Originally Posted by nbrack
I ended up .5 gallons short pre boil as well as post boil. My gravity was also much higher. I should have added some water before boiling. It was an excellent learning experience for me and doing a 2 row SMaSH was nice and cheap. I think for next batch, I will add boiling water to cooler to heat it up. Adjust beersmith for 68F grain, and keep extra sparge water on hand to make sure I get the right preboil level.
My cooler MLT has a supply line mesh thingy for a filter. Do false bottoms better for getting all the water out of the mlt?
Don't use boiling water! You'll crack and ruin the cooler! Use 180 degree water, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Some people like to add the strike water at 180 degrees (the whole volume) and then add the grain when it gets to the strike temperature. That never worked well for me- the cooler was in my basement and the 180 degree water would cool to 150 in 15 minutes. The cool cooler (as in not warm
) sucked out a LOT of heat! So, a gallon of 180 degree water for 15 minutes with the lid on, and then drained, worked well for me to preheat the cooler MLT.
Always have some hot water on hand, and a few ice cubes, until you know your system. Adding a quart or two of boiling water if you miss low or a couple of ice cubes if you miss high, works well.
Keep in mind that if you do have to adjust, to do it slowly and incrementally. What happens all to often is someone doesn't stir enough, and then adds too much hot water and then it's too hot. So they add cold water, and then it's too cold. It's better to add a little, stir well, check the temperature throughout for at least 5 minutes, and then check again before adding more hot or cold water.
When you stir, stir well, and then check the temperature in several places. If it's different, stir some more. You really have to stir more than you think to get the temperature equalized throughout.
If you preheat the MLT, stir it extremely well, and then hit the temp you want, you will lose less than 1 degree in an hour so it's important to get it right and then just walk away.