Have a go at simple AG

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by clibit, Feb 16, 2015.

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  1. Feb 4, 2019 #1501

    matt76

    matt76

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    Hi there @IRBrew and welcome to the forum! athumb..

    After one kit brew I moved on to this method and I've just brewed AG#8 using fundamentally the same process - all my brews are around 10-12L.

    I think a15L put would be just about ok, just be careful of boil overs.

    I don't BIAB as such - I mash and sparge in the brew kettle in the oven (it fits - just!).

    But I use a grain bag as a sieve to separate the grain and wort - put the bag over a nearby container (plastic FV in my case) and pour in the wort from the brew kettle.

    After I mash I put the grain & bag in the brew kettle for a 10min dunk sparge as per this method.

    Repeat the above process to separate the grain and wort, and finally give the grain bag a good squeeze (wearing marigolds - 80degC wort is hot!) to liberate a bit more wort.

    I don't have any stout recipes but "Home Brew Beer" by Greg Hughes is well recommended and has some simple porter and stout recipes (I'm brewing his brown porter at the moment).

    Best of luck with your brewing.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  2. Feb 4, 2019 #1502

    Crappyfish

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    I use Biab no problems made some nice beer. Have to get used to the equipment first so don't expect to get everything right first time I struggled a bit with water quantities I used a calculator but still a bit hit and miss until you have done a couple of brews. Mangrove Jack do some nice partial mash kits which uses a smaller pot to boil in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  3. Feb 4, 2019 #1503

    IRBrew

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    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your comments. When you say you "mash and sparge in the oven", do you mean in the oven or on the top???
     
  4. Feb 4, 2019 #1504

    IRBrew

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    Thanks for your reply. In terms of getting water quantities right can this be calculated by using a hydrometer to achieve desired OG?
     
  5. Feb 4, 2019 #1505

    smithsj1

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    I was at the same stage as yourself about 2 years ago where I hadn't tried anything other than kits and that was about 20 years prior so welcome to the forum.

    I have tried the oven method a few times. Basically you have your grains and water in your pot which you put in the oven for the mashing. I messed up on my first one thought and put the oven to 150 Celcius rather than converting the 150 Fahrenheit to about about 65 - 66 c. So for your mash you can do that in the oven. I had my grains in a bag so I used a sieve over the kettle and put the grain on the sieve (still in bag). I then poured the wort into the vessel for boiling and then used water at about 70c to sparge the grains in the sieve. I was doing speciality grains with dry malt extract at the time but did a batch or so of all grain on the oven/stove method before I bought an all in one Bulldog Brewer.
     
  6. Feb 4, 2019 #1506

    IRBrew

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    Interesting. I can see how using an oven would keep the mash at a constant temperature but I don't think I would try it without an oven thermometer - I wouldn't trust the oven thermostat to be that accurate.
     
  7. Feb 4, 2019 #1507

    matt76

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    I mean I put the grain and preheated water in the brew kettle/pot and put that in the oven.

    My oven has 5degC increments from 30-300degC so pretty good control - having said that, I tested it out with just water and took temp measurements with a thermometer before I ever tried mashing. In practice I generally have to set it about 5degC higher than the mash temp, but otherwise it works great.
     
  8. Feb 4, 2019 #1508

    Brewed_Force

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    I use a 13L Wilko pot to make 11L brews, using the BIAB method. I also keep it simple by having a 30 minute boil.
    So far, except for couple of stupid mistakes, the finished product has turned out very nice!
     
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  9. Feb 5, 2019 #1509

    dleary

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    Hi @matt76 I've done a couple of all-grain brews now using the method in this thread and have bought the Greg Hughes book but am having trouble adapting the recipes to this method or understanding how much water goes in at the mash/boil stages. Do you or anyone have any advice on this?

    All the recipies all have the same volumes for the mash/boil stages more or less

    [​IMG]

    I can see the recipes mention 23 litres, then 12.5 litres into the mash, mentions 27 litres for the boil. So to make 10 litres do I just divide all the ingredients by 2.3 (i.e. 23 / 2.3 = 10?)

