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Successfully completed 1st all-grain...Thank you all

Tomorrow is my 1 year anniversary to homebrewing and what a year it has been. To celebrate, I decided to make the leap to all-grain but I did it today as I would like to participate in the Holiday festivities at my LHBS tomor. By reading all the prior threads and studying Denny’s cheap n easy website I had a stellar day as all went well. Very well, in fact! I was nervous as hell this morning as I was trying to sleep (I work 3rd shift) so I just got up and started my brew day. I brewed our host’s Extra Pale Ale recipe and was very pleased with the results thus far. I was using all new equipment that had been sitting idle since Christmas and couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to be outside brewing. I hit ALL of my numbers pretty much spot on and my mash tun only lost 2 degrees during the 60 min mash. OG was dead on at 1.054 and the sample tasted a bit sweet to me. The kit came with 3 oz Cascade (2 oz bittering, 1 oz flavor/aroma) but I will be adding my own touch by dry hopping with an ounce of Cascade as well. I’m guessing the end result will be a well balanced pale ale that I’m so looking forward to. Just wanted to give all YOU guys that help US guys a big shout out. Many mistakes have been avoided by visiting this forum every evening. Thanks a ton!

:cheers:

Congrats!!

Reading does a lot to help you accomplish a task. Doing it is the final test. It’s usually not as hard as we think it is.

:cheers:

Brew,

Your post should be permanently pinned to the top of this forum! You did the hard work of reading about brewing before you rushed into it. Now, you’ve been rewarded with a brew day that went well. You’ll be rewarded again when you drink the first beer from this batch.

Congratulations and thanks for the post!

After finishing my “clean up” from brew day, I’ve found a flaw in the day that I thought went so well. The propane tank that I used was brand new and it now feels barely half full. Twas my first time using my Blichmann burner and I think I was trying to set records in the temp/time category. I definitely have to dial in that burner because $20 for a tank exchange every other brew will be very costly! Guess I didn’t read the burner threads well enough.

Thanks again to all (grain)!

Many times the tank exchanges are only 17-18lbs.

Look for a convenient place to do a refill. ACE Hardware has tank fills in my area. Also, keep an eye out for a 2nd tank. I bought an old style tank on a garage sale and turned it in for a new style for less than purchasing a new tank.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]Many times the tank exchanges are only 17-18lbs.

Look for a convenient place to do a refill. ACE Hardware has tank fills in my area. Also, keep an eye out for a 2nd tank. I bought an old style tank on a garage sale and turned it in for a new style for less than purchasing a new tank.[/quote]

I have plenty of tanks (3) but I don’t think I was using the new burner very effieciently. My old burner (turkey fryer) did at least 12 extract batches on 1 tank. I understand that I’m using the burner more during all-grain but I need to find that sweet spot to get that fuel sipping beast running as lean as I can. I’m still super stoked with my results and if all I can find wrong with my day is a little extra propane usage then I’m golden. :smiley:

:cheers:

I’ve learned to keep the flame to a minimum - you can really trim it back once you reach a boil.

I average 4-5 brew days per tank

Running into the same issue with my Blichmann. Haven’t found the sweet spot to keep propane use at the “sipping” level :x

[quote=“Nighthawk”]Many times the tank exchanges are only 17-18lbs.[/quote]I have five tanks (I run a mosquito vac most of the year and it uses about 5# a week) and a couple refill trips ago I started weighing the tanks before and after use to see how much I’m getting from the Blue Rhino refills at H-E-B. After tracking 12 tanks, it turns out that they’re pretty consistently 15 lbs each with the occasional 15.5 or 16 thrown in. Only costs $14.88 per exchange, so it’s not a bad deal, just wish they would pack a little more in so they would last longer.

Just tagging on, I had my first all grain day yesterday, as well. I made my last Extract around New Years then just sipped through all my existing stock until yesterday. I have no idea why it took me so long… especially when I picked up a 50 lb sack of base malt and enough specialty malt/hops for two batches for $60. Now, to fill the pipeline again…

[quote=“pointyskull”]
Running into the same issue with my Blichmann. Haven’t found the sweet spot to keep propane use at the “sipping” level :x [/quote]
Hmm, I get anywhere from 5-10 AG batches per 20lb tank on my Blichmann. Once I’m boiling, I can turn the gas way down and maintain a good boil. As far as cost, I spent $21 the other day to fill 2 tanks at my local propane shop.

