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First AG Brew Session

I must say it was a hectic brewday but what a blast. It is an awesome exprience making a brew from the raw ingredients. I have only done extract brews and quit brewing for 10 years or so and this was my second beer after coming back.

I am going to list a few stats and some of my thoughts and see if some of the more experienced AG brewers have any suggestions: Thanks in advance…

Nothern Brewer AG Dry Irish Stout kit 5 gal batch 9 lbs grain

Start Gravity 1.049 (target was 1.052)
Mash in temp 151 (target 152) (Strike water temp 168)
Sparge temp (170 with 10 min rest)
Strike vol. 3 gal
Sparge vol. 6 gal (divided into two 3 gal batches)

I am using the 5 gal Norther Brew AG system and the brew365 calculator. I went over on my volume. I think I will cut back the sparge water vol and mash in just a touch higher temp next time. All in all I am pleased but I want to improve where I can.

Brian

So you mashed in and sparged with a total of 9 gallons? If so your grains would have absorbed ~ 1 gallon leaving you with a preboil volume of 8 meaning you’d need to boil off 3 gallons to get to 5 gallons post boil. On my system that would require a 2.5 hour boil. What was your post boil volume? That said, even if you hit your final volume, only coming in 3 points below the target OG is pretty good for your first AG batch.

Yeah a total of 9, I think I went a touch overboard. I boiled 7 gal. I left some behind in the mash tun. My next batch is gonna have a an 11 lb grain bill, but I definately gonna back off the sparge volume…it was way too much. Thanks, I was pretty happy it was close.

Brian

Oh I forgot, Ppst boil I was touch over 5.5ish and left behind the cold break in the kettle.

Brian

After re-reading your original post I see it looks like you did 2 sparges, which is fine, especially if you’re brewing a big beer with a large grain bill.

I also see you listed the the estimated OG at 1.052, but NB’s inventory sheet

has it at 1.042. In any case if your measured OG was 1.049 you got outstanding efficiency, likely due to the second sparge. Looks like you had a successful first run.

Oh and welcome to the forum, you’ll find lots of helpful advice here.

Oh yeah, opps. It was supposed 2 be 1.042. Well I guess I can live with that. Next brew is goning to by an IPA, with a slightly bigger grain bill. I’m bring in one of my buddies for help on that one. Can’t wait.

Brian

Congrats on your brew day. I have been doing partial mash brewing for six months and I’m ready to step up and try my first all grain batch. I hope it goes as well as yours did.

If you’re already doing partial mash, stepping up to all grain is a breeze. You’re already doing the same work. All you have to do differently is mash more grains and drop the extract. You’re like 90% of the way there. Now all you need to do is get your system down, meaning how much water you’ll need, how many lbs of grains you can mash in your setup, etc. But most of that is just trial an error.

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