    So for a 10 litre version of the honey ale example I'd use:

    Divide all the weights of the ingredients by 2.3

    Total water needed: 34 / 2.3 = 14.78 litres
    For Mash: 12.5 /2.3 = 5.4 litres

    Total water - water for the mash is: 14.78 - 5.4 = 9.35 litres
    For Boil: 27 /2.3 = 11.73 ( this is the amount of water that should be in the boil)

    So I'd measure roughly 14.78 litres, add 5.4 litres for the mash and then sparge/top-up with the left over water i..e 9.35 litres?

    Does that make any sense or am I reading this all wrong?
     
  10. Feb 5, 2019 #1510

    matt76

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    Pretty much, yes, I think you can divide everything by 2.3. Just be a little careful with hops - the hops you buy will probably have a slightly different %AAU to what Hughes quotes.

    However, you also need to consider that your losses (water absorbed by the grain, boil off, trub in the FV etc) may be different to Hughes.

    I actually tend to make ~12L brews. Reason for this is I lose some beer to trub in the FV - if I make 12L in the FV I tend to end up with about 20 x 500ml bottles (i.e. 10L) of beer at the end. Also worth noting that I put all the numbers into Brewer's Friend to take care of the detailed calculations - brewing software of some sort is well recommended.

    So what I do with the book is this:
    1. Halve the amount of grain stated by Hughes.
    2. I mash using approximately 3L water per kg grain (I tend to round to the nearest 500ml for simplicity)
    3. Then I sparge using approximately 4L water per kg grain (3L per kg and 4L per kg just comes from this have a go at simple AG thread).
    4. By this point I've normally used 14L water. After I've squeezed out my grain bag and transferred the wort to the brew kettle I typically have only about 13.0-13.5L wort as some water is absorbed by the grain.
    - My current practice at the moment is to add another 2L boiling water to the brew kettle while it's heating up, bringing my boil volume to about 15.0-15.5L. At this point I take a sample and measure the gravity before boil (BG).
    - Previously I was liquoring back (adding cold water to the FV at pitching) but doing it this way I can calculate the bitterness from the hops during the boil (number of IBU's) more accurately.
    - Technically I suppose I could just add another 2L to the sparge water instead.
    5. After a 60-70min boil I normally lose about 3L bringing my volume down to ~12L - that all gets cooled and then goes straight in the FV, and I also take my FG gravity reading before pitching.

    Only downside with this approach is pretty much every bit of crud and sludge that could end up in the FV does end up in the FV! (hence my ~2L trub losses). My latest brew suggests using hop bags will help with this somewhat, as would letting the trub settle in the brew kettle and then syphoning the clear wort to the FV.
     
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  11. Feb 5, 2019 #1511

    MmmBeer

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    Mash and Sparge volumes

    This was a subject that used to confuse me. The solution is to select a mash thickness in litres per kg of grain, typically between 2 and 3 l/kg (the lower the number, the thicker the mash). Add up the total weight of the grain bill, in the case of the honey ale, 5.1 / 2.3 = 2.2 kg and multiply by your selected number (say 2.5 l/kg), giving a mash volume of 5.5 l.

    Your sparge volume is the final volume (i.e. 10 l) plus the expected boil loss (e.g. 2 l) and grain absorption (0.8 l x grain weight 2.2kg = 1.8l) minus mash volume (5.5 l). 10 + 2 + 1.8 - 5.5 = 8.3 l.

    This may seem a little complicated, but when you make stronger brews, it makes the difference. A good tip is to keep good records, so if you end up with 9, or 11 litres, you can correct your figures, to hit 10 l next time.
     
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  12. Feb 5, 2019 #1512

    dleary

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    Thanks @matt76 good to know I was more or less on the right track, I also like your approach as it simplifies things. I bought beersmith recently but still haven't figured out how to use it correctly, brewersfriend interface looks a bit more straightforward/easier to use. I've a 21 litre stock pot so going the 12 litre route might be the better option alright to get to 10 litres.

