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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 31,2003 * 1st all grain completed-much learned! < Previous Next >

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Mike Kessenich (165.189.92.23)
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 02:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well I finally did it!

Lessons learned:

Fittings that don't leak, do when the keg is almost full

Uninsulated hoses lose heat quickly

When you dump 22.5 lbs of grain into the mash tun it forms into concrete

When you try to stir concrete with the motorized mash stirrer, you can't

When you try to stir with mash paddle, you knock motorized stir arm out of its seat

When you knock the motorized stirrer out of it's seat, grain goes down the whole

When you reach into the mash with rubber gloves it's still HOT!

When you double up the rubber gloves it's still HOT and it stays hot longer when you take your hand out

You can re-seat the stirrer after knocking it out and burning your hand, but it won't turn

You lose a lot of heat during the previous fiasco

Temps ramp too slowly with the Compu-brew when the stirrer isn't working

It takes a lot of pressure to make the whirly gig spin

A 5500 watt element is definitely sufficient for boiling 13.5 gallons of wort

You will boil over-regardless of everything

Double check the amount of hops you think you have in a ziplock

Priming of pumps needs to be taken into consideration when trying to sanitize CFC

The counterflow chiller you bought has not been pressure tested

If you start drinking at the beginning of the process, you are drunk before the end

Having help around helps

Friends are sympathetic, but will razz you a lot

It was a struggle at times, but I think all in all it went OK. I got 80% efficiency, 1.057 OG compared to 1.055 predicted. Boil over was small and hop shortage will be made up by dry hopping.

Pic's to be uploaded to web soon.
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 03:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That was like poetry. Sounds like a real jam sesion :)

> When you try to stir with mash paddle, you knock motorized stir arm out of its seat

This is definitely my favourite line :)

/Fredrik
 

danno (63.224.229.237)
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 04:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dang Mike. That's a lot of things to worry about for your first all-grain session. Its a good example why people should do non-mechanized brewing for a handful of batches first and then try to introduce one or two upgrades at a time.
 

Mike Kessenich (165.189.92.23)
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 04:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah I know, but what the hell, tried to master new process, new system, Promash, new fittings, new CFC, new fermentor...all at once. I figure if I can screw up that much on the first attempt and still make beer...? Now I can just eliminate 1 screw up at a time and in 10 batches I'll have her down.
 

ELK (67.164.195.57)
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 05:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

sounds like I wish I would have been around... Please post pics....
ELK
 

Mike Kessenich (165.189.92.23)
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 05:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Coming soon...
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 11:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Amazing what all can happen, and still make good beer :)

Congrats!
Walt
 

Joe Alf (65.141.58.211)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 12:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Welcome to the World of All-Grain Brewing Mike.
It's alot like sailing,should be a breeze but it's Murphy's Law times two.
Joe
 

Brewzz (66.82.160.1)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 02:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sounds a little like my brew day on Sunday Mike.I set everything up Sat. to SHORTEN my brew day.I motorized my mill and hadn't tried it yet, so when I ran my grain through it I thought it looked a little corse so I ran it through again.Big mistake.Couldn't circulate, stuck mash, broke my plastic long handeled spoon tying to stir.I got pissed off and tossed the grain to start over.Lost a ferrel that seals my false bottom to the ball valve on the MT while cleaning up the mess.Got pissed off again.Had to go to the LHBS to get some more wheat.Had to settle for DWM because they only had 1# of grain.Found ferrel,fixed MT and started mashing again.Had to reduce recipe because I didn't have enough DWM.Dropped a plate and broke it.Knocked my Hydrometer off the table and broke it.Got Really pissed.Finally got the boil going and went back to the LHBS to get a new hydrometer and spoon.Got back and had a cigar and RDWHAHB.All in all it worked out ok.
 

Bill Tobler (65.66.211.189)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 03:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, sounded like fun. Wish I could have been there. My first session with my system was almost as hectic. The mash got stuck twice. Overshot temps, undershot temps, you name it. The beer was great!! Just put in a new convoluted tube in the HLT, so now I have something new to play with. Brew season is just starting for me, and I'm looking forward to it.

Building and Brewing in Texas
Bill Tobler
My Brewery
 

ELK (67.164.195.57)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 06:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The sad thing is you can't complain to the wife or she will say "you could just go buy some beer!"

I am now hoping to brew sats xcelled batch in the am tues.. Called off Sat due to high winds. Sunday was too windy so I moved all the stuff upstairs to the garage but noticed during preheat soak that my converted cooler MT was leaking at the bulkhead. alot!..Gave up and did some xmas shopping with the wife today. all along had to feed my 2 monster yeast starters everyday. It looks good like a go for the am.
 

Mike Kessenich (66.188.106.216)
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 01:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

OK, pic's uploaded. Sorry there aren't more, but I was trying to fix everything, someone else picked up the camera. The link is to my brewery page and there is a link to the inaugural brew day pic's there.

http://webpages.charter.net/mkessenich/mkessenich/brewery.htm

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