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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: BrewinSB on June 30, 2011, 09:51:42 PM

Title: First All Grain Batch
Post by: BrewinSB on June 30, 2011, 09:51:42 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am doing my first all grain batch this weekend and just wanted to get some last minute tips, pointers, critiques etc.  Below is what BeerSmith2 kicked out and is telling me to do.  Does this look good?  I am using a 52 quart Coleman Xtreme Cooler with a SS Hose Braid inside and a 10 gallon SS Brew Kettle.  I am going to try and have it ferment in the primary for 3-4 weeks at 65, then bottle.  The only thing I have to control temps is the a big bucket that I can swap frozen water bottles in and out of.  I am a little worried because it has been hot lately and I may be gone one weekend during those 3-4 weeks.  Thanks.  I can't wait to give this all grain thing a shot.    

Style: Blonde Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 5.96 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.46 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal  
Bottling Volume: 4.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 4.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 20.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 64.1 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU        
7 lbs                 Rahr Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        75.7 %        
1 lbs                 Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)                    Grain         2        10.8 %        
4.0 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt - 15L     Grain         3        2.7 %        
0.25 oz               Magnum [14.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           4        14.2 IBUs    
0.50 oz               Cascade [6.40 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           6        6.4 IBUs      
0.50 oz               Amarillo  [9.30 %] - Boil 0.0 min        Hop           7        0.0 IBUs      
1.00 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)        Fining        5        -            
1.0 pkg               California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [50. Yeast         8        -            
1 lbs                 Honey (1.0 SRM)                          Sugar         9        10.8 %        


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 4.0 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time    
Mash In           Add 4.16 qt of water at 189.6 F         154.0 F       60 min        

Sparge: Drain mash tun, Batch sparge with 1 steps (6.16gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: oscarvan on June 30, 2011, 10:22:59 PM
Quote
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time    
Mash In           Add 4.16 qt of water at 189.6 F         154.0 F       60 min  

189.6 seems very, very high, and the amount of water very low..... Ballpark 1.5 qts per pound, 13-14qts is 4 gallons and change...It looks like the initial step is missing and there's a small hot addition to create another step.

In comparison, I do 10 gallon batches, the 1050-ish OG beers take around 20 pounds of grain, I add 8 ish gallons. Heat my water to (this time of year the barn is HOT) 4-5 degrees above target.... so 155-ish..... So for five gallons figure 10 ish pounds of grain (you have 9, close enough) and 4 ish gallons of water. The sparge volume and temp seem OK, although most people like half and half on the mash/sparge volume. With grain absorption that means the mash needs to be a little larger than the sparge.

If I was brewing your recipe I would add a pound of grain to compensate for the half gallon I lose in the bottom of the kettle, do the mash 5 gallons/155º which would give me about 4 gallons in the kettle and then sparge with 4 gallons 165º which would yield another 4, total 8, boil off two, lose a half to trub/hops, 5.5 in the bucket.

But, as you can tell I don't use sophisticated software...... ;)


Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: euge on June 30, 2011, 11:39:57 PM
Good luck with the first AG. And that amount like Oscar says is suspicious.

Stir the mash real good and measure the temp deep in the mash after it's settled for a minute or more. If it's too hot after 5 minutes after doughing in throw some ice cubes in the mash. Just a handful though!

If it's too cool then add boiling water in small amounts. :)

Fermenting an AG batch is no different than an extract batch. Swap those bottles. Try to get it bottled or kegged before you leave if it's a concern. Or you could secondary and just drop a bunch of frozen bottles in the bucket.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: denny on July 01, 2011, 07:42:42 AM
Yep, a gal. for the mash and 6 gal. for the sparge just doesn't seem right.  And your sparge water should be more like 185-190F, not 168.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: chezteth on July 01, 2011, 04:11:13 PM
It looks like your water to grain ratio is set incorrectly.  4.16 qts of strike water is way too low.  I usually set my water to grain ratio to 1.3 qts/lb.  You should check the mash profile for the water to grain ratio and correct it if necessary.  Hope this helps.

