I have built a Brutus 10 system and now need help fine tuning my brewing process. I have brewed three batches with this weekend’s batch being my most successful, but far from ideal. My efficiencies have improved since the first batch, but not yet to where they should be. For those with a similar system what efficiencies do you usually get? I have a few specific questions I will lay out below.
My system is direct fired recirculating mash, just like Lonnie’s. When heating the water that will be transferred to my MLT, should I bump up the temp a few degrees above my target mash temp? I have not been doing this. While the recirc and heating of the MLT will quickly (less than 5 mins) bring the temp up to my target mash temp am I doing any damage here by not having the temp equalize at the target when mashing in?
While recirculating how fast or slow should I be pumping the mash? My initial thought is the faster the better to ensure a consistent temp through the grain bed, but on the other hand I am afraid that the disruption of the grain bed could be bad.
After the mash is complete, should I wait a few minutes to allow any settling/resting before starting the fly sparge?
When fly sparging, I am keeping my HLT set at my fly sparge temp. Should I continue the heat below the MLT? If so, should it be at the fly sparge temp or the initial mash temp? What temp should the wort that is exiting my MLT be (mash temp, fly sparge temp, somewhere in between)?
I understand that it is recommended to discontinue the sparge when dropping below 1.010 or 2.5 brix. In a perfect world, should my calculated water volumes from Beersmith ensure that I am hitting that number as the last of the sparge water enters my BK? If I am hitting that number prior to running out of water, does it mean that I sparged too quickly?
Thanks for the help.