First AG With Pics

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BNVince

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I did EdWort's Hause Ale for my first AG Saturday. I'm pretty happy with the results. A few things got screwed up but I believe I know why.



First off, I hit my mash temp spot on. Beginners luck maybe?



When I mashed out I missed big time. Apparently the thermometer that came with the turkey fryer is way off. I was suppose to hit 168F for the mashout but it only went to 154F. Could this effect efficiency?



Sparging and vorlaufing went well. I was shooting for 6.5 gallons for a boil and got a little less. I was off by maybe a quart which is good with me.

The next problem was the hotbreak.



I got a pretty bad boil over even though I was hitting it with the spray bottle. I think I need to keep a closer eye on the burner itself when the hotbreak starts to form.

I was shooting for 5.5 gallons in the fermenter but I ended up with 5 even. I think this is a combination of the boilover, higher evaporation rate then expected, and starting with a little less then 6.5 gallons as originally intended.

But my biggest disappointment was missing my OG. I got a reading of 1.050 for 5 gallons as opposed to my calculated 1.052 for 5.5 gallons. According to BeerSmith, this puts me at around 66% efficiency. I'm curious if missing the mash temp would be a major factor in this.

Anyway, she's in the basement bubbling away as we speak. All in all I'm pretty happy with how it went.

Thanks to everybody here for helping me out. You guys rock.
 

bradsul

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Congrats on the first AG! :mug:

66% is a great first effort, don't feel bad about that! Missing your mash out means you wort might be a little more fermentable than you originally planned but since you batch sparged (I assume anyway) it doesn't actually matter too much. Since everything went immediately to the boil - that effectively became your mashout anyway. :)

You will want to sparge more next time, that is part of the reason your efficiency was low. Shoot for 7 gallons pre-boil and you should be able to hit your 5.5 target.
 

ohiobrewtus

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It look like your first AG went much better than mine did. It will certainly get easier as you continue to brew AG.
 
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BNVince

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bradsul said:
Congrats on the first AG! :mug:

66% is a great first effort, don't feel bad about that! Missing your mash out means you wort might be a little more fermentable than you originally planned but since you batch sparged (I assume anyway) it doesn't actually matter too much. Since everything went immediately to the boil - that effectively became your mashout anyway. :)

You will want to sparge more next time, that is part of the reason your efficiency was low. Shoot for 7 gallons pre-boil and you should be able to hit your 5.5 target.
I did three steps. Dough in, mash out, and one batch sparge. Perhaps two batch sparges next time will help with the efficiency?
 

bradsul

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BNVince said:
I did three steps. Dough in, mash out, and one batch sparge. Perhaps two batch sparges next time will help with the efficiency?
Most likely. You could skip the mash out for now and just sparge with a little hotter water. Increase your sparge amount as well as I mentioned, that should get you up into the 70's. I like to do my sparges in 2 equal batches, it seems to help my efficiency.
 

Lil' Sparky

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Yeah, you were definately much better prepared and put together for your 1st AG than I was. And don't sweat the efficiency. That may be all you ever get unless you get a grain mill. Before I got my barley crusher, I formulated my recipes on 65% efficiency. Those turkey fryer pots are tricky with boil overs. My advice is start looking now for a larger kettle/keggle. But until then, when you start seeing foam, turn the burner WAY down until you get a little boil for a while, then SLOWLY turn it up. Get the boil going for a few minutes before you try to add your first hop addition.
 
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BNVince

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Lil' Sparky said:
Yeah, you were definately much better prepared and put together for your 1st AG than I was. And don't sweat the efficiency. That may be all you ever get unless you get a grain mill. Before I got my barley crusher, I formulated my recipes on 65% efficiency. Those turkey fryer pots are tricky with boil overs. My advice is start looking now for a larger kettle/keggle. But until then, when you start seeing foam, turn the burner WAY down until you get a little boil for a while, then SLOWLY turn it up. Get the boil going for a few minutes before you try to add your first hop addition.
Yeah, I quickly realized I should have bought the 40qt pot I saw on sale for $30.
 
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BNVince

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I did my second AG batch yesterday and made a few changes. I skipped the mash out and did 2 batch sparges instead. I nailed my estimated OG which puts me at 75% efficiency! Sweet.

Thanks for the recommendation guys.
 

slnies

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BNVince said:
I did my second AG batch yesterday and made a few changes. I skipped the mash out and did 2 batch sparges instead. I nailed my estimated OG which puts me at 75% efficiency! Sweet.

Thanks for the recommendation guys.
It sound like you are off to a great start, don't sweat the efficiency. Plenty of all grainers tell use noobies that experience will make that better. I tend to believe, once you become one with you setup, you will nail it every time. S.
 
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BNVince

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slnies said:
It sound like you are off to a great start, don't sweat the efficiency. Plenty of all grainers tell use noobies that experience will make that better. I tend to believe, once you become one with you setup, you will nail it every time. S.
I'm quickly starting to realize that. Everything is dependent on your own setup.
 
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