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26

All grain is cheaper (in the not-so-long run), you get way more flexibility on your grain bill and mash, I'd argue it's more fun, and it's really easy to do.


24

Sparge means "sprinkle". The purpose of sparging is to rinse all the sugars out of the mash. In concept, that's really all you are doing - rinsing your grain bed. It also halts enzymatic activity because alpha and beta amylase become denatured around 170° F. The benefit is if you are really good at mashing you know exactly when to stop so your malt ...


19

Personally I compost it most of the time. I have used it to make bread, and pizza crust. Typically i just grab maybe 2 cups of it while it's still wet and fresh from the mash, then add the typical ingredients of a wheat bread recipe (milk, butter, etc). I then add enough flour to make the dough ball 'look like dough', then proceed as normal. I'm pretty ...


12

First, time and patience. Moving to all-grain is a big step, but definitely an awesome one. Including cleanup, your brew day will extend to many hours. Probably close to 9-10 hours when you first start, though it will become faster as you learn your system. Equipment wise, I'm not sure what you have, so I'll just go through it all. Propane burner. It's ...


11

My dogs absolutely love spent grain dog biscuits, I use this recipe (originally from here): 4 cups spent grain 4 cups flour 1 cup peanut butter (or oil or pizza sauce) 1 egg Mix together thoroughly (get your hands in there!), place onto lined baking tray in whatever shapes you like and bake for 30 mins at 350F/180C then reduce heat to around 225F/110C ...


11

The few techniques I use to speed things along are: Setup the night before. Start early - there is nothing worse than cleaning boil kettles and mash-tuns at midnight. If you need to pre-boil your water to remove chlorine and/or carbonates, do it the night before. Start heating the wort in your kettle as soon as you have a gallon or so collected, by the ...


10

After ten years of kits and extracts, I finally went all-grain 6 weeks ago. It is so much fun! If you enjoy what you're doing now, I'd say give it a try because there is so much more to enjoy. I've brewed on 5 of the last 6 Saturdays, and had a great time each time. I only spent about $150 on extra equipment, and that includes a grain mill. I can buy my ...


10

I've heard of people using the elements from hot water heaters to make heating wands. A lot of people who make their own computer controlled breweries use these because they actually get more temperature control than propane gives them. They're pretty cheap to make too.


10

The reason for the prolonged boil is to drive off the volatile chemical DMS (Dimethyl Sulfide). DMS give beer that cooked corn flavor and aroma. DMS is created as the wort increases above 140F from the precursor molecule SMM(S-methyl-methionine). All base malts have some SMM, but during the kilning process post malting it is driven off. However Pilsner ...


10

Adding your strike water first helps to reduce dough balls. If you add water to the grain/flour, at first the grain-to-water ratio will be very high, the flour will suck up the water, and you'll need to stir more to break up the dough balls. If you add the grain to the water, then you can stir after every few pounds and avoid getting dough balls at all. ...


8

A non dissolvable solid like yeast in a liquid does not increase specific gravity. Its like dropping stones in to a water, the water still has the same density as it did before as the stones (and yeast in your example) are two separate phases. The solids simply displace the liquid but do not become a "part" of it, as in the example of salts or sugars or ...


7

Personally I think our all-grain batches taste better. This might be due to the better grains we are using, or the fact that we are better brewers now.


7

Spent grain is great for composting. You probably do not have enough to warrant making some kind of arrangement with a farm to use the spent grain as feed, but that is what many commercial breweries do.


7

I'd bet that you didn't get it as well mixed as you think you did and you got a false reading. I've seen it happen many, many times. The other thing to address is your boiloff amount. You should be boiling off maybe 1.5 gal. in an hour. Boiling off 50% of your wort needs to be addressed.


7

As far as I've understood, propane soots excessively when burned with too little oxygen - does your burner have some method of adjusting inflow of air? I'll also quote a random forum post: I was a Scoutmaster for many many years and found Fells Naptha bar soap to be the best for coating pots before cooking and for cleaning them after, even if you ...


