Author Topic: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!  (Read 1408 times)

Offline Pinski

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First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« on: April 25, 2011, 08:05:24 PM »
After an all night Saturday/Sunday brewsession incorporating lots of tips learned here on the forum I can proudly say my first all grain batches are fermenting steadily.  I decided if I was going to set up my new equipment and figure out how it all works I might as well try and get some beer out of the deal.  I tested the rebuilt cooler tun for water tightness and found that the ball valve gasket was not sealing so I had to make an emergency trip to HD in order to scrape together material for an effective seal.  Once home I convinced myself that I understood how I was going to move the water and wort around it was time to go for it using the recipe of the week for American Pale subbing some Zeus hops for the the Goldings. My first slip up was underestimating the temp of the initial strike water in order to establish the mash at 152 degrees. We had to add quite a bit of extra water to get it there but at least we were working in the right direction.  The second tricky spot was sparging. I tried to pull off a continuous and ended up leaving a good gallon and a half behind by the time I had the 14.5 gallons I wanted to boil. We had a great time and learned a ton by doing, er brewing. I was really excited to use the new (to me) gear and the march pump and therminator were amazing. We pitched 6.5 gallons with WL 002 and 5 with us-05.  The OG was only 1.046 so there's clearly lot's of room for improvement but that just means this batch will make a nice session (brew session that is) to keep practicing with.  Thanks for all the inspiration and help gearing up to this big day for me!  Cheers! ;D
Steve Carper
Green Dragon Brew Crew
Clubs: Oregon Brew Crew & Strange Brew
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Offline euge

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2011, 10:01:19 PM »
Congrats Pinski!

You'll remember it fondly, this first AG batch.

Mine was nearly the same except it was a stuck sparge. Somehow I hit my mash temp right off- something that I wasn't able to replicate for quite a few batches. ;) Anyway that beer turned out awesome.

The Therminator will really help with the brewing. You did it right and got a couple nice pieces of equipment that'll improve your beer and save you time.
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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Offline Pinski

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 10:27:06 PM »
Thanks Euge, I've gleaned much from your comments! There's no doubt I will never forget this first AG sesion.  The dog is still sleeping it off.
Upon reflection, I think the efficiency would have been better if I had the wits in the moment to record precisely the amount of water I used to increase the mash to 152 degrees. Then I would have known how much volume I could use to achieve a more complete sparge for my system and the recipe.  I suppose this is the process eh? Brew and learn.  I can't wait to taste the results!
Steve Carper
Green Dragon Brew Crew
Clubs: Oregon Brew Crew & Strange Brew
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Offline ibru

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 07:23:58 AM »
Pinski
Congrats on your first all grain. Brewing is truly a process where we learn by doing and from our mistakes (and most important how we correct them). It sounds like you we able to work through your issues without panicking. Believe me there will be other times when things aren't quite going like they should.

Hope it turns out great!

Did the brewmistress help?

Bruce
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 07:25:44 AM by ibru »

Offline oscarvan

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 07:50:17 AM »
Rock on.........
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline weazletoe

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 10:28:23 AM »
Congrats Pinski. It's a great feeling. Next time, to help with your water, trying downloading a free program called Mashwater 3.3  I would not brew without it.
A man works hard all week, so he doesn't have to wear pants all weekend.

Offline beersk

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 12:05:40 PM »
Way to go dude.  All grain is awesome.  Brewing is awesome.  Best hobby I've picked up to date.
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Jesse

Offline Pinski

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 12:14:28 PM »

Did the brewmistress help?


Oh yeah, she was right there for the whole thing. She did get a bit territorial at one point and demoted the dog to Cellarman status.
Steve Carper
Green Dragon Brew Crew
Clubs: Oregon Brew Crew & Strange Brew
BJCP Certified

Offline dannyjed

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 01:18:27 PM »
congrats and let us know how it tastes when it's done ;)
Dan Chisholm

Offline mxstar21

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 01:16:11 AM »
Congrat's!  All-grain is definitely the way to go.  Takes a little more time, but is totally worth it in my opinion.  So many more ways to create your own unique recipes.

Offline kgs

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2011, 05:24:32 AM »
Every once in a while I think about doing a "quick" extract batch. But after I factor in everything else (planning the recipe, cleaning and sanitizing, buying ingredients, steeping grain, the boil, chilling, pitching yeast, aerating, fermentation, priming and bottling), I end up deciding that the couple extra hours spent brewing all-grain are a fairly small part of the process, the part I enjoy the most, production-wise, and the part that most contributes to my enjoyment of my beer (not to mention the geek cred of saying, "oh yes, I mashed the grain, of course").

I may still do a 2.5-gallon extract batch in the kitchen one weekend just for grins. All-extract, dry yeast, into a 3-gallon fermenter, then into a Tap-N-Draft. If I do, I plan to call it Stovetop Stuffin. ;)
K.G. Schneider
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Offline euge

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 08:23:55 AM »
Not to get off the topic but don't give up on extract. If fresh extract is used then a very good beer can be made easily.

Amber extract is already a tasty mix of malts so don't worry about steeping.  Devise a hop schedule and there you go.
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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Offline kgs

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2011, 06:53:04 AM »
Not to get off the topic but don't give up on extract. If fresh extract is used then a very good beer can be made easily.

Amber extract is already a tasty mix of malts so don't worry about steeping.  Devise a hop schedule and there you go.

Euge, would you recommend liquid or dry extract? (This is sort of on topic... since we're discussing "going AG") I ask in part because I have a $12 credit on Amazon and could buy a can of Coopers (extending the "stovetop stuffing" meme). I could then try the same beer AG (maybe on the same brewday!) and compare/contrast.
K.G. Schneider
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Offline euge

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2011, 08:59:57 AM »
I've used both quite a bit. Dry malt extract is supposed to be more fermentable and appears to make a slightly drier beer. LOL Handling is different than liquid extract. Then there's the cost. LME is usually much cheaper but you get less sugar per pound. DME can be stored for longer. Otherwise I prefer and recommend liquid if it is fresh. I try to buy it on brewday.

The experiment idea is cool. Make sure you use fresh extract so that it's fair. ;)
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Be Sure To Vote Jonathan Fuller for Governing Committee!

Offline kgs

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Re: First All Grain batch in the fermenters!
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2011, 09:13:25 AM »
I've used both quite a bit. Dry malt extract is supposed to be more fermentable and appears to make a slightly drier beer. LOL Handling is different than liquid extract. Then there's the cost. LME is usually much cheaper but you get less sugar per pound. DME can be stored for longer. Otherwise I prefer and recommend liquid if it is fresh. I try to buy it on brewday.

The experiment idea is cool. Make sure you use fresh extract so that it's fair. ;)

Or, if I'm shipped an old can, let the grain get stale accordingly ;-)
K.G. Schneider
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