Here are the steps I use when brewing all grain beer. Anyone do the same or see any areas for improvement?
1) Pre-Heat the mash tun for 20-30 minutes. This is important because if it’s cool, your mash temp will drop too much. Fill it with 3 gallons of 130ish water (that is the temp of my tap water).
2) Start the mash. Target temp for the first 50 minutes is 152-155 degrees (after adding the grain). It may drop a few degrees during the first 50 minutes. Drain the mash tun (of pre-heat water) and fill with 3 gallons of 172ish water. There is a formula that you can use to determine how much the water temp will drop when you add your grain. But, add the water first (about 15-20 degrees above your target temp).
3) Stir in all of your grains. Then start the 60 minute count down.
4) Boil 2 gallons of water. Adding 2 gallons of boilng water to 3 gallons of 152 degree mash will raise the temp to 172ish. You don’t want the temperature above 180 degrees because the starch conversion won’t work at 180 or above.
5) When there are 10 minutes left in the 60 minute mash, add the boiling water and stir. Leave it alone for 10 more minutes.
6) Heat 3 additional gallons of water to 170 degrees. This will be your sparge water.
7) When the mash is complete (60 minutes is over). Slowly fill a small sauce pan with mash liquid and pour it back into the mash tun. Do this 3 times. This will clarify your mash and set your grain bed.
8) Start to slowly drain the mash tun into your boil kettle. Do this slowly over 20-30 minutes so that you don’t get channels in the grain bed.
9) When the mash liquid drains low enough that you can see the grain bed, start to slowly add sparge water to keep the grain bed covered.
10) When your out of sparge water, wait for the brew kettle level to reach your target level (about 6.5 gallons). 6.25 or 6.75 is ok also.
11) Start your 60 minute boil and add the hops add the designated times.
12) When the boil is complete start your chilling process. The rest is the same as you would do with extract kits.