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Old 06-16-2012, 11:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Shaggyt View Post
Good suggestions so far, though for me, it's pre-measuring as much as you can the night before (water might be the exception). I have found that multitasking is the bane of brew days...lots of "OH SH*T" moments when trying to work super efficiently through multitasking...messy!

Good luck BTW!!!
I'll share one of these moments in the video I am making. It's pretty newbie, but I RDWHAHB'd it.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:52 PM   #23
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For BIAB, insulating with blankets would be my first choice, followed by adding heat as necessary.
I did both. Added heat as I lost it while the blankets were over the vessel.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:28 AM   #24
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It's really easy...avoid trying to make it difficult.

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Old 06-17-2012, 12:30 AM   #25
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Well, I just completed my first AG brew day. Overall it was great. A few things learned.

-Get the water from HLT to mash tun as fast as possible. I opened up my ball valve with 3/8 nozzle and hose connected and let it fill the mash tun. It was too slow of a transfer and I lost about 10-15 degrees in the process leaving my mash temp at 138.

-Pre-heat the mash tun! I'm using an igloo convert and completely forgot to do this. It would've saved me a few degrees.

Other than these two lessons learned, which were corrected with a couple of gallons of near boiling water, everything went as planned. My efficiency was low due to the bad mash cycle but I made most of it up with some DME in the boil.

Hope your brew day went well.

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Old 06-17-2012, 02:32 AM   #26
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I don't heat my mash tun, just heat my strike water about 13-15* higher, pour it in, let sit for 10 mins and it's now at strike temp dough in and I hit my mash temp spot on.

Now that is easy
Toy4Rick

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Old 06-17-2012, 02:34 AM   #27
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That if you leave spent grain in a pile outside for a week in the GA heat it will smell like death...

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Old 06-17-2012, 02:38 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Toy4Rick View Post
I don't heat my mash tun, just heat my strike water about 13-15* higher, pour it in, let sit for 10 mins and it's now at strike temp dough in and I hit my mash temp spot on.

Now that is easy
Toy4Rick
So you...heat your mash tun.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:43 AM   #29
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Don't leave a pile of wet grain anywhere because they will provide a breeding ground for flies.

Use double batch sparge method for 10 gallon batches instead of single sparge so all the water fits in your tun.

8-gallon pot is the MINIMUM size for 5-gallon all-grain batches; would do well to get 10, 12 gallon.

Be careful of accidentally pressing down on your SS braid hose with the mash paddle, since it may deform permanently.

Buy silicone hose.

Calibrate the volume capacities of your pots by quarter-gallon increments.

In lieu of a temperature control system, trust in the thermal mass of your garage floor more than the ambient air temperature of your house. The former will stabilize temps better than the latter.

Buy a valve assembly from an online homebrew supplier instead of running all over town trying to find parts to built your own and the legendary elusive 5/8" SS fender washer.

Buy a scale. You'll use it all the time, and not just when making beer.

Higher efficiency does not equal better beer; applies more to commercial brewers than home brewers.

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Old 06-17-2012, 03:51 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavandeh View Post
I'm doing BIAB, so hopefully I won't need the extra water since all the temp loss will be due to grain immersion and steam loss.

However, since I'm mashing in a pot instead of a cooler, the metal will conduct heat, and thus lose it considerably better than a cooler. Should I, A.) Let it sit a little longer, B.) Wrap it in blankets, or C.) Continue heating it from the bottom and stirring?

D.) none of the above?
I started doing BIAB a month ago and this is my advice to you:

1. Get Beersmith or some other software to help you nail your mash temps. The best money I've ever spent on brewing equipment was buying that program. It takes some time to figure out all the parameters you can adjust, but once you do, you'll wonder why you never had it before.

2. Trust your brewing software.

3. To help retain heat, I went to the auto parts store and bought one of those reflective metallized sun shades, turned it inside out, and made a reflective sleeve to slip around my brew pot. I've had 5 gallons stay at 152 for 75 minutes and maybe drop a degree. It's a lot better than blankets.

Hope this helps. Seriously - get Beersmith. Best upgrade you'll ever make.
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