Greetings everyone. I just did my first partial mash and was so amazed at how easy and fun it was that I'm now motivated (thanks to this forum) to go out and put myself together a converted beverage cooler MLT this weekend. However, I'm just gonna pass up getting a 7.5 gallon pot for now and just stick with my 5 gallon SS kettle (even though I know it's not a bank-breaker to get a bigger Aluminum pot). I've been reading as much as I can about all-grain but think I could use some direct answers to fill in the holes here.
1. I'll basically be shooting for a starting boil volume of around 4-4.25 or so, and I'm guessing after the boil I'll be down to around 3.5. This is fine with me, for now I actually like the idea of doing smaller batches cause I don't drink my homebrew that fast and I only have a couple friends who would be drinking it too. Question is- I want my FG to be calculated based on that 3.5 gallons or so that are there after
boiling right? So if the FG is low at the end of the boil I can just add some DME, and if it's high I can just add some water? Are there any tools out there to help with this specific calculation for this specific correction of being off on your FG? I think the main thing confusing me is, you need to know your FG after the mash, but then how do you know what to expect for your FG after boiling? (would promash or beersmith take care of that?)
2. Is putting ~3.-3.5 gallons of beer into secondary in a 5 gallon glass carboy a problem? Is there much of an oxidation risk here leaving that much head space for what is likely to be only 7 days?
Thanks for any help, I feel like I'm really close, knowledge-wise, to be able to get started on this successfully. Just gotta get that MLT put together!