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What I Learned During Father's Day Brew Session

Ok, so I recently switched over to AG after 8 years with extract. At the same time, I got myself a nice little propane burner and have been brewing in the porch (much nicer than taking over the kitchen with three little kids). So here’s what I learned (and yes I’m comfortable with being a total moron):

(1) My Camp Chef burner has a regulator on it that will trip if I’m a bozo and turn the propane on too fast (or do any number of dumb things). A nice little safety mechanism to keep me from blowing myself up. Course, it would have been a lot nicer if I’d realized this less than four hours into my brew session. I could get the water to mash temp by getting creative but it would not approach boiling. Awesome. “I am so smart, I am so smart, me smart me. Yes yes yes,” Homer Simpson.

(2) I need to work on my boiling technique. I have a 15 gallon brew kettle and have been doing 5 gallon batches as I get used to all grain (read: large surface area for boil). After discovering that I’d boiled off about two gallons in a half hour, I decided it might be smart to turn down the heat a bit. “Yes yes yes”. To ensure that I had any actual beer left after the boil, I actually added some boiling water to the boil using an electric tea kettle.

I ended up with about 4 gallons in the primary of a nice little IPA with an OG of 1.075. (Gallon or so of trub, as expected). Will miss imperial by .03% ABV according to the iBrewMaster app. Not a perfect brew session but working on it.

Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend.

[quote=“wrclancy”]
(2) I need to work on my boiling technique. I have a 15 gallon brew kettle and have been doing 5 gallon batches as I get used to all grain (read: large surface area for boil). After discovering that I’d boiled off about two gallons in a half hour, I decided it might be smart to turn down the heat a bit. “Yes yes yes”. To ensure that I had any actual beer left after the boil, I actually added some boiling water to the boil using an electric tea kettle.

I ended up with about 4 gallons in the primary of a nice little IPA with an OG of 1.075. (Gallon or so of trub, as expected). Will miss imperial by .03% ABV according to the iBrewMaster app. Not a perfect brew session but working on it.

Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend.[/quote]

+1 I also have a 15 gallon brew kettle. When i first began AG brewing i lost a lot of water due to boil off, i kept lowering the heat slowly until i could just barely keep a boil. That helped with the boiloff, i think at the end of the day i use about ~8 gallons of water for a 5 gallon batch. I lose ~1 gallon of water to the grain absorption so that leaves me with 7 gallons after a 1 hour light boil i tend end up with more or less with 5 gallons.

I learned to make sure your thermometer is calibrated. I attempted to mash in at 149F, which I hit perfectly. The day went real smooth. Then as I was transferring the wort to my fermentor, I noticed the fermometer on the side reading a lot lower temp than what my thermometer in the wort said. So after it was all transferred I calibrated the thermometer and YUP… I was off my 7 degrees. So I was actually mashing at 142F :x

Oh well. Guess we’ll see how dry my Dubbel turns out :oops:

[quote=“dobe12”]I learned to make sure your thermometer is calibrated. I attempted to mash in at 149F, which I hit perfectly. The day went real smooth. Then as I was transferring the wort to my fermentor, I noticed the fermometer on the side reading a lot lower temp than what my thermometer in the wort said. So after it was all transferred I calibrated the thermometer and YUP… I was off my 7 degrees. So I was actually mashing at 142F :x

Oh well. Guess we’ll see how dry my Dubbel turns out :oops: [/quote]

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.062 – 1.075
IBUs: 15 – 25 FG: 1.008 – 1.018
SRM: 10 – 17 ABV: 6 – 7.6%

A dry dubbel isn’t a bad thing. How long did you mash? At that temp, you would need an 90 minute to really get full conversion. So I doubt you are going to as bad off as your think.

What adjunct sugars did you use?

60min mash. Added 1lb of D2 syrup. And plan on adding a caramelized raisin/fig mixture to secondary in maybe 2-3 weeks.

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