Author Topic: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew  (Read 3259 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2014, 02:55:19 PM »
I think there's a sliding scale. Indoors is better than wild swings outside, an inner room that only swings a few degrees is better than just any old room, water bath or a wet towel is better than nothing to keep cool, a refer with adjustable control, a thermowell to measure the true beer temp... it progressively gets better. But I think the progressive curve gets steep when you get dual temp control with very little fluctuation.

No matter how fancy your brewing equipment or how award winning your recipes are, until you can maintain the fermentation temp, it's like a cool car with the best engine, but no steering wheel.

Offline jasonmcconnell

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2014, 04:58:44 AM »
Exactly, the thing that will make your beers go from "ok" to "wow!" is temp control. You simply can't make great beer if you can't control your fermentation temp.

I'll have to move towards that ... If I spend any more money on my brewing hobby I'll have to get use to sleeping on the couch :)
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Offline euge

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2014, 07:06:38 AM »
Agreed. If I started over, first thing would be fermentor temp control

+1

Not kegs nor a big fancy pot or burner but actual honest to god fermentation temp control. And I'd do it before going AG. But that's not always how the chain of events goes. ;D

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2014, 11:38:55 AM »
When trying to make improvements, in retrospect it seems silly that I left the biggest improvement for last. But if my first kit was fermented properly maybe I would still be s kit only guy...

Offline majorvices

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2014, 12:12:27 PM »
Exactly, the thing that will make your beers go from "ok" to "wow!" is temp control. You simply can't make great beer if you can't control your fermentation temp.

I'll have to move towards that ... If I spend any more money on my brewing hobby I'll have to get use to sleeping on the couch :)

At the very least you should be using a tub of water in which you immerse your carboy and rotate out frozen water bottles 2 or 3 times a day. That trick works fairly well.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2014, 12:34:54 PM »
Exactly, the thing that will make your beers go from "ok" to "wow!" is temp control. You simply can't make great beer if you can't control your fermentation temp.

I'll have to move towards that ... If I spend any more money on my brewing hobby I'll have to get use to sleeping on the couch :)

At the very least you should be using a tub of water in which you immerse your carboy and rotate out frozen water bottles 2 or 3 times a day. That trick works fairly well.

Or just the water bath alone helps stabilize temperature swings if in a basement this time of year (up north we tend to allow the house to cool substantially overnight in winter).  To avoid stalling when the indoor basement temp drops to or below 60, the water bath helps in that way, too!  It works like a dual controller.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2014, 12:55:14 PM »
Exactly, the thing that will make your beers go from "ok" to "wow!" is temp control. You simply can't make great beer if you can't control your fermentation temp.

I'll have to move towards that ... If I spend any more money on my brewing hobby I'll have to get use to sleeping on the couch :)

At the very least you should be using a tub of water in which you immerse your carboy and rotate out frozen water bottles 2 or 3 times a day. That trick works fairly well.

+1. Cheap and easy.
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Offline denny

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2014, 04:02:14 PM »
Exactly, the thing that will make your beers go from "ok" to "wow!" is temp control. You simply can't make great beer if you can't control your fermentation temp.

I'll have to move towards that ... If I spend any more money on my brewing hobby I'll have to get use to sleeping on the couch :)

Without temp control it doesn't matter of you buy the best ingredients, have fancy equipment or take all the care in the world when you brew.  A lack of temp control can make all of that stuff useless.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2014, 05:40:45 PM »
Exactly, the thing that will make your beers go from "ok" to "wow!" is temp control. You simply can't make great beer if you can't control your fermentation temp.

I'll have to move towards that ... If I spend any more money on my brewing hobby I'll have to get use to sleeping on the couch :)

Without temp control it doesn't matter of you buy the best ingredients, have fancy equipment or take all the care in the world when you brew.  A lack of temp control can make all of that stuff useless.

Agreed!

When I first started controlling ferm temps, my beer went from fair at best, to very good then excellent.

It's my number one recommendation to any brewer.  ;)

 :)
Ron Price

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2014, 05:46:59 PM »
Exactly, the thing that will make your beers go from "ok" to "wow!" is temp control. You simply can't make great beer if you can't control your fermentation temp.

I'll have to move towards that ... If I spend any more money on my brewing hobby I'll have to get use to sleeping on the couch :)

Without temp control it doesn't matter of you buy the best ingredients, have fancy equipment or take all the care in the world when you brew.  A lack of temp control can make all of that stuff useless.

Agreed!

When I first started controlling ferm temps, my beer went from fair at best, to very good then excellent.

It's my number one recommendation to any brewer.  ;)

 :)

+1.   Yep.
Jon H.

Offline tommymorris

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Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2014, 06:39:42 PM »
My temp control history

Started w/nothing -> ester flavors
Immerse in water w/ ice bottles -> works well for ales but gotta add ice too often
Cool Brewing bag -> basically the same as above
Chest freezer -> super easy, great results EDIT: plus lagers!

I travel a lot for work so adding ice to water or bags was tough. The wife would do it for me but not with the sense of urgency that I would like.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 09:21:10 PM by alestateyall »

Offline jasonmcconnell

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2014, 10:17:30 PM »
Wow I had no idea temp control was so important!  I'll definitely see what I can scrounge up before my next brew.
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Offline euge

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Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2014, 10:31:16 PM »
Even a fridge turned all the way up as warm as it will go ought to work until a controller is found. BTW buy Johnson Controls. ;) Their analog unit is just as good as their digital IMO. I have both.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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