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Old 11-20-2012, 04:57 PM   #1801
DeGarre
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In a 60 minute gentle rolling boil I gain 4 points.

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:25 PM   #1802
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We had a near catastrophe yesterday

When it came time to lift the malt pipe, I removed the wing nut and the top sieves and the grain under them suddenly rose, and before I could react, were 1/8" above the top of the malt pipe and grain was overflowing into the outer compartment.

I've figured out what happened. I brewed another batch of beer Sunday (a Brown Ale). When the system announced that the mashing process was complete. It waits for you to press a button acknowledging the message.... BUT it does not pause its processing until you acknowledge the message - at which time it prompts for removal of the malt pipe and pauses processing - including stopping the pump.

When the aforementioned, near-catastrophe, event occurred, and the system announced that the mashing process was complete, I erroneously assumed that it was paused. The wort was not overflowing the malt pipe, and the pump was off; but, apparently, just as I removed the malt pipe hold-down bow, the pump kicked on, and the wort and grain rose.

In a previous post I stated that I did not think the pump was on, but it had to be. In the excitement, I lost all awareness....
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:22 AM   #1803
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In a 60 minute gentle rolling boil I gain 4 points.
I gained 9 points in my previous brew with a 60 min boil. My pre boil gravity was 1.036 and OG 1.045. That's an increase of 20%, and with a 90 min boil I usually get around 28%. I have the 50l and the boiling temp set to 102 C.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:20 PM   #1804
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Default Less grain = more effieciency?

I've been using this system for a while and typically see 75-78% efficiency. I hadn't really given much thought to the flow through the grain as most of the grain bills were reasonably similar as far as total pounds.

Yesterday though, I brewed a mild which was about 8 pounds of grain in total including the specialty malts. This is for the 20 liter setup. My preboil gravity (and post boil) was about 9 points over what it should have been. As this is a low gravity/low alcohol beer that's quite a lot.

Could it be the grain had so much room in the malt tube that the efficiency was that much better? Has anyone else had this experience and if so do you adjust your efficiency assumptions?

I'm not particularly fussed about it as the beer will taste great and just be a brown ale. I could have added more water but I really only wanted 5 gallons at the end of the day. Just curious if anyone has had similar experiences.

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Old 11-22-2012, 08:58 AM   #1805
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@Refly

What was your efficiency for that last run?
How/what software are you calculating your efficiencies?
How/what size are you milling your grain?

With a grain bill of around 4 Kg (<9lb) and my BC set to 1.2mm (0.048") I typically get ~85% efficiency (using BeerSmith).

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Old 11-22-2012, 01:34 PM   #1806
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If you're hitting your final volume it doesn't really make sense that your chiller is leaking. To have no change in gravity from pre to post boil means you'd have to leak the same amount you've evaporated in which case your final volume would equal your starting volume. For the sake of being thorough you could try checking your hydrometer in a known sugar solution. Dissolve 10g of sugar in 90g of distilled water and see if it reads 1.040. Don't forget to adjust for whatever temperature your hydrometer is calibrated at.

Robert
I tested my hydrometer using your suggestion and the hydrometer was right on. I think I've figured out what's happening. I'm dealing with two issues:

1) BeerSmith calculates its predicted OG using batch volume NOT post-boil volume. Except for allowing for cooling shrinkage, how can the gravity change just by transferring the wort to the fermenter? You would think these numbers would be the same. Not so in BeerSmith. See

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17961&start=0

When I adjusted the numbers in BeerSmith it turns out my predicted pre-boil gravities changed and were not spot on as previously thought.

2) I sparge to the bring boil volume up to the planned pre-boil amount. I figure there must be a density gradient with all the heavy wort at the bottom of the tank and the lighter, newly sparged wort at the top. When I take my pre-boil sample I'm taking it through the BM spigot (with dip tube) getting nothing but the heavy stuff, basically getting a gravity reading of the pre-sparge density. This makes my pre-boil gravity readings higher than what the wort as an average really is. This would explain why my pre-boil and post-boil gravities appear to be about the same, I'm boiling off about the same amount that I sparged with leaving me with about the same gravity readings.

When I finish sparging my next batch I'm going to use a turkey baster and take samples from various depths in the tank and compare the results to see just how much of a gradient there is.