Happy Brewing,
Brandon
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: BrewinSB on July 01, 2011, 10:05:37 PM
Thanks for all the info.  Sounds like the mash was completely wrong.  I am still learning how to use BeerSmith also so that probably doesn't help.  I made some adjustments and it now has this as the mash steps:

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 4.0 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 13.38 qt of water at 167.6 F        154.0 F       60 min       

Sparge: Drain mash tun, Batch sparge with 1 steps (3.86gal) of 185.0 F water

However, it has been hot lately and I am going to pre-heat my cooler, so I think I will do as suggested and only heat to 160 to try and achieve 154 mash temp.  Also, I figure that 13.38 I might as well just bump that up to 4 gallons and then do another 4 gallons with the sparge water.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: newrocset on July 02, 2011, 01:49:54 AM
I always heat my water at least 20 degrees above my target mash temperature....otherwise your in for a nightmare if your mash is not hot enough.

It is way easier to cool down a 4 gallon mash in a cooler than it is to heat it up....I would heat that water to 174....if it's too hot, just keep stirring your mash, like soup, and expsose it to the air to get it to cool down.....do this before using ice cubes or cold water....it might take longer to get your temp down, but at least you'll get it to where you want it...believe me, it's a royal pain to be constantly adding boiling water to a 10 gallon cooler full of mash that wont hit your target temp  ;)
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: chezteth on July 02, 2011, 05:44:49 AM
If you want to use an even 4 gal. of strike water you can change the amount in the mash profile in your recipe. You will have to change from qts/lb to the amount you want to use.  Beersmith will then adjust the temp you need to use.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: Will's Swill on July 02, 2011, 05:57:37 AM
Yep, a gal. for the mash and 6 gal. for the sparge just doesn't seem right.  And your sparge water should be more like 185-190F, not 168.

That seems high for sparge water temp doesn't it?  I thought general consensus was that sparge water above 170F would extract tannins?  Are you assuming some amount of temperature loss for a batch sparge or something?
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: tygo on July 02, 2011, 06:08:40 AM
The consensus seems to be that alkaline sparge water above 170F may potentially extract tannins.  If you have alkaline water then you can add acid to bring the pH down and not worry as much about the temp. 

That being said I usually don't heat my sparge water over about 175F and figure on losing a few degrees when transferring to the mash tun.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: Will's Swill on July 02, 2011, 06:23:34 AM
Makes sense.  So is the higher temperature for a mash out or something?
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: oscarvan on July 02, 2011, 07:44:14 AM
Thanks for all the info.  Sounds like the mash was completely wrong.  I am still learning how to use BeerSmith also so that probably doesn't help.  I made some adjustments and it now has this as the mash steps:

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 4.0 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 13.38 qt of water at 167.6 F        154.0 F       60 min       

Sparge: Drain mash tun, Batch sparge with 1 steps (3.86gal) of 185.0 F water

However, it has been hot lately and I am going to pre-heat my cooler, so I think I will do as suggested and only heat to 160 to try and achieve 154 mash temp.  Also, I figure that 13.38 I might as well just bump that up to 4 gallons and then do another 4 gallons with the sparge water.


That looks much better.

The temperature loss is system specific. Even if I don't pre-heat my cooler, I barely lose more than 5º. If I do, it's more like 2º. So unfortunately, it will take a while, with different ambient temperatures, for you to get a feel for your system. One thing you can do is a "no grain" run to find a starting point.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: denny on July 02, 2011, 08:25:06 AM
Makes sense.  So is the higher temperature for a mash out or something?

Sparging at a higher temp has more chance of getting the grain bed up to 168, which could kinda be considered a mashout temp.  In reality, that doesn't actually happen, though.  I've found the main benefit from the higher temp is that it encourages a more complete conversion, kinda giving you an alpha rest step in the mash.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: ccarlson on July 02, 2011, 09:52:44 AM
Makes sense.  So is the higher temperature for a mash out or something?

It thins the sugars and results in a little better efficiency. If the conversion is incomplete, then it will help you here as well. 

It definitely helps.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: denny on July 02, 2011, 10:56:55 AM
Keep in mind that Kai did an experiment where sparging with room temp water got him the same efficiency as sparging with hot water. Based on that and my own experience, I have to question how much the viscosity is reduced and how much difference it makes if it is.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: ccarlson on July 02, 2011, 01:05:09 PM
Keep in mind that Kai did an experiment where sparging with room temp water got him the same efficiency as sparging with hot water. Based on that and my own experience, I have to question how much the viscosity is reduced and how much difference it makes if it is.

My experience has shown hotter sparges to be a little more efficient. Also, a guy on another forum did a test that virtually eliminated conversion as factor. As he, and even Kai both pointed out, Kai's tests were inconclusive because he compared 2 different grain bills.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: malzig on July 02, 2011, 01:14:54 PM
How did this other brewer eliminate conversion as a factor?

