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Hi all,

Just thought I'd report on my first AG brew. This morning I did a dry run with my equipment to test everything, and it went so well that I decided to do a brew this afternoon - a LCPA clone - so I thought I'd report back.

I posted in the equipment thread asking for some advice - I went with a single heating vessel and esky mash tun setup - it worked better than I expected and I think that's because I had a big work area and I tested everything before starting the brew. Hit the right mash temp straight up (thanks Brewsmith 2), no major problems during the mash and the boil was uneventful.

The only thing I did which I wasn't too sure about - The printout from brewsmith provided the exact volumes to mash & sparge with so that's what I went off, I later read that I should be checking the SG of the output and stop sparging when it drops below 1.010. I do think I ended up with lower efficiency - I was aiming for a pre-boil SG of 1.050 and I missed this (1.046) - so to compensate I added about 350g of glucose, post-boil SG was spot on because of this addition (1.057). I'm hoping this won't affect the final result too much (I guess if it's good enough for commercial breweries...)

Any suggestions for next time to avoid this? more grain? try to achieve better efficiency?
so you stopped sparging at 1.010sg?? or did you sparge the lot and come up short?? I am guessing the later. did you add the glucose into the boil or after?? As its your first brew I would not add any extra!

Why?? coz 1: you do not know your efficiency, So this brew is a start to work it out.
2. you do not know your losses and boil off (although you done a dry run it will be different with wort)

my advice is to just work your system out without adding anything extra. When I done BIAB I thought I would make it 75% eff to be fair! I got 62% so the next brew I worked from there and never got above 66% eff with BIAB. I get 75% with 3V and I dont want to push it any higher as if you go to high you can extract things you do not want in the beer so for $2 or something extra a brew I think its not worth it.

All I can say is work your system out it will be very close all the time if you brew roughly the same gravity beer and depending on your system. We work out averages on the efficiency and I like to put mine a touch below what I get. Of course a bigger beer will be less efficient and depending your process will depend the extent Maxi BIAB is the most limiting and BIAB is prob second but it all depends on your system and its limits.

I got 70lt MT and people do doubles in a 50lt one and I have many times filled my 70lt tun to the brim doing step mashes. I could put a herms or Rims system in place that can step for me and I prob could get close to tripple batches if I pushed it but rather have slack and use it for what its intended as my pots only 80lt and tripple is pushing it in that pot.

Think the main thing your missing is just work out your system with no interference. I am sure I get less then 2lts left in the MT but if I put 2lts in there and 3lts trub in the kettle it all works out doesnt mean thats what happens but by calculations it works I prob get 2.5lts loss in kettle and god knows in MT but after some stuffing around it works for me (plus measurements are a bit vague in the mash tun, I use a bucket with lt markings on it.) But I guess I say work it out for your system every one is different and sure no 2 people can have the same reading (maybe with a bruemiester but even then I am sure the is variations)
First off..AG..well done
Importantly.."efficiency" has nothing to do with good beer, I aim for 60% my only advice would be to add the sugar to the boil not after.
You have started well.

Dont stress about efficiency, just record as much as you can for your first few batches so that you get to know your brewery.
I work on around 70% efficiency. If your efficiency is too good you will probably be drawing unwanted tannins from your grain.
Sounds like you had a cracker first run!
should have clarified - I added the sugar about 10 minutes towards the end of the boil, I was taking SG readings and coming up at about 52. According to beersmith my efficiency was 63% if I stick in the gravity reading before I added the sugar to the boil, based on sg=52 and volume = 23L

And I just sparged the complete volume and didn't check the gravity of the output
Oh yeah the 1.010sg for the run off is only if your fly sparging. Not sure what method your using so thought I just make sure :p I never get down to 1.010 when fly sparging prob coz I usually do a few infusions and I dont have a massive amount to sparge at the end.
Similar to Dr K's post, if you are aiming for a preboil of 1050 ish or higher, best to drop the planned efficiency (at least until you know your own system).

Welcome to the dark side and congrats on AG#1.

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