Yes, step mashing is changing the temperature at set intervals while mashing. These intervals are known as 'rests'. The steps usually start with a Beta glucanase rest and finish with a 'mash out'. For detailed instructions consult our product manual, and follow mash recipe instructions for your mash schedule.
We recommend using PBW cleaner and a soft bristle brush to clean Unibräu. It's designed to work with stainless steel and will remove burnt on proteins from the element and kettle. For more information about how to clean Unibräu, consult the product manual.
It should take roughly 30 minutes to get to a boil from mash out temperature of 168ºF.
The more you use Unibräu, the better you'll get. A big factor to efficiency is the size of your grain bill, the crush, and your recipe. We've seen as high as the low 80% range when full volume mashing, and even higher when adding in a sparge step.
The counterflow plate chiller that is included with Unibräu is designed to run the wort directly into the fermenter. Recirculate the chiller only for the first 5 minutes of use, while still at boil temperature to sanitize the inside of the plate chiller. Adjust the flow using the ball valve on the kettle, and pump the chilled wort directly into your fermenter.
You can brew as small as 3 gallon batches with Unibräu, and we recommend no larger than 6 gallons.
The probe placement in Unibräu is designed for optimal placement while mashing. As the wort approaches boil, the temperature will stratify in the kettle, meaning that it boils at the surface, and reads a lower temperature near the bottom of the kettle.
It's worth noting that when the controller is in 'boil' mode, the controller is bypassed, so you shouldn't worry as long as you see that the wort is boiling.
The maximum grain bill that we recommend is 20 lbs. We recommend adding the grains slowly and stirring to avoid clumping and dough balls.
We recommend an ideal crush size of between .039” and .045”. In fact, with a recirculating system such as the Unibräu a coarser crush is recom- mended, closer to the 0.045” roller gap of your grain mill. With too fine of a grain crush, you may experience stuck mashes, and lost sugar conver- sion ability, because of the impeded flow through the grain bed.