Viscosity would only matter if it resulted in more liquid being lost to the grain bed at lower temperatures, which doesn't happen in average gravity beers, in my experience.  If you lose 0.12 qt/# from 9 gallons of thin sugar solution, or 0.12 qt/# from 10 gallons of slightly more viscous sugar solution, the amount of solution and therefore the percentage of sugar lost is the same.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: ccarlson on July 02, 2011, 01:26:24 PM
Quote
How did this other brewer eliminate conversion as a factor?

He took grain from a batch that had been mashed over night as well as hot sparged. From that he measured out equal amounts of that grain and sparged one with hot water and the other with cold. The grain had been sitting at room temperature for a while so, even the one with hot water didn't get that warm, plus he collected the runnings and tested them within 5 minutes. Conversion could not have been a big factor, if any. In the end, the hot sparged grain produced a gravity of 4 or 5 points higher than the one cold sparged.

Keep in mind that he used dramatically different water temps. I think the hot was around 180F and the cold was in the 50's. It seemed like a pretty good test to me. At least he compared apples to apples, which was not done in the original test.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: malzig on July 02, 2011, 01:30:58 PM
Quite a bit of conversion can take place in 5 minutes.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 02, 2011, 01:51:16 PM
I always heat my water at least 20 degrees above my target mash temperature....otherwise your in for a nightmare if your mash is not hot enough.

It is way easier to cool down a 4 gallon mash in a cooler than it is to heat it up....I would heat that water to 174....if it's too hot, just keep stirring your mash, like soup, and expsose it to the air to get it to cool down.....do this before using ice cubes or cold water....it might take longer to get your temp down, but at least you'll get it to where you want it...believe me, it's a royal pain to be constantly adding boiling water to a 10 gallon cooler full of mash that wont hit your target temp  ;)
This is system dependent.  I mash in a half barrel with a false bottom and recirculate with a pump.  Turn on the pump, light the fire, wait until within 1 or 2 degrees of desired temp, turn off the fire and pump.  Stir a little as the heat goes from the  metal into the mash and equilibrates, and that is it.  Not hard at all.

Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: ccarlson on July 02, 2011, 01:53:58 PM
Quite a bit of conversion can take place in 5 minutes.

How much conversion do you think could take place in 5 minutes using spent grain, that had been mashed overnight and hot sparged? He also said that the hydro sample of the hot sparged runnings only measured 116F. I'm sure that the sample jar cooled it a little, but the mash couldn't have been that hot in the first place.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: BrewinSB on July 02, 2011, 09:22:52 PM
All right so my first all grain day went pretty well.  I heated my mash tun with 2 gal of 160 degree water  as I heated up my strike water (? terminology) then drained it.  I used 2 gal distilled with 1.5 gal tap for 3.5 gal.  Heated that to 170 and my temp settled in at 154.  After an hour I lost about 1.5-2 degrees.  First runnings collected 2.5 gallons.  Drained and batch sparged with 3 gal distilled and .75 tap, sparge temp was 185 let sit 10 minutes.  Total pre boil volume was 6.5 gallons.  After a 60 minute boil I had just under 5 gallons.  OG:  1.054  

I had a very hard time cooling the wort down and couldn't get it any lower than 72-74.  I am also having trouble getting my fermentation temperature below this.  So far no signs of the yeast doing their thing.  I am hoping tomorrow morning I will see bubbling.  All in all though a good first all grain day.  Here's hoping things get going and I can figure out a way to bring down my fermentation temps.  BeerSmith shows I had an efficiency of 78.8%...

Some pics located here:  https://picasaweb.google.com/110758456097083941678/Brewing?authkey=Gv1sRgCJW2xI7Y9YSCZQ (https://picasaweb.google.com/110758456097083941678/Brewing?authkey=Gv1sRgCJW2xI7Y9YSCZQ)

Thanks again everyone. 
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: narvin on July 02, 2011, 09:34:05 PM
Yep, a gal. for the mash and 6 gal. for the sparge just doesn't seem right.  And your sparge water should be more like 185-190F, not 168.

That seems high for sparge water temp doesn't it?  I thought general consensus was that sparge water above 170F would extract tannins?  Are you assuming some amount of temperature loss for a batch sparge or something?

