Hi, my name is Chris Cuzme. I am a long-time member and current president of the New York City Home Brewer's Guild. I've been home brewing since about 2001, and I love it. I'm crazy addicted to it, and I'm happy to share it with you today. I'm also part of the New York City Degustation Advisory Team which I formed with my partner, Mary Izett, NYCDAT.com. I'll be showing you how to home brew today. Cheers!
Mashing tips. If you're using a cooler such as this, or even one that's square, flood coolers, before you mash in take hot water, fill it with hot water, generally about 170 degrees at best or if you can't even go that high it's okay. But fill it with water so that it starts getting prepped for maintaining your temperature. And then just before the mash, dump it out and then deal with your mash.
Also there's a really great product that I like for my water. I find I get a greater mash efficiency when I use. I don't work for them, but I like what it does for my mash consistency and that is a product called 5.2. Basically it's this chemical, or maybe two chemicals. One has the superpower of being able to raise pH levels while the other has the ability to lower pH levels, but somehow they agree on 5.2 which is perfect for us.
Thirdly, if you're malting, pressing your own malt, get yourself a drill. It saves a lot of time and energy for your right arm.