First all grain - thoughts

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Stephen
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Last Sunday, I spent the better part of 5.5 hours involved in my first all grain brew day. Originally, I picked up a Old Bearded Stout (extract) recipe kit from More Beer, expecting it to be my last extract kit before moving to all grain. Ended up putting together a lauter tun and that extract recipe kit turned into an all grain. After watching a few videos and reading some articles, including Palmer's book, I felt confident to start the brew day.

The recipe had a total of 17.25 lbs. of grain, which equated to 4.74 gallons of water. The water was added to the lauter tun, unfortunately I was still in the extract brewing mindset and forget to add all the specialty grains to the lauter tun. I didn't realize this mistake until later than evening. Obviously, I missed the OG range (1.074-1.090), which came in at 1.060. I was disappointed, but unaware at the time.

I now see you can add LME or DME to increase the sugar content and get the OG closer to the recommended value. Without knowing, I continued with the brew day, chilled the wort and pitched the yeast, fementation had started. Not really sure what to expect. Assume the ABV will come in much lower than recommended.

Could this batch turn out okay, even missing the OG? What should I expect after fermentation?
 

Gnomebrewer

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Did you steep the specialty grains separately? It wouldn't be much of a stout without the specialty grains in there! You could leave it as is (it might be a bit more bitter tasting), or add some DME/LME to raise the gravity (even though the ferment has started - it's no problem).
 

PianoMan

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I'd go through a 30min steep for the speciality grains, boil for 5min, cool then add to fermenter. It'll be fine. Just do it before 12hrs after fermentation started so oxygenation isn't a concern. Otherwise like before me said, it's not a stout.
 
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6thGoal

6thGoal

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Yes, I steeped the specialty grains for 30 minutes prior to the boil. Never heard of putting the grains into the fermentation vessel.

So typically, all grains go into the lauter tun, you don't steep them before the boil?
 

ApolloSimcoe

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Never heard of putting the grains into the fermentation vessel.
thats not what he's trying to say. Steep the grains, reserve the liquid, boil liquid for 5 min, discard grains, chill liquid and add to fermenter. Make sense?
 

Gnomebrewer

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And they're not saying you should add the steeped grain wort to the fermenter, just that you could if they were missed out of the original recipe by accident.

Did you end up adding malt extract to raise the gravity?
 

Gnomebrewer

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So typically, all grains go into the lauter tun, you don't steep them before the boil?
Typically all grains go into the mash tun (they get mashed), which is also the lauter tun for most home brewers (making it a mash/lauter tun, or MLT). Some brewers steep darker, roasted grains separately though.
 

BrewInspector

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Yes, ALL grains go in the mash tun with the strike water. They remain there for typically an hour. There is no steeping in all grain. The mash is the equivalent flavor extraction process.

DME can be used to add additional gravity points to the wort when the gravity does not reach desired levels following the mash. This is not a requirement, just an option. I have never added DME or other sugars when I fail to attain expected gravity. I just run with it.
 

PianoMan

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The way the original post was writtten indicated the speciality grains weren't added. Adding dme as others said is fine but before the 12hr point indicated earlier.

For future reference, I tend to only add about 1/3 dark grains to the tun until 40min onto the mash then add the rest. This significantly reduced bitter tannins in my final product. Just food for thought.
 
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6thGoal

6thGoal

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Appreciate the clarification. I did not do anything to increase the OG, it wasn't until hours later I realized why the OG was low. It's in the fermentation vessel and I can only hope it turns out fine.
 

kh54s10

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In all grain brewing all the grains go into the mash, usually at the same time. There are exceptions. When you mash the specialty grains the enzymes from the base grains break down complex, unfermentable, sugars into short chain, more fermentable sugars.

When doing this you get higher OG and a different beer than if you steep which will not add much to the OG and add mostly just flavor to the beer, instead of flavor and fermentable sugars.

You will get beer. It will be different than the recipe was designed for.
 
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