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kbekus

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Hi all,

A quick introduction - I've been reading this board since it's inception and have brewed around a dozen kit beers, some good, some bad. Yesterday I took the plunge and followed lots of others down the road to all grain which is pretty exciting. I used a Grumpys recipe which is meant to be a clone of Timothy Taylor Landlord, a fruity and flavoursome British Ale that both my wife and I really like. For what it's worth, here are some experiences:

Beersmith gives an excellent output as others have commented. The step by step timeline is really easy to follow and the water calculations were accurate. I'm gonna buy this program.

I used a rectangular Rubbermaid 48 qt cooler and made a slotted copper manifold. This worked beautifully to keep it's heat, I inserted a stainless probe on a 1m wire attached to a digital thermometer / stopwatch / temperature alert device and it dropped from 66degC to 65degC after about 55 minutes. A quick mash out and then I drained the whole lot to a converted 50l keg. Added another 16l of water, did a batch sparge and we're off and boiling.

To boil the 31 L in the keg I used one of those Ray's Outdoors high pressure burners on a stand. The keg sits nicely on top but the regulator, as others have found, falls pretty short of the mark. Get a proper regulator from Gameco or whatever to use the burner's full potential. With my setup I got from 64deg to 110deg in around 20 minutes.

Added the hops at relevant times, stuck the immersion cooler in and at the end of boil turned off the gas and started the cooler. Temperature dropped quickly at first but took 35 minutes to cool to 30 deg. Drained the keg into the fermenter, aerated and pitched the starter of 1318 London Ale III. A day later it's bubbling happily and sits at around 19 degrees.

What else did I learn? Heaps, I'm sure. I used around 1.5 to to 2kg of gas for the whole thing. OG was 1046 and I got 21L into the fermenter. I boiled for too long because I thought I had too much water, so I lost 2L more than expected to evaporation. Used lots of water too of course. The whole event was a buzz and I can't wait to try again. I've been a little crazy on expenditure getting all the gear together and now I cannot wait until I can taste the fermented product. Cheers to you all. :chug:
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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Well done kbekus, sounds like the day went pretty much to plan. My first AG was a messy affair but the beer was still excellent. I am sure once you taste this one you will have trouble brewing to keep up. :p
 

Tony M

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Kbekus,
Welcome to the start of the rest of your life. I am only up to allgrain #17 but every brewday still has its moment of crisis. The biggest problem is consuming the brew fast enough so that I can have another go at a new and more wonderful brew.
Latest crisis?---------My doctor eyeballed me over his glasses the other day and said "Hmm, liver's up a bit."
I just want to get good at this before the so and so makes me stop drinking.
 

kbekus

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Thanks guys for the support. Tony - I know what you mean. I think I really should move to 12L batches because there are so many different beers I want to try.... ;) Maybe that'd be a good move for the both of us to keep your doctor happy too B)
 

Trough Lolly

"Drink, Feck, Arse, Girls"!
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kbekus said:
Yesterday I took the plunge and followed lots of others down the road to all grain which is pretty exciting.
Hi Kbekus,
Congrats on the AG brew - sounds like it went well!
Did you get the temp probe from QLD? Sounds like the same one that I have - I had to return the sucker once because the braided line betwen the prob and the plug got wet and the unit stopped working - everything was 66C! The instructions that came with the probe were written in Yiddish so I had no idea as to whether or not I could immerse the line as well as the probe :p

I'm a bit more careful with the replacement unit - I'm wondering how I'm gonna use it in my Rubbermaid 10 Gallon cooler with the lid screwed on? Perhaps a small hole and O ring in the lid will do...?
Cheers,
TL
 

daveisbludging

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TL,

I'm glad you made the comment about the braid getting wet as I would have done exactly the same thing. I've just purchased one of these and my yiddish also isn't up to scratch.
 

kbekus

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Hey Trough Lolly,

I bought my sensor from a commercial catering and chef supplies here in Melbourne. I'd seen your post and headed out to find such a device locally. I ended up paying $45 for mine but it has a couple extra features like a clock and an alert when the temperature goes under / over a set point. The instructions also are in good english and specifically mention not submerging the probe past the junction with the braided line or bad results could occur. However they do say that letting it dry out should fix the problem.

I know what you mean about not letting it go under - however mine did go under, both in the mash tun and the boiler without bad things happening. My mash tun's rectangular so it's possible to just hang it over the side to the correct depth and close the lid over the cable. Seems to work well both from a sealing point of view and from a temp sensing point. I think your Rubbermaid 10 gallon cooler's round isn't it? And they have a screw lid, don't they? I think the only way around that problem is as you suggest, with a hole and O-ring. Good luck.

Kristan
 

dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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Hi TL,
I've got one of those temp guages and I love the description of the instructions LOL :lol:
I have got a rubbermaid tun at the moment and all I did was to drill a hole a bit smaller than the probe in the side of the tun and push the probe in.
Works fine and no leaks!!

Cheers
 

Trough Lolly

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Thanks guys,
Yeah, I bought the temp probe at ibrew in Parkwood QLD for $28.30 delivered to Canberra. They quickly and happily replaced the unit at no cost, no questions asked - good service and Jayne Lynn is a nice person to deal with IMHO.
It has a countdown timer, temp alert function etc - nice little unit that gives F or C measurements.

Kristan - You're a brave man IMHO!! Using it in the mashtun is one thing, but there's no way I'm gonna subject this sucker to the keg shaped kettle! I reckon I can tell when the rolling boil is on and chilling through a counterflow chiller after the boil gets things pretty cool when I use Canberra water!

Thanks for the tip on the cooler hole - Dicko.

Cheers,
TL
I think the instructions were Northern European of some sort - so Yiddish is all the same as Dutch or Swedish etc to me...!
 

kbekus

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From memory the probe's good for over 200C as it's designed to be inserted into meats that are being roasted. So 120C in the boil's no problem for it = I used it to monitor how fast the wort cooled. In the first few minutes it dropped 10 degrees, but took over a half hour to go from 110 to 30. Melbourne tap water's pretty cool at the moment too :) You're right though, it's pretty obvious when the roiling boil happens. Stick it in, don't be afraid :)

Just to add, gonna rack the above brew to secondary. It tastes great and is reading around 1015 on the hydro now.
 

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