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MikeC1525229119

AG - What do I need?

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Problem is to work out how much grain you need to hit a certain OG, you need to know your brewhouse efficiency, which of course is impossible if you're brewing your first batch. The main things that affect it are boil off rate, loss to trub, and cooling shrinkage; these things affect the volume in the FV, which is half the equation. The OG is the other half, that can also be affected by boil off. It is also affected by things like the crush of the grains; in my case I found a coarse crush works best to extract more sugars, despite claims by some that it doesn't matter for BIAB. The IBUs in turn will be affected by how efficient the mash is. If you get a higher pre-boil SG than expected, then the IBUs will drop slightly, and vice versa. I know this all sounds effing confusing at this stage, hence:

 

I'd probably go a different route; just pick a tried and true recipe and brew it. Don't get caught up trying to hit all the numbers, just get a feel for the process, but, make sure you record the numbers, because they will come in useful for working out all that nonsense in the previous paragraph. Record the pre boil SG and volume, and then record the volume in the FV and its SG, which will be your OG.

 

You'll still end up with a tasty beer at the end of it regardless.

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey

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Hi there,

 

Waylon, last night a read an AHB thread on the Robobrew after your mention of it. It looks like it's a good bit of hardware to get for small batch AG brewing. It's on the list. There's quite a bit of stuff to get that you don't consider or even know about when first starting the brew journey.

 

I started with a $80 starter kit and have since purchased bottle capper, 3 more FV's, hundreds of bottles and caps, heat belt, 2 temperature controls, 2 fridges, thermometers, sanitisers, lots of ingredients and a 19 litre pot! Probably quite a few other bits and bobs too.

 

What initially started as a quest to save money has turned into quite the obsession and i am guessing a year at least of semi heavy drinking in front of me before I'm anywhere near cheap beer!

 

I quickly found that home brewing is about much more than cheap beer. It's a great creative outlet too and the past time of a broad array of passionate folk that are generally very supportive to new comers. If i had my time over though i would have just bought someone's complete setup off Gumtree, Ebay or alike.

 

So Robobrew or some other AG set up will follow soon.... and kegs... and keg fridge.... and pimped out bar etc etc etc

 

Better have a couple of beers now so i can save some f@$/ing money! biggrin

 

Cheers,

 

Luke tongue

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Kelsey,

 

Yeah I've pretty much got the basics of BIAB in my head now when it comes to technique. It was like you said, absolutely overwhelming looking at the BIABacus and other calculators being self taught. I spent pretty much all day yesterday reading the BIABacus forum and trying to figure out how to use it, read it and convert recipes and I think I'm there. Purely only beginner level stuff but it will start me off.

 

That leads me onto what you say Jeremy. Thanks for the guidance on the numbers. After I found out how to use the BIABacus I worked out to get 9.5 litres (2.5 gallons) into my fermenter (this is using approx 2.5kg of grain). I had to hold back 4 litres of strike water so that my pot didn't overflow. That process I understand. And when this blooming pot arrives I'll get a brew on the go and see how much water grain etc will actually fit. And like you all say I just need to get a few brews under my belt and see where I end up. I've heard repeatedly that I'll end up with good beer anyway. I'll try upload recipe and the BIAB conversation later on I've I have time, working later though.

 

Kelsey you read my mind, before I noticed your post I was going to ask if you could give me a list of readings I should record so that I can work out efficiency etc etc.

 

Once again guys, really appreciate it!

 

Kyle

 

Marris Otter Cascade SMaSH

Method: BIAB

Style: American Pale Ale

Boil Time: 60 min

Batch Size: 20 liters (fermentor volume)

Boil Size: 26 liters

Boil Gravity: 1.038 (recipe based estimate)

Efficiency: 63% (brew house)

 

Original Gravity: 1.050 Final Gravity: 1.009 ABV (standard): 5.36% IBU (tinseth): 35.66 SRM (daniels): 9.96

 

Fermentables

Amount Fermentable PPG °L Bill %

5 kg United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale 38 3.75 100%

 

Hops

Amount Variety AA Use Time

20 g Cascade 7 Boil 20 min

60 g Cascade 7 Boil 5 min

20 g Cascade 7 First Wort

 

Mash Guidelines

Amount Description Type Temp Time

28 L Temperature. 60 - Bit I've been told 90 is better.

 

Standby for the BIABacus conversion for my 19ltr pot.

 

 

 

http://www.biabrewer.info/download/file.php?id=4423

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That sounds odd about the volumes. Your intended batch size is about half the size of the pot, in theory you should be able to fit all the water and grains in at once. I have a 40 litre urn that I regularly brew 25 litre batches in and don't have any problems with over flow. It must be remembered that the grains will soak up water, so the volume that 2.5kg of grains would take up, isn't actually how much they'll displace the water by. In my case I fill the urn to about 36 litres, chuck in my ~5kg grains and it probably raises the level by maybe 2 litres.

