So I did my first AG last night & it didn't go 100% smoothly

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So I did my first AG last night & it didn't go 100% smoothly

Postby Strongarm » Mon Jan 12, 2015 09:41

After 9 extract brews I thought it was time to go AG so I bought a 40L buffalo boiler and stuck a nice stainless tap and hop bazooka on it.

Decided to start simple and small so aimed for 12l in the FV of a maris otter columbus Smash.

I used a BIAB calculator and got 17l of water recommended with a strike of just under 70C. Someone on hear mentioned using 12l in mash and having 5l to dunk sparge so I did that and obviously as I only had 12L of water in the boiler, the temp dropped well below the intended 66C when I added my grain. A frantic kettle load of water got it up in the intended ball park so I wrapped the boiler in a (rather nice duck down) duvet and made some dinner. This took longer than expected so ended up mashing for 90 minutes and it had lost 10C in that time. Regarding this, is it likely caaused by the fact I had such a small brew in a 40L boiler? Also what will the effect be on the beer, will I get lots of fermentable sugars, so a dry beer.

I did a dunk it my last 5 litres then got the boil on. It was rolling away for 45 minutes then started cutting out. This happened very shortly after I added my immersion chiller, could this have something to do with it or is that coincidence? I did push it down firmly on to bottom and the wanted to get lots of coils under the reasonable shallow wort. At the end I did notice a reasonable build up of gunk/scale on the centre of the boiler bottom, so wondering if this caused it and chiller is red herring.

The cutouts didnt last for lunch so after another sporadic 15 minutes of boiling I turned it all off, added my 0 minute additions and then 15 minutes later got the chiller going. Half hour after that I had 10L of 1.062 wort in an FV, after aiming for 12L of 1.052. So guessing it boiled off quicker than expected. Decided no to liquor back and just go for the stronger brew and see what happens so in went the yeast.

Final thing was the sample jar was very cloudy but then 15 minutes later, after clearing up, I noticed it had settled and was gunky on bottom and very clear on top. I've never seen anything like this with extract so is that some kind of break material. When I went to bed I noticed the wort/beer in FV had done the same, and the gunk was probably half the total volume, which worried me a bit, but this morning seems to have really packed down.

So hopefully not a complete disaster (the wort tastes lovely) but a few things I'd like to iron out so any points on the problems I had would be much appreciated.

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