Jan 11, 2017 by Steve

Q: I was wondering why there must be a minimum of 4.5 gallons of mash water. I would think you could get more efficiency by mashing with a normal amount of water and sparging with more (like 3 gal mash water and 4 gallon sparge water for 8 lbs of grain).

A: Yes you can do this, and it will be a bit more efficient. If you mix your mash with say 3 gallons of mash water for 8 pounds of grain, it will be a bit dry at the start, but just open the valve and pour a half gallon from the bottom on top of the mash and stir before starting the mash. We have found it also helps after a half hour to again pour a half gallon or so from the bottom, and then pour it in the top and stir.

Jan 08, 2017 by Corey

Q: I keep getting an "err4" when I try to start the heating process. This happened at the end of my first brew with this, and is happening from the start as I try it again today. Is there a way to clear this error??

A: err4 is the thermostat telling you the unit is dry which turns off the element to prevent element damage. This err4 can also be triggered by stirring in malt extract to the unit, and having the syrup cover the thermostat which will trigger the error. Also, if organic matter or a grain bag is resting on the thermostat, this error might occur. To clear the error and get back to brewing, eliminate the dry condition or remove the obstruction from above the thermostat and press the reset button on the bottom of the unit.

Jan 07, 2017 by David Sharkus

Q: Do you have a relative mash efficiency with the normal practice as described (with sparging) and a relative mash efficiency without sparging (using as a BIAB).

A: No we do not, we are working on various studies, such how the thickness of the mash affects efficiency. What we have found to date is that very thick mashes seem to be efficient that more liquid ones. For example, we have mashed 16 pounds of malt two ways. The first time, we used 6 gallons of strike water and 2 gallons of sparge water and ended up with a 5 gallon batch with a starting gravity of 1.072. The next time, we brewed the same batch, only using 5 gallons of strike water but 3 gallons of sparge water. We ended up with a starting gravity of 1.084. We are continuing research on this!

Jan 03, 2017 by John

Q: Does the kettle have enough capacity so that the full volume of water can be used during the mash, and use the grain basket in place of a bag to do something similar to BIAB? This would eliminate the need to heat sparge water separately.

A: Interesting question. We have not tested this but the vessel holds 7.5 gallons, and if you had a smaller grain bill (say 10 to 12 pounds) you might be able to do this. This is on our list of things to try.

Dec 31, 2016 by Todd

Q: Can a bag still be used to contain all the grain? Can the outside of the kettle get wet?

A: You could use a bag inside the sparging basket if you like. We do not think it would be worthwhile to use a bag instead of the stainless sparging basket, as you loose the advantage of having the basket sit on top of the Mash & Boil which makes sparging easy. The outside of the Mash & and Boil should be protected from getting wet. It has waterproofed switches but is not intended to get wet or be immersed.

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