I was hoping I could get some feedback on starting my first mini-mash.
It is a Vanilla Oatmeal Stout and has 7.5lbs of grain, which from reading is a big mini mash.
Forgive me, but I'll be doing this with no special equipment (tuns) etc. but with utensils I use in my standard Extract setup. I'll be working to set up the proper equipment soon enough for subsequent mini-mashes.. then onto full grain in the near future.
I'm going to lay out my plans that I've read about on a few forums and was hoping someone could critique or tell me what I'm doing right or wrong with what equipment I do have. lawd help me. be gentle.
-- Bring 2.5 gallons to 170F, dump in my grains (no sock), stir for 3 minutes or so, remove the dough balls and maintain a temperature of 152F ish for 1 hour. Cover the kettle with 3 heavy towels to maintain fruity goodness and heat. Check every 20minutes, if it drops below 150, add a quart of boiling water.
-- Strain the entire thing through a collendar! Add the grains to a sock, and (heres where I need an option if I havent shocked and dismayed half of you), laddle 2gallons of 170F water over the grain sock
-- OR drop the grain sock into a 170F water and batch sparge. Removing the grain sock after 5min. then continuing on my extract process as normal.
A couple questions I did have....
I've read about Ph Balance with mashing. I'll be using bottled mountain spring water. Is Ph balance still a concern?
If laddling is the way to go. I also understood that if you have the equipment the sparging process with the right equipment can take a good 45min. But I'll be doing it by hand. I imagine if by hand it will take a good 10min. am I on the right track? or should I batch sparge.
I will be using an electric stove.
Am I close to working the mash process "ok" with what I have outlined? Or did I miss anything?
Appreciate your thoughts.