The brew day started off with a little hiccup with the mill. The drill I use to motorize it seems to want to not catch the shaft properly all the time which means the shaft starts to slip here or there. I have to stop the drill, tighten, and then go back and mill. I am wondering if this is part of my issue lately with efficiency (more on that later). I used to double crush grains and I think I may start going back to that shortly.
Mash in was great, the temps I was looking for hit dead on at 153 degrees Fahrenheit. I used a paper towel to cover the front opening of the cooler where I could see steam coming out and I attributed to my major heat loss last time. Happy to report that I only lost 2 degrees in the hour mash this time. Below are some pics of the first runnings. The coloring of the runoff was great, a really nice burnt orange. The second runnings were obviously lighter but the mixture should get me the exact SRM I was looking for. I decided to use a darker Crystal this time and use less, so I went with Crystal 120L.
Once the runoff was done I went ahead and got the kettle boiling, did my hop additions, etc. It was a typical boil with no real issues at all. This round I really wanted to try out the plate chiller that I have been testing and plumbing up to the rig. I hooked up the plate chiller inline with all of the fittings when the boil was over. I had sanitized it earlier with starsan using gravity from a bucket so I know it was clean inside. I also baked it a week or two earlier to sterilize it at 350 degrees for a few hours. I started the runoff and within about 3-4 seconds it stopped. I knew this could only be one thing: CLOG. I tried a few different things to get it going but in the end it wasn't successful. Luckily I was prepared and I had my immersion chiller ready to go. I submerged it in starsan and let it sit a few minutes and then put it in the pot and chilled the wort to 68 degrees.
Here are some more pics of the failed chiller and the rest of brew day. I was a bit low on gravity and I think that is attributed to the milling issue potentially. I hit 1.060 instead of 1.068 which was what was expected. I have been doing a lot of reading on no sparge brewing, Mash in a Bag, Brew in a Bag, whatever people want to call it. The premise is that you line your kettle with a bag, heat a full water boil plus water to account for absorption, and then put the milled grain in. You basically mash in your kettle. I like this because there is time savings involved and the ability to use a lot less gear. The only rub is you need to use a little more grain in your grain bills and figure out your efficiency. You also need to get the right bag. Check back in a few weeks for what may be my first Brew in a Bag or Mash in a Bag brew!