 

But, I haven't ever brewed AG in a 19 litre stock pot either, so perhaps it is a bit different. tongue

 

Beersmith has a 21 day free trial period if you wanted to look at it at some stage. I honestly think it's a lot easier than BIABacus, but everyone has their preferences too. cool

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Well that's what I thought Kelsey. Surely if I wanted 9.5L batch to put in my fermenter I should be able to do it all in my pot. The BIABacus says otherwise, I have attached the BIABacus that someone done for me using dimension for their 5 gallon pot. Which is pretty much the same volume as my 19 litre pot.

 

I suppose I could do a wee experiment when I get my grain and just dunk it in my pot. See how much it rises then see how much it sinks by. Now I'm assuming if I'm left with too little volume of water prior to boil I could sparge over the grain bag to top it up??

 

Also I suppose I could calculate boil off rate just by boiling some water and over time I should know my pots credentials like the back of my hand.

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Just halve the bastard so you don't get a boil over

 

Haha, well that's would I thought would be the case. But that bloody BIABacus said differently.

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. Record the pre boil SG and volume' date=' and then record the volume in the FV and its SG, which will be your OG.

 

You'll still end up with a tasty beer at the end of it regardless.

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey[/quote']

 

Are here the only figures I need to note on brew day to get efficiency, obviously averaged out over a few brews?

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I can't see any attachments but yeah it does seem a little strange.

 

Yes if your pre-boil volume isn't up where you want it, you can simply sparge the grain bag to top it up (and extract a bit more sugars in the process).

 

You can get a ball park figure by boiling some water yeah. Just boil it for an hour and see how much it drops by.

 

 

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Are here the only figures I need to note on brew day to get efficiency' date=' obviously averaged out over a few brews?[/quote']

 

Yep, there's only mash efficiency and brewhouse (total) efficiency. Recipes are generally designed using brewhouse efficiency.

 

Mash efficiency is calculated using the pre-boil volume and SG.

Brewhouse efficiency is calculated using the FV volume and SG (which is your OG).

 

There aren't any other numbers you need for calculating this, just plug it into a brewing software and it'll work it out for you.

 

What I did was record these over a few batches and then used an average figure for the brewhouse efficiency number. Beersmith predicts the mash efficiency, but you choose your own brewhouse efficiency based on what you usually get from your system.

 

Mine keeps going up lately. When I started I would hit around 73%-75% b/house efficiency, then some inadvertent process changes and an out of whack hydrometer that I didn't know about at the time caused it to drop back to the mid-high 60s. Rectified those issues, changed my milling to a coarse crush with very little flour and now they're pushing 80%. That's pretty fn good for no sparge BIAB I reckon.

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Sometimes you need to use your noggen not your computer for comman sence,

 

The brewer guides are just guides they tell you IBUs rated in IBUs but not in a balance of bitterness flavour, or matiness to bitterness,

 

I find em good now as a reference to what im doing! but theres turkeys doing full flavour boils and coming up with utter crap!

 

Common sence stick to a proven recipe and make sure you have enuff pot for wort boil Mate!

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Well that's what I thought Kelsey. Surely if I wanted 9.5L batch to put in my fermenter I should be able to do it all in my pot. The BIABacus says otherwise' date=' I have attached the BIABacus that someone done for me using dimension for their 5 gallon pot. Which is pretty much the same volume as my 19 litre pot.

 

I suppose I could do a wee experiment when I get my grain and just dunk it in my pot. See how much it rises then see how much it sinks by. Now I'm assuming if I'm left with too little volume of water prior to boil I could sparge over the grain bag to top it up??

 

Also I suppose I could calculate boil off rate just by boiling some water and over time I should know my pots credentials like the back of my hand. [/quote']

 

I couldn't download the BIAB info but as long as you're willing to compromise you'll be fine. I do my batches in a 15L pot and routinely get 11-12L of wort at 1040-1045 OG. I fill to 12L, add 2.2kg of grains, mash with a little spillage, end up with a gravity well over 1050, dilute back up to 13 or 14L, boil, lose 3 more litres and end up somehow at where I wanted to be. Because you've got more space you should just be able to start with more liquid and not worry about sparge water or dilution or any of that. It's honestly not that complex of a process and as long as you hold a good temp you'll get out of the grains what they have to offer, no matter the volumes of H20: sweet malty sugars.

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Right so I've decided what I'm going to do. Due to the vast array of knowledge on this site and the great hints and tips, you can but only pick one method to start with and progress from there.

