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Adjusting to new mash tun

I tried out a new mash tun this weekend. I went from a rectangle cooler with a cpvc manifold to a round cooler with the stainless steel braid. Some observations.

I made a few mis calculations trying to dial in new equipment and was wondering how much of an effect I had on the final product.

  • First off I heated my sparge water to 190 and ended at 178 for my mash out temp for my first runnings. Usually I hit 168 every time. I quickly drained off as quick as possible. Am I in danger of extracting tannins?

  • I took my gravity reading with the 6.5 gallons of wort I collected pre boil and it was 1.050 which is 10 points higher than I expected. I was making 2 batches and the second one had the same result so I collected more wort the second time and combined both batches to try and have two 6 gallon lower gravity beer. I still ended up with almost a 1.060 gravity post boil on a munich helles. Is this way too high for munich helles style?

The last thing is I tried using about 1/2 pound of Melanoidin malt in a 10 lb grain bill. I used 9 1/2 lbs of gambrinus pilsner malt an 1/2 lb of Melanoidin. The wort was a little darker than I expected. It is about as dark as the pale ales I sometimes brew. I am hoping I don’t end up with a too sweet mess. I was figuring that since I wasn’t using continental malts that 1/2 pound Melanoidin malt would help with some character.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Overall none of these issues are major at all. It will take some time to dial in the new tun. I’ve done worse that’s for sure.

178F lauter is a bit high but probably not enough to ruin it. I think the danger zone is over 180F even though most say 168F. Obviously next time account for this. If sparge pH was 5.2-5.6 you should be fine.

1.060 helles is not way off, a little high. Probably not even noticeable.

I think 1/2lb melanoidin is cool. Think the rule of thumb is 10% max. Doubt it will be too sweet at all. I like your strategy of adding the melanoidin for character.


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