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tommymac

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I use a gatorade cooler as my mash tun, I usualy factored a 10 degree loss when i added the water and was usualy prety close. I like the idea of putting some boiling water in there first to warm things up.

Tom
 

sipNswirl

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Thanks for posting this thread. I'm about to do my first 5g AG soon and I'm trying to figure out the water calculations. my kettle is only 5G so i can't boil more than 15 q maybe?

I understand the concept of using more grain and shooting for less efficiency, but i have an AG recipe that someone gave me for a 1/2 wort boil then topping up in the primary. can i assume the grain bed is adjusted for lower efficiency already since the instructions state it's for a 1/2 wort boil? It's got just under 12 Lbs of grain. my MLT is a 6g bucket w/ false bottom.

i can post the recipe or PM it if someone can help me figure that out.
cheers!
 

rockthebox

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This site is the best with the best people in the world. Its so great that their are helpful people that will take the time to let us know about what s on their mind for the better let all :mug: to that!
 

Wade E

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I agree, this place is awesome. I have learned a lot and have a lot to learn. I will be doing my 1st AG very shortly.
 

98EXL

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I mean, if I never found HBT, I'd never would have gone AG....or even thought of building a keezer
 

njnear76

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tommymac said:
I use a gatorade cooler as my mash tun, I usualy factored a 10 degree loss when i added the water and was usualy prety close. I like the idea of putting some boiling water in there first to warm things up.

Tom
Don't put boiling water in your cooler! You will warp the heck out of it.
 

nathan

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Drunkensatyr said:
What helped me back when I started All Grain was to pre measure out all the hops, and moss and seal them in numbered zip bags and wrote the minutes to set my timer to for the next add. I remember the 1st few batches were a mental drain and it was nice to be able to sit back and enjoy the boil without having to think about what I was doing.
I do this with ALL my ingredients (still a partial mash brewer for next few months). I usually do it the night before or early that morning. I use masking tape and gladware containers and have all the times and contents marked. It's great then to be able to listen to music, stir, and add at appropriate times.
 

nathan

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to the chap marking the outside of his kettles with a sharpie...

how do markings on the OUTSIDE of the kettle help? :drunk:
 

BrewBeemer

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You must use those special "3-D" glasses that they handed out at the movie house back in the 50's or be "superman" with his specical eyes.
A marked story pole/stick or better yet a stainless rod with ring markings (done with a tubing cutter) for each gallon seems too simple for such a high tech problem. This ain't a calculation specific for a N.A.S.A. launch.
Sorry if I sound sarcastic here, my German grand parents back in the 20's have been told made good home brew bier in crock pots here in the USA before and during prohibition times that the family has always talked about. Remember the "KISS" plan?
 

beerthirty

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I just traded for a 14 gallon rig that is marked on the outside(right next to the sight glass). but if there is no sight glass then you just look inside then outside quickly and your eyes seem to find the right spot. Then I repeat just to verify. that is the method I used when dealing with plastic buckets that were marked on the outside. It worked pretty well to within 1/2 gallon depending on diameter of the pot.
 

hughmac

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  • Take Pictures of Everything
  • Lots of Tables and Chairs
  • Brew Outside
Take Pictures of Everything
Take pictures of your various setups and piles of gear and ingredients as you get them 'all set'. Each 'station' ... the mash, the sparge, the boil, the chill, etc. Get ALL of the gear in the pic. That first time you'll keep having to go scrounge around for a piece of gear here, a piece there, but the next time, since you took the pics, you can just set it all up. Much more RDWHAHB.

Or take detailed notes on paper. But I like the pics, because I will actually take them, wheras writing while brewing ... :cross:.

You can also use the pics to help you get all the gear into 'station' boxes or tubs or whatever, too, instead of that one giant garbage bag full of crap.

Lots of Tables and Chairs
Have several tables and chairs handy (or build a RIMS :rockin:) for siphoning, ingredient layout, and hanging out on/in. This is important to me because I like to:

Brew Outside (if possible)
My turkey fryer insisted that I use it outside, so I did. I was worried! I'd only ever brewed in my kitchen. It was WONDERFUL! I have a drain in the ground to dump stuff, I have a HOSE, I can SPILL STUFF and NOT clean it up, I can clean stuff easier (with the hose, on the lawn!), I can play croquet, I can stare at the sky, etc. Obviously there's a weather downside, and if you're still cooking on the stove it might be difficult ...

