First All Grain Batch

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ChargersSB

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Hi Everyone,

I am doing my first all grain batch this weekend and just wanted to get some last minute tips, pointers, critiques etc. Below is what BeerSmith2 kicked out and is telling me to do. Does this look good? I am using a 52 quart Coleman Xtreme Cooler with a SS Hose Braid inside and a 10 gallon SS Brew Kettle. I am going to try and have it ferment in the primary for 3-4 weeks at 65, then bottle. The only thing I have to control temps is the a big bucket that I can swap frozen water bottles in and out of. I am a little worried because it has been hot lately and I may be gone one weekend during those 3-4 weeks. Thanks. I can't wait to give this all grain thing a shot.

Style: Blonde Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 5.96 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.46 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 4.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 20.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 64.1 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
7 lbs Rahr Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 75.7 %
1 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 2 10.8 %
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 15L Grain 3 2.7 %
0.25 oz Magnum [14.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 14.2 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [6.40 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 6.4 IBUs
0.50 oz Amarillo [9.30 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 7 0.0 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 5 -
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [50. Yeast 8 -
1 lbs Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 9 10.8 %


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 4.0 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 4.16 qt of water at 189.6 F 154.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Drain mash tun, Batch sparge with 1 steps (6.16gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
 

step

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I am going to try and have it ferment in the primary for 3-4 weeks at 65, then bottle. The only thing I have to control temps is the a big bucket that I can swap frozen water bottles in and out of. I am a little worried because it has been hot lately and I may be gone one weekend during those 3-4 weeks. Thanks. I can't wait to give this all grain thing a shot.
Well, first of all... all grain is the way to go:mug: Don't let any minor hiccups throw you. As for your fermentation temp dilemma just know that with a proper pitch into a well aerated wort of moderate gravity the vast majority of fermentation should take place during the first few days and as long as temps are controlled during this time you will minimize nasty fermentation bi-products (fusels, excess or harsh phenolics & esters, etc).
 

emetcalf

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The mash part is WAY off. With 9 pounds of grain you should be using close to 3 gallons of water, and it is saying to use 1. I have never used Beersmith, so I don't know how to fix it but there is definitely something wrong there.
 

kcweazle

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I would also expect more than .5 gallons to boil off in 60 minutes. Even during a very light boil I usually lose at least 1 gallon in an hour. If it were me I would also be shooting for 5 gallons at bottling time instead of 4.5 gallons but that is just me.
 
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ChargersSB

ChargersSB

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Thanks for all the info. Sounds like the mash was completely wrong. I am still learning how to use BeerSmith also so that probably doesn't help. I made some adjustments and it now has this as the mash steps:

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 4.0 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 13.38 qt of water at 167.6 F 154.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Drain mash tun, Batch sparge with 1 steps (3.86gal) of 185.0 F water

However, it has been hot lately and I am going to pre-heat my cooler, so I think I will do as suggested and only heat to 160 to try and achieve 154 mash temp. Also, I figure that 13.38 I might as well just bump that up to 4 gallons and then do another 4 gallons with the sparge water.
 

bratrules

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Good luck on your first all grain it really easy and fun after your first time just like sex hahaha. but really once this is over you never look back!!!
 

ndoe22

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For me when mashing in a cooler I had a strike temp of 168 to get 154. I found it was easier to cool the mash than to raise it in a cooler.
 

bobbytuck

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Hi Everyone,

I am going to try and have it ferment in the primary for 3-4 weeks at 65, then bottle. The only thing I have to control temps is the a big bucket that I can swap frozen water bottles in and out of. I am a little worried because it has been hot lately and I may be gone one weekend during those 3-4 weeks. Thanks.
I use an ice bath setup, but I only keep the temp steady for *at most* five days. After that, nearly everything has fermented out -- and I stop worrying about the water bottles. The key time frame is 48-72 hours after pitching. After 72 hours, I really don't worry about off-flavors from fermentation temp and start to let up on the ice bottle regimen. After 5 days, fermentation for most of my beers is pretty much finished. I keep the fermenter in the water bath to maintain a steady temp environment, but I no longer add frozen water bottles.
 
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ChargersSB

ChargersSB

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All right so my first all grain day went pretty well. I heated my mash tun with 2 gal of 160 degree water as I heated up my strike water (? terminology) then drained it. I used 2 gal distilled with 1.5 gal tap for 3.5 gal. Heated that to 170 and my temp settled in at 154. After an hour I lost about 1.5-2 degrees. First runnings collected 2.5 gallons. Drained and batch sparged with 3 gal distilled and .75 tap, sparge temp was 185 let sit 10 minutes. Total pre boil volume was 6.5 gallons. After a 60 minute boil I had just under 5 gallons. OG: 1.054

I had a very hard time cooling the wort down and couldn't get it any lower than 72-74. I am also having trouble getting my fermentation temperature below this. So far no signs of the yeast doing their thing. I am hoping tomorrow morning I will see bubbling. All in all though a good first all grain day. Here's hoping things get going and I can figure out a way to bring down my fermentation temps. BeerSmith shows I had an efficiency of 78.8%...

Some pics located here: https://picasaweb.google.com/110758456097083941678/Brewing?authkey=Gv1sRgCJW2xI7Y9YSCZQ

Thanks again everyone.
 

emetcalf

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All right so my first all grain day went pretty well. I heated my mash tun with 2 gal of 160 degree water as I heated up my strike water (? terminology) then drained it. I used 2 gal distilled with 1.5 gal tap for 3.5 gal. Heated that to 170 and my temp settled in at 154. After an hour I lost about 1.5-2 degrees. First runnings collected 2.5 gallons. Drained and batch sparged with 3 gal distilled and .75 tap, sparge temp was 185 let sit 10 minutes. Total pre boil volume was 6.5 gallons. After a 60 minute boil I had just under 5 gallons. OG: 1.054

I had a very hard time cooling the wort down and couldn't get it any lower than 72-74. I am also having trouble getting my fermentation temperature below this. So far no signs of the yeast doing their thing. I am hoping tomorrow morning I will see bubbling. All in all though a good first all grain day. Here's hoping things get going and I can figure out a way to bring down my fermentation temps. BeerSmith shows I had an efficiency of 78.8%...

Some pics located here: https://picasaweb.google.com/110758456097083941678/Brewing?authkey=Gv1sRgCJW2xI7Y9YSCZQ

Thanks again everyone.
that sounds like a pretty successful first attempt. 78% efficiency is good, it seems like most people are lower than that on their first batch. How long did it take you to get down to 74*? Faster is better, so if you don't already have a wort chiller its probably worth looking into.
 
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ChargersSB

ChargersSB

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Thanks. Yeah, overall it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, just took about twice as long. I have an immersion chiller, but it took forever (not quite sure how long) and I couldn't get it below 74. I even had the incoming hose on the chiller that was attached to my garden hose running through ice water to try and cool it down before going through the rest of the way; but it didn't seem to do much. My previous batches I only had to cool about 3 gallons. I expected it would take longer, but not that long.
 
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ChargersSB

ChargersSB

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Okay, so my first all grain batch has been in my primary fermentor for 3 weeks. I took a gravity reading yesterday and it was at 1.008 (Beersmith predicted 1.009). It was clear and tasted great. I am so impressed by my first all grain batch and recipe from scratch, I don't think I will be going back to extract again. It is around 6% ABV, so a little be high for the style, but that doesn't really matter to me. I will be bottling it this weekend. Thanks for all the help on my first all grain batch everyone.

https://picasaweb.google.com/110758456097083941678/Brewing?authkey=Gv1sRgCJW2xI7Y9YSCZQ#5633878311635610354
 
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