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dgez

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Gentlemen,

Tomorrow is the day I will take the journey from boyhood to manhood. I will be doing my first all grain. I have read on the internet as much as I can, I have acquired all the needed equipment for an all grain brew. I am looking for any last minute pointers, tips, and gotchas, that the more experienced people have run across, so my journey is as smooth as possible. Here is my recipe and the gist of what I have planned for my IPA

9 lbs pale malt
1 lb honey malt
.5 lb Victory
.5 lb Crystal 60
1 lb Honey last 15 mins
1 oz Simcoe
1 oz Amarillo
1 oz Cascade
probably 1 extra oz of one of the above... (not sure how I'll split the hops up in the boil yet)
WLP 001 Cali Ale (1 qt starter made 2 days ago)

I hope to hit an OG of around 1.065

Single Infusion
Heat 15 qt. to 165 (per promash) target mash temp is 152
hold at 152 for 60 mins, drain to kettle
Batch sparge with 170 for 10 mins...not sure how much water to heat for sparge, I'll heat enough extra to give a good soaking.
5.5-6 gal boil, proceed as normal...

Any thing else I should be aware of?
 

davebl

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After you take your first runnings... the pre boil volume, minus your first runnings volume is your sparge volume.

its jsut what you need to get to your preboil
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Any thing else I should be aware of?
Yes, you will suddenly and inexplicably grow a third testicle and develop a never ending erection during the aroma hop addition.

You might want to let the wife know all this beforehand so she can be prepared.

Good luck!!:mug:
 

s1080

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It helped me greatly to write down every step. It can be confusing going from extract to all grain but if one writes down all the steps a bigger picture can be seen which allows less 'OH S***!' moments. And as always RDWAHAHB:) You'll do fine!
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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It helped me greatly to write down every step. It can be confusing going from extract to all grain but if one writes down all the steps a bigger picture can be seen which allows less 'OH S***!' moments. And as always RDWAHAHB:) You'll do fine!
+1 !!.... Writing down all your steps, or printing out a brewsheet if you are using software is, I think the biggest single aid to getting it right on the day.
 

wilserbrewer

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"Heat 15 qt. to 165 (per promash) target mash temp is 152"

Be advised that 165 is the temp at which you will be actually adding the grain after the strike water has stabilized in the mash tun. Not sure of your system, but if you are transfering this to a tun, you will need to exceed 165 (say 175 +-) to account for losses during transfer and heat absorbed by the tun. IMO best to overheat the strike water and wait 5-10 minutes for it to stabilize at strike temp. Much easier to wait and stir and lose some heat than add it once it is to late.

Good luck...Mike

oh and don't get panicky over the mash temp...give it a good 5 minutes to stabilize before checking. check all around the tun and sort of average it out as you will get a variance. might want to keep a gallon or so of boiling water if you need to bump up a few degrees...3-4 ice cubes will also lower the temp if you over shoot. Be patient though...some newbs start adjusting...I'm high...oh no now Im low...get it?
 

bull8042

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Wilserbrewer made a great point. Definitely overheat your strike water by 5 - 10 degrees and let it come down to the proper temp after adding it to your MLT. That is MUCH easier than trying to figure out how to do a decoction while in the middle of everything else.
 

bull8042

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Yes, I forgot to mention I will preheat my mash tun first, then add the 165 water. My mash tun is a converted rubbermaid 10 gallon 'insulated beverage container' made famous by Converting a cooler to a mash tun - Home Brewing Wiki

Do whatever you feel more comfortable with, but honestly, just adding your strike a few degrees hotter removes having to heat pre-heat water and dumping from your list of things to do.

If you have any problems, Laughing Gnome's cell number is...... Let me find that for you...;)
 

RedIrocZ-28

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In my experience I have to go higher on my strike water to hit the desired temp. I usually have to go 16-18* above desired strike temp. So if I wanted to hit 155* I would need to heat the strike water to 171-172*. This is just my equipment and setup though. Your results may vary. I would however, suggest that you overshoot your strike water temp because its easier to cool the mash down with tap water than it is to have some boiling water on hand. Again, this is MY experience.
 

wilserbrewer

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Yes, I forgot to mention I will preheat my mash tun first, then add the 165 water. My mash tun is a converted rubbermaid 10 gallon 'insulated beverage container' made famous by Converting a cooler to a mash tun - Home Brewing Wiki
By the time you "add the 165 water", it will no longer be at 165 after being added to the cooler.

For simplicity...i would do something like this...add 175 - 180 degree water to the tun...wait 10 - 15 minutes for preheating of the tun...cool (if required) by stiring or adding a few ice cubes till you hit 167...add grain.
 

Johnny9

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Something will go wrong....count on it... and RDWHAHB. It took me 5 AG's batches before I felt like I was on top of things.

Also, take careful notes of volumes and gravity readings along the way. They will help you figure out what went wrong later. Did you calibrate your kettle with a stick or long spoon?

Also, those first 4 AG batches stilll turned out great!!
 
