My first brew day was probably my smoothest. I had almost no idea what I was doing and neither did my brother who was helping, but with both of us working on it, things went quite well. All my brew days since I’ve been doing it by myself and it’s often a bit of crazy scurrying about the kitchen.
My last brew day was probably my worst so far. I did a partial mash with about 8.5# of grain via BIAB and discovered that a strainer to fit the top of my pot would have made life a LOT easier. I also discovered that the pot I use for a quick “dunk” sparge is not large enough to handle that much grain. To compound matters, my efficiency was lower than it’s been in the past, by a lot. I had got most of the grain from a somewhat local LHBS and had it ground there instead of ordering through NB and I think that may have had something to do with efficiency. While I was at the LHBS I thought about getting a pound or two of light DME but decided against it since I was already stretching my budget. So while I got the boil going, I tried to re-mash the grains in hopes of squeezing another couple points out.
When I had the boil done and chilling, I bottled the beer in my secondary, racked my primary to the secondary, partially cleaned the primary, split the yeast cake and did a 10 minute boil on the water that I re-mashed with. Got it all in the primary and managed to come close to my anticipated original gravity. Made for a 9-hour marathon plus I still had to clean everything up. I called it a night around 1am.