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simchick

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I am fixing for my first all-grain brew day tomorrow, after some mixed success with kits. My focus is to brew small batches with incremental variations, in the hope that I can learn from each change to a basic recipe. Does anyone want to offer their advice?

My first recipe is going to be a very basic pale ale, and I am planning to start with variations on the brew-in-a-bag approach, but willing to take some chances. I reckon I will start with a few gallons with classic BIAB mash/sparge schedule, but split the wort for two (or more) separate boils, and same ferment. I'm not sure what I should expect, and not sure how to vary the hop additions for this variation.

From there, I will probably try some variations on the mash schedule and sparge techniques. After a few iterations, I will try a few different yeast types, etc.

I really want to learn from this, but I still want to brew some good beer in the process. I would appreciate if anyone wants to offer some suggestions of what to do, or what not to do. Or maybe suggest some variations that you always wanted to try, and let me be your guinea pig.

Cheers,
simchuck
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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Either try two different hops of different pedigree (say one yank, pom), or try one hop for both batches, but calculate the same IBU on brewmate for each batch, one from 60m addition,one from 30 (or15 if using am3rican).

So, say you want a 30IBU beer, the 60m one will use a few grams, the other considerably more.

This willhel understand that the same numbers don't always equal the same beer.

Goomba
 

Crusty

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I am fixing for my first all-grain brew day tomorrow, after some mixed success with kits. My focus is to brew small batches with incremental variations, in the hope that I can learn from each change to a basic recipe. Does anyone want to offer their advice?

My first recipe is going to be a very basic pale ale, and I am planning to start with variations on the brew-in-a-bag approach, but willing to take some chances. I reckon I will start with a few gallons with classic BIAB mash/sparge schedule, but split the wort for two (or more) separate boils, and same ferment. I'm not sure what I should expect, and not sure how to vary the hop additions for this variation.

From there, I will probably try some variations on the mash schedule and sparge techniques. After a few iterations, I will try a few different yeast types, etc.

I really want to learn from this, but I still want to brew some good beer in the process. I would appreciate if anyone wants to offer some suggestions of what to do, or what not to do. Or maybe suggest some variations that you always wanted to try, and let me be your guinea pig.

Cheers,
simchuck
Good luck with your first AG. To me, I think you are over complicating things for yourself, especially for your first AG. Splitting volumes, variations on your mash schedule & sparging techniques would IMHO, be better done later down the track. BIAB is such a simple way to brew & I feel it's pointless trying to over complicate it & maybe do what you want on brew no:5 after you get the feel for it all. Your first AG will always be a little hit & miss until you get your actual numbers dialed in for your particular system & you may be a bit disappointed by your expected results vs actual results. I would download BrewMate brewing software & punch in your recipe & your batch size & go from there. A simple single infusion for 90mins followed by a mash out & a simple hop schedule. Record your results & tweak as necessary on brew no:2 & experiment from there if that's your thing. Not trying to rain on your parade but keep it simple & you will find BIAB a fantastic way to brew some awesome beer.
Cheers
 

jakethesnake559

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Hi Simchuck,

I have been brewing BIAB for about a year now...and love the simplicity of the whole process.

Your approach sounds like a great way to learn (especially small batches...you can drink them quicker to see the results and brew more often).

I think hops and IBU are a good place to start.
Keep the malt bill and mash the same, but try out different hop varieties and schedules.
Would make your first brew day a bit simpler too as you only need to do one mash and can split it at the boil.

Then look at different malts, mash temps, yeast etc...

Good luck!!
And welcome to all grain :super: !
 

thedragon

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Simchick

Welcome to AG. You won't regret it. I'm relatively new to it and haven't looked back. 12 months in and my worst AG is significantly better than my best kits + bits.

Consider starting with a single hop recipe such as Ross' Nelson Sauvin Summer Ale

http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...&recipe=199

And over subsequent brews use the same grain bill, but try variations of hops to see what each does. You'll get ideas of different hop schedules to try from the recipe's discussion thread.

Enjoy

Daniel
 

hoppy2B

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I like the idea of split batches for learning but think the idea is more suited to being implemented where an individual has a large mash tun and doesn't have a large kettle. Like in my case, where I'll be draining into a couple of K-mart 15 litre pots.
The nifty thing about BIAB is that you only need 1 vessel. You might consider trying different yeasts in different fermentors for your first few times out.
If you have plans to take your brewing to a more sophisticated level in the not to distant future, perhaps you could leave it till then to do split boils.
 

micblair

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How small is small? I did roughly 5 x 19L brews in quick succession (2 months) as supply couldn't keep up with demand. Recently upgraded to a 50L Braumeister as it takes the same amount of effort to make 50L as it does to make 20L... best decision I've ever made.
 

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