I took the plunge into the world of mashing yesterday when I picked up a Brewer's Best Oatmeal Stout kit (partial mash with extract). I've got two questions:
In terms of grains, it comes with:
1 lb. flaked oats
12 oz. pale 2-row
10 oz. Victory
6 oz. Dark Chocolate
The mashing directions it comes with (which they call "Steep-to-Convert") say to use a 2:1 ratio of lbs. grain to gal. water (i.e. 2 qts. per pound).
Ergo, for this grain bill of 2.75 lbs., they call for 1.375 gal. of water.
However, from everything I've read about mashing, the ratio most people use is somewheres in the range of 1.25-1.5 qt/lb. Should I actually listen to these directions with the hope that BB knows what they're talking about, or would I be better off lowering the volume down to that 1.25-1.5 range?
This mash will be done with a grain bag, and I've read that after the mash is complete, that instead of sparging by pouring more water through, another technique you can use is to have another pot of water going at the proper temp. and, after removing the grain bag from the pot and letting it drain, taking the bag and steeping it in the second pot for another few minutes to in effect rinse the grains and then add that second amount of water to the first.
Does anyone else use this technique, and is it effective? Or should I just pour the sparge water through? (1/2 gallon at 150 as per BB directions)
Thanks for any advice y'all can provide.
Primary: none (yet)
Secondary: Scottish Wee Heavy
Bottled: White House Honey Ale, Devil's Milk barley wine, Sandy Wheat, Ex-Pat 1800 try#2
Drinking: India Black Ale, Nefarious Blonde, Ex-Pat 1800 Eng. IPA, Pumpkin Spice Porter, Belgian Honey Wit