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Help with what went wrong


Feb 17, 2016
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Hello newby here trying to figure out what went wrong with a partial mash kit I brewed last night. Set up my equipment profile with intentions to move to all grain after a few partial mash recipes. I successfully brewed 5 extracts thus far. I have a 10al brew kettle and a 10gal round (yellow industrial) igloo cooler with a ss valve and a 12" bazooka strainer.  I brewed Surley Bender partial mash kit from Northern and added 1# cherrywood smoked malt to the grains. I wanted to get a feel for mashing in my cooler, so I followed beersmith's single infusion medium body batch sparge brew steps. The total grain weight was 6.66 and I mashed with 8.57qrt water at 53F for 60 min. In 60 min my water temp dropped down to 147F. First runnings gravity came in at 1.083. After vorlauf, I sparged with 5.14gal at 168F. after vorlauf gravity was 1.025 and my preboil volume was 1 gallon over. Beersmith directions say "Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, 5.14) of 168F water. Was I supposed to divide the 5.14gal of water by 2 (2.57gal) and sparge twice? I was under the impression that batch sparging was usually one sparge after draining the mash.

The recipe target preboil gravity was 1.060. I was at 1.035, and a gallon over volume. I boiled the full volume down for 90 minutes and after adding the DME and LME my gravity came in at 1.065. Post boil gravity target was 1.070. This was the most frustrating brew day I ever had. I didn't even finish my glass of Rodenbach, caus I was to stressed out over not being able to figure out what went wrong. Was it a a bad idea to mash in my cooler? I did preheat my cooler, but couldn't hold a steady temp. I was hoping to brew another partial mash recipe on Sun, but I'm hesitant to use beersmith and my current equipment. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated