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First All Grain In The Fermenter

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sosman

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As threatened, I finally got off my arse to brew my first AG yesterday. Pics and narrative at brewiki: AG/1.

Now all I need is a bigger mashtun, hotter gas ring and she'll be right mate. Actually a modest extension to the house would be just what the doctor ordered.

The OG was a bit low so it will be interesting to see how wimpy it turns out. I have never tried the style before so I will just have to wait and see.
 

big d

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welcome to the other side sosman :D
the variables are limitless.hope the brew turns out ok

cheers
big d
 

Doc

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Well done sosman.
Getting the first AG under the belt is a great achievement.
Another 10 or so and the learning curve vs knowledege curve for ag brewing will have you more confident.

Beers,
Doc
 

RegBadgery

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Good on you sosman - those are great pictures - particularly the final one. I think that mashing is great fun.

I'm just going to have to start doing triple decoctions so I can introduce some more complexity. It's all become far too straightforward for my liking. :)

cheers
reg
 

sosman

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So for you experienced dudes out there, does 15 minutes sound too fast to drain? That is, 15 minutes to drain the mash + 15 minutes to drain from batch sparge.

With my last partial mash (different recipe) it drained much slower and the efficiency a lot higher.
 

Doc

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I would consider that (30 mins) to be the minimum.
Old adage Sparge Slow, Boil Hard.
Your efficiency will increase with a slower sparge.

Beers,
Doc
 

big d

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good to see a smiling face at the end of it all.way to go.
15 minute drain i assume your talking about draining the sparge.
sosman i batch sparge and once ive taken a running to clear the wort i open up the drain valve fully.
in talks with steve nicholls (batch sparge article on grain and grape site) he suggested to let the sparge water sit after stirring on the grain bed for 10 minutes then continue.each sparge is the same ,stir sit for 10 minutes then drain.im pleased with the results so far.
dont know if youve seen this article but it is a good view point on batch sparging.
http://hbd.org/clubs/cascade/public_html/dennybrew/

cheers
big d
 

sosman

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Big D - that article by Denny Conn is what convinced me to try batch sparging. He is pretty helpful on answering questions on rec.crafts.brewing too.
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

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Congrats sosman, it's onwards and upwards from here. Hope the wit turns out well.

C&B
TDA
 

AndrewQLD

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Sosman,

Good on you, and what a great beer to start with, I love my Wit. Don't be too concered about you efficiency to begin with, most all grain brewers started out with low eff. You will work up to the big numbers as you fine tune your system.

Batch sparging should be done as fast as your system allows ( just not so fast that you get a stuck mash).

Don't forget that you generally don't get as high an eff. with a wit beer as you would with an all malt beer.
 

Murray

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Just to verify that the others are all correct. Batch sparging should be done quickly, continuous sparging should be done slowly.

You did a good job there.
 

sosman

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What about the runoff rate of the mash water (vs the sparge water)?
 

sosman

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My fermentation has stuck at 1020 (2 days in a row). It started at 1045 and the yeast is supposed to have around 75% attenuation.

I roused it once already. Last night I chucked in a pack of dry wander yeast.

I think it is well and truly stuck.

Any ideas?
 

AndrewQLD

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It sounds like you mashed at the high end of the temp range, and you have a lot of unfermentable dextrins in the wort. If the extra pack of yeast did not restart the fermentation then your original yeast was probably fine.
The only thing I can suggest is to go to your LHB and buy a pack of enzyme that they sell for making DRY beers, dissolve in a cup of cooled boiled water and GENTLY stir into the top of your wort. This will kick start your fermentation again by converting the unfermentable sugars into something your yeast can eat.

Be aware that this will probably cause the beer to ferment to a very low gravity giving you a dryer beer than a Wit normally is.

If you bottle or keg the beer as it is 1.020 it will be exceptionally sweet due to the low IBU range for this style.

Hoipe this helps
 

Murray

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sosman said:
What about the runoff rate of the mash water (vs the sparge water)?
Yep, with batch sparging I think it is best to run the mash water off quickly.
 

sosman

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If you bottle or keg the beer as it is 1.020 it will be exceptionally sweet due to the low IBU range for this style.
That was my thinking too. I have tasted the SG samples. They do not taste particularly sweet though.

I will check out the enzymes.
 

sosman

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Since the attenuation wasn't much over 50% I am going to call this a Half Wit.
 
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