Chocolate Imperial Stout

I grabbed the opportunity to brew a batch, this time I decided to aim for 6 gallons to see how my mash would turn out.  I have always filled my mash to the max and I wondered if this was preventing water from heating up the whole volume of grain.

Total weight of grain was 16 lbs, which left plenty of space in my mash tun.  Unfortunately, my thermometer no longer works and I found out this on my brew day so I had to get my floating thermometer and use it.  The mash temperature began at 160F and after one hour it was at 150F.  May have lost heat from frequently opening my mash to stir and check the temperature.  Either way, my target temperature was 158F so I did not complain.

I used my 1.6 litre of 1056 American Ale starter with my batch ended up with 5 gallon, and for the heck of it, dumped the remaining trub and liquid (approx 1.5 gallon) from the kettle into a smaller fermeter along with the yeast cake from the starter.

O.G. was 1.052, way off!  I was hoping to get something in the 1.084 range.  Either 1) my barley crusher did not crush the malt efficiently 2) something went wrong during the mash or 3) the malt was not fresh?

The 5 gallon did not start fermenting immediately, the trub began fermenting like crazy so I transferred 1/2 gallon of the fermenting trub to the 5 gallon batch.  That got things kicking in no time.

After 7 days, yeast activity was not visible, gravity reading was at 1.010.  Transferred to secondary and plan to bottle after 7 more days (which should be tomorrow)!

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