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FINALLY Got my First AG Under My Belt

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RLinNH

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After almost 6 months of putting my AG System together (A Simple Gravity Fed System), I finally Brewed this past Sunday. After running around like a Chicken with it's head cut off all Day Saturday running errands and getting my last minute stuff together for my system, I was Gunning and ready to go for Sunday. How'd it go?


All in all, I'd have to say it was a success. I only got 60% efficiency, but this weekends batch will be lautered at a Slower Pace (I am Batch sparging and it only took me less then 20 minutes for my first 3 gallon Sparge, then less then 20 minutes for my second Sparge). So, I am hoping that boosts my efficiency. I know that it isn't the Crack as I used my buddies JSP Grain Mill, and he gets about 83% from his Crack. Also, I forgot to add my Malto Dextrin into the Boil, and I forgot to add my 2 ounces of Roasted Barley to my Mash. So, I added the Roasted Barley to my Boil with my forst Hop Addition. As far as the Malto Dextrin, I promise I won't forget this weekend.;)


I'd have to call my first AG Brew a Success. I got it under my belt while learning about my AG System, and I got to hang out with a good friend of mine. We Brewed, smoked good Cigars, and drank good beer. I even have active fermentaion going on as I type.:rockin:
 

Fingers

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Sounds like you had it all together. The roasted barley, you added it at the beginning of the boil? Did you leave it in for the whole boil or did you take it out after a while? Personally I would have brought the wort up to steeping temp and just steeped the roasted barley instead of boiling it.
 
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RLinNH

RLinNH

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Fingers said:
Sounds like you had it all together. The roasted barley, you added it at the beginning of the boil? Did you leave it in for the whole boil or did you take it out after a while? Personally I would have brought the wort up to steeping temp and just steeped the roasted barley instead of boiling it.


left the roasted Barley in for the entire Boil. After I did it, I kinda of shrugged my shoulders in disgust, but I just rolled with it. I'm brewing the same recipe this weekend, and once more after that with a few tweaks to the Grain Bill. I want my efficiency to go up before I start playing around with other styles of beer.
 

videoman

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I've only done about 6-8 AG batches. Was plagued early on with an efficiency value of 65% or so... I attributed this to my new cooler system and learning the procedures. BUT, the final answer to the efficiency mystery was in the crush of the grain.

I was not crushing my grain enough so I tightened up on the mill and, walla, shot to 90% efficiency. Just an FYI for ya.
 
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RLinNH

RLinNH

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I hear ya about the Crush Video Man. He has a Non Adjustable JSP, and He Loves it. I will be buying a JSP Mill, but I am going to get the adjustable with a Direct Drive. I want to play with my crush. I should have my new JSP within a Month.
 

Brett0424

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Boiling grains is a very bad idea. You will extract tannins from the husks. A good rule of thumb is never let your grains touch anything above 170 degrees. The good news is it was a very small amount you boiled. Hopefully the astringency (puckering flavor) won't come through too strong in the final product. Also, videoman, having too fine a crush will boost your efficiency but will also give you tannins in your beer. That's why it's such a big deal to find just the right crush
 

Fingers

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Brett0424 said:
Also, videoman, having too fine a crush will boost your efficiency but will also give you tannins in your beer. That's why it's such a big deal to find just the right crush
You sure? I've never heard that. Too fine a crush will lead to a stuck sparge, but I don't see how it will lead to tannin extraction. :confused:
 

Brett0424

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If you're husks are cracked up too much they're more likely to get into the boil and easier to extract tannins from.
 

Mikeus

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Whoaaa I thought boiling grains was a big no no. Still, congrats on the brew session :mug:
 

Evan!

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PS is right. The only way that a longer sparge is gonna boost your eff is if you haven't completed your starch conversion, and your sparge temp is low enough to complete it without denaturing the enzymes. But if you're sparging with the typical 185ºf into 155-160ºf grist, then the resulting temps are probably going to denature the enzymes and you'll get no further conversion.

If you want better efficiency, try a stepped mash...and make sure that you do a final step at 158-160ºf to complete your conversion. I typically do this right at the end of my sacch rest. Just raise the temp to 160ºf and let it fall over 20 minutes to 158-157ºf. During this time, do some periodic iodine tests, making sure to keep the husks out of the samples as much as possible (they can cause false positives). This will ensure that you have converted all or at least the vast majority of the starch molecules, and hopefully give you more sugar (thus, better efficiency). But slower sparging won't do much.
 
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RLinNH

RLinNH

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Just rechecked my actual efficiency. I got 66.5 % (per Beersmith). Not to shabby for a first time AG batch. :ban: Question though. Do AG's Ferment more aggressively then Partial mashes? I really can't get over at how much Air Lock activity I have. After a Lag time of less then 24 hours, my Carboy has had a lot of Initial activity. Not an excessive amount of Krausen, but the Air Lock is going Nuts.
 

videoman

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Fingers said:
You sure? I've never heard that. Too fine a crush will lead to a stuck sparge, but I don't see how it will lead to tannin extraction. :confused:
This was my belief too Fingers.... Brent, if you do an adequate vorlauf and all signs indicate clear runnings, do you still feel there is a danger of introducing husks to the boil that would lead to unwanted tannins?

Just curious... I agree that the crush has a major effect on the mash... I've only made one real correction to my crush procedure and would not be suprised if I have to continue to refine what I'm doing... maybe I over corrected?!?
 
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