I know there is more. What a great thread, wish I'd seen it 10 years ago.
 

Travel_mon

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I'm confused now. So for an AG batch of say 14 lbs. of grain you'd want to use 17.5 quarts of liquor (14 lbs of grain x 1.25 quarts? which would be about 4.375 gal of liquor, am I correct in this thinking?

Thanks in advance.
Brooks
 

oberon567

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Using the numbers from the original post:

17.5 quarts for the mash (14lbs. x 1.25qts/lb)
28 quarts for the sparge (14lbs. x 2qts/lb)

45.5 quarts total, or approx. 11.5 gallons, which would then need to be boiled down
 

bigbeergeek

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I respectfully disagree about the 2-3 degree temperature drop of strike water upon introduction to the grain in an insulated mash tun. My average temperature drops on my first two ice chest tuns were 13 and 9 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. I preheat the empty tuns with the hottest tap water I have (but not boiling water). I think the lesson here is that every brewing rig is a little different, and you've got to learn your system's ins and outs. Personally, I'd rather overshoot my target temperature by a few degrees and stir the mash with a couple of frozen water bottles than undershoot and start the cycle of boiling water additions -- which wastes time and dilutes the precious ratio of water to grain.
 

DeathBrewer

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every system is different and it really depends on many variables, including the ambient temp along with the grain temp. i generally shoot low and then heat and stir to rise to temp.

also, i find it much easier to keep my temp for the full mash when the ambient temp is 75°F as appose to 65°F. i didn't think 10 degrees would make much difference, but i certainly see it.
 

Pete08

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I respectfully disagree about the 2-3 degree temperature drop of strike water upon introduction to the grain in an insulated mash tun. My average temperature drops on my first two ice chest tuns were 13 and 9 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. I preheat the empty tuns with the hottest tap water I have (but not boiling water). I think the lesson here is that every brewing rig is a little different, and you've got to learn your system's ins and outs. Personally, I'd rather overshoot my target temperature by a few degrees and stir the mash with a couple of frozen water bottles than undershoot and start the cycle of boiling water additions -- which wastes time and dilutes the precious ratio of water to grain.
Would it make a difference if the tun was pre-heated to the strike water temp?
 

cprincipe

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Stupid question:

I'm currently doing extract with steeped grains, boiling my wort in a stock pot. I think that produces about two gallons of "concentrated" wort which is combined with three gallons of water to create five gallons of wort that I then pitch and ferment.

If I were to go all-grain and end up with a five gallon batch, would I create 11 gallons of "malted water" which then needs to be boiled down to 5 gallons of wort and doesn't require any further water addition?
 

dontman

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Stupid question:

I'm currently doing extract with steeped grains, boiling my wort in a stock pot. I think that produces about two gallons of "concentrated" wort which is combined with three gallons of water to create five gallons of wort that I then pitch and ferment.

If I were to go all-grain and end up with a five gallon batch, would I create 11 gallons of "malted water" which then needs to be boiled down to 5 gallons of wort and doesn't require any further water addition?
Maybe. Yes the idea is that you end up 5 or 5.5 or 6 gals finished wort ready for the fermenter, but a standard beer ~1.040-1.050 OG could probably start with as little as 6.5 or 7 gals collected wort. I plan to add an extra lb or 2 of grain and slightly lower efficiency so that I can do 1 hour boils and end up with 5.5 gals
 

Sucram

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I'm getting ready to do my first AG batch very soon and as I mull through every detail I can, I'm wondering how do you guys cool your samples quickly for gravity reading of mash and sparge runoff? I also get frustrated when I can't take gravity readings when I'm boiling a starter.

--Thanks for your suggestions.
 

dontman

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I'm getting ready to do my first AG batch very soon and as I mull through every detail I can, I'm wondering how do you guys cool your samples quickly for gravity reading of mash and sparge runoff? I also get frustrated when I can't take gravity readings when I'm boiling a starter.

