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First All-grain Batch

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joshF

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Ok so i did my first all-grain earlier today. I didn't do it 100% myself as i had a mate who had done all-grains before show me bits and pieces but he encouraged me to do as much as possible on my own, keeping in mind i have only done 2 extract brews prior.

My setup is a 38L cooler with 10" dome-shaped false bottom, fly sparge arm, 36L stockpot for the boil, 20L Big W stockpot for my sparge water (have thermometer probe things in both the mash tun and big w stockpot)

My attempt was a little creatures bright ale from the highly regarded recipe by Tony. I scaled it down to a 23L batch in beersmith which worked out the OG to be 1.046 and FG of 1.011 with 75% efficiency.
After my mash and boil, my OG was 1.044 at 21.5 litres into the fermenter instead of 23 (gravity reading was taken at 22 degrees) which i guess is a bit off from my expected results. Despite alot of reading, i'm yet to decipher how to uncover my brewhouse efficiency...

I dont mind losing a couple of litres if i miscalculated something but could this relate to the efficiency of my mash or something with the boiling (don't have a gas setup and my stove took about 25 minutes for the wort to even start boiling !!)

Apart from the discrepancy of my results, it smells and tastes freakin awesome. Very citrusy and has a really nice aroma, resembling a mclaren vale ale or other very citrus/stonefruit kind of ale. The wort sample tasted more bitter than i expected, perhaps my substitution calculations were out when i replaced the hops (used scaled-down cascade but replaced B Saaz with Galaxy hops). Should this initial bitterness usually subside a little with fermentation or god forbid will it get stronger?

Onto yeast, My LHBS recomended using US-05 and said it was a bit more robust and easier to work with than the WLP001, especially being a first all-grain batch.

anyway, can you guys comment on how i went or what i could have improved for next time? It was waaaaaaaaaaay more fun than using extracts and took alot longer but felt like i had more control over the whole overall process and way more satisfaction than extracts! Definitely keen for another try in a few weeks!

cheers,
Josh
 

bignath

"Grains don't grow up to be chips, son"
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Ok so i did my first all-grain earlier today. I didn't do it 100% myself as i had a mate who had done all-grains before show me bits and pieces but he encouraged me to do as much as possible on my own, keeping in mind i have only done 2 extract brews prior.

My setup is a 38L cooler with 10" dome-shaped false bottom, fly sparge arm, 36L stockpot for the boil, 20L Big W stockpot for my sparge water (have thermometer probe things in both the mash tun and big w stockpot)

My attempt was a little creatures bright ale from the highly regarded recipe by Tony. I scaled it down to a 23L batch in beersmith which worked out the OG to be 1.046 and FG of 1.011 with 75% efficiency.
After my mash and boil, my OG was 1.044 at 21.5 litres into the fermenter instead of 23 (gravity reading was taken at 22 degrees) which i guess is a bit off from my expected results. Despite alot of reading, i'm yet to decipher how to uncover my brewhouse efficiency...

I dont mind losing a couple of litres if i miscalculated something but could this relate to the efficiency of my mash or something with the boiling (don't have a gas setup and my stove took about 25 minutes for the wort to even start boiling !!)

Apart from the discrepancy of my results, it smells and tastes freakin awesome. Very citrusy and has a really nice aroma, resembling a mclaren vale ale or other very citrus/stonefruit kind of ale. The wort sample tasted more bitter than i expected, perhaps my substitution calculations were out when i replaced the hops (used scaled-down cascade but replaced B Saaz with Galaxy hops). Should this initial bitterness usually subside a little with fermentation or god forbid will it get stronger?

Onto yeast, My LHBS recomended using US-05 and said it was a bit more robust and easier to work with than the WLP001, especially being a first all-grain batch.

anyway, can you guys comment on how i went or what i could have improved for next time? It was waaaaaaaaaaay more fun than using extracts and took alot longer but felt like i had more control over the whole overall process and way more satisfaction than extracts! Definitely keen for another try in a few weeks!

cheers,
Josh
Hey Josh, congrats on your first all grain mate!

I use the data i collect from my brewday's (volumes, gravities, temps etc) and input it back into my brewing software to work out my efficiency. So i can't shed any light on your actual numbers. My rough guess means though is that your first ag brew was around 70% instead of the predicted 75. No big deal. Work consistency and then worry about the actual numbers (if you want to) later.
I used to hit mid 80's efficiency in my 3V rig every time. Now im making the switch to single vessel BIAB, im regularly hitting 69% - but i have my suspicions as to why, and i'm working on it. Im not fussed with 70%.....my beer is repeatable every time.

With the hops and bitterness...Did you scale the recipe and then sub Motueka with Galaxy? If your software kept the quantities the same that would explain the bitterness as Galaxy is considerably more potent than Motueka.
that woud be the first thing to check.

My only advice would be keep an overload of data for your first 5 or 6 brews...Document EVERYTHING and then you have the data available to help trouble shoot later on.

And have fun too.

cheers,

Nath
 

NewtownClown

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Ok so i did my first all-grain earlier today. I didn't do it 100% myself as i had a mate who had done all-grains before show me bits and pieces but he encouraged me to do as much as possible on my own, keeping in mind i have only done 2 extract brews prior.

My setup is a 38L cooler with 10" dome-shaped false bottom, fly sparge arm, 36L stockpot for the boil, 20L Big W stockpot for my sparge water (have thermometer probe things in both the mash tun and big w stockpot)

My attempt was a little creatures bright ale from the highly regarded recipe by Tony. I scaled it down to a 23L batch in beersmith which worked out the OG to be 1.046 and FG of 1.011 with 75% efficiency.
After my mash and boil, my OG was 1.044 at 21.5 litres into the fermenter instead of 23 (gravity reading was taken at 22 degrees) which i guess is a bit off from my expected results. Despite alot of reading, i'm yet to decipher how to uncover my brewhouse efficiency...

I dont mind losing a couple of litres if i miscalculated something but could this relate to the efficiency of my mash or something with the boiling (don't have a gas setup and my stove took about 25 minutes for the wort to even start boiling !!)

Apart from the discrepancy of my results, it smells and tastes freakin awesome. Very citrusy and has a really nice aroma, resembling a mclaren vale ale or other very citrus/stonefruit kind of ale. The wort sample tasted more bitter than i expected, perhaps my substitution calculations were out when i replaced the hops (used scaled-down cascade but replaced B Saaz with Galaxy hops). Should this initial bitterness usually subside a little with fermentation or god forbid will it get stronger?

Onto yeast, My LHBS recomended using US-05 and said it was a bit more robust and easier to work with than the WLP001, especially being a first all-grain batch.

anyway, can you guys comment on how i went or what i could have improved for next time? It was waaaaaaaaaaay more fun than using extracts and took alot longer but felt like i had more control over the whole overall process and way more satisfaction than extracts! Definitely keen for another try in a few weeks!

cheers,
Josh
Pretty nice, hitting close to expected targets for first time. Takes a little tweaking and a few batches to "dial in" a new brewery.
I bet you put in many hours reading and researching, planning and procrastinating, and then still wanting a guide.
Relax, have a homebrew and be proud. Some time down the track it wont be as smooth and so seemingly easy, don't dread those moments, be prepared, for they will be a learning experience.

Now, Wallabies, PLEASE score more than two tries and don't kick the ball away so often....
 

joshF

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Cheers for the input guys, definitely more fun doing all grain. Pretty nervous when i checked the next day and didn't see a whole lot happening in the fermenter but then remembered i only transferred the wort into the fermenter at about 11pm the night before, and when i checked my watch i realised it was only 7am. It's taken off like a rocket now and have this big dense krausen doing its thing.

If i got 70% i'm pretty happy for a first go, considering i'd only done 2 extracts beforehand. I documented everything in excel and beersmith (the beersmith notes function is very handy for next time).

With the hops, i couldn't find a whole heap of information on substituting apart from a few graphs and what not, so i just compared the alpha acid rating of Motueka for example 7.5% compared to Galaxy at 12.5% (cant recall the exact ratings) and did some quick math which gave me 60% substitution. So instead of 10grams of Motueka i put in 6 grams. Please tell me that's how the hop substititions are worked out....

Here's a few pics of the setup (don't laugh, this shit was bloody hard to do in an apartment with no real balcony). I have a dial thermometer for the stockpot i was using as my HLT but haven't installed it and also a digital probe thermometer to check the mash temp. Bit of a pain having to continuously measure the temperature whilst nearly scolding my hand in hot steam, but another lesson learnt :)

Do you guys use any kind of strainer or capturing mechanism when your draining the wort from your mash tun? I have a 10" false bottom which works great but i found a couple of bits of grain coming through every now and then. You can't tell from the pic but up close there were a few floating around. I wasn't sure if this was normal or if the wort should be drained super super clear?

Anyway, cheers again for the help and input guys.

IMG_0249.JPG


IMG_0251.JPG


IMG_0247.JPG
 

twizt1d

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well done
as far as grain bits getting into the boiler, the grain bed itself is the best filter
try to recirculate the first runnings until they run clear and then begin the sparge
doesnt have to be anything fancy, just running off slowly into a jug and carefully pouring it back over the mash until it runs clear
 

bignath

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With the hops, i couldn't find a whole heap of information on substituting apart from a few graphs and what not, so i just compared the alpha acid rating of Motueka for example 7.5% compared to Galaxy at 12.5% (cant recall the exact ratings) and did some quick math which gave me 60% substitution. So instead of 10grams of Motueka i put in 6 grams. Please tell me that's how the hop substititions are worked out....
If for example you were supposed to put in 10g or Motueka, but subbed it for 6grams of Galaxy, then yeah, that'd be about right...
 

Blitzer

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Hijacking this thread, in regards to steeping grains for All-grain batches. When do you perform this step / Add it to your kettle? And do you do it to a specific amount of water?
 

Nick JD

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Hijacking this thread, in regards to steeping grains for All-grain batches. When do you perform this step / Add it to your kettle? And do you do it to a specific amount of water?
I put them in with the mash - but I'm crazy like that!

