison
Seconary: Imperial Stout
Kegged: Pale Ale
In the fridge: Genesee IPA

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 03:16 AM   #5
max384
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
max384's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2010
Hazleton, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,515
Liked 499 Times on 323 Posts


Yep. That's where I got them from.
__________________
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” -Winston Churchill

IBA # 56,419

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2013, 08:24 PM   #6
scottyg354
Recipes 
 
May 2011
Hazleton, PA
Posts: 420
Liked 23 Times on 16 Posts


Simply Homebrew in Drums is were I go. You should check them out. I have been having problems with my mash tasting way too grainy. Its driving me nuts.
__________________
brewSTEIN Beer Co.

Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer.

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

On Deck: Helles, Oktoberfest, Saison, Apple Graff

Primary: IPA, Scottish Export

Secondary: Saison Brett

Bottled/Kegged/Gone:
Cream Ale, Peanut Butter Brown, Belgian Golden Strong, Brown Sugar Cider, Cream Ale, Double IPA, Saison, Summer Ale, Honey IPA, Maple Apple Graff, Holiday Stout, Hard Cider, English Brown, Scottish Heavy

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
VladOfTrub
Recipes 
 
Oct 2011
, Pa
Posts: 717
Liked 169 Times on 114 Posts


Pete uses a Corona grinder. Curt has a roller and may have to adjust it, if it is the type that can be adjusted..... If anyone is interested. On Apr. 20, Simply HB is putting on Blichmann Equipment Day and brewing a 15 gallon batch of Boh Pils using the triple decoction method and Blichmann Equipment.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
LosEsco25
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Plains, PA
Posts: 37

Im from WB, getting setup for an AG... I usually go to Beer Solutions. How is his grain selection there?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
hercher
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Jul 2009
Scranton
Posts: 1,002
Liked 59 Times on 56 Posts


Grain selection is just OK. He has the basics, but doesn't carry brown malt or pale chocolate. I also find him a touch pricey -- not outrageous, but you aren't getting a bargain, either.
__________________
Brody's Brew House
Primary: Rye Saison
Seconary: Imperial Stout
Kegged: Pale Ale
In the fridge: Genesee IPA

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
LosEsco25
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Plains, PA
Posts: 37

May have take a ride to drums... and check them out



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Converting from Home Brewer to Commercial Brewer FensterBos General Beer Discussion 11 05-26-2015 03:26 AM
New Brewer+Nut Brown Ale Extract Kit+Northern Brewer Brewfyre Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 02-24-2010 03:12 PM


Forum Jump