--Thanks for your suggestions.
You don't really need to cool the sample. When doing the mash I do readings at 155 degrees and add .020 to the gravity reading. At sparge temp of 166 or 167 I add .024
 

nathan

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I use a refractometer. I can watch the Brix climb and then plateau, and that alongside a starch test where I can see the starch amount dwindle and disappear tells me I have full conversion. THen it's a matter of extraction (sparge).

You can use a refractometer with a single drop from a tiny dropper, and a few drops on a white porcelain dish will be enough for you to drop one small drop of iodine tincture on. You can get refractometer online and the tincture and droppers at your pharmacy.
 

CameronBornAndBred

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I'll be starting my first AG as soon as I get my coolers converted, from the first sticky here I can tell I've found the right place to learn how to do it right. Looking forward to reading all the tips.
 

RedIrocZ-28

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This may or may not be a stupid question but why are you guys so concerned with the loss of temp of the strike water when it hits the grains when you could just preheat the grains in the oven to net you a 0* loss of temp?

My initial reasoning dictates that you would not want to heat the grains up due to possibly rendering them impotent (for lack of a better term)??

But then I cannot see why you wouldn't preheat them because you are adding 155* water to them anyway, and THAT doesn't hurt anything, but on the other hand putting the grains in water (or a soluble mixture) IS different than dry heat.

I think I am moving to AG sooner than I expected. I am already sick of extract twang and I haven't even drank my first batch entirely yet.
 

Kilgore_Trout

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This may or may not be a stupid question but why are you guys so concerned with the loss of temp of the strike water when it hits the grains when you could just preheat the grains in the oven to net you a 0* loss of temp?

My initial reasoning dictates that you would not want to heat the grains up due to possibly rendering them impotent (for lack of a better term)??

But then I cannot see why you wouldn't preheat them because you are adding 155* water to them anyway, and THAT doesn't hurt anything, but on the other hand putting the grains in water (or a soluble mixture) IS different than dry heat.

I think I am moving to AG sooner than I expected. I am already sick of extract twang and I haven't even drank my first batch entirely yet.
Do you have any idea how much of a PITA it would be to heat 8-14 pounds of grain in an oven to a consistent temperature? It would either take forever and dry out the grains, or you'd use high heat and stir a lot, which is also a PITA.

Adjusting water temps takes about 15 seconds in brewing software.
 

BierMuncher

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This may or may not be a stupid question but why are you guys so concerned with the loss of temp of the strike water when it hits the grains when you could just preheat the grains in the oven to net you a 0* loss of temp?
Since most people alternate the addition of grain...then some water...then some grain...then some water (in order to avoid clumping), your grains would end up cooling down in the process.

Plus like KT said. It would be a royal PITA.

Use your software to determine your strike temp. Then keep some cold or hot water nearby to make some adjustments once you dough in. If I recall, I used to add 15 degrees to my desired mash temp when I was doing 5 gallon batches.

Now…with 10-gallon batches, my routine is repeatable and accurate. Take my total grain weight….add to my desired mash temp…and add 5 degrees.

So a 20 pound grist that I want to mash at 155 calls for a strike temp of 180 degrees. (20 + 155 + 5)

I nail it every time.
 

blackwaterbrewer

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ive been brewing mash/extract for about ten years. i love the beer i make. however, know i must move to all grain at some point. that's just how i am. is there a particular book or perhaps a video that can walk me through it? i have read the process over and over but i am still sketched on trying it. any help is greatly appreciated
 

Nurmey

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ive been brewing mash/extract for about ten years. i love the beer i make. however, know i must move to all grain at some point. that's just how i am. is there a particular book or perhaps a video that can walk me through it? i have read the process over and over but i am still sketched on trying it. any help is greatly appreciated
Bobby M taught me how to do it! :tank:

All Grain
 

nathan

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I head up my cooler by microwaving a quart or two of water for a while (during which I'm setting up my mash/sparge water and heating it).
Then I drain out the heating water and put all my mash water into the cooler, above the temp called for by a few degrees. I stir and watch it lower down to strike temp, then put in my grains (room temp).

