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1st All Grain batch this weekend

Hello everyone. I’m brewing my first All-Grain batch this weekend (I’ve been brewing extract off and on for 15 years, but its been about 2 years since I last brewed.) I’m a little unsure about the process, so I thought I’d share my planned recipe and process with the forum and see what people think.

I have built a 48 qt cooler mash tun with a stainless braid for batch sparging (basically copied the instructions from Denny COnn’s website). I am planning to brew the following recipe:

Amarillo IPA

10 lb US 2-row
1 lb US Crystal 60
.5 lb carapils/dextrine

.75 oz Warrior - 60 minutes
1 oz Amarillo 15 minutes
1 oz Amarillo 5 minutes
2 oz Amarillo @ flameout/steep 5 minutes prior to chilling

I plan to mash-in with 17.25 qts of water @ 164.3 degrees (shooting for 152). Hold for one hour.

Drain mash tun, and then do one batch sparge with 3.25 gallons of water. Should give me pre-boil volume around 6.5 gallons.

Chill and pitch yeast (SAfale US-05).

Any thoughts on the recipe or process? Anything look way off? Thanks in advance for your feedback. I’m also putting together a kegging system, so I have lots of questions on that, but I’ll save them for a different thread.


Everything looks decent to me. Have fun tomorrow.

Looks good. The only thing I would change is adding a dry hop addition.

Thanks guys. I was thinking of adding 1 oz of Amarillo as a dry hop addition, but my LHBS only has leaf Amarillo at this time. I’ve always dry-hopped with pellets. I assume there would be no issues using the leaf?

No some prefer leaf over pellet. IIRC they feel leaf is superior because it hasn’t been subjected to processing.

As long as they are fresh, each works equally well for the beer. Processing can be a bit different. Pellets drop to the bottom and compact easily, especially if you cold crash the beer. Cones can sometimes stay stubbornly floating at the top. Then you might have to rack out from under them. Or if they do drop (they normally do), they don’t stay as well at the bottom. You might need to put a piece of cheese cloth around the end of your racking cane to make sure they don’t get sucked in…

Have an extra .5-1 gallon of hot water on hand in case your pre boil volume is off. Better safe than waiting another 10 minutes to heat up some water.

Looks good Joel5000!

I always like to write up my exact steps for the process before I brew just to make sure I do not skip a step. Not that you’d forget, but be sure to aerate your wort before pitching. I forgot on my last IPA and my FG was off by a lot.

Agreed with having an extra .5-1g of H20 on hand just in case your volumes are off.

Happy brewing!

Awesome tips, guys. Thanks. I will definitely make sure I’ve got some additional hot water ready. I have a mix-stir, but I have been known to forget to use it. :lol: I will definitely make sure I aerate well. Don’t want to finish sweet.

Well, my first AG brewday didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. I missed my mash temp by quite a bit. I was aiming for 152 and came in at 146. I think I definitely should have pre-heated my mash tun. Because I started off with a 1.5 qt per pound ratio, I didnt want to add water and thin it out even more, so I let it ride at 146 and just figured I’d get a really fermentable wort. Unfortunately, when I opened up the mash tun after 90 minutes, I found the temp had dropped to around 143. Of course I didnt have any iodine on hand, so I just went with it. My concern is that I may not have acheived full conversion. The run-off was fairly hazy (not from pieces of husk; I vorlaufed).

Boil went fine, and my home-made immersion chiller worked great. I got the temp down to 68 in about 15 to 20 minutes. The next problem occured when I tried to transfer the wort from kettle to fermenter. I had 4 oz of whole cone Amarillo in the brew, and I immediately clogged two auto siphons with hops. I ended up lifting and dumping into the fermentor. Managed to leave most of the hop cones in the kettle. Forgot to aerate (although dumping the wort caused it to foam up to the top of the kettle, so it got SOME aeration. I then pitched a pack of US-05. Now, about 16 hours after pitching there is only minimal activity in the airlock (a bubble every 45 seconds or so), and not much visible kraesen. Didnt take any readings because I couldnt find my hydrometer (this was my first brew in about two years.)

