Another 1st AG

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Schwind

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Just wanted to run this by you guys as it is my first AG brew, and will be a house warming gift for my best friend. He loves Dos Equis Amber. I don't have lagering capabilities so I'm doing an experiment. Check it out and give your 2 cents.

5 gallon batch

6.5 lbs 2-row Pale malt
1 lb Munich Malt
1 lb Vienna malt
0.75 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt
0.75 lb Caramunich malt
0.75 lb Ger. Wheat malt
1.25 oz. Black Patent Malt

1 oz Hallertauer (60 Min)
.5 oz Saaz (15 Min)
.5 oz Saaz (1 min)

One lemon, juiced
1 stick of vanilla (Also in the primary)

White Labs Frisco Lager Yeast (500 ml Starter)

BeerSmith says for batch sparging, I need a strike water temp of 166* and 13.5 qts of water for a 154* hold at 60 min. And 5.5 gallons of sparge water at 168*. It says I'll have a boil size of 6.82 gallons but thats almost 9 gallons of water.

Is this right? It seems like I'm using a lot of sparge water. Will 10.5 lbs of grain absorb 2.2 gallons of water?

It feels like I've been reading about AG pocesses for weeks now and forgot about the grain absorbing calculation.

Also,
Est. OG 1.055
Est FG 1.017

I'll be starting tomorrow after work at 2.

I have a rubbermaid 10 gal MLT with a looped braid, and a keggle. I'll be using pH5.2 in my bottled spring water and the LHBS crushed my grain. I'm hoping for 65-70% efficiency.

Any tips or opinions will be greatly appreciated.
 

Lil' Sparky

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Check your equipment settings in BeerSmith. It must be calculating in a lot of extra loss somewhere. I think you're about .75 gal too high on your volumes. Your grain will absorbe about 1-1.25 gals, plus you might lose another qt in the MLT. I'd try sparging with 4.75 gals and see where that gets you. Good luck!
 
OP
Schwind

Schwind

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Okay, I got off work early and have officially started my first AG brew.

Mashed in 15 minutes ago, the strike water brought my temp right at 154*

So far so good. I'll add the black patent with 15 min left and then sparge with 4.75 gallons, as recomended by Lil' Sparky.

only problm is my old boil pot won't hold 4.75 gallons easily. Can I heat up 4 gallons and sparge once and then heat up another .75 gallons and add it like 10 minutes later? I know I'll have to recycle the runnings twice, but is adding the whole amount of water at once vital to the sparging process?
 

flowerysong

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Schwind said:
I know I'll have to recycle the runnings twice, but is adding the whole amount of water at once vital to the sparging process?
No, it's not. In fact, most people report an efficiency gain from doing multiple smaller batches rather than one large one.

I would recommend splitting your sparge water into two approximately equal portions and simply do two separate batch sparges.
 
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Schwind

Schwind

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Got Trub? said:
Do you have another small pot you can heat up 0.75g simultaneously?

GT

Just thought of that. I have a stockpot that I can heat a gallon in and heat 3.75 in the other.

Flowerysong, I'm gonna try the splitting the sparge batches. Thanks. I don't see why it would make a difference. I might rinse more sugar off this way.

Almost done with the mash.

This is a lot more fun than stovetop brewing.:ban:
 
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Schwind

Schwind

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Lil' Sparky said:
Whoa, time to get a bigger kettle!!!
My old kettle was just a SS 20 qt pot. I was using that to heat the mash water.


I'm done.

4.5 hour brew time, 1 hour clean up. 1.052 gravity. close to my 1.055 that beersmith estimated. 66%
two screw ups. but they were equipment malfuntions, not me.
When I made my keggle, I made a copper pickup tube, with a screen on the end to get the last gallon easier than tilting the keg on its side. What I did not consider was that plug hops will clog the tube and I should have used hop bags. I also had to leave a half gallon in the bottom because I couldn't get it out, due to the bottom being filled with hops.

So I had to cool the wort, dunk my arm in star san and reach into the keg and unclog the tube to drain the wort. Am I screwed with sanitation?:(

also, does anyone have any ideas on how to get the wort out of the botom of the keg without tilting it over, or siphoning?
 

BierMuncher

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Good job.

I sihpon so I don't have clogged pickup or leftover wort issues.

Don't worry about dunking your arm. In about 30 hours your beer will be alcohol, CO2 and hops. Any nasties will be obliterated.
 
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Schwind

Schwind

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Thank you. That is very reassuring. I didn't want to be the "is my beer ruined?" guy, but I was very nervous.
 
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