I used my new herms for the first time today. I really didnt know what to expect and all sorts of things went wrong. Before even getting started, I had to thaw everything out before the pump would flow any water That took an hour. Once I started, First I forgot about the manual bypass for my HLT heater. I couldnt figure out why it was taking so long to warm up. After 30 min of it only coming up 3 degrees, I was dreaming of a 240v system. After I turned that on it came up pretty quick. Then I put water in the MLT before any grain, but didnt start recirculating the pump until after all the grain was in, so surprise, the pump clogged. It was completely stuck, so I had to pull all the grain and water from the MLT and stick it in a cooler. Lucky for me it was already at 122 so it sat for 30 minutes for a protien rest in the cooler. By that time I had the pump unclogged and running smooth again. I put it all back into the MLT and started to recirc. I had to get the water up to mash temps which took about 15 minutes, then it sat at 154-55 for 45 minutes. I drained it to the BK, filled up again and recirced a bit till it was clear, then drained again to a volume of 6.75 gallons.
I boiled down to 5.5. My OG was 1.085 @ 60F. My grain bill was as follows.
13lbs Marris Otter
.5 lbs black patent
.5 lbs roasted barley
5 oz flaked barley
1 lb extra light lme(needed to use it up, looking for an easy boost)
1 lb dark dme
1 lb Lactose
I dont know how to determine my efficiency, Im not expecting much given the cluster**** of a brewing session I had. I just hope it turns out to be drinkable.