 

Jeremy - That's good to know you can do your brew in a 15 ltr pot. As said before the smaller batches defo will suit me to start with. The BIABacus method that I posted the link to (hopefully it for you) is he one I'm going to go with. And that involves holding back 4 litres to sparge with. If after this batch I think I can get it all in at he one time...well I know for next time. Plus the sparge should hopefully increase my sugar levels.

 

Waylon - I would love to be able to buy a Robobrew or I believe grain father is the other one I've seen mentioned I think by Kelsey before. Too much money for me the now...I've got a wedding to pay for...suppose it would be a great wedding gift though eh ;)

 

Kelsey - Thanks for keeping me right with the efficiency measurements. I'll be sure to record them when I get started. I'll also take note of boil loss etc etc.

 

And thanks everyone. Rally informative as usual and I'll be sure to post a thread as to how I get on.

 

Kyle

 

 

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Hi Kyle,

 

Cheers for continuing this post :)

 

I have been following along and think I will be doing the same as you.

Plan to get my 20L pot this weekend and source some grains from LHBS

I will use my craft FV to hopefully fill to 10-11L of wort

Maybe down the track I might look at getting the SS ball valve to make transferring easier but will see how I go.

Let me know what recipe you decide to go with. I like Pale Ale's so will look at something simple for my first AG.

 

Everyone is always super helpful on this Forum.

 

Cheers,

 

Mike

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Maybe down the track I might look at getting the SS ball valve to make transferring easier but will see how I go.

G'day Mike' date='

 

I used to chill my pot in an ice bath and then just pour through a strainer into the fermenter. I now use one of these stainless steel jiggle siphon tips and some heavy duty 12mm ID silicon hose to transfer into my cube after the boil. It's pretty easy to get the siphon going as long as you have enough hose length, so that might be an alternative to drilling a hole in your pot and fitting a ball valve.

 

Cheers,

 

John

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No problem Mike. I felt like I didn't know where to start and was getting a heck of a lot of great information but couldn't translate to my pot or what I wanted to do. Anyway, got there in the end. Keep us posted what you do for a first recipe and I'll do the same.

 

I haven't thought about what I'm going to do to transfer the brew. Probably just a sterilise jug until I get a tap fitted. That link that Porsche posted looks like a handy bit of kit. I was also planning of just cooling the pot in the sink with cold/ice water and then straight into FV

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You should have no probs just straight up pouring the wort into the FV at that volume.

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I personally prefer using my small 15 litre pot for extract mini mashes,

 

If you stick with mini extract brews you can experiment with specialty grains and hop boils in small 8-9 litre batches...

Lots of fun I will always do this myself!

 

Then go the 6 hour plus day on an all grain 19litre + brew... I cant see the point in 19 litres though when I can triple it in the same Time

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You should have no probs just straight up pouring the wort into the FV at that volume.

 

Ideal! Cheers Jeremy!

 

Yeah that's what I'd quite like to do after a good few batches Waylon.

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Yeah it'd be easy enough to pick up and pour into the FV from the pot, the trick is to leave as much of the trubby shit behind as you can. wink

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Yeah it'd be easy enough to pick up and pour into the FV from the pot' date=' the trick is to leave as much of the trubby shit behind as you can. [img']wink[/img]

 

Excellent! Well the pot has finally arrived. When I get the chance I'm popping into the LHBS to pick up some grain and yeast...how exciting!

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Right so I've decided what I'm going to do. Due to the vast array of knowledge on this site and the great hints and tips' date=' you can but only pick one method to start with and progress from there.

 

Jeremy - That's good to know you can do your brew in a 15 ltr pot. As said before the smaller batches defo will suit me to start with. The BIABacus method that I posted the link to (hopefully it for you) is he one I'm going to go with. And that involves holding back 4 litres to sparge with. If after this batch I think I can get it all in at he one time...well I know for next time. Plus the sparge should hopefully increase my sugar levels.

 

Waylon - I would love to be able to buy a Robobrew or I believe grain father is the other one I've seen mentioned I think by Kelsey before. Too much money for me the now...I've got a wedding to pay for...suppose it would be a great wedding gift though eh ;)

 

Kelsey - Thanks for keeping me right with the efficiency measurements. I'll be sure to record them when I get started. I'll also take note of boil loss etc etc.

 

And thanks everyone. Rally informative as usual and I'll be sure to post a thread as to how I get on.

 

 

 

 

Kyle

 

[/quote']

Hi Mr Talltwits,

I'm about to try a small batch of AG and wondered how you got on. I may have missed your thread on the result.

Have you any hints for a first time all grain using an 18 litre pot. Do you (or anyone else) have a recipe, or a step by step method for me to try. I'm just after a simple pale ale recipe to see how I go.

I've moved from kit and kilo to extract, and now I'd like to try a small easy all grain to start with.

Thanks anyone for any advice.

