new to AG, step by step and recipe?

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i'm going to be doing my first all grain batch the weekend after memorial day, will finally have all of my equipment by tuesday.. i wanted to know if there are any good resources that simplify and display the entire process for a newbie.. i've done enough extracts to know most of it, so it wouldn't need to be a complete idiot's guide..

i'm also looking for good first recipes that aren't too indepth.. neither my wife or i like hoppy beers, so no IPAs or pale ales for us, maybe a simple porter or wheat beer would be good if you have any easy suggestions..

thanks!
 

JonM

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My only suggestion would be to, at least the first time out, steer clear of styles that are notorious for stuck sparges like brews with lots of wheat, flaky adjuncts, or (at least in my experience) lots of Maris Otter.

Happy brewin'!
 

kevin0

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I'd recommend picking up a copy of Palmer's book, How to Brew. It has a chapter that explains your first AG brew step by step (mostly just about mashing..). My advice would be to keep it simple and thoroughly prepare before starting the mash.
 

wheels4

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I have done only 4 AG batches myself and feel comfortable in my process. I got 72% conversion on the first batch. 74% on the second and 75% on the third and 75% on the fourth. I have done a Strawberry Blonde, a Bitter Pale and a citrus wheat. The Strawberry Blond came out awesome and I now have a second batch in secondary. The Strawberry Blond is very easy but you do have to add fruit so I would do the Wheat. I don’t know what your setup is but I have a 48qt. Coleman cooler with home made copper manifold. I had no problem with a stuck sparge and did a fly sparge with all my brews. It is a very easy process and if I can do it anyone can do it. This is what I do.

I pre boil all my water. I boil 8 gallons total for a 5 gallon batch. I do this the night before or in the early AM. I don’t have any fancy brew software or anything I just use the free Tastybrew.com calculator for my temps. I have found that if I add 5 degrees to there temps I hit the temps right on. Every system is going to be different and you will have to see what works best for your system. I have a 48qt. Coleman cooler and a home made copper manifold for the mash tun. I do a fly sparge and found this to be very easy. You don’t have to worry about how much water your adding to the sparge to get the right amount of wort for boil. I use a SS spoon for the boil and have marks on the handle for gallons in the pot. This is what I do…

1) I heat the water for the mash in one pot and 2 gallons of water in another to preheat the mash tun.
2) Preheat mash tun for 10 minutes and drain.
3) Add half the water for mash then grains stirring constantly.
4) Add the rest of the mash water and stir again for a minute.
5) I will stir every 15-20 minutes for the mash time of 60 minutes.
6) I recirculate the wort for 20 minutes by draining into 2 half gallon Pyrex measuring cups (my wife is a baker) and pour back into the tun. Stir again and wait another 10 minutes. Then start the lauter until it is running clean of any grains.
7) I then start the fly sparge until I get the amount of wort I need for my boil. (I boil 6.75 gallons for a 5.25 gallon batch)
8) Then just boil as normal and clean up while the boil is happening.
I can do the whole brew day in 5 hours after 4 batches. I feel comfortable in the process and enjoy a few brews once the boil is on. Never before :cross:.

This is the Wheat recipe I used and it is a great summer beer. I believe I found it here but maybe not…either way it is good.

6lbs. White wheat malt
4lbs. American pale 2 row
.5 oz Cascade 60 minute boil
.5 oz cascade 20 minute boil
1.0 oz cascade 5 minute boil
.25 oz bitter orange peel 5 minute biol. Recipe called for .25 oz of sweet orange peel but they did not have it.
US-05 yeast

I mashed at 153 and it came out great. I add a slice of Orange to the glass…….Enjoy.
 

Yooper

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thanks for the great step by step wheels.. i have a 10 gallon igloo so those instructions are a good match..
I have a 10 gallon igloo also, so I think our procedures would be close to the same.

As far as recipes, you can do ANY recipe you want. Take a look at our recipe database, and pick one! You'll want to stay with a single infusion mash (no step mashes or decoctions) but those are the most common anyway.

All AG recipes tend to be very simple. Crush the grain, even if there are five kinds, and add to water.

In my case (batch sparging):

1. I use 1.25-1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain.
2. Preheat the cooler.
3. Add water and let the temperature settle to 11 degrees above my desired mash temperature.
4. Stir very very well. Check the temperature in several places. Stir some more, until the temperature is equalized throughout and it's mixed very well.
5. Set timer for 60 minutes. No stirring- it's not necessary at all, and may decrease your temperature from opening and stirring all the time!
6. Start heating sparge water.
7. After 60 minutes, recirculate a quart or two of the runnings from the MLT, then drain to the boil kettle.
8. Add 1/2 the sparge water to the MLT. Stir like crazy. Then stir some more. Vorlauf and drain to the boil kettle.
9. Repeat #8.

That's it!
Now about volumes and temperature, that's pretty easy to guestimate but I'd suggest having some extra hot water around, as well as some extra cold water, for the first couple of brews.

When you're ready, if you post up a recipe and a question, we can help you with the details of how much water in the mash and the sparge, and the temperatures for them.
 

CPooley4

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The brew chart in my signature below is set up for all grain batch sparge brewing. Takes care of pretty much everything for you (brewday math, yeast pitch, carbonating, etc...). I think you'd find it to be a useful resource and it's free. Also has a brewday tab that helps with any adjustments you may want to make if you miss your target gravity preboil.

If you end up downloading it and have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Good luck.

cp
 

itsme6582

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Get some brewing software. You can print out recipe specific instructions taylored to your equipment from most of them.

Brewtarget
Beersmith
 

Stevo2569

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itsme6582 said:
Get some brewing software. You can print out recipe specific instructions taylored to your equipment from most of them.

Brewtarget
Beersmith
+ 1
The new BeerSmith is coming out soon. I forget the date, June something. If you get the current version now, you should qualify for a free upgrade when its available. I think the add ingredients by % will be very handy as well as multiple recipe windows. :Rockin!
 
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