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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through September 04, 2007 * Help with effeciency < Previous Next >

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John Bueltel
Junior Member
Username: Hb92

Post Number: 84
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 12.215.64.43
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 11:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In need those that have some experience in brewing to look at my method and figure out why I am not getting higher than 55-60% efficiency. I am still doing a partial mash. Here is my last grain bill:

4lbs. American two row
.75 lbs Dextrine malt
.25 Crystal 90L

Here is my method. I do a batch sparge.
o Preheat Mash Tun, hot tap water 30 mi. prior to mash in.
o Heat, 1.5 qt per lb of grain (170)
o Place heated water in Mash Tun (add 1 tsp 5.2 Stabilizer)
o Mash in and stir
o Check and adjust temp to 152
o Hold 60 mins.
o Vorlauf 6 qts or until clear
o Draw off all water to kettle
o Add sparge water, 175 1.1 qt. per lb., to mash tun and stir
o Check and adjust temp to 168
o Hold 10 minn
o Vorlauf 6 qts or until clear
o Draw off all wort to kettle

Is this as good as I can get with this method?
 

Sand
Intermediate Member
Username: Sand

Post Number: 319
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 209.173.170.10
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 11:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What is the batch size and were is the rest of the malt? I've never done a partial mash but the way I read your recipe you are missing the malt extract. Maybe I'm missing something.
 

John Bueltel
Junior Member
Username: Hb92

Post Number: 85
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 12.215.64.43
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 12:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do have 5 lbs of DME in this recipe but did not include it in the post because it is added later to what I draw off the mash. My batch size is 5.5 gals.
 

Sand
Intermediate Member
Username: Sand

Post Number: 320
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 209.173.170.10
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 12:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have you at 1.064 at 75% eff and what did you end up with? At 55% I have you at 1.058. What were you shooting for as an OG?
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4746
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.27.158.31
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 02:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How is your grain being crushed?

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John Bueltel
Junior Member
Username: Hb92

Post Number: 86
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 12.215.64.43
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 03:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was shooting for .061 and ended up with 0.51. I get my grain already crushed from Austin Homebrew.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4747
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.27.158.31
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you can easily see uncrushed corns in your grist, it is being undercrushed.

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John Bueltel
Junior Member
Username: Hb92

Post Number: 87
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 12.215.64.43
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 12:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have not seen any uncrushed grains...their crush is not very fine though. I may try crushing the grain again on the next batch to get it bit finer and see if that helps.
 

Bill Walton
Member
Username: Vladie

Post Number: 197
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 67.187.98.169
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 01:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Have you taken a gravity reading of your last runnings? My gut tells me that only sparging with 5 quarts of water is leaving you with a lot of residual sugar in the mash. While you have to be careful not to oversparge so as to not end up with astringent beer, you can safely run off down to 1.010 before this would become a problem.

BW
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4748
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.27.158.31
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good point, Bill.

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John Bueltel
Junior Member
Username: Hb92

Post Number: 88
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 12.215.64.43
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 02:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By running it down to 1.010 you mean adding sparge water enough so the wort that is drawn off at sparge reads that. When I add my initial 5 quarts (or more) do vorlauf and draw off...take hydrometer reading. If I am not at 1.010 can I run an additional quart or more through until I get that reading.
 

michael atkins
Advanced Member
Username: Mga

Post Number: 588
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 71.214.30.231
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 04:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"By running it down to 1.010 you mean adding sparge water enough so the wort that is drawn off at sparge reads that. When I add my initial 5 quarts (or more) do vorlauf and draw off...take hydrometer reading. If I am not at 1.010 can I run an additional quart or more through until I get that reading."

Yes you can. And if you consider this extra sugar in the boil it can increase your gravity to the fermenter.

Good call Bill W.
Love This Hobby!

http://msnusers.com/micksbrewery
 

Rob Farrell
Intermediate Member
Username: Robf

Post Number: 456
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.50.104.138
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 08:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pre-boil gravity and length of boil would be useful to this discussion.
 

Sand
Intermediate Member
Username: Sand

Post Number: 322
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 209.173.170.10
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 01:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Rob, he is shooting for 5.5 gallons you can boil water out of it all day but once he hits 5.5 gallons he will end up with the same numbers.
 

