AG is not nearly as hard as it sounds!

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SkinnyShamrock

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I did an oatmeal stout yesterday with a friend from work, it was easy as pie. I borrowed a cooler mash/lauter tun from another co-worker, my friend and I figured out strike water temp, milled some grain, and went at it. Hit the mash temp I wanted perfectly, mashed for one hour, lautered/sparged (not even a hint of a stuck sparge, I was really surprised with the oatmeal and all), boiled, ended up with exactly 5 gallons of wort and hit my expected OG on the nose. It was awesome, and the wort tasted fantastic.

My friend did an imperial stout into which he pitched Chimay yeast. The kid used 22.5 pounds of grain, including 1 lb (!!) of roasted barley. His smelled/tasted awesome as well.

We also harvested yeast from a conical fermenter for my brew, the fermentation took off like a rocket! It was fermenting within the hour. I also had to rig up a blow-off tube because my airlock was almost clogged when I woke up today.

That said, if you're thinking about doing AG, it's damn easy, it's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds. Go for it!
 

Yooper

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It's pretty simple, really, once you understand the concept. I was very intimidated by AG at first, and even said things like "I'll NEVER get into AG brewing." I can do it, and if I can, anybody can. I might never "get" all of the water chemistry but I can make a decent beer, and that's all that's important to me.
 

bkov

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agreed, its just easier to mess allgrain up, and takes longer to do but not harder
 

zippyslug31

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Just did my first AG, as well.
Not everything went "exactly" right, but was close enough and I'm sure I will have a decent beer when done.

The funny thing is that I too was all worked up over what to do and how my brew day would go. Once I started I forgot about worrying and got down to business; the process was obvious AFTER I DID AT LEAST SOME CURSORY READING IN ADVANCE.

And I think with a lot of AG brewers who are very advanced, their processes can be quite intimidating to new AG brewers. For me, I just followed the KISS principles and it went well. Maybe later I'll pickup some of the highly evolved techniques, but only after I have several AG batches under my belt.
 

Indy418

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As someone who REALLY wants to move into AG, simply the more equpiment is daunting.

I'm brewing in an apartment, without a lot of cash (grad student on loans), so going out and spending some on upgrading equipment is not really an option.

I'm thinking I'll start with some stove-top AG mini-mashes to produce some 2.5 gal. batches. Anyone else start out this way???
 

zippyslug31

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Personally I did not.
I was doing extract then went AG.

My setup is not high tech and was made from stuff laying around the house, a craiglist turkey fryer, and a few things from homedepot.
Probably have $75 into moving from extract to AG.
 

luvmy40

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As someone who REALLY wants to move into AG, simply the more equpiment is daunting.

I'm brewing in an apartment, without a lot of cash (grad student on loans), so going out and spending some on upgrading equipment is not really an option.

I'm thinking I'll start with some stove-top AG mini-mashes to produce some 2.5 gal. batches. Anyone else start out this way???
Like zippy said, you don't have to spend a whole lot to go all grain and most of the gear can be packed away in the boil kettle for storage. I would recommend going electric for working inside (apartment) but nat. gas is safe if you are careful. LPG is an accidental death waiting to happen.
 
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The "problem" with going AG is that you start off with a kettle on the stove and a bucket for a mash tun, then one day you wake up with an 8ft high brew tower, then you wak eup another day and it's a rims or herms. :)

I just spent $127 on new fittings yesterday.
 
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