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My first mash adventure

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Hagen

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I've been steeping grains for some 13 years, and have been pleased with my results. But I decided that it was time to take a step up. My kitchen is small, so for now I am going to do partial mashes.

It's a small setup, and I'm sorry for not taking pics, was too excited to get going. I installed a valve in my old 16qt pot as an HLT, and use a 3gal Rubbermaid cooler with a false bottom I made out of an unused pot lid. It all fits quite nicely on the stove, chair and floor. It seems to handle 7lbs of grain well enough.

So here's what I started with:
5 lb. American 2-row
8 oz. British Munich
8 oz. American crystal 20L
8 oz. American crystal 60L
4 oz. Belgian Special B

4 lb. Light dry malt extract

1 oz. Cluster (7.9% AA, 60 min.)
1 oz. Challenger (6.3% AA, 30 min.)
1 oz. Hallertauer (aroma)

I calculated my strike temp at 167*F and after dough in was at 155*F, 1* above target, not too bad. From eyeballing it, I'd say I got a ratio of 1.3qt/lb. I let it go for 45 minutes, stirring it up every 15 min. After 45 min, the iodine showed complete conversion, and I commenced with the sparge. Sparge water 170*F

Apparently, the holes I drilled in my false bottom are a little on the large side and it took recirculating a little more than 3 qts before I was clear enough to sparge. I decided to go with a fly sparge. The sparge went without a hitch. My last hydro reading as I reached my boil limit of 4.5 gallons was 1.002 before adjusting for the 163*F temp. So my last runnings were around 1.016. So, I didn't get all I could, but OK for the first time.

Here's where the misadventure comes into play. Not paying attention, I dropped the hydrometer into the empty glass test jar. It went right through the bottom of the test jar and broke in half on the floor. So here I am with this 4.5 gal of wort, and no way of checking its gravity to see what my efficiency was.:(

Only slightly ruffled, I pressed on with the boil. In the process, I totally forgot to add the irish moss, no biggie, I still have gelatin for the transfer to secondary. My double coil chiller works phenomenally. It took my boiling wort down to 65*F in 10-12 minutes.:rockin:

I siphoned that sweet hoppy goodness into the primary, added the 1.5qt starter of Nottingham that had been feeding and growing for some 30 hours, topped off to 5.5gallons (only had to add 3 qts going full boil when bigger pot arrives this week).

At this very moment, the airlock is rattling away and the smells emanating from it are tasty.:D

LESSON LEARNED: Be nice to the hydrometer, and avoid glass test jars.:eek:

I'm not pleased that I couldn't calculate my efficiency this time. But then again, I doubt they worried too much about it for the thousands of years since brewing began.
 

SuperiorBrew

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Hagen said:
I've been steeping grains for some 13 years, and have been pleased with my results. But I decided that it was time to take a step up. My kitchen is small, so for now I am going to do partial mashes.

It's a small setup, and I'm sorry for not taking pics, was too excited to get going. I installed a valve in my old 16qt pot as an HLT, and use a 3gal Rubbermaid cooler with a false bottom I made out of an unused pot lid. It all fits quite nicely on the stove, chair and floor. It seems to handle 7lbs of grain well enough.

So here's what I started with:
5 lb. American 2-row
8 oz. British Munich
8 oz. American crystal 20L
8 oz. American crystal 60L
4 oz. Belgian Special B

4 lb. Light dry malt extract

1 oz. Cluster (7.9% AA, 60 min.)
1 oz. Challenger (6.3% AA, 30 min.)
1 oz. Hallertauer (aroma)

I calculated my strike temp at 167*F and after dough in was at 155*F, 1* above target, not too bad. From eyeballing it, I'd say I got a ratio of 1.3qt/lb. I let it go for 45 minutes, stirring it up every 15 min. After 45 min, the iodine showed complete conversion, and I commenced with the sparge. Sparge water 170*F

Apparently, the holes I drilled in my false bottom are a little on the large side and it took recirculating a little more than 3 qts before I was clear enough to sparge. I decided to go with a fly sparge. The sparge went without a hitch. My last hydro reading as I reached my boil limit of 4.5 gallons was 1.002 before adjusting for the 163*F temp. So my last runnings were around 1.016. So, I didn't get all I could, but OK for the first time.

Here's where the misadventure comes into play. Not paying attention, I dropped the hydrometer into the empty glass test jar. It went right through the bottom of the test jar and broke in half on the floor. So here I am with this 4.5 gal of wort, and no way of checking its gravity to see what my efficiency was.:(

Only slightly ruffled, I pressed on with the boil. In the process, I totally forgot to add the irish moss, no biggie, I still have gelatin for the transfer to secondary. My double coil chiller works phenomenally. It took my boiling wort down to 65*F in 10-12 minutes.:rockin:

I siphoned that sweet hoppy goodness into the primary, added the 1.5qt starter of Nottingham that had been feeding and growing for some 30 hours, topped off to 5.5gallons (only had to add 3 qts going full boil when bigger pot arrives this week).

At this very moment, the airlock is rattling away and the smells emanating from it are tasty.:D

LESSON LEARNED: Be nice to the hydrometer, and avoid glass test jars.:eek:

I'm not pleased that I couldn't calculate my efficiency this time. But then again, I doubt they worried too much about it for the thousands of years since brewing began.
Congrats, I get more enjoyment out of AG, I taught a friend to brew a few weeks ago and we did a couple extracts. That was when I realized how much I really like the extra steps of AG.

I wouldnt sweat the gravity/efficiency thing. When i first started I just added an exttra pound of base malt to pad it a little,

With dry yeast you are adctually hurting them nore than you are helping then by doing a starter. Just hydrate and pitch.

http://www.danstaryeast.com/rehyd.html
 

idkid

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Hagen said:
Here's where the misadventure comes into play. Not paying attention, I dropped the hydrometer into the empty glass test jar. It went right through the bottom of the test jar and broke in half on the floor. So here I am with this 4.5 gal of wort, and no way of checking its gravity to see what my efficiency was.:(
Wow! That's really odd. I did almost the exact same thing today on my first AG batch. I dropped my hydrometer and broke it, so I couldn't check my SG either. Really sucks, but hey we got beer!!!
 

Judd

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I'm surprised to hear you do a partial boil with an AG batch. How did that go? What was your sparge volume?
 

idkid

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I just had the same hydrometer breakage. As far as the boil, it was a 6.5 G one.
 
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Hagen

Hagen

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Judd said:
I'm surprised to hear you do a partial boil with an AG batch. How did that go? What was your sparge volume?
Sorry for the delay in answering, didn't see the question.

It's a partial mash, due to space restrictions in my kitchen. I can mash up to 7lbs in my 3gal round cooler, and make up the difference with DME. I normally collect around 4.5-5 gallons of runnings, but I've upgraded to a full boil.

My sparge volume, at 14 qts is definitely larger than one would expect for the grain bill. I sparge until I hit around 1.015-1.012, and after 4 batches haven't had any off-flavors in the finished beer. I hit 90-92% every time and figure don't fix what isn't broke.

I have a 5gal round cooler, and can probably cram 12lbs in it. I'm considering giving it a shot to do AG. But my old brew pot, now HLT is only 16qt, and I'd have to have a couple other pots heating water to make my volume. I'm going to give that a shot in a few weeks, and I'll post up pics and a report when I do.
 

Willsellout

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Good job. I recently brok my first Hydrometer as well. I like to keep two on hand now.

I personally much prefer PM over AG. As long as the beer is good (which it will be) don't sweat it!


Dan
 
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