Hello AHA. It's been a while since I posted here, but I have been on a brewing hiatus for the past few months while my wife and I prepared to move into our first house. Since it is a brand new house, and she didn't want me brewing in the kitchen, she gave me the full support to convert from extract and partial mash to all grain. This weekend i brewed my first two batches - Two hefeweizens for an upcoming party.
The brew day went as planned and I didn't have any more troubles than expected for working with a new set up, however, on both batches my OG came out significantly lower than anticipated. Beersmith told me 1.055 and I got around 1.043-1.045 on both batches. While it's not a huge concern to me, I would like to know where I can improve my process. Here is what I did:
10lb grain (6# wheat, 3# pils, 1#munich, hefty scoop of rice hulls - figure 0.5 lb) - Grain was crushed by my LHBS.
1 oz German Hallertauer @ 60 min
Mash @ 1.4 qt/gal for 60 min - 152 deg F (14.00 qt)
Batch sparge with 4.2 gal of water - 168 deg F
Total boil volume = 6.5 gallons. Boil 60 min, chilled to 70 and pitched a 1.2L starter of WY 3068
Anticipated OG: 1.055
So as I said before, my OG came in around 1.043-1.045 for each batch. While 152 was my target mash temp, I only ended up hitting 149-150. I didn't preheat the mash tun, and I think I could heat my strike water up to a higher temp. (I only was going to 164).
After the 60 min mash, I recirculated about 2 quarts of wort and drained the tun into the kettle. Added my sparge water (at 168), mixed thoroughly (at least what I considered thorough), recirculated another 2 qts, and drained for a total boil volume of 6.5 gallons. I had no stuck sparges, but there was some liquid left in the bottom of the tun (expected dead volume?)
My mash tun is a 52qt cooler with SS Braid.
I believe my lack of OG can be attributed to the mash but I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what I could change.
Edit: I did not see a previous post on almost the same topic, so I'll read through that but feedback would be appreciated nonetheless.