First All Grain

Beer Style:pale ale, India pale ale
Recipe Type:all-grain

I’ve just completed brewing my first all grain batch after about 20 extract batches. For background, the recipe I was using was based on the IPA from

  • 6 lbs Klages [I would boost this to 8+. –Ed.]
  • 1 lb Crystal malt
  • 1 lb light DME (due to low extraction rate) […and drop this.]
  • 1 oz Chocolate malt
  • 1 oz Hallertauer 8.5% for boiling
  • 1 oz Cascade 3% last 10 min of boil
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss (last 15 min.. Didn’t re-hydrate)
  • 20 oz of starter. Wyeast #1028 (pack was over a year old and took 6 days

I used about 3 gallons of mash water making for a soupy mash. Boosted the temperature of the mash to 155 without any protein rest. I had used about 3 teaspoons of gypsum to get the mash down to a PH of about 5.0.

Put in insulated box for 2 1/2 hours. Ending temp was 145. The requirement was for two hours, but getting the sparge water ready took longer than I wanted. Then I boosted to 168 degrees for mash-out. (iodine test showed complete conversion).

For the sparge water, I used an 8% Phosporic acid solution to acidify 6 gallons of hot tap water. After 2 tsps, my PH strips looked like they were still above 6.0. Then, on the 3rd teaspoon, the PH abruptly changed, and the test strips remained yellow, indicating that it was now very acidic. I had to add about 3 more gallons of water before it got back up to about 5.0.

I was expecting just a slow trickle for the sparge, but once I opened the spigot on my lauter tun, the wort hissed out. (Used the cylindrical cooler with sparge bag on SS vegetable strainer) It never did slow to a trickle as I was expecting. I slowed the flow of the output and input so that the sparge would take about an hour. (The water was 168 degrees, Re-circulated 1st runnings until clear) NOTE: I don’t think the water was leaking thru the sides of the sparge bag, and it looked like it *was* filtering through the grain bed OK, which was always held in suspension.

Collected about 8 gallons of wort (ph of the runnings never dropped below 5.8 even though the gravity dropped to about 1.010) and boiled for 90 minutes. A gravity reading before the boil showed only about 1.020 (granted, it was 8 gallons) prompting me to add 1 lb DME. I thought I had boiled down to 5 gallons, but was actually 6. (Haven’t put any sort of volume markings in my Sankey keg boiler yet). Used a CF chiller, shook the 6 1/2 gal car-boy for about 5 minutes to oxygenate and pitched yeast. FG was only 1.032 at 60 deg F.

No activity for 24 hours. After about 2 days, the krausen remained only about 2 inches (My weakest ferment ever). Since my first “mostly-grain” batch had a tremendous amount of gray gunk floating on top of the foam, I definitely wanted it to blow out of my car-boy which had about 6 inches of head space. So I added about 1 tsp *each* of Yeast nutrient, Yeast energizer, and Amylase enzyme to 180 degree water and then dumped it in. Also, I swirled the contents around in the carboy hoping to get the yeast more active. BTW, I have no idea what the nutrient and energizer consist of.


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