Author Topic: First AG Brew  (Read 5077 times)

Offline arctic78

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First AG Brew
« on: February 29, 2016, 02:11:47 PM »
I just brewed my first AG batch yesterday and have to say it all went well Thanks to all the advise and information I have received from everyone here. Was not 100% on the mark with everything but was happy and think I know where to correct things.
My pre boil gravity was out by 4 points (higher) OG was 8 points out, Higher again.

   A couple of questions though.
1: I was expecting my OG to be higher due to the pre boil gravity reading being higher but is this manageable by keeping better control of the boil? I had a very vigorous boil this time and my boil off was a lot more than usual by 1.5 litre ( 1.58 quarts) So my batch volume was down also.

2: This is about the efficiency, Brew house and mash. My brew house efficiency's were.   total 72% and measured 72.1%
My mash efficiency's were.   Estimated 72.9% and measured 86.7%
I am still not 100% sure on what these mean exactly and were in my process has the biggest effect on these numbers.

THanks.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: First AG Brew
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 07:33:40 PM »
I just brewed my first AG batch yesterday and have to say it all went well Thanks to all the advise and information I have received from everyone here. Was not 100% on the mark with everything but was happy and think I know where to correct things.
My pre boil gravity was out by 4 points (higher) OG was 8 points out, Higher again.

Higher pre-boil SG would suggest your system was more efficient than you told BS it was going to be.   Doubling that to 8 pts means you boiled harder than you told BS you planned to.  OR, you lost less than you told BS you expected.  This is part of learning your system and your 'typical' results. 


   A couple of questions though.
1: I was expecting my OG to be higher due to the pre boil gravity reading being higher but is this manageable by keeping better control of the boil? I had a very vigorous boil this time and my boil off was a lot more than usual by 1.5 litre ( 1.58 quarts) So my batch volume was down also.

You were expecting more than 8 pts higher?  Not sure what you expected, but it seems fine for the first AG batch.  You made beer!

2: This is about the efficiency, Brew house and mash. My brew house efficiency's were.   total 72% and measured 72.1%
My mash efficiency's were.   Estimated 72.9% and measured 86.7%
I am still not 100% sure on what these mean exactly and were in my process has the biggest effect on these numbers.

THanks.

I think of Mash Eff % as more about the amount of sugars you created and captured from the fixed amount of grains you used.   Total Eff % includes everything, like losses of fluid, planned or unplanned.   Choosing to leave a gallon of trub-filled wort behind for clarity is the same hit to efficiency as spilling a gallon via an open valve.  You have to learn your system and tell BS what to expect, and BS will do a good job at the math.  Keep secrets from BS, like not telling it you lose a half-gallon in the boil kettle will cause you problems with your outcomes until you figure it out and tell BS for the next batch. 

Offline twhitaker

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Re: First AG Brew
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 02:13:31 PM »
Congrats. Sounds like things went very good. Efficiencies are good. Maltlickers advice is spot on.  Are your kettles marked for volume and did you measure your losses? if not,When you have time. measure out aproximately what was left in your boil kettle. Having accurate loss amounts will help you hone in further to coming out with good numbers. Input these loss numbers into the recipe you made and it updates your info to what you did exactly.   Measure your volumes and  loss in all steps and record. You will get a total loss number as well, and bottling volume and that can help you fine tune the recipe so that you can get exactly out of it what you want to bottle. It can also help you to dial in water addition amounts.
 Theres nothing like having a batch of all grain beer goodness fermenting at home, CHEERS,
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Offline arctic78

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Re: First AG Brew
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2016, 12:16:34 AM »
@ maltliker.
                   thanks for your reply. I had my efficiency set at 72% which I thought was a good starting point. I measured all my water volumes.  Also volume after mash and then volume after sparge and they were spot on to the amounts that BS predicted well to 30-40 ml. But my boil was way stronger than I planed so I had a lot more evaporation than expected and this gave me a lower amount at the end of the boil by 3 litres. As for the OG I thought it my have been higher than BS said due to the fact my pre boil Gravity was higher but I was wondering if I had of controlled the boil better if I would have got closer to the predicted OG , Even with the higher preboil gravity. So I will change a couple of things in my profile setup and be more careful with the boil next time and see hoe things go.
Thanks for the advise.

