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My First All Grain Brewday!

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kharmajavah

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Well, to make a long story short, it was a success overall but I made some pretty stupid mistakes that I will know how to correct next time. In the end - I made beer. And you can't beat that.

In honor of the spring-like temperatures here in sunny Florida, I decided to make a simple Hefe.

Here's the recipe:

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.41 gal
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 13.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
1.00 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 9.1 %
5.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 45.5 %
5.00 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 45.5 %
1.00 oz Hallertauer [3.70%] (60 min) Hops 13.6 IBU
1 Pkgs Hefeweizen Ale (White Labs #WLP300)


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 11.00 lb
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 13.75 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F 60 min
Mash Out Add 7.70 qt of water at 196.6 F 168.0 F 10 min


The Mash:


First Runnings:


Hops Addition:



I learned a lot:

I sparged WAY too fast, and as a result I didn't get nearly the efficiency (about 62%) that I wanted. Subsequently I missed my OG, but not terribly - 1.050 instead of 1.055; it still should be a pretty decent Hefe within ABV characteristics for style. More importantly, it should still taste good.

The fast fly sparge was due to my inexperience with the process and the equipment - I definitely won't have that problem twice! I think I'll actually batch sparge next time, since I'm using a SS braid in my MLT. It's one less variable to mess with until I get the hang of it.

Other than that, everything was perfect. Using BeerSmith I hit my volumes and temperatures dead-on. If I had only been more careful with the sparge it would have been perfect. But, for a first shot at all-grain I'd have to say, not bad at all.

I made a (nearly) 2L yeast starter, and pitched it once the wort had reached 75F. I put it in the chiller and within six hours I had an awesome and delicious smelling fermentation going:

 

LazySumo

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Grat's Kharma, that looks like a lot of fun and mashing in the living room? SWMBO (you can see her reflection ((WAIT, I'm assuming that's her!)) in the TV) is quite trusting, heh. That carboy looks delicious and and tasty.
 
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kharmajavah

kharmajavah

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Hahah, no not SWMBO in the reflection, she's in Georgia on a project right now. Actually a friend and I brewed two batches that day (he did an extract on the stove and I did the all-grain) and some friends came over for a while.

Luckily, SWMBO likes delicious beer as much as I do, so mashing in the living room is no problem even if she is home :mug:

She let's me get away with anything, even my really stupid ideas (e.g. "learning experiences")...I'm a very lucky dude.
 

chumprock

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Grats! Did my first AG last weekend too. I caught a lot of potential mistakes, but made a few dumb ones anyway...

Part of the process I'd assume, and it's a lot more tiring than I originally expected!
 

Bernie Brewer

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Mashing on that carpet?? Yikes. You're braver than I, SWMBO notwithstanding. One little "oops" and you're out a thousand bucks on a new carpet. Personally, I'd rather brew outside, carpet or no carpet.
But, your beer looks good! Congrats!
 

Homercidal

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LOL! When I saw the first pic I was like YIKES! Mashing on the carpet! This boy is crazy!

But it's not a big deal if you have a good carpet cleaning machine...
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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WOW!!! Yeah!! I mean, the living room!!! One of the more bizarre brewing pics that I've ever seen! :D

SWMBO looks hot too, judging by the reflection in the TV. (I have a very healthy imagination. ;))

Congrats on your first brew, now......get it into the kitchen at least!! :D
 

ericm

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mashing on the living room coffee table (with carpet!) makes you a much braver (or possibly much more careful/neater) man than me
 

HoppyDaze

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nice! I did my first all grain two weekends ago and ended up at 62% as well. As a result I will have a tasty summer beer to enjoy right when the weather starts to turn.
 

alpo

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My first AG was also in the low 60s. After only a few more times, I got it up to the low 70s.
 

hughes_brews

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I just did my first AG a week ago and also was in the low 60's. From what I have read in the past week, I have a few ideas to hopefully get into the 70's next time.
 
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kharmajavah

kharmajavah

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Thanks for all the replies!

I have some ideas for how to increase my efficiency - mostly - a good sparge.

As for the mash above the carpet: 1. I have faith in my table. 2. It was easy to reach. 3. We rent. 4. I probably won't be doing it again, actually...I think the outside stairs would work better from a gravitational standpoint.
 

Dloucks

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My first two AG's didn't have effec problems, both were very close to what the kit said they would be.

My 3rd batch was very low (not a kit, a recipe from HBT) as was my 4th. As soon as i bought my barley crusher the problem went away. My guess is that the 5g batches have been adjusted weight wise by the companies I ordered from for their crush, as soon as I went to HBT recipes (still using the retailers crush) I saw a huge misses in OG.

Just a thought.
 
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