Author Topic: Amount of grains for all grain brewing  (Read 299 times)

Offline Kenpropst

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Amount of grains for all grain brewing
« on: March 03, 2021, 12:41:47 PM »
How do you decide how much and what grains you need if you want to come up with something to brew?

Offline Drewch

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Re: Amount of grains for all grain brewing
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2021, 01:22:58 PM »
You can do all the math yourself to calculate the gravity potential from each grain in your recipe (I think howtobrew.com covers this, for ex: http://howtobrew.com/book/section-2/what-is-malted-grain/table-of-typical-malt-yields), but most people use software to calculate it, or just follow an established recipe. 

I would suggest starting with a recipe kit from a reputable retailer.  Morebeer.com, northernbrewer.com, homebrewing.org to name a few.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Amount of grains for all grain brewing
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2021, 01:43:20 PM »
There is free recipe software available on the internet or you can purchase and download software for a free trial. It's inexpensive and worth having.

It depends on the malt you use and your efficiency but basically a pound of pilsner malt comes up to about 1.005 OG in 5 gallons (post boil/flame out). So if you wanted to brew a 1.050 batch just start with 10 lbs of malt (.050 / .005). How close you actually are to that gravity will depend on your mash efficiency and mash yield which is largely based on your individual malt crush among other things.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 01:45:08 PM by majorvices »

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Amount of grains for all grain brewing
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2021, 01:50:37 PM »
Each Brewer’s equipment along with the processes they use will determine efficiency. System efficiency determines how much grain you’ll need to reach a certain specific gravity.

The best grain bills in my opinion are written in percentage and include the original gravity.

If I have those two pieces of information (% of each grain and OG) I can translate a grain bill from their system to my brewhaus.

If you don’t know your brewhaus’ efficiency, you’ll need to brew a few times to figure it out. Like Drewch said, the easy way is software but it can be done by pencil and paper.


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Offline beerphilmcd

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Re: Amount of grains for all grain brewing
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2021, 02:40:30 PM »
There is free recipe software available on the internet or you can purchase and download software for a free trial. It's inexpensive and worth having.

It depends on the malt you use and your efficiency but basically a pound of pilsner malt comes up to about 1.005 OG in 5 gallons (post boil/flame out). So if you wanted to brew a 1.050 batch just start with 10 lbs of malt (.050 / .005). How close you actually are to that gravity will depend on your mash efficiency and mash yield which is largely based on your individual malt crush among other things.
What everyone has said so far is dead on accurate! I’ll second the software comment and say a very useful exercise would be to go to brewersfriend online recipe calculator and play around. 

1-listen to old jamil show or brew strong episodes on the brewing network to learn how to construct and think about recipes.
2-go play around with a recipe calculator while referencing BJCPStyle guidelines as they have an ingredients reference.
3-my one big tip is that most recipes are 75-95% base malt and the simpler the recipe the better... usually. As you learn/experience different grains it becomes easier.


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Offline Kenpropst

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Re: Amount of grains for all grain brewing
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2021, 03:55:15 PM »
Thank you for all you help it is appreciated

Offline HopDen

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Re: Amount of grains for all grain brewing
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2021, 11:29:06 PM »
How do you decide how much and what grains you need if you want to come up with something to brew?

All of the above comments are solid.

When I started brewing, I went straight to all grain. I brewed clone recipes from magazines and books for the first couple of years until I felt that I had a good concept of all grain brewing ( Im still learning). I would brew a recipe over and over until I could do it without instructions. I made some great beers and I made some horrible beer but, still drinkable. After I had enough confidence I started to formulate my own recipes and I must say that my beers tasted very good. Again after some time and nonstop absorbtion of everything brewing I started to play with water chemistry. It was then that my beers went from very good to absolutely great. I also had some s***ty dumpers too. Immerse yourself in brewing books, historical and modern keeping in mind that not all information is accurate or is based on outdated dogma. Another suggestion is to search this forum, there are a lot of people who bring a great deal of knowledge to the community table in many different disciplines. I have learned as much here as I have anywhere and probably more.