Originally Posted by shayn80
So in the future I should just use a grain bag? How is what I did different from those who mash ina cooler?
You steeped about 10 lbs grain in 6.5g water.
When mashing, you need about 2.5 - 5 qt water for that amount of grain, and you need to get the water hotter than the mash temperature so when you add the cold grains, it settles down to the required mash temperature.
With the amount of water you had, the enzymes would have been very diluted, and not able to work at optimum efficiency, and the pH of the mash would probably have been too high. (pH 5.2 can only do so much).
Using a grain bag is a cheaper alternative to using an MLT with false bottom, manifold, or braid, but provides similar functionality. i.e. the ability to strain the grains out of the wort.