I used my new Barely Crusher and Blichmann burner for this weekend’s IPA brew. Aiming for a 7% IPA using Mosaic, Columbus, and Chinook hops (Magnum for bittering). Adjusted the mill to the “standard” .038 using feeler gauges. Easily done.
The problems started when:
• I seemingly overshot my mash temp. Added some cold water to bring it down from the 154-155° I was getting… only to go too low (148). I think the overall mash temp wasn’t as high as I had found, but I may have hit some pockets of wet grain where the temp was higher than other areas. So I attempted to heat up about .75 gal of water during the mash and added it around 30 minutes in to hopefully raise the temp.
• at some point during all this, I dropped and broke my thermometer. Luckily had one from the old turkey fryer set up I could use.
• So, I end up with a thin mash do to all the additional water. I thought I calculated what I added though, and took it into account. I was originally planning on losing about 1.5 gal to grain absorption (almost 15 lb of grain), and had planned on mashing out with about .5 gal to hit my desired volume of first runnings. I then didn’t do this given what I had already added.
• calculating what I had added to the mash, I figured I would get about 4.5 gallons of 1st runnings. Figured I’d add 3 gallons of (batch) sparge water to get my 7.5 total to boil. (again, I forgot to cut back on the boil volume, as I’ve over-estimated my boil-off now for a couple brews (big difference between brewing in the summer vs the winter in New England). My first runnings collected 4 gallons, not 4.5, according tot eh brew pale I ran it into. I then went up to 3.5 gal of sparge water. Unfortunately, I don’t think my rectangular cooler tun drained properly during first runnings, as I ended up with closer to 8 gallons or wort compared to the 7.5 gal I intended (which was still too much, now that I look back at it).
End result? An OG closer to 1.056 and the 1.066 I intended. Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!
So this is likely going to be one very bitter pale ale.
What I think I need to do to adjust?
• assume I need 7 gallons of wort collected, no more (unless brewing outside in the dry, freezing temps of the winter)
• replace the stainless braid that’s been in the cooler tun for 2 years now. It’ds a mess. all crushed and scrunched in certain areas. I don’t think I’m getting a good even drain from the cooler tun now.