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another newb question on first AG

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lpdb185

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i have decided i'm willing (probably not prepared) to do my first AG batch. i wanted to do my first lager also, but i think i'll keep it at least somewhat familiar by doing the AHS southampton double white clone. my concerns are as follows:

since i'm pretty much limited to ordering from the interweb, i'll be ordering one of the AHS kits. from what i've read, i should expect around 70-75% efficiency w/ my 48qt ice cude and drilled copper manifold. since i cannot compensate for this with the grains in the kit, how much will it affect the final product? do i need to order some LME to compensate, or will i still be able to hit the right numbers? this my be a dumb question, so i'm sorry. i just don't want to end up with a watery 4% ABV beer.

secondly, i have prepared a keggle for a brewpot. after i put it together, i read about having too much boiloff when brewing only 5 gallon batches in the 15 gallon keggle. will this be a problem, or does beersmith actually calculate boiloff correctly. is there a fairly accurate rule of thumb for keggle boiloff rates that i could plug into beersmith to get the water volume right the first time?

finally, i tend to get the 1% alcohol boost with my AHS kits (because i'm a sucker for a quick buzz :rockin: ). can i use this when brewing an AG batch just the same as an extract batch? would i just add it in at the beginning of the boil?

thanks in advance (hopefuly someone will set me straight).
 

Lou1998

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You can order an additional pound or so of base malt if you feel like your efficiency will be low. Likewise, additional base malt will raise the original gravity and subsequent alcohol content of the fermented beer. You might have to add a proportionate amount of the other grains so you don't end up with a flavor that is off-style. You should be able to edit efficiency in Beersmith and determine the exact amount of grain you need.

As far as boil off, you can always reduce your boil or add a little more water to make sure. Until you get a feel for how much your system boils off, its hard to say. However, I wouldn't worry too much if you end up a quart or so under volume.

Lou
 

shortyjacobs

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i have decided i'm willing (probably not prepared) to do my first AG batch. i wanted to do my first lager also, but i think i'll keep it at least somewhat familiar by doing the AHS southampton double white clone. my concerns are as follows:

since i'm pretty much limited to ordering from the interweb, i'll be ordering one of the AHS kits. from what i've read, i should expect around 70-75% efficiency w/ my 48qt ice cude and drilled copper manifold. since i cannot compensate for this with the grains in the kit, how much will it affect the final product? do i need to order some LME to compensate, or will i still be able to hit the right numbers? this my be a dumb question, so i'm sorry. i just don't want to end up with a watery 4% ABV beer.

secondly, i have prepared a keggle for a brewpot. after i put it together, i read about having too much boiloff when brewing only 5 gallon batches in the 15 gallon keggle. will this be a problem, or does beersmith actually calculate boiloff correctly. is there a fairly accurate rule of thumb for keggle boiloff rates that i could plug into beersmith to get the water volume right the first time?

finally, i tend to get the 1% alcohol boost with my AHS kits (because i'm a sucker for a quick buzz :rockin: ). can i use this when brewing an AG batch just the same as an extract batch? would i just add it in at the beginning of the boil?

thanks in advance (hopefuly someone will set me straight).
First: Buy an extra pound of 2-row, and no worries about efficiency.

Second: My boiloff never really changed between turkey fryer pot and keggle. I use 9% in beersmith for my keggle, and usually it tends to be more like 8%, but I dont' sweat it.

Finally: yeah, add it whenever you want. You might want to wait until later in the boil to reduce carmelization chances, but meh.
 

rhutter

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You will get more boil off with a wider diameter kettle, as there is more surface area exposed to air to allow for the evaporation. Also, how vigorous the boil is will have a direct impact.

I brew with a 17.5" wide kettle, and after about an hour of rolling boil will see about 1.5 to 2 gallons boil off per 10 gallon batch. So, I usually start with around 12 gallons and hope for a 10 gallon finishing volume. Keep in mind when the wort is cooled it will take up slightly less volume than when it is at boiling temperatures.
 
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lpdb185

lpdb185

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how bad of an idea would it be to just do the recipe as is so i can guage the peformance of my sparge and equipment? is there a chance that i'll end up with weak barley water if i'm not prepared with extra grain or DME, or will it result in only small changes in the beer?

as far as the extra grain, i realize that would be hard to judge without first knowing what kind of efficiency i will get. i thought i read that you can adjust the gravity post sparge by adding measured amounts of DME. would this work for the first batch until i get my efficiency dialed in? where can i find calculations on adding DME post sparge?

thanks for the info! i can't wait to get started.
 

Palefire

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My personal advice: make your first AG an easy recipe where getting an efficiency that's different from the one you planned for won't make a huge difference. Ed Wort's Pale, for example, is great for that - if you get better than expected eff it'll still taste great, if you get worse than expected it'll still taste great. Use the opportunity to see how your system works - what kind of efficiency you get, what your boiloff rate is, what your sparging technique is, etc.

Make the first AG a learning experience. Take good notes. Don't worry if things don't go according to plan. Lower ABV? No worries (it won't taste watery). Less than 5 gallons? No worries. All information to use for future batches. Each person's system is slightly different - the quicker you figure out yours the more reliable it'll be.

Just my $0.02.

EDIT: just saw your post. Low ABV beer doesn't mean watery. Just means that you can drink more of it. Make a mild sometime! I personally wouldn't worry about adding DME. Just make a simple recipe and go with it!
 
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lpdb185

lpdb185

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AHS has thier promotional dunkelweizen on sale for $19.99. i think i'll just get this since it's cheap and a style that i really like. from what everyone is saying, i guess the best thing would be to just do the recipe, take gravity reading at every step, and make very detailed documentation of my process. then next time i'll know more/less how to adjust my recipe. does this sound about right???

thanks again
 
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