[quote=“airlocksniffer”][quote=“pointyskull”]
Running into the same issue with my Blichmann. Haven’t found the sweet spot to keep propane use at the “sipping” level :x [/quote]

Hmm, I get anywhere from 5-10 AG batches per 20lb tank on my Blichmann. Once I’m boiling, I can turn the gas way down and maintain a good boil. As far as cost, I spent $21 the other day to fill 2 tanks at my local propane shop.[/quote]

That’s good to know. Must be me. I’ve only done two batches with the Blichmann so far, and I’m a little inexperienced on keeping a consistent blue flame. I feel like I’m constantly adjusting the air flow - not sure if that’s normal.

[quote=“pointyskull”][quote=“airlocksniffer”][quote=“pointyskull”]
Running into the same issue with my Blichmann. Haven’t found the sweet spot to keep propane use at the “sipping” level :x [/quote]

Hmm, I get anywhere from 5-10 AG batches per 20lb tank on my Blichmann. Once I’m boiling, I can turn the gas way down and maintain a good boil. As far as cost, I spent $21 the other day to fill 2 tanks at my local propane shop.[/quote]

That’s good to know. Must be me. I’ve only done two batches with the Blichmann so far, and I’m a little inexperienced on keeping a consistent blue flame. I feel like I’m constantly adjusting the air flow - not sure if that’s normal.[/quote]

I think I adjusted the air flow on my burner the first time I used it and have not touched it since. It is not a Blichmann, so maybe they are fussier?

[quote=“560sdl”]
I think I adjusted the air flow on my burner the first time I used it and have not touched it since. It is not a Blichmann, so maybe they are fussier?[/quote]
Nope only adjusted one time for me as well.

Thanks for all the feedback guys. I will continue to tweak the burner on my next brew. My old turkey fryer burner required no adjustments after I initially set it up, either. Regardless, I will not let the burner settings interfere with the success I had on AG batch #1. No looking back now fellow brewers! I love this hobby

:cheers:

This is interesting because my last batch I measured 6 gallons pre-boil volume to get my 5 gallon batch. This was my second go with new equipment (including propane burner). I ended up boiled off just over TWO GALLONS of wort in 60 minutes.

I was adjusting the flame pretty regularly from about 20-40 minutes to prevent boil over. I think I had it too high indeed since I boiled off so much volume!! In my head I’m thinking 220 deg F is 220 deg F, but energy in also = energy out, right?

[quote=“Gitster”]This is interesting because my last batch I measured 6 gallons pre-boil volume to get my 5 gallon batch. This was my second go with new equipment (including propane burner). I ended up boiled off just over TWO GALLONS of wort in 60 minutes.

I was adjusting the flame pretty regularly from about 20-40 minutes to prevent boil over. I think I had it too high indeed since I boiled off so much volume!! In my head I’m thinking 220 deg F is 220 deg F, but energy in also = energy out, right?[/quote]

I have a big 18 gallon pot which is pretty wide. Once mine hits a boil, I turn the gas down to keep the min full boil possible. I boil off about 2.3 gallons in 60 minutes. That is why I am often in amazement at people who start a 5 gallon batch with a 6 gallon boil.

AG batch #1 is now kegged and waiting patiently on the CO2 to do it’s thing. I called it 1st Crusade Extra Pale. Smells fantastic and but have not yet tasted.

AG batch #2 (all simcoe IPA) did not turn out as well as my effeciency was only around 70%. I think I know where I erred but I’m not ruling out a less than ideal grain crush either. Since I brewed this batch on Memorial Day and got the results that I did, I named the batch Wounded Warrior IPA.

I also dialed my burner in as to not use so much gas this time around. I lost about 1.4 gals to boil off as opposed to 2+ on batch #1.

Going AG has still been rewarding to me thus far and the new challenge has me very eager to brew as much beer as I can.

Congrats man! Sounds like it was a cool event for you. I also did my first two all grain(biab) last sat. & monday. First one(rye pale) went ok, but volume was down a little. Second one(wit) seemed to go great. Vols. & OG right on. Beersmith said 68%. Both churning away. I also have a Blichmann burner. Have done 3 batches & a test with a used tank. It doesn’t seem to have used much gas at all, although i never weighed it. Set my burner up once during test & haven’t changed anything since. Maybe i got lucky, but i make sure the flame doesn’t lift up off the orifice. Also, Only lost about a gallon to boil off & temp only dropped about 1.5 degrees during 90 min mash. So far i’m lovin’ this too! Good luck and happy brewin’! :cheers:

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