This thread is too awesome to be stuck back a few pages.
New brewer, read through every one of these 300+ pages, and a ton more through out the rest of the forum.
With all the help in here, a successful 1.5gal SMaSH was made and is fermenting happily.
Process was super smooth; mashed out in a 1.5gal pot BIAB in the oven and worked awesome, dunk sparged in the BK (3gal) at 168 for ten, then removed/squeezed and ran it up to boil in under 10min. Cool down in an icebath (a sink with a bunch of reusable KoolBags) dropped to 95deg in about 10min, and from there it was easy to rack out to the bucket and put it in the garage (52deg) to drop it to pitch temps.
3hrs total including clean up, and that could have been cut down now that I have times marked out for heating waits, prepping while mashing/boiling instead of before hand. Looking at the charts I made I could probably shave off another 20-30min so long as I can keep one sink open for dish washing.
Cleared 1.45 gal or there abouts (need better measurements on the bucket).
Tricks learned that worked awesome:
- Spray bottle trick should be in bold, caps, everywhere you read about brewing. It's. Awesome. And keeps the Mrs. happy!
- Have all additions prepped and labeled, two count down timers work great.
- A shallow rubbermaid container (like what you'd slide under the bed) holds 2gal of sanitizer about half full, and is super handy to toss spoons/syringes/tubing/you name it into it. Fits great on the counter too, so there's never an excuse to not have something in the sanitizer ready to remove/use/return.
For anyone saying you can't get into AG Brewing on the cheap, you're wrong. BK, bags, 2gal bucket and lid, couple chunks of hose, a cheap airlock, and a cut down racking cane. Most expensive thing I bought was a HF grains scale for accurate measurements on hops/yeast, and even that was only 14 bucks.
Things I need to figure out a better way to deal with - LOTS of particulate from the BIAB in both the initial mash and the sparge. I tried using a milk filter in the colander to catch it, but they were too fine a filter, and just got bogged down (they're supposed to be used as part of a pressurized system).
My home made "syphon" (big ol' syringe+tube+racking cane) worked, but not as "clean" as it could be. I need to find a way to use this better, and not suck all the crap out of the bottom of the BK as I'm syphoning.
Things I don't really need but am dying to try out:
- A mini IC system, see how fast I can get the wort down.
- Oyxgen infusion for yeasties!
- Trading out buckets from the HD white 2gal's to something with some gradations on it - saw some 8qt food containers online I need to chase down.
Must purchase items within the next few brews:
- An accurate, reliable thermometer (ala Thermoworks). The meat thermometer puts me in the ball park, but I want a home run.
- A refractometer. Not that the hydrometer is bad, but it uses more product than I want to put in it. I'll do the math conversions. I'm good at math.
Already have another recipe lined up (another SMASH) courtasy of BrewTARGET and some help from the softwareware forum. Hope to get the grains/hop/yeast this week for the upcomming weekend.
Thanks again, gang. 1G Brewers have a new soldier.