If you're batch sparging, there is more temperature loss because you add only enough water as will be drained. Sparge water heated to 185 added to a drained grain bed that was at 150 seems to settle at or below 170 in my experience.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: BrewinSB on July 02, 2011, 09:36:13 PM
Ah yes, I forgot to take a temp reading after adding my sparge water to see what it settled at.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: ccarlson on July 02, 2011, 09:40:46 PM
Yep, a gal. for the mash and 6 gal. for the sparge just doesn't seem right.  And your sparge water should be more like 185-190F, not 168.

That seems high for sparge water temp doesn't it?  I thought general consensus was that sparge water above 170F would extract tannins?  Are you assuming some amount of temperature loss for a batch sparge or something?

If you're batch sparging, there is more temperature loss because you add only enough water as will be drained. Sparge water heated to 185 added to a drained grain bed that was at 150 seems to settle at or below 170 in my experience.

And that's perfect.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: newrocset on July 02, 2011, 11:33:02 PM
Sounds like a good brew day to me!

To keep my fermentation temps in check, I use a 20 gallon tub from Lowe's/Home Depot...put the fermenter in there and then add any plastic vessel you can freeze (i.e. plastic soda bottles, water bottles, etc), or those blue ice packs that you can refreeze.  You gotta change your ice out every 12 hours but it works great.

When that fermentation takes off, it's going to heat up a bit, so ice the sh*t out of it before it starts  ;)
Oh, and place a towel under that tub - it sweats a lot.
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: dannyjed on July 05, 2011, 08:37:05 PM
Hey BrewinSB, Congrats on your first all grain brew! 
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: BrewinSB on July 05, 2011, 08:50:22 PM
Sounds like a good brew day to me!

To keep my fermentation temps in check, I use a 20 gallon tub from Lowe's/Home Depot...put the fermenter in there and then add any plastic vessel you can freeze (i.e. plastic soda bottles, water bottles, etc), or those blue ice packs that you can refreeze.  You gotta change your ice out every 12 hours but it works great.

When that fermentation takes off, it's going to heat up a bit, so ice the sh*t out of it before it starts  ;)
Oh, and place a towel under that tub - it sweats a lot.

I finally got it down to between 62-65 and have been able to maintain that temp range fairly well, just constantly swapping out bottles.  It works though.  Here's hoping it clears up after three weeks or so.  I was worried when trying to cool the wort down and starting stirring the wort around the immersion chiller to help it, but that kicked up all the trub, most of which went into the primary....is that bad?

Hey BrewinSB, Congrats on your first all grain brew! 

Thanks.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, just took twice as long as expected.  It was also my first batch creating my recipe instead of using a kit.  Here's hoping it turns out okay. 
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: BrewinSB on July 26, 2011, 09:07:01 PM
Okay, so my first all grain batch has been in my primary fermentor for 3 weeks.  I took a gravity reading yesterday and it was at 1.008 (Beersmith predicted 1.009).  It was clear and tasted great.  I am so impressed by my first all grain batch and recipe from scratch, I don't think I will be going back to extract again.  It is around 6% ABV, so a little be high for the style, but that doesn't really matter to me.  I will be bottling it this weekend.  Thanks for all the help on my first all grain batch everyone. 

https://picasaweb.google.com/110758456097083941678/Brewing?authkey=Gv1sRgCJW2xI7Y9YSCZQ#5633878311635610354 (https://picasaweb.google.com/110758456097083941678/Brewing?authkey=Gv1sRgCJW2xI7Y9YSCZQ#5633878311635610354)
Title: Re: First All Grain Batch
Post by: newrocset on July 31, 2011, 12:06:47 AM
Glad it went well! See, Wait 'till you start doing 10 gal. batches!  ;D

Anyway, I always stir to cool down, given that I have a tiny immersion chiller...stirring is good, since it helps oxygenate your wort to help your fermetation...don't stir when it's too hot, though, wait for it to cool to about 120.  Stirring at temps above that can cause reactions to occur with the oxygen that can lead to off flavors.
I wouldn't worry too much about kicking up protiens either via stirring.  They will eventually drop out, and you can rack to a 2ndary to get the wort off of 'em....sometimes (and believe me, sometimes!) I let the wort sit for a few hours on brew day, then rack to a 2ndary, and then pitch - it's an effective way to get a cleaner beer, plus you'll be able to get a cleaner bit of yeast if you decide to save it...but usually I just let it sit in the primary from start to finish!