This afternoon I attempted my 2nd AG batch. I brewed Crowded House Pale, which I found on this site.
1# Flaked Wheat
1.25 oz Willamette, 60 min
1.00 oz Cascade, 10 min
1.00 oz Cascade, 5 min
1.00 oz Cascade, dry (4-5 days, secondary)
I had some of the same problems from the first batch, but I really improved on the cooling and vorlaufing:
1) Mash temp target was 154F, but I got 151F after addition of strike, cold and then hot water. I was at 158F after strike, dropped to 147 after adding 1 qt of 68F, and then finished at 151F after another 1 qt of 170F, so I just accepted 151F. How consistent are you guys at hitting your target?
2) I didn't take a post mash OG. Rather I took it after the boil, and it was around 1.045. My post mash target was 1.056, so I'm not sure how this post boil SG compares to the post-mash OG? Any recommendations on how the post-mash compares with the post-boil? My initial thoughts are the SG should increase post-boil compared to post-mash, but I'm not sure and haven't found much information confirming one way or the other.
3) I've used Zythos, Cascade and Willamette hops in my first two batches, and I like the Willamette the best so far. I can't get my hands on Simcoe, Amarillo from either of my two local home brew shops, so can you guys recommend some of your favorite hops that I should try next? Also, any recommendations on how to get experience with different hops in an efficient manner? I'd like to do a hop sampling of the smell especially. Are any classes/brew shops offering these to customers?
Finally, I just want to state that I really love my plate chiller. I just got it this week, so I didn't get to use it on my first batch. It was definitely worth the 135 I spent. I got the B3-23A-30 plate from DudaDiesel, and it cooled 200F wort to 83F in one pass. This didn't require 20 minutes of stirring or transferring water. Can't wait to get an immersion pump to get it down to the final 15F.
Thanks for the information.