Cheers.

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Hi Mr Talltwits' date='

I'm about to try a small batch of AG and wondered how you got on. I may have missed your thread on the result.

Have you any hints for a first time all grain using an 18 litre pot. Do you (or anyone else) have a recipe, or a step by step method for me to try. I'm just after a simple pale ale recipe to see how I go.

I've moved from kit and kilo to extract, and now I'd like to try a small easy all grain to start with.

Thanks anyone for any advice.

Cheers.[/quote']

 

I currently use a 19L pot to produce 9L to 11L of wort from 2.5 to 3 kg of grains. Basically, if you start with 15L of water in the pot there's plenty of room for the grains, and as long as you're happy to cop a bit of a hit on efficiency you can usually get away without needing to sparge or stress about the boiloff rate.

 

An easy recipe for a pale ale might be something like:

 

2 kg Pale 2-Row

.5 kg Munich

.15 kg Caramalt or Light Crystal

15g bittering hops @ 60mins (doesn't really matter which, adjust quantity up or down if it has low or high AA% with an average being around 8)

20g flavouring hops @ 5mins (I like Amarillo and/or Ella)

20g dry hop @ 3 days before bottling

Yeast: US-05

 

edit: as for step by step instructions:

 

- heat 15L of water in a suitably sized pot to 65 - 70c

- turn off the heat and immerse your grains in the brew-bag into the strike water. cover and wait 60 to 90 minutes.

- lift bag and squeeze/twist out as much moisture as you can. discard grains.

- return pot to heat and wait for a rolling boil. once boiling, add your hops in a hop sock according to schedule. don't forget to keep time.

- once 60 minutes has elapsed remove from heat and put the pot in a big sink / tub with cold water and ice. 4 x 2L jugs of frozen water will chill the wort to below 20c in about an hour

- once the wort is at your desired fermentation temperature, pour it into the fermenter, add yeast, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Mr Talltwits' date='

I'm about to try a small batch of AG and wondered how you got on. I may have missed your thread on the result.

Have you any hints for a first time all grain using an 18 litre pot. Do you (or anyone else) have a recipe, or a step by step method for me to try. I'm just after a simple pale ale recipe to see how I go.

I've moved from kit and kilo to extract, and now I'd like to try a small easy all grain to start with.

Thanks anyone for any advice.

Cheers.[/quote']

 

I currently use a 19L pot to produce 9L to 11L of wort from 2.5 to 3 kg of grains. Basically, if you start with 15L of water in the pot there's plenty of room for the grains, and as long as you're happy to cop a bit of a hit on efficiency you can usually get away without needing to sparge or stress about the boiloff rate.

 

An easy recipe for a pale ale might be something like:

 

2 kg Pale 2-Row

.5 kg Munich

.15 kg Caramalt or Light Crystal

15g bittering hops @ 60mins (doesn't really matter which, adjust quantity up or down if it has low or high AA% with an average being around 8)

20g flavouring hops @ 5mins (I like Amarillo and/or Ella)

20g dry hop @ 3 days before bottling

Yeast: US-05

 

edit: as for step by step instructions:

 

- heat 15L of water in a suitably sized pot to 65 - 70c

- turn off the heat and immerse your grains in the brew-bag into the strike water. cover and wait 60 to 90 minutes.

- lift bag and squeeze/twist out as much moisture as you can. discard grains.

- return pot to heat and wait for a rolling boil. once boiling, add your hops in a hop sock according to schedule. don't forget to keep time.

- once 60 minutes has elapsed remove from heat and put the pot in a big sink / tub with cold water and ice. 4 x 2L jugs of frozen water will chill the wort to below 20c in about an hour

- once the wort is at your desired fermentation temperature, pour it into the fermenter, add yeast, etc.

 

 

 

 

Thank you Jeremy, this step by step method is exactly what I was after.

When you yourself brew, does your "cover' mean put the lid on to keep the immersed grains at 65 - 70c or cover with a blanket - do add any heat over the 60 - 90 minutes. Does it matter if the pot slowly cools or do you keep it at 65 - 70c.

Also, would Simco be OK for bittering hops and how much US05 do you use - 11grams may be too much, I imagine.

Cheers.

 

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11g of dry yeast is actually close to perfect for a 10L batch. It certainly won't be detrimental.

 

When I say cover, I mean, just cover with the lid and leave it. At that volume it won't really drop below the desired temps, especially if you start at the higher end (although in a perfect world it's best to start low and go high, you'll still get the job done). Occasionally I do a further 15 minute step at around 75c towards the end / after the 60 minute mash. But I don't think it's necessary.

 

I have never bothered with insulating the pot. Sounds like a hassle. I've micromanaged the heat once or twice with varying degrees of success but I usually prefer to just set and forget it.

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