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rudy

First all grain

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Decided its time to just go for it so I ordered my first AG kit and will be doing it this weekend. Its Northerns Octoberfest. I have a temp controller for a chest freezer to lager and wanted to ask if anyone has some last minute tips or suggestions.

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My first note to myself after my first attempt at all grain was to have plenty of both hot and cold water available to meet my temps.  I have only done three myself.  I read everything I could and watched most of the brew all grain videos on youtube.  I guess my best advise would be to just go for it and good luck. 

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Hope it all goes well! I cant wait to do mine, just need to get more space hopefully by the end of the year!

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Just did my first AG yesterday. did a small batch in the Mr.Beer LBK. It is a cream ale. I did a BIAB.

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I have my third all grain in the secondary soaking over some peach puree.  The basic beer is an American wheat.  I am using a Northern Brewer brew outside the lines kit to make a "Fuzzy Navel" beer.  At bottling I will add a sweet orange tincture.  Hope this turns out for me, my first attempt isn't real good.  Drinkable with the addition of some bloody mary mix.  Waste not want not!  Good luck on yours, raiderrob.

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Got it done but wasn`t that smooth. MLT started to leak as soon as I added strike water. Tried to fix quick,no luck. Pre heated a 5 gal cooler.used paint strainer bag and just got 11.5 grain in. Temp 140. Crap! drained some wort out,heated up and added back till I got to 152. Now MLT has to be HLT. Got it fixed. In all the chaos I broke my hydrometer. First runnings tasted really sweet. Mabye????  Batched sparged, got my 6 gallons and boiled. Cooled,pitched and into the controlled freezer at 52. Checked next morning and bubbling nicely. Probably shouldn`t have started with an Octoberfest but at least I`m making beer! Was ready to be an extract guy forever till my 22 year old son said" What did you always say to the first year lacrosse players when you coached" ? Oh yeah. "when something is difficult,keep doing it till it becomes easy. Then look for something  difficult to do again" Thanks

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Very commendable.  Over time I'm sure you will get it down right.

To clarify for others reading the thread, "extract" brewing can be many things.  Mr. Beer sells HME (hopped malt extract) in cans that you add to boiled water and stir.  You can buy other brands that where you add LME (liquid malt extract) or DME (dry malt extract).  You can add hops to any of them.  You can also steep grains on any of them.  

Another form of extract brewing is finding (or creating) a recipe that uses LME/DME.  You steep grains, boil the resulting wort, add LME or DME, and add hops on a schedule.  When I started with Mr. Beer (nearly two years ago) I never though I'd add anything.  I dry hopped once or twice, then found a extract recipe and bought the ingredients (my LHBS is convenient - you can also order online from it and others).  I now brew exclusively extract recipes, have an Oatmeal Stout 16 days in the LBK.  

All grain, partial, extract - whatever works for you is great!

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Rudy, don't worry if things don't go smoothly at first.  One if first all-grain batches is the only one that I threw away instead of bottling.  Now I am quite comfortable with all-grain and have done several batches, along with extract, partial mash, and using Mr Beer HMEs as a foundation and adding other ingredients -- whatever achieves what I'm brewing.  Stay with it, figure out each time what you could improve, and you'll succeed. 

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Congats, my first AG was a night mare too! Paid TOO much attention to detail, digital temp setup dove into the boil, I thought I had it back working, because of that I added 2.5 hours to the brewday, thought I pitched the yeast at 82 deg., new fermenting bucket and forgot to get temp strip, put on ice in the basement and put the yeast to sleep, once I added the thermometer strip! Long story short, this was kegged and carbed on 12 lbs CO2, It came out awesome from grain to glass in 3.5 weeks! Simple Blonde SMaSH, Maris Otter malt and Liberty hop.

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rudy said:Probably shouldn`t have started with an Octoberfest but at least I`m making beer!

lol I did pretty much the exact same thing and picked something complicated as my first thing.  So stupid me was not able to START dialing in my equipment until the seccond batch.  Batch number two was a SMaSH and will continue to be one form or another until I can hit my numbers dead nutz on a regular basis.

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Update. Kegged it ,carbed it and its one of the best Octoberfests I`ve had. I haven`t been this happy since Carter didn`t get a second term! Thanks to all of you for the advice and looking foward to many more and less stressful all grains.

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Sounds good. Easy on Jimmy C. He's the guy that allowed Americans to homebrew again(100 gallons allowed per adult per household).

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