    I also just tend to pour the wort through a strainer on top of a funnel after the boil to help remove some of the hops, I've tried syphoning but ends up just blocking the auto-syphon.
     
  13. Feb 5, 2019 #1513

    dleary

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    Great post makes a lot of sense, thanks for that!
     
  14. Feb 5, 2019 #1514

    matt76

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    I tried something similar recently, pouring the wort through a fine sieve, but the sieve just blocked up straight away with hop gunge and somehow I ended up with more trub than ever before! :laugh8:

    My brew kettle is 18 or 19L so you should be fine with yours if it's 21L.

    As @MmmBeer says, keep detailed records and make notes as you go:
    1. I went a little wrong somewhere on my last brew but when I referred back to notes from previous attempts it was obvious what I'd done wrong.
    2. I was asking the other day if my brew was infected so even very specific details like "used a sanitised syringe to take a gravity sample" or "I removed the FV lid" versus "I poked the syringe through the airlock bung hole" are useful if you need to refer back weeks later to work out what you might have done wrong.
     
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  15. Feb 5, 2019 #1515

    dleary

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    Yeah sieve tends to block up for me and I kind of stir it to try and ease the wort through it, or have to end up clearing it and going again. I've heard some people suggest using the BIAB as a hop bag instead but would make cleaning a lot more difficult I'd imagine.

    I need to start taking better notes alright, just buy a journal and note everything down. Also might need a new pot, the one I got seems to start shaking a lot until it gets up to temperature, it starts jumping around on the hob (electric), might be the fact that the pot is bigger than the ring on the hob
     
  16. Feb 5, 2019 #1516

    Gulpitdarn

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    Mine doe's this, just give the middle a hard punch and it seems to cure it.
     
  17. Feb 5, 2019 #1517

    dleary

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    So was the bottom of the pot not flat? Might as well give it a shot and see
     
  18. Feb 24, 2019 #1518

    Lee246

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    Just bought and took delivery of a Klarstein Füllhorn Mash Kettle off the back of reading through this full thread.

    Currently just sat trying to order what else is needed to make a BIAB beer from Clibit's recipe and instructions on page 1.

    I've only made 1 Wilko kit to date so I'm very green to this but also really keen to take it up as a hobby.
     
  19. Feb 24, 2019 #1519

    MmmBeer

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    I'm not very familiar with this unit, but it looks like a combined mashing vessel and boiler. If you have the equipment to make kits, then the minimum extra equipment you will need for BIAB is a mashing bag to put the grains in. I would recommend a long stirring paddle (the white plastic one you use for kits isn't quite long enough, so you scald your fingers trying to reach the base of the boiler). Otherwise standard kitchen equipment like accurate weighing scales, a big jug, a thermometer and a timer of some description. Beyond that, the sky's the limit.
     
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  20. Mar 10, 2019 #1520

    Lee246

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    I finally got around to brewing my first all grain brew using the BIAB method with no sparge based on Clibit's original recipe but doubled quantity.
    I was aiming for a 10l batch so started with 14l in the kettle to allow for boil off and grain absorption.
    Strike temperature was 72c which dropped to 67.7c when the grain was added.
    I measured temperature every 10 minutes and stirred every 20 minutes to a total of 70 minutes mash time, and then did a 20 minute mash out.
    My temperature dropped from 67.7c to 63c within 40 minutes so I put the lowest element on and set the kettle to 65c. This kept the mash at about 64c.
    Mash out went a but wrong though, it got up to 81.2c before eventually settling at 80.2c.
    I strained the bag through a colander and gave it a good squeeze.
    I did a pre-boil gravity which read 1032 but wasn't aware I needed to make adjustments for temperature.
    During the boil I added Fuggles hops at the specified times, and used a 1/4 protafloc tablet with 10 minutes to go and then used an immersion chiller to rapidly cool ready for fermentation.
    My OG reading before it went into the FV was 1052 with 12l wort collected.
    I used a sachet of BRY-97 yeast which is happily bubbling away today.

    Does this all sound/look correct to you more experienced brewers?

    The actual smell during and after brewing wasn't pleasant at all, and was almost wet dog like.
     
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