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Old 03-05-2006, 03:39 AM   #1
davidkrau
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Default First all Grain Brew completed

Hi
I'm the guy who started the thread What's What's Wrong With Aluminum. Well I finished brewing my first All Grain. I can't say that it was a complete success or a disaster. It was called Liberty Cream Ale. It used 9 lbs of grain. I don't know what kind but the were light colored. It also utilized 2 packets of cascade hops and Wyeast Activator 1056 American. I heated 2 3/4 gallons to 170F and dumped it in the grain. It was supposed to bring the temp to 152F but the mash temp only reached 138 so I added several qts boiling water and finally reached 152. I sparged with 41/2 gaks H20 at 170F Thus far it looked like I had a nice light yellow brew but after I added the 1 packet cascade hops it looks like it might turn out a lot darker than I had hoped after coo;ing the wort and tranfering to a glass corboy I only had about 4 gallons wort . I added water to bring it up to 5 gals. The SG was 1.036 wheras it was supposed to be 1.042-1.046. I haven't pitched the yeast yet the Wyeast activator pac isn't expanding the way it has for me in the past. The other problems I had were I broke my glass thermometer and had to run to walmart and buy a meat thermometer, Also a couple of hoses jumped off the barbs and made a mess. I'll see how it turns out


Well That's it . Any suggestions


David


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Old 03-05-2006, 04:21 AM   #2
Ivan Lendl
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all in all it seems like you had a success...when you say you 'dumped' the water onto the grains, it would be better to add the grains to the water, youll lose less heat that way. your gravity is pretty good too, if the target was 1.046 and you got 1.036 thats not bad at all. i dont think adding hops affected the color, the color for me alweays seems dark untill its actaully beer poured in a beer glass, thats the only way i can tell what the real color is, i wouldnt wory about that...and i know wal-mart sells candy thermos for like 5 bucks...

the fact that you didnt pitch the yeast is of some concern..according to a recent article in brew your own magazine, "with fresh yeast you dont have to wait for the package to swell...if the yeast is fresh you can pitch right from the outer pouch"

i would go ahead and pitch the yeast...


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Old 03-05-2006, 01:58 PM   #3
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In the mean time, Why didn't you make a starter? why did you wait so long to smack the pack? I like to tell everyone to make sure they have enough yeast available BEFORE they begin to brew.
Preheating the mash tun makes it easier to make target mash tempertures.
If you have your wort cooled and are not making a sour mash recipie, then I suggest you pitch some yeast as soon as possible.
As for other suggestions...Relax, you made it through a AG session and made beer. Perhaps the best beer you have ever made. Best of all, you'll learn from your own mistakes and won't repeat them in other brews.
Cheers.
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:36 PM   #4
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You'll be tinkering with your system for awhile until you can predict what'll happen right down to letter. Practice makes perfect. In the meantime, keep a few pounds of DME around. Take a gravity reading after sparge but before boil (you'll need to adjust for temp) and that should tell you if you need to add more sugar. There are plenty of online brewing calculators that will tell you what your pre-boil gravity should be.
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:56 AM   #5
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You think your gravity is too low, but maybe your reading is wrong. You mentioned that you topped off your fermenter to get to five gallons, but did you thoroughly stir the wort afterwards to mix it well? If not, then your gravity won't be real accurate.

Also, your strike water seems a little low in volume to me, but maybe it's just me. You used a total of 7.25 gallons of water between your strike and sparge water, but a good amount of that remains in your spent grains when you are done. I just did a pale ale, and used 20 quarts of water for my 11 pounds of grain, and sparged with about 5 and a half gallons, giving me not quite 7 gallons of sweet wort in the brewpot - and remember that you will lose probably a gallon or more during the boil.
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Old 03-06-2006, 06:03 AM   #6
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Ditto what bikebrian said.

Aand, at what point did you go to the meat thermo? Is it good at 150 degrees? Perhaps your mash temps were not good- too high? Or, what did you mash in? - if not insulated, you would lose heat, and mash too low.

Have fun! It'll still be good beer.
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:15 PM   #7
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Hi
Thanks for the replies my thread.I dropped the the glass thermometer after the mash but before the sparge so I relied on the meat thermometer for thesparge temp. The Mash was conducted in a 48 qt rubbermaid cooler with a manifold in the bottom. I did dough in the grain and water. I did an iodine test and there was a complete conversion.The wort coming out at the end of the sparge tasted a little sweet. I don't know if that's normal or not. When I topped off the corby with water Ii swished it around a little. The corboy was heavy and I'm not sure I mixed it enough before I took the SG reading.
Anyway, I'm ordering a dial brewing thermomter along with the grains, yeast and hops for another all grain batch. I'll put hose clamps on all fittings and make sure my yeast is ready to go before i start. Wish me luck. Thanks again everyboby for your help.

David
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:35 PM   #8
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You may also want to get a copy of ProMash, it has some great tools for getting your water requirements and so on. I too have just ventured into all grain and did my second batch yesterday. Pro Mash really helps in hitting the numbers..

Congrats and keep brewing.


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