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Old 10-15-2013, 12:13 AM   #1
exc503
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Default First All Grain help.

I am setting up to do my first all grain 5 gallon batch. I have been using Beersmith to develop the recipe and figure out mash water/grain ratio. Currently, with 9.2# of grain, it is calling for me to mash in with 11.12 qts of water. I am mashing with a 10 gallon picnic cooler tun, on my last go around, (partial mash) i had an issue keeping the mash temp due to the deadspace. Any thoughts, or ideas on how to overcome this?

Also, I will be Batch Sparging this time around, any hints or tips?

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Old 10-15-2013, 01:57 AM   #2
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#1: Preheat the cooler with hot water.

#2: Insulate. Wrap it up in a blanket or towels (or both). This, by itself, got me from losing 4 deg. F over an hour to being able to hold the same temp over 75 minutes.

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Old 10-15-2013, 03:24 AM   #3
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Ditto to #1. Dump in your strike water about 3-5 degrees over what beer smith says. Close the lid and let it sit for 10-20 min to preheat. Then mash in.

Mash in quick, stir well and seal it up. I usually give it a stir 1-2 time during the mash. I find I get a temp gradient during the mash.

Towels, blankets or insulation around the tun like reflectix helps too.

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Old 10-15-2013, 11:46 AM   #4
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Def going to be insulating this time around. I think a big mistake I made the last time was to preheat the tun, then dump the water, and put the grain in, which I think is what helped kill the mash efficiency.

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Old 10-15-2013, 05:32 PM   #5
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I agree about pre heating the mash tun. That's the first thing to do. I simply heat my strike water a few degrees hotter, fill the mash tun, and then let it sit until the strike water reaches the desired dough in temperature.

One thing I noticed is your water to grist ratio is a little low, only 1.2 quarts per pound of grain. You can adjust this in beersmith if desired. The default in beersmith is 1.25 quarts per pound. A typical ratio is usally between 1.25 and 2 quarts per pound.
On my system, I prefer a slightly thinner mash (between 1.5 and 2 quarts per pound). This reduces the deadspace and should help maintain mash temperature better.

Also, in beersmith, I check the box to drain the mash tun entirely before sparging which may clean up the mash and sparge volumes you're getting in beersmith.

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Old 10-15-2013, 09:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info, still trying to work through all the nuances of beersmith. Including overcoming the difference between my system and the standards (i.e. 10 gallong cooler, and 7 gallon pot, vs. 10 gallon cooler and 15 gallon pot.

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