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My First All Grain (mini Batch)

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sluggerdog

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Hi All,

I have just completed my first full AG Brew. As I do not have the equipment to accomindate a full batch I did a mini 7 litre batch instead.

I think all went pretty well for my first go, no real dramas except the following:

1. My final volume amount ended up at 5.5 litres when I was planning 7 litres
2. My Original Gravity was 1.045 instead of a planned 1.050
3. My wort once I had finished boiling looked funny (but this could just be what is it supposed to look like)

Main question is, next time do I just boil more water so I end up with the correct final amount of liquid/wort? And also what might I have done wrong to end up with a shorter gravity?

For those who are thinking of going to AG, I found it surprising easy, just like a partial, and while doing a mini batch, the ingredients are the same. PLUS you do not need any new equipment.

I will attached some photos of the ingredients, equipment I used and the wort after bail so you can see what I mean by funny.

My recipe was:

BeerSmith Recipe Printout - www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Mini Batch - LCPA
Brewer: Adam Symonds
Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 7.00 L
Boil Size: 8.01 L
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 5.8 EBC
Estimated IBU: 32.9 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
1.50 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (3.0 EBC) Grain 100.0 %
10.00 gm Cascade [5.80%] (60 min) Hops 20.2 IBU
5.00 gm Cascade [5.80%] (30 min) Hops 7.7 IBU
5.00 gm Cascade [5.80%] (15 min) Hops 5.0 IBU
5.00 gm Cascade [5.80%] (0 min)
1 Pkgs SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 1.50 kg
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 3.91 L of water at 73.5 C 67.0 C 75 min


Comments/Suggestions Appreciated for Next Time.

Thanks :beer:

ag_after_boil.jpg


ag_equip.jpg


ag_ingred.jpg
 

JasonY

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Well done slugger, you will be hooked now you poor soul :ph34r:


Wort looks fine, the crap in there will be the hot break hops.

To end up with the 7L you should have boiled more to start with (1.5L in fact :p)

Efficiency, well there can be any number of effects but I am guessing its probably the sparge. If you used 3.9L to dough in then you should recover about 2.4l of this + your sparge water which I guess was around 5L? How did you batch sparge? Did you just dump the sparge water on the mash stir then drain? or did you drain what you could then put the sparge water in, stir and drain? I am not a batch sparger but I think the second method would give you better extraction?

Apart from that was the grain old? Did you get the mash too hot and hammer the enzymes? Your mash tun doesn't have a massive dead space does it? Lots of possibilities.

Also as your first AG I would not lose any sleep over not hiting volumes and gravities obviously you want to but as you refine your techniques you will start hitting them. I think it is probably easier with bigger batches also.
 

sluggerdog

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Cheers Jason!

With the wmash water, I was pretty rough with my amount however I think it was about 4 litres for the mash and then 5 litres for sparging.

When I sparged all I did was, once I have drained the mash water out, put the grains back into the esky, dumped the sparge water ontop, gave it a good stir and left it for 10 mins then strained again into my boiling pot.

Grain wasn't only and I only had it cracked on wednesday.

Next time I would try maybe 9.5 litres for the boil to end up with 7 litres at the end?

My mash tun? DO you mean esky? If so yeah it was only about half full when the mash water and grains where in there, could this have something to do with my lower gravity?

Cheers for the reply!
 

JasonY

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sluggerdog said:
My mash tun? DO you mean esky? If so yeah it was only about half full when the mash water and grains where in there, could this have something to do with my lower gravity?
Nah, if you had it set up with a tap you can find that when the liquid stops there is still a litre or two in the esky. Sounds like you tipped it all out so this won't be an issue.
 

dicko

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Hi Slugger,

The first attempt is always scary!
My suggestion is that you drop your efficiency figures down to 65% in your Promash/Beersmith program.
This way then, if you get a higher gravity you can add water to achieve the desired results.
When starting out, efficiency is difficult to guage so start a bit low and work from there as you determine how differing procedures will affect your result.

Cheers.
 

sluggerdog

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Thanks Dicko, I don't really know what the efficiency is, it just is set automatically to 75.

How do I work this out?

Cheers!
 

kaitai

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Love your work. Keep us posted on how this one goes. Love the idea of a mini batch. Good way to try things out.
 

Ross

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sluggerdog said:
Thanks Dicko, I don't really know what the efficiency is, it just is set automatically to 75.

How do I work this out?

Cheers!
[post="53482"][/post]​
Slugger,

just highlight & set to 65% - everythingelse will alter automatically...
 

sluggerdog

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Ross said:
sluggerdog said:
Thanks Dicko, I don't really know what the efficiency is, it just is set automatically to 75.

How do I work this out?

