I recently picked up a 10 gal megapot (with ball-valve, brewmometer, and false bottom) as a MLT alternative to my 5-gallon beverage cooler. Before yesterday’s batch-sparging experience I had fly-sparged my 5 gallon batches. I have a few thoughts and concerns about my experience to share, and greatly welcome any suggestions.
Yesterday I brewed a pilsner with 8.5 lbs of grain. It was nice to have the ability to step-mash, however it wasn’t quite as smooth sailing dealing with the volumes of the new MLT.
Step 1. Heat the water
- Brought 7 gallons to 170
- Drained 4 gallons into beverage cooler to keep for sparging
- Add 2 gallons of low temp water to 3 gallons in MLT to bring mash water to 5gal @ ~123F
Step 2. Add 8.5 lb grain
- The resulting volume barely covered the brewmometer. Am I using the right equipment, or is it designed for different batch sizes??
- Stir occasionally
- Follow mash schedule
- Raise to mash out temp
- Vorlauf - *** I saw LOTS of chunks of grain, and it never really came out as clear as with my beverage cooler MLT. Should I be concerned about this stuff getting into my kettle? Is my crush too small for the false bottom?
- Collected ~4 gallons of first runnings (tipped the mash tun a bit to drain)
- Add 3 more gallons of 170F and stir. ** This was difficult, since 2 gallons of that went straight through the false bottom.
Step 7 →
- Drain for pre-boil volume just shy of my intended 6.66 gal
With my original setup I could easily mash at the usual 1.yadda qt/lb. However, with the megapot the 2 gallons of space below the false bottom simply won’t allow for that volume. I found myself mashing with 5 gal of water just to get the level above the brewmometer. I’m not too worried about this, since BIAB folks are doubling that amount with good results. However it makes me wonder if I’m using the right equipment for the job.
My two biggest concerns are:
Grain particles making their way into the boil kettle.
Dealing with the effects of the 2 gallon space below the false bottom.
As I wrote above, if anyone has any comments or suggestions feel free to let fly.