Approaching noon here at FSB, the OSP is apparently done fermenting, finishing out at 1.012 (3º Plato). With the OG around 1.050, I think this one has come out OK. It wouldn't be homebrewing without the fretting and worrying, but I should probably have more confidence in my skills. At least I should realize that these modern, well-modified malts are pretty damn idiot-proof. Next time I will dough-in with much warmer liquor in the small pot on the hot plate, then dump it in the mash tun. With the higher start point, adding boiling liquor should bring the whole thing up closer to the conversion temperatures, then I can "de-coct" a much smaller portion. That way I can play with the old-fashioned technique but not depend on it quite so much. If I can thoroughly soak and pre-heat 2 pounds of grain or so at a time (in 1-1/2 pints of water) and slowy build up a full mash, I think I will finally start to see some better yields and more consistent malt flavor. I'm going to try the bazooka screen in the bottom of my horizontal cooler. Then I can mash and lauter in the same vessel, and can "no-sparge," "batch-sparge," or just plain sparge to my heart's content. Here's the picture from William's Brewing:
a.d. VII Kal. Mar.