First All Grain Kit, Need Some Help!

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MrMista

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Hi everyone, I just purchased my first all grain kit from Austin Homebrew to brew next weekend. I am reading over the instructions and have a question about how to mash. In their instructions it sounds like they use fly sparging, when I have a 10 gallon cooler that I plan on batch sparging in. This is their instructions:

"In your kettle heat your strike water. Heat 1.25 qt of water per lb of grain to 20°F higher than desired mash teperature. Ideal mash temperature is 150°F (there are 10 lb of grain in this recipe). Mash the grains in the hot water for 60 minutes. Take temperature readings every 1/2 hour to ensure a stable starch conversion. Begin heating sparge water. Heat 5 gallons of water to 175°°F, and put in hot liquor tank. Once mash is complete begin to recirculate the wort by drawing it off the bottom and returning it to the top of the mash-tun, while not disturbing the grain near the false bottom. Recirculate for 10-15 minutes until wort is clear, and free of grain husks. Begin the sparge and runnoff into the kettle at the same rate. A rate of 12 minutes per gallon is ideal, be sure to keep 1-2 inches of water on top of the grain bed. Once sparge water is used or you have reached 6.25 gallons begin heating for boil. Don't run off more than 6.25 gallons of wort!"

So, they are using a fly sparge method. What would be the best way for me to convert this to a batch sparge? And better yet, how can I set up the profile in BeerSmith so that I can just use that in the future for all my brewdays. Does each recipe require anything different (other than temperature, and maybe amount of water)? Like will I need to do multiple different runoffs, and how many runoffs should I do? Does the number of runoffs differ from recipe to recipe? I have read that it is best to get your runoffs in equal parts (so if I am shooting for 6 gallons, I should get 3 in the first and 3 in the second). How would I enter that into BeerSmith?

Lastly they seem to really want you to use just 6.25 gallons of wort at the beginning of the boil, would it be that bad to use 6.5 gallons or more? I want to end with the 5.2 gallons, and I know I will boil off too much if I just use 6.25.

Also their recipe did not state a total boil time, just that the first addition should be 30 minutes. Is it always best to just do a 60 minute total boil and then after 30 minutes add your first addition? I do know some people do 90, how do you know what to do each recipe?
 

FATC1TY

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Plug it in the beersmith with your numbers that you know.

If you boil off X amount then Beersmith knows that.

I just did a recipe from someone that said to top up with 1 gallon pre boil, and thats with 4 gal mash, and roughly 5.5 gallon sparge. I pulled 3 gallon out of the mash, and pulled 7.5 from the sparge and then stopped. I figure my new brew pot would lose roughly the right amount for the 90 minute boil to leave me 5.5 in the primary when I was done.

Ended up spot on perfect, and didn't follow the recipe, but did follow what I have set up in Beersmith a bit closer.
 
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MrMista

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That makes sense, I figured it would just depend on your equipment and that the recipe was more of a guideline.

Was I correct about my assumption about the boil? Just do 60 or 90 minutes whatever you prefer, but just do the first hop addition at 30 (or whatever the recipe calls for)
 

helibrewer

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That makes sense, I figured it would just depend on your equipment and that the recipe was more of a guideline.

Was I correct about my assumption about the boil? Just do 60 or 90 minutes whatever you prefer, but just do the first hop addition at 30 (or whatever the recipe calls for)
A grain bill heavy with pilsner malt usually calls for a 90 minute boil to help clear the DMS (cooked corn smell) that is prevalent in pilsner malt.

If your recipe is mainly 2-row malt, then 60 minutes or whenever you hit your post boil OG.

Plan you first hop addition for the 30 min to go mark...if your boil needs to go longer, just pull the hop bag out after the 30 minutes.
 

Gartywood

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Im not sure the removing the hops and boiling longer is the best advice. Hop flavor and aroma is driven off by the boil and I would think that the hop oils that have already left the hop bag would continue to have the alpha acids isomerized making the beer more bitter than intended. this also assumes that he is using a hop bag.

IMO - figure out the boil off rate and sparge or top up to get the volume that you need (more sparge water means more collection of sugars and higher efficiency). My 15 gallon boilermaker boils off just over 1/2 gallon every 15 minutes if boil. So to get 5.5ish gallons to the fermenter I need to start with a preboil of 8 gallons (leaving a qt to 1/2 gallon in the kettle).

In other news if you start with a smaller boil volume you can always top up at the end of the boil just like with an extract partial boil.
 
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MrMista

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The recipe is a Blue Moon clone so it does have quite a bit of pilsner malt. I guess I'll do a 90 minute boil! How can you tell when your DMS is at a low enough level? Is there a way to test for that or is it just a rule that certain grain styles should boil for 90 minutes.

Where can I read more about boil time suggestions? I would have never known.
 

AndrewD

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In Beersmith, in the Design tab, set your equipment to "Pot and Cooler (5 gallon) Allgrain". Press the edit button directly right of the "Equipment" field and change the values for the mash tun to the ones for the 10 gallon mash tun (Volume=10 gallons, Weight = 9 pounds, Deadspace = .80 gallons). In the "Mash" tab, set the "Mash" to "Single Infusion, Medium Body". This is what I did with my first all grain last week with a 5 gallon batch in a 10 gallon cooler, and I am getting good results so far. The "Mash" tab will now tell you pretty close volumes/tamps for your initial strike water, mash out, and sparge.
 
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