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All Grain Virgin Needs Help

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Mercs Own

blabla
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Gidday Guys. Sorry about the heading but I thought it was catchy!

The B3 system is arriving middle of next week so in preparation I thought I would ask for guidance for my first brew or two. I reckon I am going to need all the help I can get.

I would like to keep the first couple of brews simple but have no idea on the amount of grain I will need, sparge water amounts needed etc As I have not seen or used the system and I am unclear on exactly how much wort I can expect to end up in the fermenter and so on and so forth... the B3 does batch sizes of 10 gallons but I dont know if that means that is how much fermentable wort I get - which then means the actual vessels would have to be 15 gallons?? See - I told you I need some help.

My first recipe is simply 75% Pale Malt, 25% malted wheat, two additions of Tettnager 3.6% aiming for a bottled alc of 5.5% and an ibu of around 20. Wyeast 1056.

The second brew I would like to do is a bit of a Red Hook, Red Seal type ale: Pale malt, crystal malt and some cara pils, hopping with tettnang 3.6%and willamette 4.7% (I also have some Perle 4.6% in the fridge which I have never used so could give them a go) Aiming for 5.5% alc in the bottle, 35ibu and srm around 7 - 9. I will use the 1056 for this also.

No doubt when I unwrap the b3 1550 it will all become clear to me but I would certainly love some advice, hints, tips and guidance to ease me through the loss of my AG virginity.

Thanks in advance. Oh, I have posted this on the b3 forum site also so it will be interesting to get there feed back also.

Cheers!
 

Steve

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Merc - sorry for laughing - but thats like buying a Ferrari (or Merc) and not knowing how to drive.. excellent! :lol:
 

Doc

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Hi Paul,

Backing it up a step, what size are you fermenters ? Did you say you had bought some conical ones ? How many did you get.
Knowing that and the size of your boiler the recipe can be calculated appropriately.

Beers,
Doc
 

big d

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and i would be very surprised if this great system didnt come with an owners manual with step by step instructions and some simple recipes to get you going and familiar with your new system.
best of luck with your first brew day paul.would love to be there.

cheers
big d
 

Mercs Own

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Steve, thanks for pointing that out so subtly! :p And yes I do feel a little foolish regarding my call for help but there is only one way to learn and that is to jump on in. Havent driven a ferrari but I have raced around the Melbourne and Adelaide F1 tracks albeit in slow BMW's and a Volkswagon Beetle.

Doc I have the usual plastic fermenters which I guess I will be using. I also have some 18lt soda kegs that I was planning on using as fermenters - any ideas? Couldnt afford the conical's from more beer!!! As for the size of the boiler that is where I need to unwrap the system and take a look. I am suspecting it may be a 14 gallon but I am trying to confirm that.

BTW the Tettnang is 6.4%
 

Steve

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Mercs
What were you doing in the "celebrity" challenge in the BMWs and Beetles? C'mon fess up? Sorry but I was there and was probably laughing at you! :D
 

Pumpy

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Merc ,

If you would like some advice first download 'Beersmith' it is a simple brewing program which will help you work out how much water you need to use in the mash and the boil and give you a print out of what you have to add when .

Stay with the plastic fermenters dont use the soda kegs for fermenting .


I suggest you keep to a batch size which is manageble say you want to end up with 23 litres .

Dont do a 40 litre batch to start with .

I suggest you start with a beer style you are familiar with, get a good quality yeast .

I think no matter how your first brew proceeds , dont pannick I am sure you will get some suprisingly good results .

A good tip was given to me when I started which was brew the same recipie for a few batches , dont change you recipie until you have some consistency into your brewing .

Dont drink beer when brewing you will forget to add things .

Pumpy
 

Jazman

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Alos paul u may need to do a few test boils to work out how much the evoparion u have in the ketle and also how much crap is left behind in the kettle ..Also a good idea is to mark the inside of the hlt and kettel or make a dip stick so u know how much wort or water u have......It may take a couple of brews to get this right
 

Mercs Own

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Hey hang on Steve!! I came first in the 2000 celeb grand prix race and 3rd in this years race. 3rd and 4th at the Le mans Race in Adelaide (VW's) Still probably didnt stop you laughing though - that is why I am an entertainer!

Pumpy wotdoya mean dont drik beer while I am brewing??? Good advice guys and thank you! I have down loaded Beersmith and now need to work out how to use it. Not knowing the boiler size doesnt help with entering actual figures so again I must wait until I get the system and check it out. How do you change promash to litres?

Big D is most likely right and I will have to wait for the manual!

Kegs dont work as fermenters?

Jazzman I was hoping to get some of that kind of info from the more beer forums but I will do as you said and make a dip stick.

All good advice keep it coming!
 

big d

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hi paul
kegs will work as fermenters but the choice is the larger 50 litre ones.there is some great photos of set ups on this site that will help but at the moment i cant locate them.maybe some one can point us to the posting topic

cheers
big d
 

johnno

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Sounds like you are well on the way Mercs,
Getting brewing software was a good move.Especially as you are a total newb to all grain.
It will probably take you a few goes to start getting the feel of it.Should't take you long with a system like that to produce ripper beers.
Practice, practice , practice .
All good advice from the other members here as well.
All the best
johnno
 

Linz

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Mercs Own said:
How do you change promash to litres?


[post="71635"][/post]​
Merc's

Open Promash.

Above this screen you will see "Options" next to the "Help" in the top of the window,Click on Options.

This will drop "System Settings", click on this.

Top of the Left hand column of bars is "Measurement,Sizes,Precision", click on this.

Middle of this page is the "American(Imperial)/Metric Settings"
Now just click on all the metric units and then click on "OK" at the bottom of the page and YES to set as default...DONE!(you weren't being sarcastic were you??)

