(Another) First AG Brew Day

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rowan57

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Hey All,

I have been building up to this for a while and today had my first AG Brew Day. It went largely ok apart from a significantly stuck Sparge. Pictures of the setup and mash in next post.

Main challenges;
Wind - turned into a very windy day at points, burners struggled with wind.
Sparge - Sparge got very very stuck. Jiggery poker involving sieves and jugs was done to fix but more debris into BL than I would have liked and final volume possibly slightly off.
Volume measurement - No accurate way to identify volumes, need to improve.

Positives;

Mash Tun - Held temperature well, losing +/-1ºC over the hour.
Boil - When no windy, burner performed well.


So for next time I need to fix the sparging - this was a pain in the ass. With this fixed and a less windy day, it would have been a much smoother brew day, so I am very happy overall.
 

oogaboogachiefwalkingdeer

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Make a dip stick out of a wooden dowel rod. Pour in a gallon at a time and measure with stick and mark with marking pen.
 

squash1978

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MEPNew2Brew

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Make a dip stick out of a wooden dowel rod. Pour in a gallon at a time and measure with stick and mark with marking pen.
Very good advice. But, I suggest metal over wood so that you can sanitize and take post-boil measurements as well. I use an aluminum yard stick from a big box store. $3, I think.
 

oogaboogachiefwalkingdeer

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Very good advice. But, I suggest metal over wood so that you can sanitize and take post-boil measurements as well. I use an aluminum yard stick from a big box store. $3, I think.
I can see post boil in the ferment vessel. Never dipped it post boil before.
 

Natdavis777

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Awesome setup!

A quick tip to the stuck sparge (aside from using hulls next time) is to literally blow back into the MLT with your mouth. *note this isnt a permanent fix. This helps to clear debris and allow flow until something clogs it again... Had to do this once on an RIS (it clogged bc the steel braided hose was streched out and limited its surface area for diffusion).
 
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rowan57

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Make a dip stick out of a wooden dowel rod. Pour in a gallon at a time and measure with stick and mark with marking pen.
Or add volume markings to your kettle and HLT.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f257/how-add-permanent-volume-markings-kettle-illustrated-463099/

I did this with mine and it is by far one of the most helpful mods I've made to my equipment.
Very good advice. But, I suggest metal over wood so that you can sanitize and take post-boil measurements as well. I use an aluminum yard stick from a big box store. $3, I think.
Thanks for the suggestions on Volume measurements all! Squash, I had completely forgotten about that thread but I certainly plan to do that, a stick aluminium or otherwise may have to do for next weekend though.
 
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rowan57

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Awesome setup!

A quick tip to the stuck sparge (aside from using hulls next time) is to literally blow back into the MLT with your mouth. *note this isnt a permanent fix. This helps to clear debris and allow flow until something clogs it again... Had to do this once on an RIS (it clogged bc the steel braided hose was streched out and limited its surface area for diffusion).
Thanks! Thats a real compliment, I agonised over the setup and how to make it work for my circumstances (no space to store a fixed stand, needed to be able to take it up and down each brew day.

I'm maxing out both of the pots as it stands for a 5 Gal finished batch size so a pot upgrade is somewhere in the future but not before a hop spider and a wort chiller, these are more immediate musts. I am also thinking a smaller cooler for lower gravity beers may be a good idea. I barely filled even half of my existing cooler on this brew day.

I did exactly that when the sparge got stuck, thanks! It didn't seem to help much, I need to have another look at my manifold and tweak it slightly I think.
 
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