Author Topic: First all grain attempt.  (Read 2591 times)

Offline codeslee

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First all grain attempt.
« on: October 12, 2015, 02:51:22 PM »
Hey all, first time poster here. I'm getting ready to make my first all grain brew. I understand the basics and I'm sure I can make it work. Any advice on things I can do or warnings for things I may run into? Is there any recipe that is best to start out with? Thanks!

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evil_morty

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 02:53:39 PM »
Hey all, first time poster here. I'm getting ready to make my first all grain brew. I understand the basics and I'm sure I can make it work. Any advice on things I can do or warnings for things I may run into? Is there any recipe that is best to start out with? Thanks!

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if you know nothing about your water I'd start with something in the amber(12-15) color range.  it seems to me that it's more likely to work with most types of water.  unless of course you know what your water is like in which case you can do whatever and adjust for it with salts and acid additions.

Offline codeslee

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 03:03:44 PM »
Hey all, first time poster here. I'm getting ready to make my first all grain brew. I understand the basics and I'm sure I can make it work. Any advice on things I can do or warnings for things I may run into? Is there any recipe that is best to start out with? Thanks!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

if you know nothing about your water I'd start with something in the amber(12-15) color range.  it seems to me that it's more likely to work with most types of water.  unless of course you know what your water is like in which case you can do whatever and adjust for it with salts and acid additions.
Thanks, I'm a fan of ambers anyways. But for the future I don't know anything about my water. Is there any easy way to test it?

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evil_morty

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 03:14:20 PM »
Hey all, first time poster here. I'm getting ready to make my first all grain brew. I understand the basics and I'm sure I can make it work. Any advice on things I can do or warnings for things I may run into? Is there any recipe that is best to start out with? Thanks!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

if you know nothing about your water I'd start with something in the amber(12-15) color range.  it seems to me that it's more likely to work with most types of water.  unless of course you know what your water is like in which case you can do whatever and adjust for it with salts and acid additions.
Thanks, I'm a fan of ambers anyways. But for the future I don't know anything about my water. Is there any easy way to test it?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

if it's municipal water you can usually find out via that local gov't agency.  this is what I did.

if that's not an option you can send a sample to ward labs (someone else can fill in which test to have them run) and they'll do it for you.  I think it's something like $10-15 to do this.

evil_morty

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 03:20:07 PM »
ward's has a special homebrewers test that is more expensive.  I think there is a cheaper option that will work through them but I'm not sure which one:

https://producers.wardlab.com/default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f


evil_morty

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 03:21:48 PM »
another option if you want to brew before you get a test is to mash in, check the pH and adjust as needed.  most people need to acidify their mash so if you had some lactic on hand that would make it pretty easy.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 03:27:04 PM »
KISS to start with.   
-temp and PH of mash important, so get yourself reliable meter and thermometer.
- water; yes very good to know where you are starting from. if city water you want to throw campden tablet in to remove chlorine.
- pick a two malt recipe...base and some specialty maybe.
- yeast; perhaps go with a dry yeast like US-05 first time. forgiving strain, and focus on pitch temp and maintaining fermentation temps in 60's. just trying to get yourself familiar with the process at this point.
- sanitation; that's important with any brew
- some point consider water profile software like bru'nwater, and recipe software like beersmith....invaluable.
- relax, take good notes, and just go through the process. it may seem overwhelming at first, but it will get easier and routine after time.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

evil_morty

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 03:30:34 PM »
KISS to start with.   
-temp and PH of mash important, so get yourself reliable meter and thermometer.
- water; yes very good to know where you are starting from. if city water you want to throw campden tablet in to remove chlorine.
- pick a two malt recipe...base and some specialty maybe.
- yeast; perhaps go with a dry yeast like US-05 first time. forgiving strain, and focus on pitch temp and maintaining fermentation temps in 60's. just trying to get yourself familiar with the process at this point.
- sanitation; that's important with any brew
- some point consider water profile software like bru'nwater, and recipe software like beersmith....invaluable.
- relax, take good notes, and just go through the process. it may seem overwhelming at first, but it will get easier and routine after time.

all good advice.  I forgot about the campden tablet.  Once I found out about this my life got much easier (f you filters! I used to filter all my water through a brita pitcher.)

