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Old 06-10-2009, 10:58 PM   #1
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Default 5 Gal. round Igloo cooler with 9" stainless false bottom

A question for anyone who uses a 5 gallon round cooler with a 9" stainless steel domed false bottom as a mash-lauter tun:
I know this is a common all-grain brewing equipment configuration, but what is the best way to mix the grains and hot water? Do you put the water in first and slowly add the grains? Do you add the grains in on top of the false bottom and dump the water in on top? Do you add the water and grains a little at a time? Once you add the grains and water, should you stir it up from time to time, or just let it sit? The idea would be to find a way to not plug all the holes in the false bottom in order to have a successful sparge.
Any ideas?

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Old 06-10-2009, 11:06 PM   #2
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I add about a gallon of hot water, approximately 10 degrees above my desired strike temperature. I then cover the cooler, and let it sit about 15 minutes. By then, the water is at my strike temperature, and the MLT is preheated. I start adding grains, stirring well so I break up any doughballs, then add more water and then more grain. I stir during this time, and break up any doughballs. Then, I check the temperature in several different places.

This seems to work well for me. I've never had a stuck mash or sparge, and my temperature stays within .5 of a degree of the mash temperature over an hour.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:30 PM   #3
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In a cooler I generally add ALL of my strike water at a temperature that is 10F HIGHER than my strike temp. I then let the water cool/MLT heat up, when the water is at the strike temp, I pour half the grist in, mix well, then dump in the other half, mix well.

Before I built my HERMS, I would give it a quick stir every 20 minutes to reduce hot and cold areas, but also reduce the ammount of time with the lid off.
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