Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > first runnings?
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:14 PM   #1
aaronwillen
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Default first runnings?

Howdy! I have been extract brewing for about 6 years now and recently made the jump to 1. all grain, 2.kegging. For my first all grain batch I did a smoked hefeweizen which required a step mash. For the first two steps I mashed and rested in my brewpot...and then raised to 153 for the final half hour in my tun. From my understanding it is proper practice to get your first runnings before sparging. My first runnings were more like a gelatenous mess that was quite viscous and would not run...so i sparged and mixed up my grain bed...recirculated the vorlauf and drained everything. I ended up hitting 1.045 which is a bit shy of the 1.056 the recipe states but I am happy enough. Am I doing something wrong here regarding the first runnings? I am not messing with promash yet although I have the software....so to get my strike volume i multiplied my pounds of grain X 40oz and 64 for the sparge...I hit my mark of 6 gallons in the kettle. I plan on brewing again in a week so I want to get this straight before i proceed! Thanks.


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Old 11-17-2008, 09:44 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!
Did you use rice hulls in your mash? How much wheat did you use? If you post your recipe we can be more help, you may be off on your calculations of a target OG. Just a thought.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:33 PM   #3
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hey there thanks for the welcome! I have always surfed around but I was like eh maybe ill post. Here is the recipe:
5.75 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 52.27 %
3.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 31.82 %
1.00 lb Smoked Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 9.09 %
0.75 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.82 %
0.75 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (60 min) Hops 21.4 IBU
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (30 min) Hops 5.8 IBU
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Misc
1 Pkgs Weihenstephan Weizen (Wyeast Labs #3068) [Starter 125 ml] Yeast-Wheat

I just entered that into beersmith and i got an OG of 1.061...hmm. Since I was using the stove to get my temps up as I progressed through the step mash I was thinking that higher temps at the bottom of the pot could have destroyed enzymes. I was mixing pretty vigorously but still noticed some burnt grain on the bottom of the kettle I had to scrape before I started my boil. My main question here is..is it normal for the water to be so viscous before collecting first runnings...bc it wouldnt even run out until i batch sparged and mixed everything up to collect about 6ish gallons. I prob overshot a bit too so im sure my gravity is suffering due to that!
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:35 PM   #4
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oh and no rice hulls...dont they just serve to get a better grain bed?...as far as the beer goes....its day 3 in the primary...i had to use a blowoff as it was blowin out the airlock after prob 5 hours....I learned very early on to make starters....and BTW I checked out your website...those beer labels are sick man!
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:47 PM   #5
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I am guessing you are batch sparging then?

If you were planning to fly sparge then you do NOT want to drain the tun before you start your sparge. Too big a risk in compacting the grain bed.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:52 PM   #6
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smoked hef. Interesting. I would like to try a sample of this. Is this your recipe?
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:56 PM   #7
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That's a pretty big percentage of wheat so yeah, rice hulls would have been a great idea. Raising the temp of the mash up to 165-170F before draining would have help also. Removing first runnings prior to doing any batch sparging raises efficiency as does breaking the sparge into two discrete infusions.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:59 PM   #8
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I would never raise temps using flame unless you had a false bottom. To step mash, you heat water to a higher temp and then mix it in to achieve the temp you're looking for. I'm guessing you didn't have enough water in there, and that's why it came out so messy.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:09 PM   #9
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yeah i dont know...i know for next time. I am going to stick with just doing a single infusion next time. I will definately try to do first runnings before sparging next time. As for the smoked hefe recipe....I grew up in Albany,NY, they have a brewpub called Albany Pump Station....C.H.Evans brewing company. They once brewed a smoked hefe and I had the pleasure of tasting it. Excellent. Even got an A- on BA...although I think it only had a few ratings.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:28 PM   #10
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Also, why were you mashing in your brew pot? You don't have a mash tun?


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