So I just got one of these puppies and it is beautiful. But I still think I am getting used to it. I brewed 2 beers back to back yesterday. Both beers were the same in every way, except I used different hops.
On both I only got 1.045 OG when I had calculated 1.063 based on 75% efficiency!!!! I will admit that the sparge was probably a little too fast (I had the valve open about 1/3 of the way and it took about 10 minutes for a 5 gallon batch).
But still, I can't see that low of efficiency being owed to just that. I am thinking that SABCO's directive not to stir the grain occasionally, is cool in theory but not practical. I played with the whirlpool rate a lot (keeping the water an inch above the bed like they say), and I couldnt help but notice channeling on the outside where the whirlpool velocity was the strongest. It also just makes sense that if you dont stir the grain, the grain in the middle closer to the top is not going to as much flow. I am thinking maybe this is the problem.
Also, I didn't measure the pH (I am waiting on the meter in the mail and the pH strips are worthless), but my calculations with my local water report and grist info on both Bru'n water and Brewer's friend gave me a mash prediction of 5.5 when treated with the appropriate additives (which I did, gypsum and CaCl and also phosphoric acid to sparge water).
Sabco recommended letting the grain rest for 15 minutes in the MLT water before recirculating. So following these directions, I heated the strike water in the HLT to about 135-140 and filled the MLT to the appropriate level and let the grain saturate and settle. Then I turned on the burner and recriculated until I got 152 (or around there) when the heating element took over. The warming up from 135 to 152 took about 15 minutes. then I mashed at 152 recirculating for 60 minutes. So total grain in water with the incidental lower rests was probably about 90 minutes. (I am thinking in the future, I should heat the strike water all the way so that the initial rest will be at my target temp, instead of incidentally having a 130 rest for 15 minutes).
Anyway, that is a bunch of info for any kind person with insight to read, digest, and reason on, to then give me some tips/advice/adjustments.Thanks!!!!