I have been reading up on mashing and it seems that after the mash it's prudent to "mash out" and raise your temp up to about 170 or so to let all the sugars and such flow more easily through the grain bed.
My question is: How much will my efficiency suffer by not doing this -- and how might I mash out if I cannot put a burner under my MT.
My MT drains out the bottom and I insulate the keg with a plywood/insulated box.
Oh, thanks... that is a great suggestion! Batch sparging:
1. mash as normal.
2. Add some hot water (to bring temp up to 170)
3. Stir mash gently with paddle.
4. Recirculate the first runnings through the MT (as usual)
5. Drain MT completely.
6. Start heating the BK, now that it has wort in it (to save time)
7. Dump in another chunk of water from HLT into MT
8. Gently stir MT again
9. Recirculate runnings again (until clearish)
10. Drain MT completely.
11. Now there is another wort in BK to apply high heat, you should be trying to bring it to a boil.
12. Repeat steps 7-10 one more time and your sparging process is complete.
Am I missing anything? I guess I need to figure out my exact water quantities but that shouldn't be hard.
You've got it! As far as water quantities go, you could try mashing with 1.25 qts. per lb. of grain and sparge with 2 qts. per lb. of grain. This is not LAW, but if you use the same water/grain ratio every time, you will have consistancy. Good luck!
Okay, seems simple... thanks a lot! I like the idea of batch sparging especially right now because it will make the brew day shorter, and here in new england it gets dark around noon during the winter. But alas I'm preaching to the choir.