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Pretty Successful First All-Grain Today

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jchamp

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So I'm a long-time reader, but first time poster here. I've brewed about 15 batches using extract kits in the last year, and decided it's finally time to upgrade to all-grain. I thought I would relay my experiences and ask for a little feedback.

My biggest concern was the additional time involved with all-grain, having two small kids at home. It did take me a little over 4 hours from start to finish, compared with about 2.5 hours with the extract kits. So I'm not so happy with that part, but I know it'll get a little better with experience.

Like many, I made Ed Wort's Haus Pale Ale because I wanted a good pale ale and it's an easy recipe to follow. I added two extra lbs. of 2-row to compensate for my planned lower efficiency. So the grain bill was:

10 lbs. 2-row
2 lbs. Vienna Malt
0.5 lbs. Crystal 10L

To achieve my desired strike temperature in the mash tun (a standard 10 gal converted cooler) of 152 F, I overheated the water to ~170 F. Then I added it to the cold cooler and added the grain. Unfortunately, I ended up at around 146 F and had to heat up some additional water. Ed's recipe calls for 1.25 gallons sparge water at the end of the mash, so I boiled that and added it at around 20 minutes into the mash. The temp came up to 152 F and stayed there the rest of the hour.

Everything else went according to plan. Sparge water was around 183 F before being added. I stirred it up with the grain and then immediately drained it out and then boiled the batch without any further problems.

I ended up with around 5.25 gallons of wort. I calculated with my grain bill that 100% efficiency would give me a 1.083 gravity for 5.5 gallons. My gravity was around 1.056 at 80 F. Correcting for temperature and volume, I estimated my efficiency at around 67%.

So I have a few questions:

1. Did I calculate my efficiency right?
2. When I added the 1.25 gallons additional water during the mash, should I have let everything sit for an hour, instead of just the remaining 40 minutes?
3. Should I have let the sparge water sit for a few minutes after stirring, and then vorlauf?
4. Anything else that I obviously messed up?

All in all, I'm quite pleased. I think the crush I got from Austin Homebrew was probably pretty good and not a contributor to my efficiency. However, I am going to buy a barley crusher, so I can take advantage of the bulk grain prices and shelf life.

Next up is St. Faud's Irish Red.
 

RCCOLA

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So I have a few questions:

1. Did I calculate my efficiency right?
2. When I added the 1.25 gallons additional water during the mash, should I have let everything sit for an hour, instead of just the remaining 40 minutes?
3. Should I have let the sparge water sit for a few minutes after stirring, and then vorlauf?
4. Anything else that I obviously messed up?

QUOTE]
1.Looks pretty close.I use a free online recipe calculator you might find useful
Beer Calculus . homebrew recipe calculator
It will let you check efficiency easily
2.I would have gotten that temp up immediately and then let it sit for the hour.Try adding 178F to the empty tun,letting it drop into range and then adding the grain.This will pre-heat the MLT and keep you from losing temp in the transfer.
3.I usually let it sit for 15mins,vorlauf then run off.Some do some dont.
Otherwise looks great.Congrats on your 1st all-grain.No disasters is a good brew day!:mug:
 
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