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Can I screw this up

Kinda trying to figure out what I want to brew as my first AG batch. Kinda thinking of running with the Patersbier kit first.

Just wondering if there’s anything specifically I should steer away from to pop my cherry.

I guess that depends on your equipment, I would go with KISS on my first AG like one mash temperature and batch sparge. Have you read Denny’s Cheap and Easy Batch Sparging?

and yea you can screw it up, but have fun and learn from your mistakes.


I agree with John’s trial by fire statement. This sometimes is the only way for things to make sense. Such as the following note depending on the actual individual of course.

This starts to go a little past basic starting information, but real light styles like a pils, paters etc… that have no roast grain or caramalts are hard to hit on the nose without adjusting water and the opposite is also true for stouts as their is too much roast malt but the flavors hide flaws in darker beers making them “easier” So I am not sure what your water comp is close to but I can almost guarantee that if brewing a beer ranging from 6-15 SRM your mashing PH will be right on or awful close. What PH boils down to is better conversion of starch, less astringency, more biological stability and many other benefits to great to list in a simple topic here.

Many times when reviewing fellow Midwestern brewers water comp I find they can naturally hit 5.2-5.5 PH without adjusting a drop of water if they are making recipes again in/ around the 6-15 SRM realm as the roast and caramalt cause natural drops in acidity. So a pils/ paters with close to 100% base grain will typically rest around 5.8 PH if you do not adjust and if you happen to have high bicarbonate your true mash may ring in above 6.0 which is too high and you will definitely see flavor consequences in the finished pale beer as their is nothing to hide the flaws in this style. I dont want to delve too deep in this topic but thought it bore mention as a possible guide towards a first beer.

Yes… yes you can screw it up.

Fuck that guy talking about mash pH. It’s not important. Do 20 all grain batches, then worry about mash pH. Don’t even think about adding a damn thing to your mash.

Just try not to get a stuck mash or over sparge. If you miss your temp by a few degrees, don’t worry about it. Just keep the mash over 150 and below 162 for 60 minutes, that’s it. Use a brewing calculator to figure out how much sparge water and at what temp vs your grain amount and grain temp. Beersmith has one.

When something goes wrong, and it eventually will, use your heard and come up with a quick solution to get the job done.

BTW, if you overshoot your temp and go into the mid 160s, you’ll denature the malt enzymes and the mash won’t convert from starch to sugar. If you do this, just throw in another pound or so of milled basemalt and you’ll have enough enzymes for the mash to convert. This tip has saved me numerous times.

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