Originally Posted by Jphillips13
Recipe calls for OG of 1.039 @ 5.5 gallons. The brewersfriend calculator shows @ the correct volume you'd be @ 1.036. The larger volume seems to be half of what's missing, crush is maybe the rest. Very close and certainly not bad for a first all-grain brew with a bunch of new equipment. I brewed the same beer ten days ago. Second batch ever and first all-grain. It was much more relaxing than I thought it would be.
This is right, looks like you would have only been 3 points off if you had gotten the right post boil volume. Now you know your boil off rate is about 1 gallon per hour, so you can tailor your recipes to that. And only missing by 3 points is not bad at all. It may be a crush issue, but I wouldn't worry about it right now. Just keep doing everything consistently and then see where your efficiency usually ends up. Then once you get a process down you can try to raise your efficiency if you want to. But just below 70% sounds fine to me.
Also, I would not recommend 5.2 stabilizer. I've pretty much only heard bad things about it. If you want to get into water chemistry and pH I would read up on it A LOT and use traditional salts (like gypsum, calcium chloride, etc.), acid, and a water chemistry calculator like Brewer's Friend or Bru'n Water. You probably don't need to worry about that quite yet either though.
And when you batch sparge you don't have to wait any time at all for the grain bed to settle. You don't really have to worry about the grain bed at all. Just drain your first runnings, add the sparge water, mix it up really well, vourlaf, and drain. Also, you can drain as fast as you want. Or I guess as fast as you can without getting a stuck sparge.
Hope this helps, and have fun with your re-brew!