All-Grain Madness!

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

onelegout

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
248
Reaction score
6
Ok, I'll start by describing where I'm at so far:
Heated water to strike temperature in 3-gallon pot
Added to 3Kg crushed 2-row british malted barley in 5-gallon pot
Began heating up sparge water in 3-gallon pot
Realise suddenly that I've got nowhere to put the wort when I lauter it off in preparation for the sparge.
Panic.
Put sparge water into 5 different household saucepans of all different shapes and sizes (lucky I've got a 7-hob gas cooker!)
Drain the wort into the 3-gallon bucket using a hop bag inside a sive inside a collander.
Add the sparge water into the 5-gallon pot.
Realise there's not enough room for draining the sparge water as it's only a
3-gallon pot and I've got a 5-gallon batch and the sparge is going on inside the 5-gallon pot which is also my boil kettle
Quickly sanitise a 5-gallon fermentation bucket and strain the mash wort into there.
Drain sparge water into 3-gallon pot
Drain 3-gallon pot into fermentation vessel
Realise there's not enough wort
Boil more sparge water
Repeat sparge process
Wonder why the hell I didn't wait until I had a proper mash ton before trying all-grain!
 

SnickASaurusRex

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
424
Reaction score
79
That sounds like my first AG, but I did have a MLT, just not a full boil sized brew pot. That was one mean night.

Congrats. It all gets easier from here on out.
 
OP
O

onelegout

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
248
Reaction score
6
Ok quick question
I've got the wort in the fermentation vessel ready to be moved to the boil kettle for the boil.
After sitting for 15 mins there's clearly a lot of sediment at the bottom of the wort (it's a lighter colour, looks likes tiny bits of grist that have got through my filtering. Is this a problem? Shall I rack the wort off this sediment? Or shall I just chuck it all in the boil kettle and see how it goes?
H

Edit: Just to clarify, by 'a lot of sediment' I mean 6 or 7 inches of the stuff!
 

SnickASaurusRex

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
424
Reaction score
79
You could try to strain it or rack off the sediment, but you don't want to lose too much wort, and you risk mild oxidation if you use a strainer. Just get it all in there and do your boil. The hot break will help to reduce the sediment and some whirlflock or Irish moss will also help. Remember to clean re-sanitize the fermenter after using it for a holding vessel.
 
OP
O

onelegout

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
248
Reaction score
6
Ok I think I'm going to attempt to rack it off the sediment and at least get SOME of the sediment out of it.

I measured the gravity pre-boil and it's reading 1.042 which according to Beersmith puts my 'Brewhouse Efficiency' at 89% - To me that sounds good but I've got no idea if it is or not!
 
OP
O

onelegout

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
248
Reaction score
6
I'm a bit confused here.
Brew smith tells me my grain's potential SG is 1.036, yet I got an SG of 1.042 (pre-boil), and didn't add any sugars or anything. Did Brewsmith not have the right potential SG for my grain? (2-row british malted barley)?
 

SnickASaurusRex

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
424
Reaction score
79
Cant help there without knowing your grain bill and mash procedure, plus total sweet wort collected.
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
62,016
Reaction score
6,921
What is your efficiency set to in beer smith?
Also you don't need to worry about oxidation when straining, during/after fermentation.
Plus there was no need to sanititze the bucket to add your wort to. Sanitation is only necessary AFTER the boil. The boil will kill anything pre boil.
 
OP
O

onelegout

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
248
Reaction score
6
IrregularPulse - thanks for the tips. I actually just knew the bucket needed a really good clean as it had sat open for a week or so and had been damp.

Turns out I completely buggered the whole thing up. I ended up with only 3 gallons of wort and was just way too tired after 6 hours of hectic brewing to go for a third sparge, so I topped it up to 5 gallons with water, took a hydro reading and got 1.028! :( This is NOT what I wanted to see. So, I disolved a jar of orange-blossom honey in some boiled water, and added it to the wort before pitching the yeast. I then got an OG of 1.032 which is fine for what I'm brewing (a light summery pale ale).

This brings me to the question:
Why, oh why, did I knowingly only mash/sparge with 5 gallons of wort if I knew I was going to lose a lot in the boil? (my kettle has a really large surface area). Oh well, this is the first time I've used this new equipment (5-gallon boil kettle) and the first time I've tried all-grain. I know what to change next time to fix it - and the first thing is making a proper cool-box mash ton!

H
 

pompeiisneaks

Why that human mask?
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
885
Reaction score
53
Location
Redmond
Yes you definitely learn w/ your first all grain. Realize w/ strike and sparge water that you need to put in much more than 5 gallons... You lose quite a bit to grain absorption and the mash tun will have dead space. Then you need to collect more like 6 gallons anyway, because you need to boil for an hour and you'll lose about a gallon after that hour. There are several apps out there I think including beer smith, that will tell you the exact strike water qty and sparge water qty you need to get the final amount of beer you're planning. I'd definitely consult that when doing your brewing next time. BTW, don't worry, it will still be beer ;)
 
Top