First off, huge props to the entire HBT site - without months of lurking, posting, reading, asking questions, etc, there's no way I could have pulled this off. Thanks all!
Anyway, did my first AG on Saturday. I brewed a slight variation of Yooper's Anchor Steam clone. Used the Denny Conn thin-mash+infusion+single-batch-sparge method. Been doing a bunch of PM brews, using up to 8 lbs of grain, for a bit, so the whole thing wasn't too confusing. Still, it was a great learning opportunity. Had a great time; can't wait to do it again! Some pics:
Poured in the strike water at 15 degrees above strike temp; let sit for 10 min then stirred until I hit strike temp.
Stirring in the grains.
Was aiming to mash at 154, but after about 5-6 minutes of stirring temps had equalized to about 152. Rather than add boiling water or deal with trying to hit the exact
temps (maybe next time - this was all about getting the process down), I figured it was good enough and closed the lid.
The good news: after 1 hour, I lost less than 1 degree of temp!
Added infusion water, stirred, vorlaufed, drained, added sparge water, stirred, waited 10 min, then vorlaufed and drained again:
Was looking to hit 6.75 gallons pre-boil volume, but only got 6.5. Oh well, another thing to fix next time.
Did some laundry while waiting for the boil. Happy SWMBO = more brew days.
Also had time to feed little Palefire. Yes, that's a Madonna shirt he's wearing. You got a problem with it!?
Chilling the wort. I can usually get from boiling to 65 in about 20 minutes.
Transferred to fermenter and pitched the starter. Mr. Malty recommended a starter twice this size, but I only have a 1L erlenmeyer flask. There was airlock activity after about 10 hours, though, so I think I'm fine.
Happy in the swamp cooler!
I estimated efficiency at 65%, and was shooting for an OG of 1.051:
This was at 70 degrees. Hit it right on the nose!
Total time, including set up and cleanup: 4.75 hours. Not bad! Next steps are to raise efficiency 5-10 points and cut 15-30 minutes off of total brew time. Other than that, couldn't have gone better. Thanks again to everyone who participates here - it's a great community and I've learned so much from y'all. Prost!