I use colorpHast strips but I would hate to rely on these if I wasn't expecting a certain result based on water report and malt used.  meters are a little pricey though if you want a decent one - that's a trade to be made.

Offline codeslee

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2015, 03:40:09 PM »
KISS to start with.   
-temp and PH of mash important, so get yourself reliable meter and thermometer.
- water; yes very good to know where you are starting from. if city water you want to throw campden tablet in to remove chlorine.
- pick a two malt recipe...base and some specialty maybe.
- yeast; perhaps go with a dry yeast like US-05 first time. forgiving strain, and focus on pitch temp and maintaining fermentation temps in 60's. just trying to get yourself familiar with the process at this point.
- sanitation; that's important with any brew
- some point consider water profile software like bru'nwater, and recipe software like beersmith....invaluable.
- relax, take good notes, and just go through the process. it may seem overwhelming at first, but it will get easier and routine after time.
Ok awesome, great starting points thanks for the advice!

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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2015, 05:29:38 PM »
KISS to start with.   
-temp and PH of mash important, so get yourself reliable meter and thermometer.
- water; yes very good to know where you are starting from. if city water you want to throw campden tablet in to remove chlorine.
- pick a two malt recipe...base and some specialty maybe.
- yeast; perhaps go with a dry yeast like US-05 first time. forgiving strain, and focus on pitch temp and maintaining fermentation temps in 60's. just trying to get yourself familiar with the process at this point.
- sanitation; that's important with any brew
- some point consider water profile software like bru'nwater, and recipe software like beersmith....invaluable.
- relax, take good notes, and just go through the process. it may seem overwhelming at first, but it will get easier and routine after time.
Ok awesome, great starting points thanks for the advice!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

i'm sure i've over simplified- so come on back with questions...great forum willing to assist as needed.

good luck
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Online denny

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2015, 05:50:48 PM »
No offense intended to anyone, but for now just forget about worrying about water unless your water is really bad.  I brewed and won ribbons for 10 tears or so before I ever did anything other add some gypsum for hoppy beers.  If you're just starting AG there are far more important things to worry about.  after you dial in your system, your crush and your process, then start thinking about your water.  And trhy batch sparging....www.dennybrew.com
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2015, 05:56:51 PM »
I was going to channel Denny on this one but he got her first.

The process is involved enough to start out with.  Don't worry about water until you know the process and your system.  Unless your water is undrinkable the old adage "if your water tastes good it will make good beer" really is true for your initial brew sessions.

Paul
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2015, 06:17:43 PM »
no offense taken by me...just water can be a source of headache and bad beer. it was in my case. bicarb so high i couldn't make a beer worth drinking as PH was through the roof in the mash..all kind of issues.

i'm all for jumping in and seeing what happens-just know from experience bad water can make bad beer that gets dumped.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline toby

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2015, 06:19:48 PM »
I would mostly agree with one major exception: chlorine.  pH isn't far behind, but making sure that you neutralize chloramines is pretty important.  That's easy though with the addition of campden tablets (1/4 tablet per 5 gallons of hot liquor).  After that, I'd say yes, get your process down first and then start looking into more advanced water topics later.  So in summary:

1) Chloramine neutralization - Pretty important
2) pH/Alkalinity adjustment - A really good next step
3) Brewing salt/mineral adjustments - icing on the cake once you have all the basics well handled

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First all grain attempt.
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2015, 06:30:39 PM »
I agree that a new brewer doesn't need to jump right into fine tuning water, but (as said) using acceptable, chlorine free water is important. The water in big parts of the Midwest is crap for most styles, so starting out using RO water around here is at least a step in the right direction. Nothing extra to learn, just a trip to the store.
Jon H.