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dgez

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Thanks for all the replies. It does sound like a better idea to add 180 degree water and let it cool to 165 then add the grain, as opposed to pre-heating it with another batch of water.

Johnny9, my kettle has gallon notches on the sides...i think its a 30 or 32 quart kettle with 7 or 8 knotches on the inside and out of the kettle...if this is what you mean by calibrate.

Nevertheless, I am stoked...I have plently of homebrew to drink while brewing, some friends are coming over to document/photograph for facebook, the weather is supposed to be 75 and mostly sunny, and I even have a couple of cuban cigars I am going to bust out! What could possibly go wrong????
 

jpc

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One more piece of advice that, after four all-grains, I still seem to have trouble with:

If a piece of equipment (HLT, MLT, boiler) has a valve, please make sure it is closed before putting liquid in it. It sounds so stupid, but trust me...
 

ajwillys

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Nevertheless, I am stoked...I have plently of homebrew to drink while brewing, some friends are coming over to document/photograph for facebook, the weather is supposed to be 75 and mostly sunny, and I even have a couple of cuban cigars I am going to bust out! What could possibly go wrong????
Every time I've royally screwed myself up brewing its been because of one or the other of the above. Good luck! It'll be fine, just don't drink 'too' much homebrew.
 

hardrain

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Because my first AG is fresh in my mind:

-I know it makes sense now to over-heat, let cool, and then not have to worry about heating up a 1/2 gal in the tea kettle, but I would still definitely recommend doing it anyway, at least the first 2 or 3 batches.

-Make sure to drain slowly, don't get impatient and try to crank the valve open too much.

-Have a method for determining exactly how much wort you pulled out on the first run, I didn't think to make a measuring stick before my first AG batch and ended up with a 4.25 gal batch instead of 5.

Goodluck, it will change your (brewing) life.
 

ericm

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if you know your boil-off rate/amount and check your pre-boil gravity and volume, you can do any corrections needed to exactly hit your OG (ie, adding some DME if your efficiency is low, or removing some wort (and saving it for starters!) and diluting if it was high, etc)

or you can just not sweat it and go with what you get :)
 

hbomb

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Tomorrow is the day I will take the journey from boyhood to manhood. I will be doing my first all grain.


Shoot, I did my first all-grain about 6 years ago, and now I am feeling a tad confused. Why didn't anyone warn me?

Heather
 

The Pol

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You will be fine... grain, water at a certain temp. and sparge til you have the proper pre-boil volume.

It will be easy, take your time, no rushing. I cannot wait to brew again next week, been a couple months while I added some more crap to the Brew Beast v2.0

Looking forward to reading your SUCCESS post.
 
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dgez

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I just went to my LHBS to pickup the 11lbs of various crushed grains, the aroma permeated the car. I immediately got an erection with a giant hop cone on the end of it! I am ready to do this!
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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I just went to my LHBS to pickup the 11lbs of various crushed grains, the aroma permeated the car. I immediately got an erection with a giant hop cone on the end of it! I am ready to do this!
Oh yeah.....Use that erection wisely. Take the brew gently at first, mash her carefully. Build her up until you are ready to get her boiling.....Get her rolling nicely, then the hop addition....POW!! Watch out for boilover at this point, it can get messy if you lose control. After the excitement of the boil she will need a little cooling down. During that period make sure you are doing the right things. When she is finally all done, she appreciates a nice hug at 70F before you can let her settle down and snore away with a contented bubbling sound.

You will be a man, my son ~ Kipling


PS. Many brews get most satisfaction from multiple hop additions.
 

RCCOLA

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Oh yeah.....Use that erection wisely. Take the brew gently at first, mash her carefully. Build her up until you are ready to get her boiling.....Get her rolling nicely, then the hop addition....POW!! Watch out for boilover at this point, it can get messy if you lose control. After the excitement of the boil she will need a little cooling down. During that period make sure you are doing the right things. When she is finally all done, she appreciates a nice hug at 70F before you can let her settle down and snore away with a contented bubbling sound.

You will be a man, my son ~ Kipling


PS. Many brews get most satisfaction from multiple hop additions.
:D:fro::rockin::p
 
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dgez

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Brew day was a success!! Everything went as planned with 2 exceptions. I did not anticipate the amount of water that would be lost due to boil off and hop absorption. After the boil I always strain the wort through a cheesecloth to remove excess hops. I had about 3.75 gallons when all said and done, OG at this volume was 1.072. I added water until the OG hit 1.060 which was at 4.5 gallons...after adding my 1 quart starter, total volume 4.75 gallons at 1.060. 1qt short of 5 gallons (was actually shooting for 5.25 gallons), .05 gravity short of target. But all is good!

I also slightly missed my mash temp, I was shooting for 152, was actually in the 156-158 range. I did not lose as much heat as promash calculated. I guess I could have added some cold water, but I was DWHAHB'ing.

The one thing that went way better than expected was the immersion chiller with garden hose fittings....212 to 75 in 15 mins. I was impressed!

I have already learned from this and will compensate in the future! I cant wait for my next batch!!! It feels good to be a man!
 
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