« on: March 03, 2013, 03:25:38 AM »
Your first AG session went better than mine. A few random thoughts: forget about the iodine. The grain wants to convert in the worst way. I've heard rumors that conversion is far shorter than 60 minutes. You probably didn't need to sparge so much since you added extra hot water to keep the mash temp up. If you have to do that again, let the cooler drain a while before starting the sparge. Keeping the mash temp steady in a cooler is a pain and a crap-shoot at best. I mash in the kettle. I stir about every 15 minutes and add heat as needed. I can keep an exact mash temp and step mash/mashout as needed. The next step is to transfer the grain with a 1-gallon pitcher to the cooler and then re-circulate. The big kettles are a pain to clean. I have to set them on the counter beside the sink or when the weather is warm, used the garden hose and a scrub pad outside. I know with my system, compensating for the hot wort temp (150F) and the wort loss from boil off, that my OG will be 30 points more than the reading before the boil. I just sparge until my gravity is 30 points lower than my target gravity, so I hit it perfectly all the time.