OK, here's my story. I bought the Austin IPA kit a week or two ago with the refractometer. Finally had a day to play so I got out my goodies and heated up mash water on the stove. Got it to 168* and started my mash with a TB. of 5.2 added. Checked the temp and I was right on the money at 152*. About ten minutes later I checked the temp and it was still good but since I have another thermometer, I put it in as well. Thirty minutes go by and I open up the mash tun and see one temp at 152* and another at 143* <crap>. I am not sure which one to believe but I did check BOTH of them in a glass with ice water on the counter a month or two ago and both were at 32*
Did the mash the way it was and got my first running's and it looked good. Into the BK they went while I added my strike water to the tun. Collected my second running's and got just over 6.5 gallons and waiting to reach boil.
I have a keggle and it has a dip tube bent to the bottom side. I places a SS scrubbie against it to use as a hop filter, a neat idea that I read on here.
Got up to boil and started the hop additions as written. I also planed on a no-chill and did not even think about the adjusted hop schedule so a little scared there.
I checked my SG with the brand new refractometer but i have no idea what it was supposed to be at and I only have a desktop so I did not get to go back inside to look up any charts. My # was 13 Brix
At flame out, I grabbed my sanitized winpak and was going to open the valve on the keggle but my burner stand it too short to fit the winpak under it. Grabbed a bucket and funnel and opened the valve. I guess five ounces of hop pellets can really clog up a stainless scrubbie. I had a SMALL trickle coming out of the valve. I had high expectations for the scrubbie filtering out in the wort and starting a clean clear ferment. After almost 15 minutes and a half a gallon collected, I knew this was not going to work so I collected about 600ml in my starter flask (man, that glass gets hot) and set it in the fridge to cool. Grabbed a sauce pan and started dipping the hot wort out and filtering it into the winpak. The screen on the funnel would clog up before half a cup would flow through so out of desperation, I pulled the filter screen out and scooped all the wort and hops into the bucket. Set it aside and started the clean-up process.
I poured the starter sample into the hydrometer tube to see where I was at and only got 1.051 and it was supposed to be 1.058. I guess I can live with that.
My starter was bubbling away a few hours later and it is my first washed yeast starter so a little excited about that. It is the WL001 ale yeast. I pitched two days later and it was fermenting good the next morning.
This is only my second AG brew and I felt OK with it but I need to figure out which thermometer is right so I know what my mash temps are. I guess all in all, it'll be OK and I should (say it with me) RDWHAHB.