7

I used to use the clear vinyl tubing also. The pros for this kind of tubing are it's transparent, so you can see the contents clearly it's relatively inexpensive it's food safe at room temperature But there are some significant cons also at typical mash temperatures, the tubing becomes soft, and doesn't support the weight of the wort, so it collapses ...


7

This screams out "mash water problem" to me. Anytime you go from good extract beers, to "bitter/astringent/chalky/burnt" flavors in all grain, you can bet your buns that its a mash water pH problem. Also, a hash pH of 5 sounds really low to me. I shoot for 5.5 on average. Water chemistry for all-grain is honestly the most "sciency" part of home brewing, and ...


7

No, you don't have to boil the full volume in AG brewing. I only had a 7 gal. pot when I started AG so I's boil about 5 gal. down to 3.5-4, then add top off water. Boiling less will reduce your efficieny because you don't collect as much wort. You need to use more grain to make a higher gravity wort at less volume, so you can top off afterward. That was ...


6

If you've got backyard chickens, they love the leftover mash, especially if it's still warm. I'm planning to take some of the mash from my last batch of beer, freeze it in 1-quart freezer bags, and then pull it out and microwave it to feed them on cold mornings.


6

My LHBS suggested the trash can idea. He told me to put the grain in a trash bag, tie that up, the into the sealed trash can for safe keeping. Should last a while using this method.


6

A towel on top helps prevent a lot of the heat loss. A plastic cooler, by itself, is pretty good insulation, though. In a single-infusion mash, you should only be losing a couple of degrees in an hour.


6

Are you able to adjust the mill, so that it can mill more coarsely than you would want for flour? If so, I think you should be all set. When brewing all grain, you want a pretty coarse grind; you essentially just want to crack the kernels open, rather than pulverize them. This leaves the husks in tact, and they serve as a filter bed during the sparge ...


6

Personally I'd recommend checking out your local homebrew club, and watching someone run through an all-grain batch. I taught myself from books because at the time I didn't know that such clubs existed, but it makes it so much easier to do once you've seen the process. It seems fairly confusing to read descriptions of it, but watching it you will realize ...


6

As homebrewers we're used to 1.25-1.5 qts/lb. But in some pro brewing set ups they mash in one vessel and lauter in another. In order to transfer from one vessel to the next they use better than 2qts/lb in some cases for pump-ability. Some speak of getting a thinner beer with a thinner mash, but i think within 10-20% of the target thickness you won't see ...


6

It really makes no difference beyond personal preference and which way works best for your brewing system. Some people worry about denaturing enzymes by adding grain to water, but that takes 15-20 min. so it's really not an issue here. I add water to the cooler then stir as I pour in the grain. It's very effective at equalizing the temp and preventing ...


6

In general, as said, mash thickness between 1-2 qt./lb. will make little to no difference. Even as high as 3 qt./lb. is fine. Kai Troester (www.braukaiser.com) has performed detailed experiments that show that higher rations lead to greater conversion efficiency. I've pasted in a chart from his work below. He has said that thinner mashes convert more ...


6

Two most prevalent issues for poor efficiency when batch sparging are 1) grain crush and 2) void volume in the tun. 1) Take a real close look at your crush. Crush it twice if necessary. If you are getting your grain pre crushed through a mail order, I'd invest in a mill and start doing it at home. My LHBS has a mill that is fixed to a certain gap. ...


6

The flame on your burner should be set such that it is almost totally blue, with just an occasional bit of yellow/orange. The soot is coming from having the gas/air mixture off-balance. If you see mostly yellow or orange flame, you are pretty much guaranteed to get soot on your kettle. This will also severely affect your gas efficiency. You may need to ...


6

You have to grind the malted rye to expose the endosperm for gelatinization and conversion. Flaked rye has already been gelatinized and can be added to the mash without any pre-processing. The rye kernel is smaller than barley. I've found that it's best to tighten up your mill a bit to give a good crush.


6

Yes, it can be fixed and the plan sounds fine. Make a log of this, and review when brewing in future so you can fix the process and avoid these problems in future brews. K├Âlsch is lightly hopped so don't worry about adding additional hops. Your lower gravity will have increased utilization slightly so adding non-hopped wort will go some way to balance this ...



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