First All Grain Try

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LibertyBrewer

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I decided to do my first all grain, and purchased the ingredients to make Ed Worts Haus Pale Ale. When making this, I went out of my way to make sure I didn't do anything really stupid. I sat down and read the instructions twice. Got everything together, measured my water. Preheated the mash tun, measured water temps.

So I doughed in with 3.5 gals of water at 155 degrees. After dough it, temps dropped to 152-153. put the lid on, and gave it a stir every 15 min. At the end of an hour, I added 5 quarts of 175 degree and began vorlauf. So far, everything has been going fine. I drained the tun into the kettle, and then added 3.5 gals. of 175 degree to the mash tun, waited around for about 5 minutes then drained to kettle. When I got done, my 30 quart kettle was filled to about a quarter of an inch of the top.

I began to boil. I had to go slow to keep it from boiling over. So, I boiled it for an hour and checked the S.G. It was 1.041. I didn't know what to do, so I kept boiling. I boiled it down until I got the S.G up to what it called for in the recipe 1.051. Did I do the right thing?

I cooled it down and ended up with slightly under 5 gal. in the primary. I pitched my yeast at 75 degrees, and so far everything seems fine.
 

korndog

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If you did all hops additions, then boiled down, you likely will miss the late addition character, and end up more bitter than desired. If you just add boiling-hops and need to make adjustments, it's usually no big deal if you get your late hops in on-schedule. It takes a few batches to get used to your equipment, boil-off, and efficiency. Keep a little DME around to make adjustments early in your education.
 

Hammy71

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For a first time that doesn't sound to bad... Like Korndog said....it takes awhile to get your system down pat. Make sure you keep good notes. DME is an option but... I'm pretty anal..Me personnaly....I don't want anything in my AG....If it comes out 'weak'....so be it. But if hitting your numbers is what your anal about (trust me...we ALL have these traits....lol...) Then boil down or add DME. Either way....it's your beer and you'll love it!! Congrats!!
 
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IS stirring during the mash a common thing? i never do. I stir really well at dough in, then after an hour I vorlauff and drain, then sparge twice. Anything to gain from sitrring during the mash besides losing temps? Not really a gain.
 
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Figuring your system performance out will take a few brews. The best thing IMO for the first AG brew is to measure OG and volume when the hour is up. You did that, so now you have that data. Use that OG measurement to figure your efficiency. If your volume was off, you can also adjust how much wort you need to collect in the future.

Next time you brew, assuming the crush is the same, assume your efficiency will be the same as the first time and adjust your grain accordingly. If your efficiency is lower than a recipe calls for, you'll use more grain. If higher, you'll use less grain. Software can help with these calculations.

It may take a few times before you start getting efficiency numbers that hover around the same range, but you'll still get good beer in the mean time if your recipes are solid.

I'm guessing that since you ended up with SLIGHTLY less than 5 gallons, you just need to collect less wort on your next brew. Sounds like your efficiency probably isn't too much below what the recipe called for, but you boiled off less than expected due to slow boiling up front.

edit: Did you assume 5 gallons when you took your 1.041 reading? Was there more than 5 gallons in the kettle?
 
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LibertyBrewer

LibertyBrewer

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For a first time that doesn't sound to bad... Like Korndog said....it takes awhile to get your system down pat. Make sure you keep good notes. DME is an option but... I'm pretty anal..Me personnaly....I don't want anything in my AG....If it comes out 'weak'....so be it. But if hitting your numbers is what your anal about (trust me...we ALL have these traits....lol...) Then boil down or add DME. Either way....it's your beer and you'll love it!! Congrats!!
I hit the last hop addition a little hard, so I might have some flavor in it. :)

I have some LME around also, but I wanted it to be an all grain. I'm not completely anal about the numbers, but I didn't want my first all grain tasting like Miller Lite.

I need to take some pics of my MLT, and see what you all think of it. It drained well, and didn't get stuck.
 

korndog

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Making on-the spot corrections like you did is going to become second nature soon. I like having a refractometer for this reason. I would switch to 90 minute boils if you can. This allows you to stabilize your boil and check evaporation rate before your first hop addition (except FWH). It also has the major bonus of driving off DMS.
 

PavlovsCat

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If you did all hops additions, then boiled down, you likely will miss the late addition character, and end up more bitter than desired. If you just add boiling-hops and need to make adjustments, it's usually no big deal if you get your late hops in on-schedule. It takes a few batches to get used to your equipment, boil-off, and efficiency. Keep a little DME around to make adjustments early in your education.
What are the calculations/measurements to govern how much DME you would add if your gravity was off and you didn't want to boil lower than your target volume?
 

korndog

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What are the calculations/measurements to govern how much DME you would add if your gravity was off and you didn't want to boil lower than your target volume?
you will typically get about 9 points added to your 5 gallons of wort per pound of DME.

I strongly urge AG brewers to use Pro-Mash or similar. It makes these kinds of corrections very easy.
 
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LibertyBrewer

LibertyBrewer

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On the homebrew scale, I figured this is probably not an exact science. I think on the next try, I might go to the 90 min boil, with the a change in the hopping schedule.

One question, what is the purpose of the addition of 5 quarts of 175 degree water at the end of the mash?

Let me see if I can add this picture. This is my kettle. The top ring of of hops/crud is where the boil started.
[/IMG]
 

korndog

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On the homebrew scale, I figured this is probably not an exact science. I think on the next try, I might go to the 90 min boil, with the a change in the hopping schedule.

One question, what is the purpose of the addition of 5 quarts of 175 degree water at the end of the mash?
That's called a mash-out infusion. It's an optional step designed to stop conversion and aid in run-off efficiency. I use one, but many very fine brewers do not.
 

PavlovsCat

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you will typically get about 9 points added to your 5 gallons of wort per pound of DME.

I strongly urge AG brewers to use Pro-Mash or similar. It makes these kinds of corrections very easy.
I use the limited on-line calculators. Waiting for BeerSmith or Promash to get a MAC version.
 

conpewter

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Since you have a smallish kettle, look into Fermap (or some other foam control) so you can have a good rigorous boil without worrying about boil over.
 
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LibertyBrewer

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This is an update on this batch.

I pitched the yeast,and everything was going great. I was planning on bottling 10 days after I pitched the yeast. On day 5, I had some nerve problems in my back, and the beer ended up spending 14 days in the primary. After that, I had Mrs. Libertybrewer at my direction siphon the beer out of the primary into a secondary. It stayed in the secondary for another 7 days. I finally bottled it yesterday.

I think I am going to call this inflamed sciatic nerve beer.
 
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