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volcano

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Okay, so I've done a few K+K's nad have recently obtained 2 kegs. Getting the esky for the mash/luater tun is easy part.

I would really like to have a go at an AG brew, so please bear with me as I ask more dumb questions.

I've read through the relevant chapters on http://www.howtobrew.com and think I understand the concept of it.

Let me see if I have the process correct - any input is appreciated.
You basically have A pot of hot water (just below boiling) for sparge water.
First, you boil up this water.
Next, you pre-heat the mash/lauter tun with some hot water. (Called Strike water?)
Then you put the cracked grains into the tun with either a manifold or a false bottom (Is this right?) and fill it up with hot water (about 3-4 litres). Ideal temperature is about 68 degrees celsius.

You then stir this every 20-25 minutes, returning the lid to stop from losing too much heat.

Now, at this stage, you need at least 6-8 litres of hot water left in your tank for sparge water.
You start to drain off the wort and recirculating it back into the tun until it flows clear.
Then you slowly start to transfer it into the boiling pot. (Is this the HLT?)
Once the wort gets to about an inch above the grain bed you need to add the sparge water at a controlled rate. (How do you know when to stop? When it runs clear into the boil pot?)

Once you have finished sparging, you need to boil the wort (for how long?). Here you can add hops (and malt?).
You then need to rapidly cool the wort to acheive cold break (is this right?).

Now you can transfer it into a fermenter with good aeration and pitch your yeast.

How does that sound? Is it close? Have I missed ANYTHING at all?
Thanks for the help guys..

Matt.
 

big d

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gday volcano
im still setting up my ag set.very close now.others may wish to add more but i reckon a good read can be had on www.grainandgrape.com.au
look under brewing information.
it will save me typing out heaps.
not a bad intro to ag brewing

cheers
big d
 

deebee

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Why not try a couple of small part mashes to get the hang of it?
 

volcano

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deebee said:
Why not try a couple of small part mashes to get the hang of it?
I suppose so. I do really want to know how this AG stuff works anyway.
Actually, I would _LOVE_ to participate in someone elses brew day (in the Sydney area)
hint hint

:)
 

Justin

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That's what I did Volcano. I sat in on a 50L brew with two other blokes (Koelsch-Yum! :chug: ) and the next weekend I split a 50L batch with one of the guys and we brewed it on his system (Koelsch again-Yum! :chug: ). Two weeks later I cranked up my system.

It really helps to have a first hand look. I learnt heaps. Just the fiddly stuff like sparge flow rates, grav readings, Promash tutorial :blink:, and little things that you pick up on that you just don't read. Best of luck with finding someone to help you out.

Cheers, Justin
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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Yep there is a lot to get your head around but even though my first AG was pretty rough I learnt a heap from it. If you can go and help someone do one then it would be worth it. I am still learning but am very happy to date.

/dribble mode on :p

Work on about 3L of strike water per kg of grain to do the mash. This is generally heated to around 72 - 75degC so the temp evens out at 66 - 68 deg C or so when you add the grain(depends on your system, preheat the mash tun). About 1L per KG of grain will be absorbed by the grain so you will not recover it in the sparge. (eg if you use 15L of strike water only count on getting 10L back from it). Mash for about 1.5hrs, check the temp and stir in the first 30 mins leave it alone for the rest, try and insulate the tun so you dont loose to much heat (mine stays within 1-2 degC).

My first sparge was a disaster, mot enough holes in the bucket in bucket system I made in 5 mins ... I now use a manifold with lots of hacksaw slits and have had no problems. My manifold is in the mash tun so I mash and sparge in the one vessel, much easier (most people do it this way I think).

With my system I need to have about 32L of wort going into the boil to account for evapouration and loss in the hops at the bottom of the boiler if I want to end up with about 23L. So assuming I do a 5kg mash with 15L of strike water I should get 10L back so I need another 22L of sparge water. I heat this in an electric urn (my HLT) to get it to 78degC, I then draw off about 1L of wort to get rid of the chunky bits and also get the sparge rate at about 0.5L per minute. Once I have the 1L or I am happy the flow rate and runnings are clear enough I run the hose into the boiler. I use a bit of aluminium foil with holes in it and the edges folded up to pour the sparge water on to avoid disturbing the grain bed. I then start the sparge water running into the top of the mash tun and balance the flow to maintain about an inch or 2 above the grain bed. I sparge until I have my 32L, you can also check the SG as you go and stop at 1.010 (which is about 1.000 when cool). I prefer to get my volume right (still mastering this part).

Once I have my 32L of wort it goes on the BBQ ... when it starts boiling I give it 10mins and add the 60min hop additions and start counting down from then (adding the hops as it goes along). Then cool, get it into the fermenter (minus as much of the crud as possible), airate and pitch the yeast.

All this in 5 hours or so ..... :blink:
 

Goat

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Great Post JasonY! - I'll print that sucker :)

I look forward to picking your brains at the Perth Brewers Day Out......
 

volcano

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JasonY - that is EXACTLY what I was looking for.
One question though. When you say you use a piece of foil with the edges turned up so as not to disturb the grain bed, what do you mean? How do you position this?
Do you attach it to the sparge water hose or just sit it on the grain bed and let it flow over it? (Photos would be great if you have any)
Cheers...
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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I saw this on a site ages ago can't rember the addy. I just double up a bit of foil & mould it over the bottom of a 10L bucket and neaten up the edges. Then I stab the sh#t out of it with a couple of satay sticks (clean of course :)). Plonk it in the middle of the grain bed or if you have a rectangular tun (esky) then move it about a bit during the sparge.

Hope that helps, oh and a crap picture :p

FoilFilter.JPG
 

wedge

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i use doc's idea when it comes to spraying the grains.

Irrigation tube with two sprinklers, with a few 1mm holes in the tube. It works a treat
 

joecast

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if you can manage to get your hands on a homebrew book, do it. there are lots out there and they have plenty of information that you have with you all the time. besides that, watching someone brew will just reinforce what you have learned and clear up a few things that dont quite make sense. and we are all lucky enough to have a resource like this web site when we need a second (third, and fourth) opinion.
joe
 

wedge

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i found the camra book really once i had all the basics down pack
 

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