The software will have told me what the water should be (and you can adjust your grain temps in it). It's pretty darn accurate, and when it's not, I can almost invariably attribute it to my grains being too cold or too hot.
 

blackwaterbrewer

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how did your fat tire clone come out? also, what yeast did you use? I have used the Belgian abbey ale and california ale and not gotten even close. both were good beers, but neither had that toasted, bready, crisp finish.

thanks for any info
 

axoll

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one question, i am a beginner at all grain, i am using a 5 gallon gatorade cooler. after the 1 hour mash, do I stir the grains and wort before or just leave it the way it is and start sparging? so far i am just leaving it the way it is.
this is how i am sparging: after i reciculate about 2 quarts of wort i open the valve a lttle bit and using a plastic measuring cup i slowly pour 185 degree water on top of a coffee lid . I took about 30 min to finish sparging with 5 gallons......any suggestions?
 

nyctreasure

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Great post shared. Kudos to the topic creator. Keeep such type of suggestions flowing in. I did stumbled on 3AG sessions until I came here. Indeed it helped me a lot.
 

lanedavis

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2. Heat your strike water about 2 or 3 degrees above your target temp:mug:
Great article. I would note that I use John Palmer's formula for initial strike temperatures and I think it's worked fairly well for me. Actually I've been pretty amazed by how acurate it is:

Tw = (.2/r)(T2 - T1) + T2

Where:

Tw = Strike temperature
r = grain/mash water ratio (e.g., 1, 1.25, etc)
T2 = Target mash temperature (e.g., 152)
T1 = Starting grain temperature (e.g., 70)

I take a grain temperature reading, and plug the numbers in. It works pretty well. Also, if doing step mashing there's Palmers' formula for calculating water volume:

Wa = (T2 - T1)(.2G + Wm)/(Tw - T2)

Where (variables used above are still in play), and:

Wa = Quarts of boiling water required to raise to next step.
G = Pounds of grain in the mash
Wm = Quarts of water already in the mash
Tw = The temperature of the infusion water (Fahrenheit)
 

st0neski

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i have a question about the amounts of water used. Say I am brewing a 5 gallon batch, which calls for around 12 pounds of grain. For the mashing, that means I have 15 quarts of water or 3.75 gallons. Then it says I need 1/2 gallon per pound of grain for the sparging, that means 6 gallons of water. So 6 gallons for sparging plus the 3.75 gallons from the mash, is 9.75 gallons of water. Obviously after the mash and sparging I wont have the full 9.75 gallons in my brew pot, but it won't be much less. Do I then boil that ~9.75 gallons down to 5 gallons of water before I put it in the fermenter? That seems like it would take a long time to boil down to me. Am I missing something?
 

Denny

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You won't get 3.75 gal. from the mash because the grains will absorb some. However, by the sparge the grains are saturated, so the amount of sparge water you put in is the amount you'll get out.
 

st0neski

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You won't get 3.75 gal. from the mash because the grains will absorb some. However, by the sparge the grains are saturated, so the amount of sparge water you put in is the amount you'll get out.
makes sense, so what are we talking like a gallon or 2 from the mash? plus the 6 from the sparging, 7-8 gallons, boiling that down to 5?
 

masonsjax

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I'm still working out my system. I'm no expert, having just 2 batches under my belt, but here's what I've found. If you try to collect ~7 gallons pre-boil, most people would end up with about 6 gallons post-boil. After whirlpooling, you would siphon 5.5 gal into your fermenter, leaving about 1/2 gal of trub in the kettle. When you rack from your fermenter into secondary, or keg, bottling bucket, etc., you again leave nearly a half gallon of trub behind, giving you ~5 gallons of beer.

More experienced brewers can correct me if I'm wrong here, but that's how it appears to me.
 

ubermick

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So three partial brews down, and the next is going to be AG. Cooler tun's already built, an 8 gallon pot from B3 has been purchased along with a SP10 20psi burner, and the wort chiller will be made tonight.

My question though, is do I need to do a test run with plain water to measure boiloff rate? For example, if I end up with, say 7 gallons of wort, I would assume I need to calculate how long it will need to boil for until it hits the magical "one hour left" period, when hops et al start getting added, finally ending at 5-ish gallons?
 
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