Is this just dumpster brew? I’m tempted to dump it out and try again next weekend.

I’m a little frustrated with myself for not being prepared with iodine to check for conversion. I will definitely start with a thicker mash next time and pre-heat the mash-tun. Any suggestions on the transfer?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

I went through the whole hop scenario you described on my last brew and it was a nightmare. If you can, I would suggest trying to skim as many of the leaf hops out of the wort before transferring using a slotted spoon or a small strainer. I have a funnel and a strainer and I still made a mess everywhere.

I would just let it ferment and see what you got. Of course without a gravity reading there will be no way to know what your alcohol percentage is. Just wait a week and taste it. If it’s no good, dump it. But who knows, it may be the best beer you’ve ever made :slight_smile:

You have gone this far, why would you dump it.

Depending on the temp of your stored cooler, start your mash in water at 170+. Let it sit for 10 minutes to warm the cooler up. When it hits 160, add your room temp grain, 65-70*. This should stabilize you in the 150 range. You may need to stir a little to get it to drop.

If you had your location in your profile, someone near by might have been able to assist you with a hydrometer. :wink:

Look into building a hop spider to keep your hops contained. Or, you could line a bottling bucket with a paint strainer bag. Pour the wort into that and then drain into a carboy. Or just use a pail for a fermenter.

Thanks guys.

Nighthawk, what water to grain ration do you use to hit that temperature? Also, is a paint-strainer bag sanitizable? I’ve never used one, but that sounds like a promising solution.

I am going to let it ferment out (may pitch another packet of US-05 if it has not taken off more strongly by this evening.)

Still really excited to be brewing all grain, and eager to get the kinks worked out. Thanks!

Use what ever ratio you want. 1.25 to 1.50 ratio should not have much of a difference. You are over heating the water so it warms the cooler. When the temp drop to where you need it, add the grain.

For an average 12-15lb grain bill, with cooler/grain temp around 65-70, I shoot for a dough in temp of 160, and a preheat temp of 170. This usually leave me on the high side of 150*. So I stir for a couple minutes to cool it down to 150*.

Yes you can sanitize a paint strainer bag. They are nylon and reusable. They will melt if left to touch the bare side of a boil kettle. Speaking from experience. :wink:

So the beer ended up taking off and fermenting vigorously for about 4 days. Kraeusen has now dropped and I’m ready to rack to secondary. The beer is still really murky; I’m hoping it clears in secondary. I’m planning to add 2 oz of dry hops to secondary. i want to use pellets because the whole cones were such a PITA on brew day. LHBS is still out of Amarillo pellets. Any suggestions for a hop that plays nice with Amarillo? All late hop additions were Amarillo. Should i just skip dry-hopping? I’m considering Simcoe. I just dont want something that will clash with the Amarillo flavor. Thanks!

Also, any suggestions on finings? I’m thinking of isinglass or gelatin.

Leave your beer 3 to 4 weeks in the primary. The extra time is your secondary.
Then rack your beer to glass and dry hop. I do this with very good results.

Do what you want of coarse, It’s homebrewing. You will make beer.

Give it some more time. If the beer is very cloudy, that means there is still a lot of yeast in suspension and they aren’t done cleaning up yet. I wouldn’t think about transferring out of the primary in less than a week, and longer is better. I pretty much never use finings for beer; it clears up on it’s own.

Cascade goes very well with Amarillo. So does Columbus. Simcoe might overwhelm.

Thanks guys. Just to be clear, its been in primary for 10 days total. It took off after 16 hours or so and fermented really strong for about 4 days. Its been tapering off since. I guess I’ll give it a couple more weeks. Its hard to be patient; I want my primary open to start another batch.

Give it more time in primary. What is your rush? Also, the longer you leave in primary, the less you will need finings as it will clear naturally.

Simcoe and Amarillo are nice together, IME.

I strain my wort with a big stainless steel strainer like our host sells ... ainer.html

It lets in more trub than some people would care for, but it’s easy to clean and sanitize.

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