From the HBD Archive
From: (Desmond Mottram)
Subject: Re: First all grain, Low Yield
Date: 1992-06-30 11:51:17 GMT (Charles Anderson) writes:
> Subject: First All grain, Low Yield
> I made my first attempt at an All-Grain brew yesterday using a simple
> recipe from Cat's Meow 2, which was 8lbs of British Pale, 1lb of British
> Crystal, 3oz Fuggles, and 1oz of Willamette. I mashed for 90mins w/2.25 gals
> in my electrim-bin, and I had a hell of a time getting the temp to stay constant
> at 150. This was a single step infusion mash, I think my temps varied from
> about 145 to 160, with various hot spots around the heating element.

I use an Electrim bin with a sparge bag. This means you have to use rather
more water, about 3 gallons, but you don't get problems with grain sitting
on the element and hot spots are easy to stir in. I stir it about every 30
mins. Every 10 mins is likely to do more harm than good - you're going to
cool it excessively.

I have had no problems with getting the temp to stay completely steady but
it is a bit cooler at the top. I get 155 near the element, 150 at the top.
I've found it's best to leave the stat set between the two 'M's of the word
"SIMMER" above the knob. If it needs boosting turn it up to 6 for five
minutes, set back, stir and check the temperature. If it needs cooling,
splosh in half a cupful of cold water, stir and check. But don't get too fussy,
you are more likely to make matters worse. There is a lot of thermal inertia
in 9 lbs grain plus 2.5-3 gallons of water and you are likely to keep over
correcting. Give it 20 minutes to settle between trying to make adjustments.
When it's about right, leave it.

Temperature is important but it won't ruin the beer if you are a few degrees
out, it just means you have to give it a bit longer. It is supposed to affect
the taste slightly - warmer mashes leave more dextrins so sweeter beers, but
I'll bet there aren't many who can honestly say they can tell.

[choppity chop]
> Should my sparge water be boiling when I start, TCJOHB says
> 170, does it matter?

Hot (170-180) but don't bother boiling. It's not crucial but malt sugars
dissolve better if the water is really hot. Boil up a few kettlefuls as you
are sparging to keep it hot.

> I'm not worrying,

Definitely the right attitude! I'm sure you'll get the best beer you've
ever made.

> -Charlie
> - --
> /-Charles-Anderson-\ |
> \------------------/ | Com Squared Systems, voice (612) 452-9522

Desmond Mottram

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