First all grain batch with a few questions

Hey guys, today I brewed my first all grain batch, I have a gravity fed brew cart that will do 10 gal batches with 2 converted kegs
a 70 qt coleman extreme mash tun a home made cfc with a march 815 pump. ok so I heated the strike water to 172w/ a pre heated mash tun,i brewed an American IPA so with a 28 lb grain bill I used the greenbay Rackers chart on line which told me @ 1.25 qt per lb. I needed 8.75gals. of strike water for a mash temp of 152. I came in at 148 so I let it go for an hr. then I used the Batch Sparge method ALA Dennybrew. I infused with a gal of boiling water before first runnings. mash temp was 155*. I then collected 6 -1/2 gal of wort after first runnings. I then raised strike water to 190* which gave me a 167* mash temp for the second runnings. I collecter 12-1/2 gal of pre boil wort. I think I can adjust temps of strike water to get target mash temps, but heres where it went crazy. I have a 1000 btu NG wok burner on my BK so as im boiling I had 6 hop additions mainly in the last 20 min I needed my cold water spray bottle to beat the foam down. so now im ready to chill I noticed I evaporated 3+ gals of wort in 60 min. I filled one 5 gal fermentor the other I got barely 4 gals. Why did I evaporate so much? why that late in the boil were all the hop additions foaming so much? lastly can I still keg the 4 gal batch will it carb ok? recipie called fo OG at 1.066 i got 1.060. i apologize for this long thread but i just wanted to get it all out there THANKS to all for your help. Jim.

Just a guess but maybe you should throttle back that burner. Also the less volume of water at the end of the boil probably made it foam more. Also a hard boil like that foams like crazy.

Evap rate is affected by multiple things including boil rate and humidity. Yeah you can keg and carb the 4 gals no problem.

Once you’ve done 3-4 batches with your new setup, you’ll have a better handle on what your boiloff rate should be. Remember, it’s absolutely OK to get her boiling good, then cut back on the gas to just maintain a slow rolling boil for the remainder.
I find it’s handy to take a preboil SG, then knowing what I typically boil off, I can see if I’m going to need to add any DME to be within my predicted OG. Also with a preboil SG you can calculate your mash efficiency. If one batch is off your usual efficiency you can look for possible reasons.

I check my rate at 15min and 30min and throttle accordingly to try and hit the volume I want.

yea it was a furious boil I was thinking the 1000 btu burner was too much but I see your point next time ill throttle it down. I don’t think humidity played a part I brewed in my garage w 2 windows open and a fan in one of them. garage temp reached a high of 68* also I never thought to check preboil SG.
im still pleased with my first AG. it will only get better THANKS guys for your help.

The boil is one thing. Easy to fix. All you need is a gentle rolling boil once you’re past the hot break. Save you some money on propane too!

I’d be more concerned about why your mash efficiency was so poor. If I pushed my house IPA grain bill to 28 lbs for a 10 gallon batch I’d expect an OG of 1.078.

Would be interesting to see your grain bill. 6 points short after a 3 gallon boil off?

When did you add the infusion? How low did the temp go before you added it?

my LHBS store gives u a printed out recipie so for my IPA it was 26 lb of Briess malt, 1-1/2 lb of Breiss crystal malt, and 1/2 pound of Dingemanns Aromatic malt for a 28 lb grain bill. then there were 6 hop additions. it stated on the recipie I should have an original gravity of 1.066 final gravity of 1.019. maybe I should of had strike water about 180*-185* instead of 172* that’s why my mash temp only hit 148* should have been 152*. after 1 hr mash I took a reading it was 145* I knew it was low but I think I should have been higher with my strike water.i Infuse with 1 gal boiling water to raise it to 155 then did my first runoff. no worries about propane I have NG. THANKS.

148 would have been find for an IPA if you can hold it. If you are loosing 3 deg in an hour you need to preheat your cooler.

Something wrong here that recipe doesn’t sound right. With that bill I would expect a higher OG pluss a lower FG

ok so I did pre heat the cooler with 3 gal of 140* water I opened the valve on HLT as it was heating up the hot liquid, I guess the water should have been much hotter. since this was my first all-grain batch, this is the recipe my LHBS gave me so I was just going by the numbers they gave me THANKS.

ANY recipe has to be adjusted for your own system and methodology. It would be really unusual if someone else’s recipe worked for you without any modification.

ok thanks Denny, but how would I determine the size of a grain bill for my needs. i’m set up to do 10 gal batches. is there a formula or is all trial and error.thanks.

Pretty much trial and error. You have to brew with your system enough to be able to establish your average efficiency. After maybe 2-4 brews you should be able to get a lot closer!

On my system at 75% efficiency I get 1.075 for your grain bill. Maybe it’s your mash temp but even accounting for that it seems like you had really low efficiency.

ok so next time I will pre heat mash tun I have a 70 qt.Coleman extreme cooler.raise my strike water which was low at 170*. because I didn’t pre heat cooler hotter than I should have I ended up with about145* just before first runnings. I did the Batch sparge method which I thought ran very well for both runnings. so heres where I don’t get it. Should I check Specific Gravity after runnings just before the boil, then check OG after the chill and then i calculate these two to get my efficiency rate. would that work thanks.

No that’s not how efficiency is calculated. Here’s a link to short Brewsmith post on efficiency. … r-brewing/

ok thanks Danny for the link, ill work on it!!!