Originally Posted by digdan
I keep my technique the same, just change the temps... but here is my rundown
- Measure and mill grain. I use a crankenstien and have the gap adjusted to .039. I then leave the grain and mash tun at room temps.
- I add gypsum to my water, and then adjust it to exactly 5.2 pH
- I heat the water to X degress. X being my striking temps.
- I pour the grist into my Mash Tun (Converted IceCube Cooler) and then pour the liquor.
- I Graph the temp changes on a probe thermometer placed in the middle of the tun.
- On 30 min increments I take a sample and use iodine reagent to test.
Perhaps I'm putting too much faith in the iodine reagent(or misreading it)? From what I have found is that the lower the sacc temps the longer I have to hold the mash to get a complete conversion.
- I heat two to three gallons of liquor to 168. I carefully use a 2 gallon watering can to keep the water level above the grain bed.
- I drain very slowly... takes almost hour and a half to two hours to drain the whole batch.
- Halfway through the sparging is when I take my hydrometer reading. I don't write the results until the hydrometer has cooled down to atleast 70 degrees (I record the adjusted reading).
Now, back to X -- my strike temp. It seems directly related that the hotter I strike, the shorter the mash conversion, and the lower my efficency. I recently recalibrated my thermometers and found I was striking well to hot. After the thermometer was adjusted I was able to get much, much more efficiency.
1. I warm my mash tun to mashing temperature before using it. If you don't do this, you will have to add hotter mash water as some of the heat will go to warming the tun. There's nothing wrong with not warming the tun. Whatever works for you is good.
2. You need a mash PH of 5.2 while mashing. When you add the grains, they will acidify the mash, and if you start with water at 5.2, you will have a very acid mash. This could certainly affect your efficiency. I add 1 1/2 teaspoons of gypsum per 6 gals of water (with an initial PH of 7.4), but never bother about the mash PH because I get good results with the gypsum.
3. When you add the water, it will lose heat warming the grains and the tun. The critical temperature is the mash temperature, and I never manage to hit the right temp, but I have a small amount of hot and cold water available to adjust the temperature as required.
4. I add the liquor and grist in small increments, as I find it easier to mix this way, and make sure that the grain is properly moistened.
6. I used to do this, but spilled the iodine so often, that my wife stopped me from using it. I now mash for 60 minutes, and tell her that iodophor is not iodine.
1. I use about 6 gals of sparge water acidified with gypsum and heated to 180. (By the time it has travelled through the tubing, and out the sparge arm, it has cooled to 165 - 170.) I use the gypsum to prevent excess tannins from being extracted from the grain.
3. I never bother with gravities until I am ready to pitch.
I usually use about 8 lbs grain, and achieve an OG of 152 - 154 with a volume of 5.25 gals. According to promash, my efficiency is > 100%
(I haven't yet found why I get this efficiency, but I'm dreaming of selling my secrets to the big breweries, and retiring on the proceeeds.
Hope this helps.