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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

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 ...


8

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. ...


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

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


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. Kölsch 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 ...


6

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 ...


6

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

Yes, you can make a concentrated wort and the dilute that after the boil as with extract. The key differences are: lower mash efficiency: higher gravity mashes tend to have lower conversion efficiency. To keep boil volume to a minimum, you might even choose not to sparge, and just use the first runnings - expect conversion efficiency around 50%. More ...


5

One of the quickest solution I have used in a pinch is to blow air back up my exit tube from the mash tun. This tends to dislodge some of the spent grains collected in or on the sparge manifold (regardless of the type you are using). Then a quick stir and recirculate and often I am back in business. The next step after blow back is to thin the mash a bit ...


5

You could do all grain with what you currently have by purchasing a large grain bag. It's called "Brew in a bag", and the beersmith blog has a write up if you want to check it out. I do my single infusion mash in a large chest cooler that I converted similar to this writeup. Edit: My cooler cost around 30 bucks, plus another 10 for random equipment. A 7 ...


5

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 ...


5

This is a perfectly fine technique if you don't want to do a double mash session to get it all grain. The only limitation with trying to go "imperial" using a large portion of extract (or doing it all extract if you aren't set up for all-grain brewing) is the fermentability of the extract. Extract, by nature of how it is made, tends to have a limit to ...


5

Besides the paper-like feel, you can monitor the armoa by crushing a cone and smelling it. You obviously want to harvest when the aroma is the strongest. Also, look for plump lupulin glands (you need to magnify to see them). You may also use browning of the lower bracts as an outward sign of ripeness. If you get in the habit of squeezing the cones as ...


5

A RIMS (Recirculating Infusion Mash System) passes the wort directly over a heating element to achieve temp changes. A HERMS (Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System) passes the wort through a coll submerged in water to do the same thing. Although temp steps may be a bit slower, you don't have the risk of scorching that you do in a RIMS. Probably 90+% of ...


5

Could be many things. The first thing I would do is separate your conversion efficiency from your lautering efficiency. That will narrow down the problem. The article at this link has some really great information on efficiency. It gets a little technical, but the chart in the Conversion Efficiency section is especially interesting. What it's saying ...


5

If you're grinding a small amount of grain for a partial mash or speciality grain additions to an extract brew, you could use a Corona mill. They don't provide a particularly good crush, and your efficiency will suffer, but if the bulk your fermentables comes from extract, it won't matter too much. And it'll be miles better than a food processor. You can ...


5

(TOG - GR * (BV/FV)) / (45/FV) = lbs of DME to add pre-boil to hit target OG TOG = Target Original Gravity in Points GR = Gravity Reading in Points BV = Boil Volume (This is what you are taking your reading from) FV = Final Volume (i.e. 5 gallons) 45 = # Gravity Points you get per lb of DME per gallon So lets say you are making a 5 gallon smash beer with ...


5

A full wort boil is not absolutely necessary, but you shouldn't be topping off too much of your volume. Your efficiency will suffer greatly from topping off. Even if you're able to hit 80% effiency with 11.5L of wort (a big if), after boiling and topping off to 23L you'll end up with below 40% brewhouse effiency. You would also definitely be limited in ...


5

First, keep in mind that Mr. wizard is a commercial brewer and his answers come from that point of view. It may not be applicable to homebrewers. Using wheat may be about the only case where using a protein rest may be of benefit. But it'a not a given. There are still proteolytic enzymes left in the malt. Due to the high protein content of wheat, it can ...


5

The core question is … Why? Different ions lead to different perceived properties in the finished beer; for one example: higher concentrations of chloride emphasize malt character, whereas higher concentrations of sulfate emphasize hop character and dryness. When? Both in the mash and in the sparge water, mostly based on the ratio in volume, with some ...



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