First AG this weekend

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jajabee

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I brewed an extract beer a few years ago, didn't like it at all. Husband added way too many hops. :p So now I'm trying again with AG and less stress about sanitation. :)

Gonna brew two 5 gallon batches on Sunday (a friend's doing the other one), using this setup from the Oregon Brew Crew: OBC Pilot System Page - pilotsystem.html

Planning to use the 10g SS kettle for heating the water, and the two 15g keggles for the wort boil, staggering the two batches to work with the single mash tun.

Here's my plan, what do y'all think? Any obvious mistakes?

Homebrew - Google Docs
 

Mike M

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Props to the Oregon Brew Club for letting folks use the set-up. Very cool.

I briefly checked out your plan, and have a couple of comments (you almost lost me with your last activity on Saturday- that sounds way too much like work :drunk: ).

You don’t want to boil your strike water. Depending on your target temperature, and grain temperature you’ll probably be shooting for something closer to 162-164 F. There are a few online temperature calculators (look here: TastyBrew.com | Homebrewing Calculators for one)

Will your cooler hold 8 gallons and grains? You may want to drain your first runnings into your kettle and batch sparge. Here again, you needn’t boil your water, 180 on your sparge water will likely do what you need. You can start the heat on your first runnings while sparging.

I’m not sure if you’ve allotted enough time to bring your wort to a boil. And then I generally boil for 60 minutes (90 if’n I’m using pilsner malt).

Do you know at what times you plan your hop additions?

It generally takes me 5 to 6 hours to complete an all grain brew. Remember keep it simple and have fun.
 
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jajabee

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Thanks Mike! And yeah, the OBC is amazing. I just picked up the equipment, and it's even better than pictured, nicer mash tun.

Great point about the non-boil. I hadn't thought it through, I just figured hot water was boiling water. :) Fortunately I picked up a good digital probe thermometer, so I would have figured it out eventually. I think. :)

The cooler is big... yes, I think it can hold the grains and water. It's a 10 gallon kit, so the 5 gallons I'm looking to get out of it should work.

I have no idea how long all the boil times will take. The burners are 55K BTU, which is a heck of a lot more than my stovetop, but not as high as some of the ones I've seen mentioned around here. Still though, with only 5-7 gallons... hopefully it'll be fairly speedy.

For the hops, I'm going to be following the "Holiday Cheer" recipe Don Osborn has on his website, which calls for 2oz at 60mins and another ounce at 2 minutes. Ideally I'd like to end up with zero "hop" flavor in this, do you think I could reduce those amounts at all?
 

Mike M

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... Ideally I'd like to end up with zero "hop" flavor in this, do you think I could reduce those amounts at all?
Don't know if I agree that that would be ideal, but it is your brew. :p

Are you trying to avoid bitterness or hop flavor/aroma? By the way, Centennial is a terrific hop for both.
 
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jajabee

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Thanks Mike! I ended up just going with Don's recipe, as close as I could manage, anyhow. Here's some photos, the OBC equipment was fantastic! http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=74528&id=672383574&l=148ec4dfbd

"Christmas in July" - from Don Osborn's "Holiday Cheer"

Grains: 11 lbs Organic two row pale
.5 lbs Caramel 60
2 oz Black Patent

Hops: 1 oz Cascade pellets 6.9% AA 55 min
1 oz Cascade whole flower 35 min
1 oz Cascade whole flower 2 min

Yeast: Wyeast 1056 - 2 pint starter made 20 hours prior

Misc: 1 lb Raspberry Honey 15 min
3 tsp ground cinnamon 14 min
1 oz dried ginger root 12 min
.75 sweet dry orange peels 12 min

- 6 gallons 165 -> ice -> 155
- after 60 min -> 154
- collect 5 gallons
- add 2 gallons 185
- 6.5 gallons in brew kettle
- 5 gallons in fermenter
- fermented at 68-70

Lessons Learned:

• The red mill at Steinbart's is for making finer grain, use the silver one next time for properly crushed grains.

• A 2 pint starter is too much liquid for the 1qt flask, use a 1pint starter next time if possible, or leave paper towels around the stir plate to keep it clean.

• Boil-overs are very likely while boiling the starter, use a bigger pot an be careful when you first add the DME.

• Come up with a lid for the kettles

• 12 pounds of grains take the mash water temp down about 9 degrees

• Cinnamon sticks are not worth grating by hand.

• Might need to vorlauf before hydrometer reading? Does a thick slurry in there affect it? Cause the OG reading I got was 1.030, which is way off. Though I don't know enough about hydrometer readings to understand why that's a bad thing. :)



Whoa, ok, I just took another hydrometer reading now that it's settled down (probably killing my beer in the process, right? :p ), and it's still reading 1.030. Don's recipie said his was 1.062! Wow, I wonder what I did wrong. What effect will this have on the final product?
 
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