Doing my first AG today

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senorfartman

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Well the sun is out and the temp isn't too bad so I figured I'd give this a shot. I went to Home Depot the other day to pick up rat poison and realized I should pick up a water cooler for the lacrosse team I coach.

Lo and behold, there are 2 10 gallon coolers just sitting there on a rack for $40 each. This starting me thinking a[bout MLTs and HLTs and well after ~$30 in fittings and about 2 hours with testing, I've got this:

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Through water torture, err I mean testing, both rigs came out superb. In individual testing, the MLT leaked 3 tiny drops in a hour and I think that's only because there was some water remaining in the output of the valve.

I was able to match the output of the MLT with the input from the HLT about as perfectly as I could by eyeballing it.

I picked out what seemed to be a really easy AG recipe in Edwort's Pale Ale.

For the time being, I'm going to stick with 5 gallon batches even if I have to cut recipes in half. I don't have a burner setup (yet) and I don't have a pot large enough. This way I can still do it indoors.

Plus worst case scenario if (when) I upgrade my equipment, I'll just donate the coolers like I had intended to originally.
 
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senorfartman

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I used Edwort's Pale Ale recipe and it went great. Everything went pretty surprisingly smoothly. The wort is cooling down right now but I figure you guys know what it looks like after that point so I'll skip it.

I'm not really sure which type of sparging I used as it still confuses me. I ran the wort from the MLT and recirculated a couple times before running the sparge water.

I got killed on efficiency due to the fact that even with 2 kettles, I still had to dump almost a gallon of wort out or I would have overflowed both pots.

It was also the first time I used whole hops and didn't think about how I was going to remove them until the boil was almost over. Quick thinking and I scrubbed the MLT out and ran the cool wort through that. Worked great.

The ingredients

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My brewery :lol:

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Brew Kettles

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Grains all mixed together in the bucket

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senorfartman

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The hops

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Sparge Arm Testing

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The mash (152 degree water combined with the grains)

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Sparging

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senorfartman

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Sending the wort out of the MLT and into the kettle.

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The wort about to be boiled

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Boiling

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Boil Close Up

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I don't have a chiller yet so I placed both in an ice bath. I did notice that the aluminum pot took considerably longer to heat up but also cooled down quicker than the SS pot.


All in all it was a really good experience. It really is not that difficult as it may seem. I've only been brewing since December and can't wait til the next batch.
 

RichBrewer

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Nice job! :mug:
Thanks for the photos.
So how much wort did you get into the fermenter and what OG did you get? Looks like a complete success!
 
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senorfartman

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I nailed the OG specified in the recipe.

Unfortunately I only ended up with about 4 gallons in the fermenter because my pots aren't large enough to handle the volume I can now produce.
 
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senorfartman

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Is that what I did? I guess cause the terms fly and batch don't make sense to me, I can't figure it out.
 

Bobby_M

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Fly is running the wort out at the same rate as sprinkling the sparge water in, taking about 60 minutes to run 6-7 gallons out.

Batch... run the initial mash wort out, add some fresh hot water, stir, runout. Repeat.

Your setup is much better suited for batch sparging and your efficiency will actually go up and the process will take less time.
 
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