Warning: Long post!
Just got my SNPA clone in the primary, hopefully at a good temperature (it was hot today, barely got it down to 70F with a swamp cooler setup tonight, it was probably sitting at 80F for the first 3 hours). I think it went well overall, had a few hiccups but happy with it so far. Here are some highlights from my notes:
Started with 10 lbs 2-Row + 1.25 lbs Crystal 40, crushed at the LHBS last weekend (when I thought I'd be brewing) and then crushed again with a home mill today.
The goal was to mash at 1.5qts/lb at 153F. I ended up at 1.4qts/lb (mash tun was full at this point, 1 gallon earlier than I thought it would be), started at 153F, then when I opened it to stir after 30 mins it was down to just over 150F. It was still there at 60 mins when I stirred again. I was going to be done here, but my sparge water wasn't heated enough yet, so I ended up going 90 mins before draining and double-batch sparging with about 4 gallons at 175F (checked the temp right as I was dumping in the first batch).
I collected 6.5 gallons of wort into the kettle, stopped draining the MT (it was almost drained again). Checked my pre-boil gravity (cooled a sample) and it was right at 1.060 if not a bit above. I checked it three times with different samples, cooled each time. Two different calculators run this out to be between 92.3% and 94.5% efficiency
. Now, I know there must be something wrong with that, unless I just hit it out of the park with my first lucky swing. I dunno. Hopefully I didn't pull out anything I don't want.
Took about 15 mins to boil and get a hot break (love the tip about having a fan over the boil, no boilovers for me today!), then 60 minutes with Magnum at 60, Perle at 30, Cascades at 10 and at flameout.
Wort chilled to 68F in 30 mins using a double-coil chiller (one coil in an ice bath). Checked the gravity again as I was racking from the kettle to the primary and got 1.064. With all the loose hops, I barely got 5 gallons into the primary, so I topped it with 0.5 gallons of spring water. Sampled this and got an OG of 1.054, which is right what I was shooting for based on the recipe. I shook and swirled really well after racking half of the wort to the carboy, so it should be aerated properly.
Pitched my 850mL starter that had been going for 36 hours on the stir plate, aerated again (I think), installed a blow-off tube and a bucket of sanitizer water, and let it go. I left the house, came back 3 hours later, and the thermometer strip on the primary was still off the chart (probably 80F), so I got the whole thing in a tub of water with an ice block, a t-shirt, and a fan. It was bubbling once every two minutes or so (I know that's not an indicator). Got it down to 68F while I cleaned up my mess, and now I'm here. I hope the yeast get going, my starter never had any krausen, but I gather this is not uncommon for stir plates.
I guess I've got a few weeks to fret before I bottle.
Any glaring errors I may have made along the way? I sure had fun, looking forward to my next batch as soon as I can convince my wife to let me have half the day to myself again!