Author Topic: 1st all grain attempt  (Read 1928 times)

Offline 69franx

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1st all grain attempt
« on: November 18, 2013, 04:41:22 PM »
I am looking to make the move to all grain soon, possibly my next brew day, using Denny's batch sparge method. My question pertains to style. Is there a style that tends to be more lenient when starting something new? I tend to brew without an assistant, and with something new going on, I know I will be slowly getting through the process and I read and re-read my notes, and recipe. Whatever I brew, it will likely be from an existing recipe, as I have not done any recipe formulations on my own yet. I am looking for a forgiving brew, as I have little time for experimentation, only getting to brew every 4-6 weeks roughly. I guess I'm not expecting perfection, but would like to keep it simple and easy to follow. I have not brewed any lagers yet, but was considering John Palmer's California Common. My equipment limitations are as follows, really just a a boil kettle that wont handle a huge batch: 7.5 gallons. I know i could start with a smaller batch such as 3-4 gallons, but again, need max volume of beer to get to next brew day. Any opinions and info would be greatly appreciated. I hope all can follow my ramblings here and help me  out. ;)
Frank L.
Franx Brew Workz
Fermenting:
Conditioning:   Saison with blend of 3724 & Napolean: half on blackberries, Sour Saison on raspberries and something WILD
In Bottles: Evil Twin, Smoked Porter, GHE(Hoosierbrew's recipe) with 835, German Pilsner(Brulosopher's recipe) with 835
In the works: 2 Different Fest Bier recipes,Trad Bock, Doppelbock, Noti and Janet's Brown Ales

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 04:59:43 PM »
California common is a good choice if you can keep the fermentation temp in check.

simple grain bill, just 2 row and a little c60 or similar and you can get away with single hopping northern brewer or add some cascade it for complexity.

It was my first all grain.

The most important thing to remember when making the switch to AG is...

RDWHAHB (or commercial beer if no homebrew is available)
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 05:43:57 PM »
What Morticai said.

A stout or porter are good beers, as the strong flavor will help hide imperfections.
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Offline duboman

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 06:23:14 PM »
I agree with Mort but will also throw in a pale ale, mostly base malt, a little crystal, a good bitter charge at 60 minutes and some later addition hops. You can always then add dry hops to mask anything that might seem off:)
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Offline fmader

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 06:24:05 PM »
My first was a pale ale... My second was a cherry stout. If you like IPAs, I don't see an issue with starting with one of them. I was told to brew a pale ale before brewing an IPA. The way I see it, if you are capable of lifting a few more ounces of hops at a few different times, you can brew an IPA  :P
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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 06:37:35 PM »
I'd go with a pale ale.

2-row, c-20 or c-40, mash at 152°, cascade hopped, and us-05. Keep it simple and have fun.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 06:38:59 PM »
A simple pale ale is a pretty good place to start.  2 row, crystal, and some Cascade.  And if temp control is an issue (and usually is at first) then 1056 is neutral enough to be fairly forgiving, at least compared to more estery strains.
Jon H.

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 06:42:02 PM »
A simple pale ale is a pretty good place to start.  2 row, crystal, and some Cascade.  And if temp control is an issue (and usually is at first) then 1056 is neutral enough to be fairly forgiving, at least compared to more estery strains.

Jinx.  ;D

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2013, 06:43:38 PM »
Think I was finishing typing when you posted !  Oh well, I think a lot of us started with a pale ale  :D
Jon H.

Offline 69franx

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2013, 06:52:25 PM »
Thanks all so far and keep them coming. Have made an IPA, DIPA, Barleywine, Smoked Porter and Evil Twin with extract plus grain. The DIPA was by far the best(LHBS Pliny clone) loved by all. Think it will be another IPA, really like what the late additions bring.
Edit, I am also sitting on 3 oz Amarillo, guess its an easy choice!
Frank L.
Franx Brew Workz
Fermenting:
Conditioning:   Saison with blend of 3724 & Napolean: half on blackberries, Sour Saison on raspberries and something WILD
In Bottles: Evil Twin, Smoked Porter, GHE(Hoosierbrew's recipe) with 835, German Pilsner(Brulosopher's recipe) with 835
In the works: 2 Different Fest Bier recipes,Trad Bock, Doppelbock, Noti and Janet's Brown Ales

Offline fmader

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 07:06:31 PM »
What are the other hops you have available?
Frank

Offline 69franx

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 07:13:16 PM »
Those are the only I have on hand, but have to shop for the malt, so can pick up whatever the LHBS has available. Probably going for some cascade: have not used any so far. Have 3 LHBS easily accessible to me as I drive around town for work, I can usually find what i need.
Edit: I have cold temps down cold... Picking up a ferm wrap by next brew day as basement is in low 50's here in Indiana right now( of course, as soon as I buy the freezer and temp controller ::))
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 07:20:08 PM by 69franx »
Frank L.
Franx Brew Workz
Fermenting:
Conditioning:   Saison with blend of 3724 & Napolean: half on blackberries, Sour Saison on raspberries and something WILD
In Bottles: Evil Twin, Smoked Porter, GHE(Hoosierbrew's recipe) with 835, German Pilsner(Brulosopher's recipe) with 835
In the works: 2 Different Fest Bier recipes,Trad Bock, Doppelbock, Noti and Janet's Brown Ales

Offline garc_mall

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 08:55:09 PM »
You can get by with a small brew kettle. Even if you have a decent amount of boil-off, you can run some of the wort off into a side vessel and boil it on the stove, then add it to the rest near flameout when there isn't a danger of a boil-over.

I agree with the pale ale/IPA, lots of hops, and a forgiving american ale strain will easily cover up any issues you have with the all-grain portion. Also agree with the RDWHAHB advice, it isn't rocket science.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2013, 09:00:21 PM »
Don't be disappointed too quick. My first AG was about as good as my previous extract brews. But I started addressing my little problems one at a time, learning as I went, with great improvement along the way. I'm still working on it an expect I will be working on it forever. That's the fun. Searching for the perfect pint.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: 1st all grain attempt
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2013, 09:02:23 PM »
Don't be disappointed too quick. My first AG was about as good as my previous extract brews. But I started addressing my little problems one at a time, learning as I went, with great improvement along the way. I'm still working on it an expect I will be working on it forever. That's the fun. Searching for the perfect pint.

This is certainly true. My beer has always been pretty decent, not exceptional through the move from extract to all grain. The biggest difference I have noticed is that I can make beer all-gran that would be impossible to make from extract.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison