So, I attempted my first all grain yesterday, and have some questions.
First, my efficiency was about 68%, which I consider great for my first time, but I’d like to bring that way up. Since I have no mill (used the LHBS mill) let’s skip grain crush and move on to temp and pH:
Strike water temp was 170, dough in temp was about 158, which I got down to 154 in 10 minutes using ice cubes. After 40 minutes, temp had dropped to around 144 (due at least in part to 3 chalk additions). I brought this back up to 149 for the last 15 - 20 minutes of the mash. Then I drained fully and added 168* batch sparge water, which hit 154* on the nose after mixing. I let that sit for a good 20 - 30 minutes before draining, but forgot to add chalk. The questions here are:
- Did mash temp drop enough to significantly reduce efficiency?
- I have very low alkalinity (19 ppm residual); did the lack of sparge adjustment screw me up?
- Is mash efficiency in any way a gauge of fermentables in the wort, or is FG the best indicator?
Finally, the beer came out significantly darker than predicted by the Beer Calculus recipe builder
. Does anyone know if that tool commonly under-shoots SRM predictions? Or, was I wrong to assume that the Maillard reaction is less of a factor with AG vs. extract?
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