Your First All-Grain Batch
Starting the Mash
1. Heat up enough water to conduct the mash. At a water to grain ratio of 1.5:1 qt./lb., the amount would be 12.5 quarts or about 3 gallons. Always make more, you will often need it. Heat up 4 gallons if you can. At a ratio of 1.5:1, the initial infusion temperature should 163°F to create a mash temperature of 152°F. (See Chapter 16 - Mash Methods for the infusion calculations.)
2. Preheat the cooler with some hot water, about a gallon. Swirl it around to heat up the cooler and then dump it. Preheating will prevent initial heat loss from the mash to the tun.
3. Pour in about 1 gallon of your strike water into the Mash Tun and stir in the crushed grain. This is the doughing-in stage. Mix the water and grist together gradually to avoid shocking the enzymes. Stir it to make sure all the grain is fully wetted, but don't splash. Hot side aeration can occur anytime the wort is hotter than 80°F. Oxidation of wort compounds will not be affected by the subsequent boil, and will cause flavor stability problems later.
4. Check the temperature to see if it has stabilized at the target temperature range of 150 - 155°F. If the temperature is too low, ex. 145 °F, add some more hot water. If it is too high, ex. 160°F, then add cold water to bring it down. 155°F is the highest we want for this recipe. It will yield a sweet, full bodied wort.
5. Okay, the mash temperature came out a little low (148°F) so I am adding 2.5 quarts of hot water to bring it up to 152°F.