AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

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lord groan
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AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by lord groan » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:39 pm

Well, I finally got AG1 under my belt. Didn't (obviously) go exactly to plan but I do have a sweet, brown, bitter liquid in my FV beginning to ferment. Yay!

Was supposed to be Graham Wheelers clone of Flowers Original, but we'll see how it turns out.
Problems encountered:
1.Didn't have a spare flat surface anywhere to put things down.
2.Filled mash tun, read temperature as 75c, way too high! Added some cold, and used immersion coil to drop temp to 66/67c as per GW's instructions.
3.After an hours mash time suddenly remembered temp. probe reads 3c too high so actually started mash at 63/64c. Finished at 60c. I hope this hasn't knackered it.
4. Sparge, water temp coming in at 75c, did this in 2 batches, was aiming for 80c, so a bit low I think, time will tell, what effect would this have?
5. Boiled for 90 mins, remaining volume looked too high so boiled for another 30mins. Afterwards found the boiler markings were wrong and I had boiled down to 19l. Added 4 l cold water and checked OG, came out at 1.040, exactly what GW specified, so not all bad.

Anyway all my homemade gear worked, the boiler didn't cut out, the MT only lost 4-5c, and I learned a ton of stuff for the next attempt.

Pictures
The boil steaming away nicely in my micro-brewshed
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Volume reducing nicely, plastic sheet steam hood with mini-extractor just visible
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Draining off the wort into the FV
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My homemade mesh bottom kept some of the hops back! But the SS braid tube fitted beneath it really worked well
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And finally, the cunning steam extractor from outside. I made a single piece of the shiplap shed cladding attach with screws, fitted a 12cm computer fan behind so I can just remove the shiplap and switch the fan on, it worked pretty well but I'll definitely fit a second fan.
Image

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orlando
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Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by orlando » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:49 am

I did smile when you mentioned not having enough flat surface to put anything on. Brought back memories of my early brews when the floor became a major contributor to the process. Unfortunately it slopes and I'm a clumsy sod so inevitably it forced me into getting some proper shelving and worktop in place.

Your low mashing temp will affect the fermentability of the wort, by making it more fermentable so you will get much higher attenuation and a drier beer as a result, oh and a little more alcohol. It can make the beer a little thin and lacking "mouth feel" but still drinkable. This is not "wrong" or even a mistake it is just a style and one you will enjoy or not. Messing with the mash temp to affect the outcome is one of the joys of AG brewing so experiment away.

Sparging a little low will just mean that your sparge may not be as efficient, what I mean by this is less sugar washed out of the grain, it will make very little difference and as you hit your OG that's the end of it really.

I followed your build and am really impressed by how much you have achieved for so little so well done, you show that it is possible to get into AG for very little indeed. You will need to look at the MT heat loss as that is quite a bit but easily overcome with some decent lagging and that can be achieved with an old duvet or sleeping bag so no strain on the budget there. When funds allow a more accurate thermometer is a must if you want to push the kit to the next level.

Other than that, take a bow.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Sunny Afternoon
Conditioning: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy) till December.
Drinking:With A Bitter Luck, Lightning Bolt (Golden Ale), Life Is Mild, From Russia With Love (RIS)

Up Next: Mama, He Treats Your Porter Mean (1838 Reid's Porter)
Planning: Summer drinking Beer

lord groan
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Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by lord groan » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:34 pm

Thanks Orlando, nice to have a simple explanation of what to expect. It's fermenting away now like a good 'un so we'll see how it comes out! And thanks for the positive comments about the build. It really has had to be done on a next-to-nothing budget so it was a relief yesterday after cleaning up to find that everything had worked, and the temperature issues were down to me really, it will be nice to have a thermometer that doesn't need mental arithmetic!
Cheers

Calling Drewsbrews!!

You were interested to know how the building foam jacket on my boiler coped. I had made it as a clamshell affair, which clamped around the boiler, after I boiled I took it off to clean the boiler, it lifted away cleanly, it didn't get sticky at all, nor did it melt, crumble or otherwise fail. I think the inner surface is looking a slightly darker yellow so it may have degraded a bit, like it does when left exposed to the atmosphere. So all-in-all I'm very happy with it, its not the most beautiful thing by any means but it does the job ok
hth
lg

timbo41
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Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by timbo41 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:25 pm

Loved the build thread..well done on brew 1
Just like trying new ideas!

timbo41
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Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by timbo41 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:28 pm

just posted this in a similar vein


viewtopic.php?f=24&t=59203
Just like trying new ideas!

lord groan
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
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Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by lord groan » Fri May 03, 2013 10:16 pm

Ok, I know what I did was supposed to turn grain and hops into beer but it really does seem that some sort of miracle happened there? I've just bottled my AG1, a flowers original clone, and having tasted a bit I reckon it's a really lovely pint. I just can't get over the fact that it worked! And that's before it has any chance to condition.

The facts - OG 1040, FG 1007ish, fermented at 21c for 13 days, (it had finished after 10), seems really clear already
My FV is much muckier than it ever was after kit brews, but it cleaned up much easier too.
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The bottled brew
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Now I just have to build some beer crates!

A huge thank-you to everyone for all the encouragement, and to JBK just for being there - like a learned uncle ready to dig me out of any holes I got myself into.
Roll on AG2
:=P

Underthethumb

Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by Underthethumb » Fri May 03, 2013 10:23 pm

Whereabouts in Hampshire are you? I'm near Fareham

lord groan
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Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by lord groan » Fri May 03, 2013 11:37 pm

I'm in Southampton mate.

lord groan
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Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by lord groan » Fri May 10, 2013 10:55 pm

OK
I should have left it a bit longer but it's had 2 weeks in the bottle so I thought I'd try a pint.
It poured absolutely clear and bright, lovely colour, nice fizz on the tongue, not too much just right in fact BUT absolutely no head whatsoever.

Why is there no head at all? Obviously something I've done has caused this but what?

Thanks in advance!

Underthethumb

Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by Underthethumb » Fri May 10, 2013 11:21 pm

Could be a number of things:

2 weeks is still a little young. You'll probably get more fizz if you leave it a bit longer
Did you underprime? I usually use 80g sugar/5 gallons
Was the glass clean - sounds daft but detergent residue affects the head
Did you use any wheat in the recipe to promote head retention?

Still, if it's clear and tastes great that goes down as a very succesful AG1 - Congrats

AnthonyUK

Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by AnthonyUK » Sat May 11, 2013 11:37 am

Oh well, no head isn't a big deal. Use the ghetto 'creamer' (syringe).
Sounds like you had fun and as you'd expect with the first one a few 'learning' points occurred :)
What was the taste like as the Flowers recipe appealed to me too.

lord groan
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Re: AG No.1 for steptoes ghetto build, with pics

Post by lord groan » Sat May 11, 2013 3:00 pm

AnthonyUK - Last night was a while ago now! It's a very long time since I had a pint of Flowers, I chose the recipe because it was simple and I remember really liking any Flowers pint I'd had in the past so I thought I'd start with this one. Tastewise I'd have to call it a good solid bitter, for me there was very little in the way of citrus notes just a good everyday session brew. The recipe calls for dry hopping with a few cones of Styrian IIRC, and I didn't do this so that may account for the lack of aroma. Do bear in mind it was AG1, I mashed at too low a temp and sparged a little too low as well so I suspect you'd get a much better brew just by doing it right! That said it'll stay on my list of good brews
cheers
lg

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