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American Wheat (1st time - all grain) does this make sense?

I’m new and just want someone to tell me if what I am doing makes sense. I got my ingredients from NB.

I have 8 lbs of grain.

Step 1. So I took 3 gal of water (8 lbs of grain x 1.25 = 12 qts = 3 gal of water) and heated it to 165 deg, so it would be approx 154 deg in the tun. (it was…perfectly on temp). I soaked it in the tun with the grain for 1 hour and drained it into what will be the boil kettle. I got 2 gal of wort out of the tun.

Step 2. Right after I drained the wort in step 1, I took 4.5 gal of water (1.5 x what I used in step 1) that I had heated to 170 deg F and I added it to the tun with the wet grain that I had just drained. I let that sit for about 10 - 12 minutes.

Then I drained it out of the tun to add to the boil kettle, I got 4.5 gal out (I think because the grain was saturated from Step 1).

HERE IS MY QUESTION…the wort than I drained the 2nd time (4.5 gal) was very thin and watery. My concern is:…this is a much larger volume of liquid than I got out of the tun in Step 1 that sat for an hour. Is this correct…or is my beer going to be severly diluted now?

Help please.

Thanks,
Newbie.

Well…you know what? I think I was worried about nothing. My wort is 45 minutes into the 60 minute boil. It smells amazing! Am I the only one who absolutely loves the smell of boiling wort? My wife hates it. She says it stinks up the house. I think it’s heavenly!

I think the color is okay too. After I added the cascade hops for the last 15 min the smell sweetened up substantially, but I think it’s going to be just fine. We’ll see when I take my OG, but at this point I am not worried any more.

I am curious though…if I did something wrong in the process I described above, please let me know.

Thanks,
Drennen

You process looks good.

I like to use 170* water. Allow that to cool in the MT, preheating the insulation. When it reaches 160*, add the grain. This usually will drop the temp to 150* when the grain is ~65*.

8lbs of grain seems a little light. Guessing that you OG will be around 1.040. Not a bad thing if that was what your are looking for.

And yes, your 2nd runnings will have a thinner consistency and contain less sugar. You can use this to your advantage to make a “big” beer with your 1st runnings. Then make a “session” beer with your 2nd runnings when you max out the amount of grain you can fit in the MT.

There is not necessarily a right or wrong way to to the initial strike, but I generally shoot for closer to 50% of the boil volume needed. Within a gallon or so. In your process, I would have added about a gallon or 1.5 more to the first runnings.

Pretty solid process. The only things I would do differently would be (a) as Nighthawk says, preheat your MLT so it will hold temp better during the 60 minute mash time (b) increase your strike water ratio to 1.5-2 quarts per gallon in order to get better efficiency.

Why do you want better efficiency? The primary benefit is that, you can use less grain to achieve the same OG, thereby decreasing per batch cost slightly.

Out of curiosity, what was your OG?

Edit: I just noticed your original post contains either a typo or a math error. 8 (lbs grain) * 1.25 (quarts per pound) = 10 quarts, not 12. If you used 12 quarts, you actually hit 1.5 quarts per pound, which is good. Personally I tend to use 1.75 quarts per pound these days, which would get you closer to what 560sdl suggested.

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