All Grain Brew - Open Discussion & A chance to win 10 oz of Homegrown Hops

Ha! I'm here again. Couldn't get my butt out of bed quite as early today, though. These cool fall like nights make it so hard to leave the bedding and get moving.

With the beer carbonating in my spare fridge and my mind set on brewing all grain, I'll ask for your help now. Sure I could figure it out on my own. I have plenty of books on all grain brewing, but, I want your help. Anybody want to give me a stream of conscious run down of how my first all grain brew day could be successful? How about the most important thing you've learned? Any help would be appreciated.

The facts...
  • sabco mash tun (15.5 gal conv keg) with false bottom
  • similar style hot liquor tank and brew kettle
  • should I insulate my mash tun or direct fire it?
  • what should I expect my schedule to be like?
  • 5 or 10 gallon batch the first time?
  • rice hulls?
  • flaked wheat?
  • batch sparge or wait for the fly sparge arm
I'm counting on you now. All who comment will get a chance to win TEN ounces of homegrown whole leaf cascade hops. I'll pick the winner from a hat at random with the help of my expert hop picker.

Don't know all grain? No worries, leave a comment anyway to be entered into the drawing. Lets make this my most commented post :-)


Jason said...

Personaly, my biggest issue on brew day and the thing I pay most attention to is the boilover. But with your 15.5 g sabco, i don't think you'll need to worry about that.

I think you should direct most of your focus on hitting your mash temp and keeping it throughout the mash. I would try the insulated mash tun, but I don't use the sabco's so I'm not entirely sure on that one. Either way, focus on mash temp and things should turn out fine.

I'm ready for some home grown hops!! I am harvesting mine this weekend and I think I'll probably only get about 2 oz. But they're only second year vines, so I'm not to upset.


Adam said...

Thanks Jason, I'll have to look into the insulation thing. Thanks :-)

You're in the drawing. Watch out there's stiff competition ;-)

Russ said...

For me, the two biggest things are both tips that are only applicable if you fly sparge: 1.) aim high on your sparge temp, as it will likely drop between when you fill the hot liquor tank and when you actually start to sparge; and 2.) sparge SLOWLY. Should take you around an hour. It'll look like a trickle coming out of your hose.

As for Jason's comment, I don't mean to contradict him but I would add a caveat to his comment: don't fuss too much with your mash temp. Definitely keep good records so you can figure out how much the temp drops after you add the grain, how much heat you lose with time, etc. so you can adjust the next time you brew. But if you fret too much about being off a few degrees from your target temp, you can actually end up making things worse (and I speak from experience). Hope that makes sense.

Adam said...

Russ, thank you very much :-)

Stay tuned for the drawing next week.