First all grain attempt - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First all grain attempt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-05-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
pdm1982
Recipes 
 
Feb 2013
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 143
Liked 14 Times on 10 Posts



Yesterday I attempted to make this recipe: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/bell...ey-come-91488/

I've had success with the extract brewing so I thought this would be a simple enough recipe to try as my first all grain batch. It was also the first time I actually used a recipe off of my Beersmith. I might have some equipment profile settings off because the batch size was listed at 5.5 gallons and I ended up with less than 5 in the fermenter. I think I put 6.25 gallons of wort in pre-boil so I'm not sure where it all went (unless I miscounted). Also, according to my Beersmith recipe the OG should have been 1.060 but it ended up being 1.052. My guess is I sparged too quickly. Afterwards, I took some of the spent grain and tasted it. It was still sweet so I must have left some of the sugars. After plugging in my numbers I come up with an efficiency of about 61%. I know that's not so great.

I guess I'm just frustrated with how my brew day turned out. I'm not sure what I expected being a first timer on my own. Maybe the beer will still turn out drinkable. Any thoughts or suggestions?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 04:52 PM   #2
zzARzz
Recipes 
 
Jul 2012
Posts: 420
Liked 47 Times on 39 Posts


What helped me most when I started was keeping detailed notes of the whole brew day, such as volumes, gravity readings, efficiency calculations, even the weather and temperature that day and any areas I knew needed improvement I would research here and apply to the next batch. It may seem nerdy and tedious, but after a few brews you'll see a pattern emerge that will help you pinpoint problem areas such as in your equipment or process.

For a first shot with little in the way of guidance I'd say your numbers are fairly decent. In the future, if you need to add gravity points after your boil, you can always spike your batch with a bit of added light extract when topping off or boil it a bit longer to reduce the amount of water in the batch. I wouldn't do it now if you've already pitched, however.

I fly-sparge and it usually takes about 45 minutes to fully drain and rinse my mash. Unfortunately the hardest part of all-grain brewing is learning patience since it is so much slower than extract brewing.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
Beernik
Recipes 
 
Jun 2009
Lopez Island, WA
Posts: 3,693
Liked 555 Times on 406 Posts


The two culprits to look at on volume are: evaporation and mash tun dead space. You should be able to adjust those settings in Beersmith.

Efficiency comes with practice and patience. Also make sure you don't have any short circuiting on your sparging or manifold/false bottom.
__________________
You have to grow up someday, otherwise you become a hipster.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
wilserbrewer
BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2007
Jersey Shore, Jersey
Posts: 9,428
Liked 1317 Times on 1009 Posts


Batch or fly sparge? If batch sparge, did you stir real well prior to draning the mash tun?

If fly, try batch!

Regards

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 05:35 PM   #5
pdm1982
Recipes 
 
Feb 2013
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 143
Liked 14 Times on 10 Posts


Thanks for the quick answers and encouragement. I fly sparged but after the fact I'd say I did a number of things wrong during the sparge so I've been researching on here and making notes (very good advice).

As far as the Beersmith settings I'd have to go home to look at what all I had things set to but I know for a fact that my "loss to trub and chiller" was set to 0. Once I siphoned from my boil pot to my fermenter I could see that I made a mistake there. With 4 oz of hops in the recipe there was quite a bit of trub at the bottom.

As far as the "mash tun deadspace" setting...I wasn't sure what to put there. I don't have a false bottom; just a metal braid connected to a spigot. Not sure if that's what it's regarding.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
Beernik
Recipes 
 
Jun 2009
Lopez Island, WA
Posts: 3,693
Liked 555 Times on 406 Posts


That's it.

Some programs have loss to kettle and loss to mash tun separate. Some have them together.

With a partially submerged orifice, you can't really drain out the bottom half of the orifice diameter. So if your cooler doesn't slope or have a channel, you could be leaving some wort behind there.

It's a simple check. Set up your cooler, fill it with water, and let it drain slow. When it stops draining, close the valve and measure what's left behind.

My manifold used to leave about a quart behind. But it required almost no vorlof. My screen tube leaves almost nothing behind but requires a lot of vorlof.
__________________
You have to grow up someday, otherwise you become a hipster.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
pdm1982
Recipes 
 
Feb 2013
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 143
Liked 14 Times on 10 Posts


Ah yeah that makes sense. Seems like it would be a pretty easy thing to check. I'll have to get on that when I get home.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2013, 01:58 AM   #8
Toy4Rick
Recipes 
 
May 2011
Oceanside, Ca
Posts: 396
Liked 15 Times on 13 Posts


Don't forget your boil off, grain absorption and shrinkage. With my setup, I start off with 8.91 gals of water, send 6.75 gals into my boil pot, after 60 mins, send 5.25 into the fermenter.


I use Beer Smith as well and have all of these numbers plugged in to the program and come pretty close now after 6-8 brews

Good luck and enjoy
Rick
__________________
If I can't ride it... 1997 Goldwing
If I can't shoot it... PX4 Storm, Browning Buckmark, S&W 357, Ruger 10-22
or drink it... my Homebrew

Why bother

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2013, 02:24 AM   #9
brewkinger
AdirondacKinger
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
brewkinger's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
NEK, Vermont
Posts: 2,271
Liked 343 Times on 281 Posts


First of all, you are tough on yourself, especially for your first brew.
RDWHAHB.

Not bad at all for a first batch! Stick with the forum, ask questions, read how to brew by John Palmer.

Like the others said, it is about dialing your system in. Put 3 or 4 gallons in kettle and boil for an hour and calculate loss there.
It is not uncommon to boil off a gallon or more in an hour. I boil 7 and 5.25 into ferment.
__________________
Blackbird Brewing

PRIMARY: Northeast Style IPA aka "Roscoe"
PRIMARY: Centennial '75 Session IPA
BOTTLED: Razapple Wine- Vintage 2014
BOTTLED: Orange Haze Blonde
BOTTLED:
KEGGED:
PLANNING: Centennial Orange Blonde
PLANNING: Roscoe V.2
Do not mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you will remember about me.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2013, 02:59 AM   #10
ajf
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
ajf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
Liked 105 Times on 99 Posts


If you fly sparge with a braid, it is virtually impossible to avoid channeling which will result in low efficiency. As wilserbrewer suggested, try batch sparging and you should get much better efficiency with your set up, as well as saving some time.
Also getting beersmith set up properly will allow you to brew a specific volume consistently.

-a.
__________________
There are only 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't.

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
first all grain attempt CliffMongoloid All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 15 04-20-2013 10:43 PM
First all-grain attempt sciatic126 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 11-15-2012 02:02 PM
First All Grain attempt dukes7779 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 06-14-2011 01:09 PM
All-grain IPA, first attempt bugeaters Homebrew Ale Recipes 4 03-08-2011 09:22 PM
My first attempt at an all grain set up SomedumbJerk Equipment/Sanitation 6 03-24-2008 02:35 AM


Forum Jump