Questions for 2nd AG

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mZnthebend

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Well I managed to stumble through my first AG about a month ago and am ready to tackle my 2nd. (Single Infusion, batch sparge) The 1st went suprisingly well, save the fact that I didn't take into account a temperature correction when checking the gravity of my 1st and 2nd runnings. I freaked out, no DME on hand, used BTP to calculate that 3# of Table Sugar would bring me to where I wanted to be with a 5g batch!! My Pale Ale turned out to be a cidery 9% whopper that is slightly reminiscent of a, dare I say, Belgian? Aside from that, things went well until I tried to safely dispose of 2 oz. of leaf hops down the garbage disposal. The disposal made short work of packing the hops so tightly into the P-Trap that it blew the compression fitting apart and sprayed nasty sink/hop water over every surface and everything under the sink. My wife excitedly reported to me "You know you shouldn't have done that!" So after licking my wounds and putting an extract batch into the pipeline, I am ready to tackle another AG. Which leads me to a couple of questions:

1. What is a good method to take a gravity reading of 1st and 2nd runnings with a Hydrometer? I know...get a refractometer...I will in a few months. Is it best to try to account for the temperature variation or let it cool for a while then take a reading. The chart I was looking at taped off above 150F. I think I took my reading in the BK when it was around 190F, then didn't correct for it.

2. During a single infusion, batch sparge AG, what should I do with the first runnings. Is it advisable to start boiling the first runnings while the conduct my sparge. It was about 20 in my garage when I did my last AG and I was concerend about the first runnings cooling too much so I just let them simmer during the sparge.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks
 

anderj

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have a jar of ice water on hand and set your sample tube in that until it cools to some reasonable temp. I have just gotten into all grain myself but have sat in on the process a couple of times. Those guys warmed their wort during the sparge but didn't allow a boil. The temp they kept was about 185-190 so when the sparge was finished they didn't have to far to go. Also, they didn't start warming it until about half of the wort was in the kettle.
-ander
 

JoePolvino

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mZnthebend said:
1. What is a good method to take a gravity reading of 1st and 2nd runnings with a Hydrometer? I know...get a refractometer...I will in a few months. Is it best to try to account for the temperature variation or let it cool for a while then take a reading. The chart I was looking at taped off above 150F. I think I took my reading in the BK when it was around 190F, then didn't correct for it.

2. During a single infusion, batch sparge AG, what should I do with the first runnings. Is it advisable to start boiling the first runnings while the conduct my sparge. It was about 20 in my garage when I did my last AG and I was concerend about the first runnings cooling too much so I just let them simmer during the sparge.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks
I don't bother taking hydrometer readings until my wort goes into the fermenter. If you have a proven recipe, or have calculated the sugars based on your grain, and have mashed at 148-153, then you should get good extraction and hit your gravity. I have brewed over 30 AG batches this way and am usually within a few points. With more experience, you'll understand your brew efficiencies better.

If you absolutely need to nail a gravity, then in-flight adjustments can be made, but I'd keep it simple and not do it.

As far as heating wort collection, I start heating it as soon as I get a couple gallons (I fly sparge).
 

malkore

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I too never bothered with hydro readings until after wort chilling has completed and its in my bucket ready to pitch.

I don't find it useful to 'fix' a batch in the middle of brewing. I simply accept the efficiency I got on that batch, and look for ways to improve it next time (if necessary).

After 2-3 batches, you'll know your average brewhouse efficiency, and if its too low, you can work on a better grain crush, better pH monitoring, and other techniques to raise efficiency.
 
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what I do, is after all the wort is in the boil kettle I take a small sample (only as much as I need) in a stainless steel bowl. I set that bowl into another bowl of crushed ice and water and swirl from time to time. I can drop from 200 deg f to 60 in about 2 min or less then and only then will I make OG corrections.
Good luck
PS put nothing down the drain
JJ
 

manny101

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Good thread. First time posting on this forum, have been a lurker for a while. Thought I'd jump in and ask a related question. Anyway, is there a way to calculate post boil gravity from the gravity reading taken pre-boil with the wort collected from the mash? Thanks.
 
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