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first AG questions

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--- Quote from: davidgzach on January 01, 2013, 03:48:08 PM ---Congrats on your first all grain!  If you got to 85% efficiency, well done!

--- End quote ---

My words exactly!

A can of worms has been opened...

But no fear it is mostly straightforward though it may take some time to reach a comfort level. You could adjust your brewhouse efficiency in your calculations based on this one session. However, maybe a few more brew sessions to dial things in a bit? Take some good notes.

I've found that the thicker your mash- as you start to max out the tun and effeciency and conversion suffers so must be planned for. When pushing the limits an effective technique is to mash longer with some good stirring and to sparge a third time if you batch-sparge.

wow thanks for all the replies guys! i dont know why i had such difficulty with my mash tun i threw it out where i used to with my specialty grains and then i just could not get all the extra grains off the side and bottom(i may have to use that shower handle idea). This actually wasnt NB's caribou slobber it was my LHBS's clone, the owners of the shop wrote "beer captured" and "clone brews". I ordered a refractometer off amazon with a gift card i received a few days ago for first/second runnings gravity and preboil gravity and such so next time ill have enough time to make adjustments. now i just have to figure out what to make next!

This is the grain bill from the 6 gallon Can you Brew it? version.  Does their grain bill look similar to this, when you adjust it down for 3 gallons? 

11 lbs 1 2.5 oz  Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)  86.9 %
1 lbs 5.8 oz      Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) 10.1 %
6.1 oz             Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)  2.8 %
0.4 oz             Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) 0.2 %

As far as my mash tun, I do the same as above...dump and rinse.  Maybe I'll take it apart once a year and give it a thorough cleaning ( 72 coleman xtreme rectangular cooler - blue of course  ;) )

i do 2-3 gallon batches.  i use a grain bag in my mash tun and just lift the whole thing out.

Did you adjust for temperature for your hydrometer reading? That won't account for a lot, but it could count for a couple of points. Also, as a small-batch brewer, I agree that a small variation in volume can lead to wide variations in gravity (something that also works in your favor if you want to tweak your gravity pre- or post-brew).

I routinely mash batches that size in my 5-gallon mash tun. I carry the tun to our composting bin, dump it out, then rinse it out on the deck with a garden hose (with the spout on the tun open so the spout gets rinsed). Not a deal, as long as I do it within the hour or so, before the grain starts to stick.


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