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SwAMi75

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Well, after much waffling, I ordered this: http://www.homebrewadventures.com/s...=PROD&Store_Code=homebrew&Product_Code=MA-016

I decided I wanted 10 gallon capacity so I can do my 1.070+ beers with ease. :D I'd originally intended to build my own, but after pricing out all the equipment, I decided I couldn't really do much better than this. The only thing I really don't like are the spigots, but I can swap those out with stainless pretty cheaply in the future. A SS false bottom would be nice, too, but this will work and is a pretty good deal, IMO. I ordered it Monday night, and it's sitting on my front porch as I type. :D

If all goes according to plan, ORRELSE and I will be doing my first AG batch Saturday afternoon. His guidance will be valuable, as he's already done a few AG batches on his own. Otherwise, I'd be lost. We're going to do this ESB kit for simplicity's sake.

I'm taking another plunge as well.....more on that in the Bottling/Kegging forum.

I'm stoked!!! :cool:
 

BitterRat

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Sam75 said:
Well, after much waffling, I ordered this: http://www.homebrewadventures.com/s...=PROD&Store_Code=homebrew&Product_Code=MA-016

I decided I wanted 10 gallon capacity so I can do my 1.070+ beers with ease. :D I'd originally intended to build my own, but after pricing out all the equipment, I decided I couldn't really do much better than this. The only thing I really don't like are the spigots, but I can swap those out with stainless pretty cheaply in the future. A SS false bottom would be nice, too, but this will work and is a pretty good deal, IMO. I ordered it Monday night, and it's sitting on my front porch as I type. :D

If all goes according to plan, ORRELSE and I will be doing my first AG batch Saturday afternoon. His guidance will be valuable, as he's already done a few AG batches on his own. Otherwise, I'd be lost. We're going to do this ESB kit for simplicity's sake.

I'm taking another plunge as well.....more on that to follow.

I'm stoked!!! :cool:
Cool Sam!! You'll be amazed how easy it is. but time consuming!! But well worth it too!! There's a lot of good brewers bith here and at the other place, so ask questions as they come up!! Esb is a good choice btw, good luck!!
 
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SwAMi75

SwAMi75

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Thanks man! Luckily I've seen it done once, and ORRELSE will be around to guide my dumb ass. It should go OK.

Really, my main concern is getting my boil volume right for a 5 gallon batch. But, whatever. Like I said before....I'll ferment it and I'm pretty sure it'll come out beer. :D
 

Dude

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Sam75 said:
Really, my main concern is getting my boil volume right for a 5 gallon batch. But, whatever. Like I said before....I'll ferment it and I'm pretty sure it'll come out beer. :D

Yeah...I'm going to do a study on that, or find a study on that....that last time we brewed at your place....what day was it? We only lost like 2 quarts or some sick figure like that.....

When I brewed last time I lost a 1 1/4 gallon in 90 minutes. Humidity makes a huge damn difference!

I think Promash figures boil volume.....hmmmm.....
 

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ORRELSE said:
Yeah...I'm going to do a study on that, or find a study on that....that last time we brewed at your place....what day was it? We only lost like 2 quarts or some sick figure like that.....

When I brewed last time I lost a 1 1/4 gallon in 90 minutes. Humidity makes a huge damn difference!

I think Promash figures boil volume.....hmmmm.....

I've always heard that it isn't the heat, but the humidity that gets you. Good luck , guys !


S.Monkey
 

Born Brewing Co.

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Good luck Sam! I finished building my 3 tier system (10 gallon igoos) today and have all the grain cracked for an Irish Red Ale. It's my first go at all grain, scheduled to fire the burners tomorrow (Thurs 6/23) at 9:00am. Having never done it before my concern is a stuck mash or screwed up lautering. I just hope I can get 5 gallons in the fermentor with a decent efficiency. I'll post how it goes. I wish I had Orrelse here to walk me through it! :D
 

Dude

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Born Brewing Co. said:
I wish I had Orrelse here to walk me through it! :D

LOL....Now that's some funny stuff!!!
I'm only on my 3rd AG batch and I find something I could correct EVERY TIME. I wish Janx was around because he can always suggest improvements and stuff. On brew day there is a crapload of stuff to remember, that's for sure.
I know the first time I did it (even after a few problems/surprises) I sat back and realized just how easy it is. Its more waiting around than anything. Pick up Sam Calgione's book and relax during the mash. :D
I can't wait til my keggle gets here, I wanna brew!!!!!!!!
 

andre the giant

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My advise is, don't worry too much. I still consider myself to be an all-grain newbie, but I've brewed 12 AG batches. I'm always forgetting something. In my last batch, I forgot the Irish Moss. Not a big deal. In other brews, I found myself mashing at too high a temperature, so I ended up with beer that was a bit sweeter. I've found that the Mash is pretty forgiving. I've put the boil hops in too early and ended up with beer that was nice and bitter. In the end, everything has ended up tasting like beer. Good beer.

Congrats on taking the next step. I think you will really like the results.
 

Born Brewing Co.

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All seemed to go well! I started right at 9am and clean up was done at 2pm. Tincture of iodine showed conversion at about 45 minutes into mash. Mash temp stayed constant at 154. My copper sparge sprinkler that I made seem to shower the grain nicely. After a few quarts of run off to clear wort I mashed out, at the same time opened the valve on the HTL and sparged as the mash ran out. 6 gallons went into the Kettle, ended up with exactly 5 gallons after boil. I measured my OG after chilling and in was 1.042, the goal was 1.050. I guess it's decent efficiency for first AG, I'm not sure what I could have done different.

Will I ever go back to extract kits? Hard to say. When time permits I think I will do AG. I enjoyed the AG experience, but it is a larger time commitment. I teach middle school, so I have more time in the summer and my wife and kids were gone today so I didn't have any interuptions. All seemed to go well, the real factor will be how it tastes. :D
 
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SwAMi75

SwAMi75

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Born Brewing Co. said:
All seemed to go well! I started right at 9am and clean up was done at 2pm. Tincture of iodine showed conversion at about 45 minutes into mash. Mash temp stayed constant at 154. My copper sparge sprinkler that I made seem to shower the grain nicely. After a few quarts of run off to clear wort I mashed out, at the same time opened the valve on the HTL and sparged as the mash ran out. 6 gallons went into the Kettle, ended up with exactly 5 gallons after boil. I measured my OG after chilling and in was 1.042, the goal was 1.050. I guess it's decent efficiency for first AG, I'm not sure what I could have done different.

Will I ever go back to extract kits? Hard to say. When time permits I think I will do AG. I enjoyed the AG experience, but it is a larger time commitment. I teach middle school, so I have more time in the summer and my wife and kids were gone today so I didn't have any interuptions. All seemed to go well, the real factor will be how it tastes. :D
Awesome, congrats man! Sounds like you made pretty good time. I'm like you....I'll probably still do some extracts when my schedule is tight and I want to brew. We're set to start around 4PM Saturday. I have a feeling it's going to be a long day.
 

Sir Sudster

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Way to go Man! I don't think you'll ever go back. AG all the way!
I am really curious though why you didn't hit your OG. Would like to know
your thoughts about it.
 

Born Brewing Co.

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Like I said, I'm not sure why I didn't match OG. I was anal about mash temps, and lautering. Was right on time for adding hops and irish moss. I beleive my efficiency was like 75%, although I didn't match goal OG I'm pretty sure it will taste like beer, GOOD BEER! :cool:
 

Born Brewing Co.

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Cool Sam, I'll check here as to how it goes. Yea, if all goes as planned you should be done by 9 or 10pm. Is Orrelse coming by to help? I take it you guys are Navy buddies. :confused: That's cool! I have you both marked on buddy list since you guys have good posts!

Later,
Greg
Born Brewing Co.
 
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SwAMi75

SwAMi75

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Born Brewing Co. said:
Cool Sam, I'll check here as to how it goes. Yea, if all goes as planned you should be done by 9 or 10pm. Is Orrelse coming by to help? I take it you guys are Navy buddies. :confused: That's cool! I have you both marked on buddy list since you guys have good posts!

Later,
Greg
Born Brewing Co.
Yeah, we were all done by about 9:30PM. He and I are in the USAF.

I estimate my efficiency at about 65%, and my mash temp was too high...about 160F. :eek: It's my first AG....I lived and I learned.

Target OG was between 1.055 and 1.060, and I got 1.052, most likely due to the hot mash. Still, should be nice for a bitter. Maybe a little sweet for my liking, but I'll bet it still gets drank. It's burbling away right now, and with a little luck, this will be my first kegged batch. :cool:
 
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Sam75 said:
I estimate my efficiency at about 65%, and my mash temp was too high...about 160F. :eek: It's my first AG....I lived and I learned.
QUOTE]

I was informed during my AG class that you have about 5 minutes to fine tune your mash temp once you add the water; Add it in, mix, check temp and if too hot add a little cooler water, mix and test. Add hotter if its too cool. His comment was have hotter and cold water on hand to adjust. Opinions from the long time AG'ers?
 