But seriously - read some stuff on AG brewing.
 

joshF

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thanks guys, calculating the efficiency isn't all that hard after all.

I think i've discovered part of the problem with my end volume aswell.

I have a 10" circular false bottoms for my cooler mash tun but yesterday i did a test by running some water through it and ended up with about 1.4 litres of liquid on the bottom that wasn't being sucked up as the hole on on the false bottom is too high and leaves about a 2.5cm gap. The 1.4L of wort from my first saturday brew would have definitely helped get my volume up to the 23L i had planned for.

Here's a pic i found on google ( http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg219/T...00/IMG_2724.jpg ) where the spout comes through the false bottom which would come alot closer to the floor of the cooler and add another few cm's of depth to ensure most the liquid can get sucked up.

Can you guys share some ideas or photos on how your false bottom setup looks or some ideas how i can fix mine up?

thanks,
Josh
 

hsb

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Does your pickup terminate with a threaded fitting? If yes, then you can add another fitting to extend down.

Otherwise, I wouldn't worry too much for now, if you factor the loss in, you'll hit your numbers and just lose a buck or two of grain.
 

joshF

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The top of the false bottom has a normal elbow barb like this: http://www.brewmart.com.au/brewmart-shop/G...with%20barb.jpg and the bottom is just a nut tightening it in place. Because there's only a bit of space underneath I was having trouble finding fittings for it and wasn't sure if there was some custom thing people used to suck up that last little bit of wort.
Not a big deal but just figured the more liquid i can get out of the mash tun the better :)
 

hsb

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In the past I've just used a random 1/2" fitting from my box of odds and sods to replace that lock nut underneath - from memory I think I had a 3/4" to 1/2" reducing bush. Just avoid putting anything there that'll reduce flow.

I'd also be careful to make sure whatever you do put there is solid and up to the job, it's not a good place to have to attend to halfway through a mash! That's why I'd be inclined to not worry too much if you don't have something to hand, there is a bit of an obsession in homebrew to try and extract every last drop, a little bit of wastage is negligible in terms of cost especially if you have one disaster mash when tubing gets blocked etc.

Why I ended up going with a SS dip tube in the end, my own failings getting a clean pickup. Totally no need to go that route though, I'm sure most use the elbow that came with the false bottom without a single problem.

 

joshF

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Hey guys, i just checked the gravity of my first all grain batch so i could transfer to secondary (today is the 10th day of primary) and my FG was 1.004 which i am rather shocked with as i was expecting somewhere in the ball park of 1.010 to 1.008 (My OG was 1.044) as per beersmith and the readings i had done on the US-05 yeast. I checked this on two different hydrometers and got the same reading for both.

Is it normal for the OG to be so far off the mark? In no way am i complaining, i'm just trying to develop my understanding of the variances as i now appear to have a 5.2% beer instead of the 4.5% beer that i was aiming for (as per the original LCBA).

On a tasting note from an 18 degree gravity sample, this stuff tastes f***ing amazing!!! It probably isn't a suprise given that all the reviews for Tony's LCBA are all 5 stars, however i guess i just wasn't expecting my first all grain to taste so good and the whole process to run so smoothly. I had a LC bright ale on tap on friday night so the taste is fresh in my mind and this tastes almost identical, even though i replaced the B Saaz with Galaxy.

Anyway, I now plan to leave it in the secondary for another 7 days and add in some finings a day or two before bottling. Do you guys have any recommendations or opinions as to where i go from here?

Again, thanks a tonne to everyone for all the help and for answering my numerous questions, i'm just bloody thrilled my beer turned out way better than expected!!!

cheers,
Josh
 

Punkal

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Hey guys, i just checked the gravity of my first all grain batch so i could transfer to secondary (today is the 10th day of primary) and my FG was 1.004 which i am rather shocked with as i was expecting somewhere in the ball park of 1.010 to 1.008 (My OG was 1.044) as per beersmith and the readings i had done on the US-05 yeast. I checked this on two different hydrometers and got the same reading for both.

Is it normal for the OG to be so far off the mark? In no way am i complaining, i'm just trying to develop my understanding of the variances as i now appear to have a 5.2% beer instead of the 4.5% beer that i was aiming for (as per the original LCBA).

On a tasting note from an 18 degree gravity sample, this stuff tastes f***ing amazing!!! It probably isn't a suprise given that all the reviews for Tony's LCBA are all 5 stars, however i guess i just wasn't expecting my first all grain to taste so good and the whole process to run so smoothly. I had a LC bright ale on tap on friday night so the taste is fresh in my mind and this tastes almost identical, even though i replaced the B Saaz with Galaxy.

Anyway, I now plan to leave it in the secondary for another 7 days and add in some finings a day or two before bottling. Do you guys have any recommendations or opinions as to where i go from here?

Again, thanks a tonne to everyone for all the help and for answering my numerous questions, i'm just bloody thrilled my beer turned out way better than expected!!!

cheers,
Josh
If your mash temp was a little low that could explain the low gravity. Ill read through your first post again and see if I can find anything.
 

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