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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > How does my AG procedure look?
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:04 AM   #1
andreiz
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Default How does my AG procedure look?

So I finally made the jump into AG after playing around with partial mash for a while. Bought a converted Igloo cooler for MLT, 10 gal Megapot, and a nice outdoor burner. Did a couple of batches now with batch sparging and my mash efficiency was about 72-77%. Here's the mashing/lautering procedure I've been following. Could someone comment on how it looks and what improvements I could make?

1. Heat up 1 gallon of water and pre-heat mash tun with it.
2. Heat up strike water. I did about 1.3 qt/lbs ratio.
3. Pour in the water and add grains, stir thoroughly to avoid doughballs. Stick thermometer in and close the lid. Check back in 3 minutes to see what the temperature has stabilized at. Adjust temp as necessary.
4. While mash is happening, heat up as much sparge water as necessary. I use BeerTools Pro calculator to figure that out.
5. After 60 minutes, test for starch conversion with iodine. If done, vorlauf 2-4 quarts (depending on how the runoff looks) then drain first runnings into the kettle.
6. Split sparge water into equal portions. Pour first portion into the mash tun, stir and let rest 5 minutes to let the grain bed settle. Then vorlauf again and drain.
7. Repeat step 6 with the remaining sparge water.

I know that a mash-out is recommended most of the time, so I may try that next time, but it's a bit more difficult with a cooler since I'd have to infuse with boiling water and dilute the mash.

Here are a few pics I took the first day.







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Old 05-05-2009, 04:34 AM   #2
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Looks like you know what the hell you are doing.

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Old 05-05-2009, 04:53 AM   #3
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6. Split sparge water into equal portions. Pour first portion into the mash tun, stir and let rest 5 minutes to let the grain bed settle. Then vorlauf again and drain.
There is no need to wait, just stir well and vorlauf.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:41 AM   #4
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I find preheating the MLT with all of my strike water works well. Just get it a few degrees warmer, then when it cools to your strike temp dough in.

That's a slick lookin' burner, BTW

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Old 05-05-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by andreiz View Post
2. Heat up strike water. I did about 1.3 qt/lbs ratio.
...
I know that a mash-out is recommended most of the time, so I may try that next time, but it's a bit more difficult with a cooler since I'd have to infuse with boiling water and dilute the mash.
Don't fear the thin mash. I mash at 1.5-2.0 quarts/lb depending on the brew (1.5 qt/lb is my usual ratio, 2.0 is after doing a double infusion step mash with a big temp step), and often do a mashout infusion on top of that. Even double batch sparging my efficiency is rock solidly consistent from batch to batch.

Two advantages I have seen with a thin mash... first is it is easier to stir and get all the doughballs out which improves yield and wort clarity. Second, it is easier to hit your strike temps with a thinner mash since you have a higher ratio of water to grain -- you have more control over the temp of the strike water than over the temp of the grains.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by andreiz View Post
So I finally made the jump into AG after playing around with partial mash for a while. Bought a converted Igloo cooler for MLT, 10 gal Megapot, and a nice outdoor burner. Did a couple of batches now with batch sparging and my mash efficiency was about 72-77%. Here's the mashing/lautering procedure I've been following. Could someone comment on how it looks and what improvements I could make?

1. Heat up 1 gallon of water and pre-heat mash tun with it.
2. Heat up strike water. I did about 1.3 qt/lbs ratio.
3. Pour in the water and add grains, stir thoroughly to avoid doughballs. Stick thermometer in and close the lid. Check back in 3 minutes to see what the temperature has stabilized at. Adjust temp as necessary.
4. While mash is happening, heat up as much sparge water as necessary. I use BeerTools Pro calculator to figure that out.
5. After 60 minutes, test for starch conversion with iodine. If done, vorlauf 2-4 quarts (depending on how the runoff looks) then drain first runnings into the kettle.
6. Split sparge water into equal portions. Pour first portion into the mash tun, stir and let rest 5 minutes to let the grain bed settle. Then vorlauf again and drain.
7. Repeat step 6 with the remaining sparge water.
Couple minor comments....I stopped doing the iodine test long ago. It's unreliable and it's unnecessary. And I've seldom found doing more than one sparge to have any advantages for me.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Yankeehillbrewer View Post
I find preheating the MLT with all of my strike water works well. Just get it a few degrees warmer, then when it cools to your strike temp dough in.
Good point!

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Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
Don't fear the thin mash. I mash at 1.5-2.0 quarts/lb depending on the brew (1.5 qt/lb is my usual ratio, 2.0 is after doing a double infusion step mash with a big temp step), and often do a mashout infusion on top of that. Even double batch sparging my efficiency is rock solidly consistent from batch to batch.
How much sparge water do you end up using if you already do double-infusion and mashout?
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