John Bueltel
Junior Member
Username: Hb92

Post Number: 89
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 12.215.64.43
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 03:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My preboil gravity was 1.040. That was just the 3.25 gals of wort from the mash. I added DME and water, boiled 4.5 gals for 70 min. and added even more water at end to bring volume up to 5.5 gal.
 

John Baer
Member
Username: Beerman

Post Number: 209
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 141.158.20.2
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 02:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John,
When I first started doing AG I had the same problem and didn't really see a measurable increase or, more importantly IMHO, consistency in my efficiency until I bought a mill and started crushing the grain myself. Initially I was all over the board from low 40's to mid 60's, that was having my LHBS crush the grain. Since I invested in a mill I've settled in around 75% doing a batch sparge.

JB
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4752
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 03:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John's experience is very common. Far and away the primary cause of poor efficiency, especially among new all-grain brewers, is a poor crush. There is a fear of stuck mashes that makes them use a shy crush. Denny says,"Crush it until you get scared!"

A lot of homebrew shops undercrush because a lot of brewers expect a coarse crush and live with the efficiency hit. That, and the mills in a lot of shops are hard to adjust and they would rather just leave the gap alone no matter what the grain is.

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David Lewinnek
Intermediate Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 338
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 198.51.251.205
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are three causes I can think of for poor efficiency:

1. Un-dissolved sugars left with the spent grain
2. Dissolved sugars left with the spent grain
3. Too few sugars in the grain to start with

In my experience, #1 is the most common, usually caused by intact grains where the insides don't get wet. You can fix this one with a finer crush.

#2 is caused by the wort from sparging that stays with the grains, including the wort in "dead spaces" beneath a false bottom. You can fix this one by re-designing your mash tun to reduce dead spaces, adding more batches to your batch sparge, or fly sparging.

#3 is pretty rare in my experience. I suppose it could be caused by bad grain or bad mash temps, but the one time a broken thermometer caused me to mash at 170 I got decent efficiency, but really poor attenuation when I fermented it.

In the end, getting a high efficiency is less important than getting good beer. In fact, if you look at commercial beers, you might find an inverse relationship between efficiency and quality, where large megabreweries like Bud, Miller and Coors have the highest efficiencies but a nearly tasteless end product.
 

Steve Jones
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 333
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 199.190.8.12
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 03:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How are you figuring your efficiency? It is simply this: actual extract divided by maximum potential extract. You know what the potential is from the grain bill, and you know what the actual is (recorded volume @ recorded gravity).

The maximum potential of each grain is:
4 lbs Am Pale at 36 pppg = 144 pts
.75 lb Dextrine at 33 pppg = 25 pts
.25 lb C90 at 33 pppg = 8 pts, for a total of 177 pts.

You got 130 pts (3.25 gal @ 1.040), so your efficiency is 130/177, or 73.4%.

Nothing wrong with that.
 

John Bueltel
Junior Member
Username: Hb92

Post Number: 90
Registered: 06-2006
Posted From: 12.215.64.43
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 12:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good points made here, thanks to all. I will pay closer attention to the crush. After looking at Steve's numbers I am feeling better about my efficiency, maybe I do know what I am doing after all...except when it comes to the calculating.
 

Bill Walton
Member
Username: Vladie

Post Number: 198
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 67.187.98.169
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 12:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do have to question your ability to get 3.25 gallons of wort based on the method you described. That would mean that you are extracting every ounce of water that you put into the mash. Based on the default grain absorbtion rates on ProMash you are probably getting closer to 2.25-2.5 gallons of wort from the 3.25 gallons you are putting in. This would lead to a 50-57% efficiency for a gravity of 1.040.

I return to my earlier suggestion: if you are able to extract runnings that are clearly above 1.010 from your mash, use more sparge water. I am assuming that you are just adding water to the kettle to make up the volume you need to reach your pre-boil target, so why not heat some up, run it through the mash and get some more sugar out?

BW
 

gregory gettman
Advanced Member
Username: Gregman

Post Number: 580
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 204.60.184.1
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 02:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

WHY WOULD ANYONE DO A PARTIAL MASH?

It's all the work and only half the grain. You may get a better run off if you use grain for the total G. I know on some systems if too few lbs of grain are used it lowers the EFF%. A few more lbs might help to set up the grain bed for a more uniform run off.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4754
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 03:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I sorta skipped the partial mash phase considering that it took as long as all-grain yet still used expensive extract. I see it advantages over all-grain as marginal - maybe smaller equipment or something.

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