Plan, Do, Study, Act – Lauter Lessons

At work I’m a big fan of Walter Shewart and W. Edwards Deming. Shewart invented the PDCA model and Deming the PDSA model. Basically, it’s all about trying things, seeing if it works, taking good notes and making small adjustments. This is very applicable to homebrewing as you need to continually learn from mistakes and make adjustments. Here are some things I recently learned and am ready to try:

  1. From watching some videos on Youtube and reading the “How to Brew” book. I learned that I’m not using enough mash water. I was using 1qt/pound of malt. It really needs to be 1.25-2.00. I’ll try 2.0 next time. Hopefully that will help me raise my OG, which was way too low at 1.038 last brew.
  2. Flow Adjusters for my hoses. I constantly am adjusting the flow of water from my sparge tank and mash tun. If you add a little home clamp to each one, you can get them in sync pretty well. I bought two of them yesterday. I’ll practice moving water soon so that I have it nailed down before my next brew date. I’ll be adjusting it to flow at 1qt/3minutes.  I have been sparging too fast lately.
  3. Re-Circulation is really important. I have only been doing it once or twice. I need to do it until the wort comes out clear. Also, when you pour the wort back into the tun, you need to do it gently, without disturbing the mash bed. I have been pouring it too violently. Maybe I’ll get a watering can. I also confirmed my suspicion that stirring is bad and that 1-2″ of water on top of the mash bed is good.
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