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First AG batch firing up Sunday...

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mhenry41h

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I'm really excited and a bit nervous. Any last minute big tips before it all fires up?
 

Mysticmead

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the best tip I can offer is relax... it's not rocket science.. if you're a couple degrees over or under on mash, big deal. if your OG is a couple points off, or you didn't get the efficiency that you had hoped for... big deal. In the end you still made beer.. from grain to glass.. and it'll be the best beer you made.. until the next one you make...
 

tjcavitt

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Enjoy the experience is the most important thing! Be sure to drink some of your (or your assistant's) homebrew while making the next batch! It's sort of a requirement when I brew and it hasn't steered me wrong too many times.
 
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mhenry41h

mhenry41h

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Thanks for the words of encouragement. I have been self-educating like a mad man and I feel like I have reached the point where the "hands-on experience" will serve me better at this point than reading more books and listening to more podcasts. Not that I am going to stop doing those things, but I think I need to see it, smell it, touch it, and most importantly taste it! I feel well prepared and I am really excited to fire up the kettle Sunday morning. I'll let you know how it works out and thanks again!
 

Righlander

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stir like mad when you add the grain. stir like mad half way in to mash. stir like mad when adding mash out water.
 

Powers

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my advice is to be prepared before you start. while that's pretty standard, it's nice to have pre-calculated how much water you are going to use per pound of grain in the mash, how hot the water has to be once mixed with the grain to reach your target mash temp, how much sparge water you will need and to remember to get it heated up while your mash is ongoing. a little up front calculation and prep goes a long way to providing a relaxing brew session!

+1 for stirring when mashing out, this helped improve my mash efficiency
 

Mysticmead

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make a check sheet... or if using beer smith.. print out the brew sheet. it'll have steps on there for everything you need to do. I do this just to make sure I don't forget something.
 

skeeordye11

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the best tip I can offer is relax... it's not rocket science.. if you're a couple degrees over or under on mash, big deal. if your OG is a couple points off, or you didn't get the efficiency that you had hoped for... big deal. In the end you still made beer.. from grain to glass.. and it'll be the best beer you made.. until the next one you make...
I agree very much with this post. Don't get caught up trying to "fix" things. First run, you're really just learning the system more than making beer, it's just a nice by-product. It might not be the greatest beer you'll ever make, but it's probably better than extract. Take notes (if you're that type) or at the very least, when it's all done have a beer and think about what went wrong and then figure out how to fix it for next time. Good luck!
 

JLW

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I'm only a three AG brews ahead of you. Agree with everything that was said above. I would add: to expect something to go worng or just not right. For example my last brew the outside temp was only about 20 degrees anf when I went to hook the water hose up to my wort chiller I discovered the hose was frozen darn near solid. I had to bring it in the house and give it a nice hot bath (to the amusement of my wife). Then the connector hose from the wort chiller got to close to the heat and melted so i had to fix that as well. Be prepared to problem solve if something does go wrong.

Otherwise enjoy and let us know how it went.
 
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