Thanks for the help.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Brian

Remember, Thanksgiving came about when the crew and passengers on the Mayflower stopped short of their intended destination because they ran out of beer. Therefore beer must be included in any truly traditional Thanksgiving celebration.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:36 AM   #1807
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I hit 85-90 % efficiency with my typical 4.5-5.5 kg grain bill, using 26 litres water to mash and 6 litres to rinse, but I do need to work hard for that efficiency:

1. rinse water is ~75 DegC
2. as soon as the mash is over and I have lifted the pipe to drain, and most of the wort is in the kettle, I move the malt pipe onto an upside down turned lid and buckets
3. sloooooooooow rinsing begins, 6 litres might take half an hour easily, I rotate the pipe a bit every now and then so fresh spot is on top of the slit hole in the lid
4. after a while I take off the top grill and sieve and while rinsing, poke the grain with a paddle and squeeze off liquid. Despite this wort stays clear
5. at some stage I switch buckets and use a kitchen sieve to pour wort into kettle so no loose grain goes in

A bit labour-intensive when I'd rather be sanitising FV's and tending to the yeast.

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Old 11-23-2012, 09:32 PM   #1808
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Well, I made the move and ordered a 50L Braumeister after deciding to move the brewery indoors. The good news: I ordered on 10/25 and FedEx delivered on 11/20 less than 4 weeks. The bad news: The box was in good shape, no visible damage to the box. When I unpacked it, the lower rear handle is pushed in, denting the tank at both welds and the handle weld is broke on one side. Talked to Thorsten, he was helpful and I am sending pictures. But a heads up- Thorsten said it's better to unpack in front of FedEx no matter if the box is in good shape in order to help him/Speidel to make a shipping claim. I'll follow up on how this is resolved.

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Old 11-23-2012, 10:53 PM   #1809
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Originally Posted by DeGarre View Post
I hit 85-90 % efficiency with my typical 4.5-5.5 kg grain bill, using 26 litres water to mash and 6 litres to rinse, but I do need to work hard for that efficiency:
Have you checked your gravity before you start sparging to see how your gravity changes throughout the sparge? I've noticed that when I mash with around 5 Kg and have my mash efficiency set on 78%, I'll hit my gravity with +/- 2 points without any rinsing. I'd rather throw in a couple hundred more grams of malt to make up for my efficiency, then to waste half an hour sparging, just to get those few extra percentages.

When talking homebrewing you really don't need to worry about mash effiency. Anything over 60% and you'll be allright. I would be more concerned about pre boil gravity, knowing your boil (evaporation rate) etc.

I'm still trying to dial in all my 50l. On my last brew, my target OG was 1.046 and I hit 1.045, but my pre boil gravity was only 1.036. I still got -1 point from my target OG because i had a huge evaporation rate (20%) on a 60 min boil @ 102 C, which I think is way too much.

I personally wouldn't care even if my mash efficiency dropped down to 65% as long as I hit my preboil gravity, and my evaporation rate stayed at around 10% on a 60 min boil. I'v had some problems with my lighter beers turning out somewhat cloying, even if I just used a small amount of crystal malts. The only thing I can think of, is that the too vigorous boil crystallizes the sugars contributing to a heavier mouthfeel.

But as I said, I'm still dialin in the system. Next time I do a similar batch I'm gonna set my boil temp to 100 C just to see if it makes any difference. I'd might also have to lower my efficiency a bit to make up for the lost evaporation rate.

There's really nothing more I can do then to brew more, and take precise notes on everything that goes on during the brew day. When I get my system dialed in, that's when I finally can start fine tuning my recipes.


Damn this Nøgne ø imperial Stout is making me drunk.



Edit: Got this new wingnut that a friend made (he actually made me two) .



No more do I need to worry about the small Spiedel nut dropping into the wort when removing the screens to stir the mash.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:53 AM   #1810
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I'd rather throw in a couple hundred more grams of malt to make up for my efficiency, then to waste half an hour sparging, just to get those few extra percentages.
me too. i try to walk the line between high grain load and higher efficiency only when making big beers and not wanting to overload the pipe. i got burned a couple times early on, overloading the pipe and losing efficiency big time. i always sparge but i don't wait around long for it. when i sparge i let the main flow drain into the pot, then remove the malt pipe to a separate pot. whatever collects in there in the time it takes to get the wort to a boil, i add to the pot, depending on how my pre-boil volume is looking. i wonder if you start to pick up astringency if you over-sparge, like everyone says you do? for me it's not worth finding out. i'd rather fine tune with dme

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Damn this Nøgne ø imperial Stout is making me drunk.
awesome beer
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