Cheers!
[post="53482"][/post]​
Slugger,

just highlight & set to 65% - everythingelse will alter automatically...
[post="53488"][/post]​

Nah Ross, I know how to change it, I just don't know what it means. :D
 

Ross

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Slugger,

It means the effiency of your extraction of the sugars from the Malt.

If you adjust it down keeping with the ingredients you used, you will notice the OG drop - adjust till it matches the OG you acheived - the figure is the effiency you acheived. Also go into the "my equipment" settings & adjust your boiling loss % upto the loss you actually got.

Then next time you use it, your results should come out closer :beer:
 

dicko

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Hi Slugger,
I see that you use Beersmith and I am not familiar with that programme, but as Ross said, adjust and compare.
As your methods improve you will be able to adjust your efficency to suit your system.
Dont panic about a couple of percent, you will find your own level and adjust as required.
The first mash I did was only about 58% if I remember correctly, but now I can consistently produce 72% using the "no sparge" method and 75% with a fly sparge.
Record all procedures and all changes and assess from this info.
Cheers
 

Kai

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Good on ya, slugger!

I just wanted to say to watch your ferment temp carefully, with such a smal volume your temp could shoot up pretty quick if it's a hot day and you don't have a ncie temp-controlled place to ferment.
 

warrenlw63

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Kudos to your attempt and there'll be no turning back Sluggerdog. :super:

To add to all of this, you'll find that when you eventually scale up to a full batch your efficiency will be a little more predictable as you're dealing with larger batches of liquid that take longer to submit to sudden temp changes as Kai stipulated.

Believe it or not full-sized batches are probably more forgiving of brewer-error.

Don't mean to bemoan what you did by any means. However if it were me I would have done a mash/extract batch. In other words mashed your grain with the equipment available and made up the balance with malt extract.

You'll find that mash/extract brews, providing they have reasonable amounts of grain aren't all that far behind total all-grain beers.

Partial mash rather than partial batch. :)

While you're waiting start upscaling your equipment.

Warren -
 

sluggerdog

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Cheers for all the replies, sounds like I went ok then for my first go and that's all I was worried about. I can always improve in time.

warrenlw63 - I have done partials before but I wanted to try an AG and this was my only way.

Kai - Will watch the temp, thanks for reminding me as I had not realy thought of that

Cheers!
 

fergi

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well done slugger,i will be interested to know from you what the difference is in your AG brew compared to what you have been brewing,you will be able to give us a first hand account of the differences in the AG versus extract. i have never tasted any AG brews but as the guys here all say they are far superior to K&K.IM VERY HAPPY WITH MY K&K brews but if the AG way is a far superior drop i might have to consider the change,keep us posted when you have your first glass
cheers
fergi
 

sluggerdog

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fergi said:
well done slugger,i will be interested to know from you what the difference is in your AG brew compared to what you have been brewing,you will be able to give us a first hand account of the differences in the AG versus extract. i have never tasted any AG brews but as the guys here all say they are far superior to K&K.IM VERY HAPPY WITH MY K&K brews but if the AG way is a far superior drop i might have to consider the change,keep us posted when you have your first glass
cheers
fergi
[post="53557"][/post]​

Fergi, YOu'll be able to ask that QU right now as I am sure 95% of the AG brewers would have started out with extract and/or partials.

How I understand it is, some of the tastes you get in AG, you simple cannot get from Extract Brewing.

Will, however keep you updated when I first taste it.

Lastly, I suggest you give it a go for yourself, if you have already done extract brewing, it is not much harder, just takes a little more time. (Unless I have done something wrong - the taste will tell)

Will try again some time this week with some little changes, still in mini batches until I am happy my my process then I will invest in larger equipment.


Cheers! :beerbang:
 

sluggerdog

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Fergi - AS a side note, my first AG brew will be ready at about the same time as my first masterbrew (stella's pride with wyeast pilsen 2007) so I'll have something to compare at the same time. Will report results.
 

fergi

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i agree slugger about all the guys here having all done k&k first up,and im certainly not doubting their word on this but maybe a lot of them havent tried a k&k for such a long time and with all the add ins and different yeasts,temp control,secondry, etc they may have their memorys clouded by time,dont take this the wrong way AG,S im sure ag is a better drop what i am getting at is since slugger has been recently very active in the k&k he can maybe give us new guys a first hand view of his immeadiate thoughts while both are fresh in his mind"palate"

cheers
fergi
 

Pumpy

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Good work Sluggerdog ,I admire you having a go at AG ,I aways think Ag brewing is pretty tolerant and I am sure you will get some good results.
Everything went wrong with my first AG must have dragged the grain out the tun three times , even with all my mistakes I could not believe the difference in the flavour .

You can brew some high quality beers with Ag

Brewing AG becomes a passion

Pumpy
 

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