Well I feel better knowing that it’s not as hard as I anticipated. But there are a lot of things that I need to step up in my next round. As I said in a previous post, I plan on updating the bog with an entry that out lines my current setup, but for now I just want to cover a few things that happened during the brewing that worked and that didn’t.
First, I was at a loss to figure out how much water to use in the mash. I had heard 1qt per lb of grain, 1.25 qt per lb of grain and a lot of suggestions in between. I used 5 gallons for about 18lbs on grain. That works out to 1.1qts per lb of grain. I am not sure how well this worked, but I was erring on the side of caution because I was not use how much the mash tun I made would hold (it’s 48qts and had PLENTY of room).
The temp held great in the mash tun which made me happy. 150F for the full hour, you can’t ask for much more than that.
When it came time to run the extract off into the brew pot, I had a bowl that I was using to watch the liquid and get an idea of when it was running without sediment. Well if you take a look at the recipe I was using (Great Divide Imperial Stout) it was DARK and there was no telling if there was sediment or not, so I ran a little out and dumped it back in and just opened it up to the brew pot.
The other thing that I think I dropped the ball on was the sparging. I had about 3gallons of water at 170F and dumped it into the mash tun after the other liquid was run out. I stirred it around for a few minutes and opened it up to the brew kettle. This may have cut down on the OG because I did not give the sparging a chance to work.
Finally, I was not sure where to put the spent grains when I was finished so I dumped them down a storm drain. I don’t think it caused any problems, but there has to be a better way. I think I should start composting them.
Anyway, everything else went off without a hitch. The only think that worries me is that there was an OG of 90 on the recipe, but mine was only 50. I think that I sold myself short, though I took the OG from the extract and not from the post boil brew, so who knows if it was as accurate as it normally would be.
I have some ideas for tweaking things for the next all grain batch, but depending on how this one turns out will dictate how many changes I make.