I've done a handful of all grain batches before using a 7 gallon pot, 10 gallon igloo cooler(MLT) and 5 gallon igloo cooler (HLT). Yesterday, my brew partner and I did the first all grain batch on my new brew stand. I want to give my experiences and thoughts and try to get some advice/tips to make it go smoother next time.
1. Mashing: I used the same process as I did with the cooler, where I put the grains into the MLT, and heated the water in the HLT and then transferred the water onto the grains. This worked OK, but I think next time I will put the water in the MLT and heat it to the desired temp and then mix the grains in. That will remove a pumping step and reduce the temp drop.
2. Dumping Mash: Dumping the grains from a keg, sucks. The grains went all over the place. Hoping to find a trick to make this go smoother.
3. Hoses: I made hoses with fittings on them each ~5' long. When I got to the point of 10 minutes left I wanted to sanitize my wort chiller/tubing and whirpool. With the house on the output of the pump to the chiller (5') then the hose from the chiller to the whirpool fitting (+5', 10' total) and the wort chiller mixed in, it was pretty much no pressure. I am going to make some shorter hoses, but also I may need to do those as independent processes going forward.
4. Priming Pumps: Being my first time using pumps (besides in testing with water) I had a bit of trouble getting them primed. I ended up find the best way to prime them for me was to keep the end of the output hose disconnected and hold it up moving it up and down until I got liqiud through the pump and into the output hose. Then connected the end to wherever it was getting pumped into.
5. Lids: I need to get lids for my keggles! I could see the energy being wasted since I didn't have lids on any of my keggles. I will get some lids for next brew day.
That's all I can think of for now, I took some pics but haven't transferred them to the computer yet.