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1st AG completed..I hope

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Sherpa FE

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Well I have finished my first AG.
Took me 4.5 hours to rom start to finish. Here is what I did.
Heated 11.88 qts to 180.0 degrees, and put into MLT.
Doughed in, and maintained 155 degrees in the NLT for 45 minutes
Mashed out with 4.75 qts at 198.
Batch Sparged with 4.6 gallons of 168 degree water.
Vourlaufed 4 times, and then siphoned to keggle.
Boiled for 1 hour, and cooled to 70 degrees before pitching.

So help me make it better for the next time. What did I do wrong.
My crush was from, the store, I dont have a mill yet.

Here are my numbers, I dont know how to measure efficiency.
I guess I should put in here what all the SG's were supposed to be.

Target Pre-boil SG was 1.041
Target SG before yeast was 1.046

Pre-boil colume 6.5 gallons.
1.025 pre boil SG

boiled for 1 hour
transfered to fermentor, ended up with 5 gallons on the money.
SG reading was 1.033 in the fermentor

I hit all the temps as far as I know, but other than that, I have no idea how I did. I do know that it was sweet tasting and sticky.

How do I plug it into BeerSmith, and check my efficiency?

Want to say thanks to everyone that helped me out, and I still have a LONG way to go.


Oh yeah, I even had a boil over in a 15.5 gallon keggle. LOL...how is that even possible?

Later
Josh
 

Beerlord

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how much/what kind of malt did you use? Sparge slower and with more water to get better efficiency or use a thinner mash. What kind of mash tun did you use?
 
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Sherpa FE

Sherpa FE

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5.5 lbs Pale malt
4.0 lbs pilsner (2row) german

10 gallon rubbermaid cooler with SS false bottom.
I am almost positive I screwed up the batch sparge.
 

ajf

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Well, I can see 1 problem. You didn't add any hops. :D

When you took your pre-boil gravity, did you stir the wort well before checking it? and did you cool it or compensate for the temperature?
Either of those omissions could give you an apparent low gravity.

-a.
 
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Sherpa FE

Sherpa FE

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Yeah I added hops, just didnt list it.
I talked to some guys after I brewed and I discovered that I did not do a second running for the sparge.
I also did compensate for the temp.
I think the major problem for me was the no second running for the sparge.

Josh
 
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Sherpa FE

Sherpa FE

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I converted the temp that I took the Specific Gravity reading,
My hydromoeter is calibrated at 60 degrees and when I took the reading it was considerably hotter than that....so I had to compensate for that.
 

sweet_corn

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If I calculated right, it was 47 % efficiency. I used american 2-row as the pale ale malt.

Doing a single batch sparge does not explain how low it is. How was the crush? Would the 45 minutes of mashing instead of 1 hour cause it? Is your thermometer accurate?
 
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Sherpa FE

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All good q's, wish I had some good answers for you.
Could be all of those, I was unprepared equipment wise when these showed up, but I am ordering things now such as thermometers, to help me out a little better than what I had.

The next batch should really tell the tale.
 

BierMuncher

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Sherpa FE said:
...How do I plug it into BeerSmith, and check my efficiency?
...
Congrats on your first AG.

With Beersmith, you simply overwrite the efficiency until your OG lands on what you ended up with. You have to back in to the number.

I'd suggest your next batch, you mash for 75-90 minutes.

I began doing 90 minute mashes and picked up 6-7 points. I think that 45 minutes is too short. Expecially if your dealing with a coarse crush.
 
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Sherpa FE

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OK, sounds good. I am hoping to try again next Sat or Sun. Hopefully I will have a day off.

By the way Biermuncher, one of the keggles I bought looks EXACTLY like yours. When I first looked at it, I thought I was buying a hand me down from you. Same jagged cut edges..LOL I should send you a pic.

Josh
 

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Yep, about 47%. Try mashing with 3.5 gallons for 60 minutes than batch sparging with 5 gallons of 170 degree water and make it last 30-40 minutes. I never do a second runnig for sparge unless i come up short in the kettle, than i sparge untill i have X amount in the kettle.
 

beergears

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Beerlord said:
...then batch sparging with 5 gallons of 170 degree water and make it last 30-40 minutes. I never do a second runnig for sparge unless i come up short in the kettle
Hmm, still learning here... is keeping the sparge water in the tun for that long (30 mins.) conventional wisdom??:confused:
 

Beerlord

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beergears said:
Hmm, still learning here... is keeping the sparge water in the tun for that long (30 mins.) conventional wisdom??:confused:
fly sparging takes about that long, so why wouldnt' batch sparging. Thats the way I've always done it.
 

Yooper

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As I understand it, there is no reason to do a slow sparge when you are batch sparging. Dissolved sugar is dissolved sugar, and doing it slow will not gain any advantage. With fly sparging, though, slow is definitely better. You are adding a small flow of water and removing a small flow of wort. That's the difference. With batch sparging, once you add the sparge water and stir, the sugar should be all dissolved. You could let it rest 10 minutes to make sure, and then run it all off.
 

BierMuncher

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My batch sparging takes between 10-20 minutes, depending on the depth and density of the grain bed.

Heat the sparge water to 185.
Dump it in.
Quick stir.
Let sit for 5 minutes and drain.
Every now and again I have to back-blast the drain hose with my hot water garden hose to unstick, but that's just cuz I'm greedy on my crush.
 
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