@ twhitaker.
                    I will take your advise and mark some measurements on my mash tun / kettle so as I have a better idea as to what my losses are. The one thing I did not measure was what was left in the boil kettle at the end. Next batch I will though.
I must say it was very satisfying to put it into the fermentor and then 4 hours later see the airlock bubbling away .
Thanks.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: First AG Brew
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2016, 12:58:10 AM »
To measure what is in my boil kettle, I use a yard stick with grooves ground at the level of each gallon.  I use two different boil kettles (one for boiling wort and one for boiling strike and sparge water.  They are different sizes 8 and 13 gallon, so my yard stick is grooved on one side for the 8 gallon kettle and the other side for the 13 gallon kettle.  I use it like a dip stick.

If I weren't so cheap, I'd install sight glasses in my kettles.
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Offline arctic78

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Re: First AG Brew
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2016, 01:20:55 AM »
 Nice one  :) I like that very much, seems much easier than marking the pot. I have a bit of stainless rod lying around from work so I think I have a use for it now. I also think cheap is good as long as it is effective.
Besides making your own beer I think doing it as cheaply as you can by DYI as much as you can makes it more satisfying.
But that is just my opinion  :o

Offline twhitaker

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Re: First AG Brew
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2016, 07:42:15 AM »
However you do it the most important volumes are pre boil and post boil, along with the gravities. It helps to see where  the final volume should be while you are boiling so you can turn down the boil (or cover the boil kettle)  if you approach final volume too quickly.

 I read an article in brew your own mag about etching your kettles, was going to do it then I found an old metal engraving tool and just used that to mark graduations on all my kettles on the outside. Makes the brewing day easy. Eventually would like to get sight glasses for all but yeah, too costly and makes for more things to clean, and have to be careful when handling kettles not to break them off or loosen them and get leaks. Still have to use water and graduate /mark the glasses when installed...

 For losses I just pour what's left in the kettle into a graduated 2 liter tupperware container and measure, hopefully not more than once. Hopefully there isn't enough lost wort to accurately measure with a stick or kettle markings, especially when measuring loss from fermenter into bottling bucket or kegs.
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Offline bobo1898

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Re: First AG Brew
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 08:30:48 AM »
Would love a sight glass. My concern is also not breaking it and cost. Between my buddy and I, I feel like it wouldn't last long between the two of us.

I use a measuring stick and used water to determine 3 gallons, 5 gallons, 6 gallons, 7 gallons, etc. based on inches from the center of the pot. Works for me! If I end up purchasing a new kettle in the future, I'll probably buy one with the marking on the interiors already. The Bayou kettles with these are about the same price as the one's without.
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Offline arctic78

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Re: First AG Brew
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2016, 10:34:55 PM »
Definitely will be marking my kettle so I can be more accurate. I use the same kettle for the mash and the boil I just sparge into a fermenter bucket which has markings already so that worked out fine for me. I found my biggest issue was managing the boil off as I had nothing to gauge the volume . Lots to learn and fine tune  :)

Offline Jojo

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Re: First AG Brew
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2016, 12:01:28 PM »
Hi Guys, I just register my self at BS and this is my first participation at all.
I'm brewing since octuber'15, with only 6 recipes done. Since my debut on Home-brewing my OG is always 15-20 points low.

last Saturday I brewed an A. IPA which should be 1.073 OG and my OG was 1.053.
I started with 7,1kg of grains to 25l water than batch sparge adding more 12l water (at 75ºC).
As result = 20l at 1.053 (fermenting)
Any suggestion on how I can improve the OG? Thanks a lot!