If I were you I would send PM's to Johnno and Sosman to drop by for a look see and a brew session.

Beerz
Linz
 

Ross

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Mercs own - if you're the real deal then welcome - but a guy who joins on April 1st & having read your posts..... :D
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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Paul, from poking about on morebeer I would guess your boiler will be 14gal and the 10gal batch size likely refers to the finished volume (which is perfect to fill to cornys). The tough bit as everyone says is figuring out your kettle losses which will be evaporation and losses to trub.

I am only familiar with promash so this is what I would do assuming you use that:

1) The batch size in promash is post boil volume so take a guess at total losses = 8L (4L evap) , so the batch size would be 38L (10gal) + 4L = 42L.

2) assume 75% efficiency, since you have a pretty good system hopefully you will hit this straight up, otherwise start at 60%.

3) Aim for an OG of 1.052 or so which @75%, 42L means you need 6.7kg Pale and 2.3kg Wheat. Hops are easy in these software packages but this batch would need about 65g @ 60 mins and 50g @ 10mins for 20IBU

4) I would use say 3L/kg in the mash which means you need 27L of strike water. (have some boiling and cold water at hand as being the first brew you will likely over/undershoot the mash temp)

5) To sparge to recover the 46L (38L + 8L) in the kettle you will need about another 32L (grain absorbs 1L/kg, have more water on hand)

6) This should give you 38L into fermenters, so have two 30L ones ready & lots of yeast.

The 8L loss thing is a guess, I use 7L on my system which accounts for losses from evap, trub & CFC, yours will no doubt be different. I am sure I have stuffed something up in there but its a start.

All that being said given the number of unknowns about the system and being the first brew I would half the batch size (remember however that the losses will still be 8L so the batch size would be 23L so don't halve everything). Take lots of notes on temperatures of grain, strike water, initial mash temp, volumes of water used, preboil volume, postboil volume, volume in fermenters ... etc.

Hopefully after that you will be able to work out the losses along the way and future brews will be simpler. Good luck! :beer:
 

Mercs Own

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Thanks Johnno, Linz and JasonY! Pro Mash is now in Metric!

Ross thanks for your vote of confidence! I didnt realize that I joined on April 1st - what a coincidence!?

JasonY, the info you gave is fantastic - I actually understand most of it so I reackon there could some hope for a decent beer coming out of the system.

As Big D said if anyone can point us to the post regarding using the soda kegs as fermenters that would be good. In the meantime I will stick with the good old buckets.
 

ozbrewer

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GDay Merc


The best advice I can offer on becoming proficcient in mashing is to Keep It Simple

and

1. Buddy up with a very proficient Homebrewer, I say homebrewer as the commercial guys tend to forget that they are making good beer, and tend to cut a corner or two to save a few dollars. A home/craft brewer will have a little more passion when it comes to teaching you. Do a few brews with your new brew buddy and ask alot of dumb questions.

2. Get a refracometer......why....see note 3.

3. Underestimate your efficiency......say around 60%, that way after you run your wort into the kettle you can make adjustments to the hopping rates. If your looking for a finished wort at 1050, and your pre boil is allready at 1050 you can add water, adjust the hops excettera,

4. for now dont be to concerned about what your final volume is, if your aming for 19 ltrs and you get 22 ltrs, if you follow rule 3, your beer will be to plan and the gu:bu will be fine.

5. Get Promash.

6. Start with a very basic recipe, say 95% pale 5% specialty, keep your hopping rates low untill you can get a good feel your your hop utilisation rates, all systems are different, and everyones formula is differnet. Brew the same beer 5-6 times and get it right, then you can see how you system reacts to slight changes

7. Plan your beer well, and try and stick to your plan, if you want a 1050 beer at 25 ibu, take a reading from your preboil and adjust the hops and any additional water to the kettle before you boil.....

8. Ask alot of questions, but be carefull of the advise you get, the internet is a realy good tool, but some people will answer questions for the sake of it, and not realy know the answer or have not tested there theory, or have taken the answer straigt from another untested sorce. However in saying that, there are some very knowledgeable people here, on HBD, and other sites.

9. Have fun.

10. Put the coopers kits in the bin
 

Mercs Own

blabla
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Last time I used a Coopers kit was 1993!

[1. Buddy up with a very proficient Homebrewer, I say homebrewer as the commercial guys tend to forget that they are making good beer, and tend to cut a corner or two to save a few dollars. A home/craft brewer will have a little more passion when it comes to teaching you. Do a few brews with your new brew buddy and ask alot of dumb questions.]

An interesting idea and just out of interest who is Melbourne based that has the experience?

ps how do you put quotes in the box??
 

Guest Lurker

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Paul

Lots of good advice there.

Jason gives good tips for hitting gravity and volume. As long as you get close to these you will make a decent beer. But another big thing to think about is hitting strike temp. If you miss badly you will make crap beer. Your software will tell you what temp the HLT should be at based on amount of grain and mash ratio and THERMAL MASS OF YOUR SYSTEM. Which you dont know yet! And even if B3 tell you in the manual I wouldnt believe them.

You will do a test run with hot water first wont you? Make sure nothing leaks, the valves are the right way round etc. When you do, heat a strike volume to about 75 degrees in the HLT. Transfer to the mash tun, measure temp 5 mins later. You will have lost maybe 5 degrees. This will account for the heating of the thermal mass of the tun, plus any heat losses in your pipework.

Go back to your brewing software and set thermal mass to zero. Ask the software what temp the strike water has to be. Add your temp drop to that to get the actual HLT temp. Use this value and you have a good chance of hitting the mash temp first go.
 

ozbrewer

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without the *** type *[*quote]what ever you want quoted*[/quote*]
 

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