DeRoux's Broux

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I was informed during my AG class that you have about 5 minutes to fine tune your mash temp once you add the water; Add it in, mix, check temp and if too hot add a little cooler water, mix and test. Add hotter if its too cool. His comment was have hotter and cold water on hand to adjust. Opinions from the long time AG'ers?[/QUOTE]

that's what i have always been told/read. i usually hit mine w/ 170 degree mash water (1.33 quarts per lb. of grain), and stir 2 times an hour (@ 45 and @ 15). goes from about 158 to 155. i usually don't have to add a thing......i go in w/ about 162 for lighter ales, lagers.
 

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Well, adding cooler/hotter water will thin your mash out a little bit. Let's say Sam's target mash temp was 152 and he was at 160 after dough in. You might add some cool water to bring it down below 158 (the upper end for Alpha-amylase), but trying to get it down to 152 might thin out your mash too much. At any rate, it's good to have the water there to get the temp from any extremes.

-JC
 

Dude

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Justin Chomel said:
Well, adding cooler/hotter water will thin your mash out a little bit. Let's say Sam's target mash temp was 152 and he was at 160 after dough in. You might add some cool water to bring it down below 158 (the upper end for Alpha-amylase), but trying to get it down to 152 might thin out your mash too much. At any rate, it's good to have the water there to get the temp from any extremes.

-JC

Whats the drawback of a thin mash?
 
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ORRELSE said:
Whats the drawback of a thin mash?
Nabbed this from Palmers site:

{14.6 Manipulating the Starch Conversion Rest -

The grist/water ratio is another factor influencing the performance of the mash. A thinner mash of >2 quarts of water per pound of grain dilutes the relative concentration of the enzymes, slowing the conversion, but ultimately leads to a more fermentable mash because the enzymes are not inhibited by a high concentration of sugars. A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer. A thicker mash is more gentle to the enzymes because of the lower heat capacity of grain compared to water. A thick mash is better for multirest mashes because the enzymes are not denatured as quickly by a rise in temperature. }

So, if I grasp this, a thinner mash although still not optimal is better than a thicker one but'll take longer to convert. <sigh>
 

Justin Chomel

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What is optimal for one style might not be optimal for another style. It really depends on what you are shooting for. If you want a beer with lots of body and mouthfeel, a thicker mash at a higher temperature is suitable because there will be more non-fermentables. For a lighter bodied beer, the inverse is true. Ahhhhh....the joys of all-grain brewing!
 

DeRoux's Broux

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think of it like brewing coffee. lots of grounds with less water = dark, thick, stronger (better!!!) coffee. less grounds and lots of water = weak, thin, bitter (girly!!!!) coffee.

stout wants a thicker/hotter temp mash , Kolsch wants a thinner/lower temp mash.

but, with out a higher grade brew system and the ability to regulate your mash water, mash temp is going to be hard to change/manipulate. just hit it with 170 degree water. if it's a little higher than you want, stir the mash a little, cover and let that puppy go to town!

hence the reason i am currently buying parts to up-grade my system to a three tiered keg/kettle system, ww/ three burners........
 

Justin Chomel

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A three tier is nice. I invested in one when I went all grain and skipped the cooler method. However, a brewing friend is looking to all grain, and I am wondering if a cooler setup with steam injection (mentioned in another thread) for temperature control would be a more cost effective. I think it's promising to say the least.

-JC
 

DeRoux's Broux

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Justin Chomel said:
A three tier is nice. I invested in one when I went all grain and skipped the cooler method. However, a brewing friend is looking to all grain, and I am wondering if a cooler setup with steam injection (mentioned in another thread) for temperature control would be a more cost effective. I think it's promising to say the least.

-JC
i missed the steam thread?

my HBC has a club blacksmith that has been building their own 3-tier systems for a couple years. one of our members, Dean Domec (won National Homebrewer of Year a few years ago) "designed" one and built it, then they tweaked it a little. Really nice, for $200. All I supply is the three kegs, 3 temp gauges, propane bottle, and high-pressure regulator. He builds the rack, does all the plumbing, welding, blanket for the mash tun, etc. they claim (by the numbers) to be getting about 85-90% brew-house yield on 'em. one guy just brewed a HUGE beer and claims to have got 100% efficiency, according to beertools.com. if i knew how to post a pic, i'd post one of the system :confused:
 

Justin Chomel

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Here is the steam thread:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1283

I'm not sure beertools.com is the most accurate source for brew house efficiency calculations. A more accurate method would be to use the lab analysis from the grain lot. Beertools.com has extract potential profiles for types of grains, which is great for ballpark calculations, but even specific grains vary over time in their extract potential. The only way to get a confident calculation is using the lot analysis. At any rate, it sounds like a very efficient system, and $200 seems like an excellent price!
 
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