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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Speidel Braumeister (brewmaster)
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:06 PM   #1811
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Originally Posted by Batfink View Post
.....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....
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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.
I like that

With a grain bill of up to 4.5 Kg and my BC set to 1.2mm (0.048") I typically get ~85% efficiency using BeerSmith. Counterintuitively, I found that a coarser crack improved my efficiency. I have recently started adding 50-100g of rice - hulls but I’m not sure how much this helps.

Reasoning that improved wort flow through the grain bed is behind the improvement in efficiency, I now always fill to the 30L mark which gives me 25-26L pre-boil without sparging – just draining the malt pipe. I think it results in a further few points because the flow through the grain bed is faster with the reduced lift required - the wort level in the kettle is higher. There is also the added bonus of clearer wort at the start of the boil.

Even with a 90 minute boil I always end up with maybe 3 or 4L after filling a corny. No problem, I enjoy the bottle-conditioned version too.

When I have done a second similar type mash the same day, I have sparged the grains into a bucket and added it to the next mash . I suppose I could also sparge maybe 4L and freeze it in plastic containers for future use if I were THAT concerned about efficiencies.

BUT this is complicating the procedure after buying the rig for its ease and simplicity of operation. I’m still beating my previous efficiencies (with 5usg Igloo and 10usg Rubbermaid coolers with SS false bottoms) WITHOUT sparging. Unlike some locations, grain is cheap enough here that the extra cost involved is negligible.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:25 PM   #1812
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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).
87% according to iBrewmaster. I have eeked out 80% plus with a longer mash, but this was just 60 minutes so I expected more in the 75% range which is what I normally get with a larger grain bill for that amount of time.

I'm still at the factory default on the mill as I've never had to change the crush. Unfortunately I'm not sure what the setting is. That being said it's the same crush I always use so it wasn't one of the variables.

Do you change your estimation of efficiency based on the size of the grain bill or has it remained constant for you? It could be I had some other variable change that I'm not accounting for so I'm trying to figure out if this was a one-off experience or if I should expect a better efficiency with less grain.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #1813
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87% according to iBrewmaster. I have eeked out 80% plus with a longer mash, but this was just 60 minutes so I expected more in the 75% range which is what I normally get with a larger grain bill for that amount of time.
I think 87% is about as good as it gets for most of us. That number gets lower as the grain bill approaches maximum malt tube capacity.

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I'm still at the factory default on the mill as I've never had to change the crush. Unfortunately I'm not sure what the setting is. That being said it's the same crush I always use so it wasn't one of the variables.
The default setting on my BC is 1mm (0.039"). I always condition my grain and I found that going tighter improved my efficiencies when using my 10usg cooler and false bottom for batch sparges. I quickly discovered that the Braumeister works much better with the default 1mm setting, better still with 1.2mm. (Yep, I had channeling - with a small fountain.) I mill my wheat separately at the default 1mm setting.

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Originally Posted by Refly View Post
Do you change your estimation of efficiency based on the size of the grain bill or has it remained constant for you? It could be I had some other variable change that I'm not accounting for so I'm trying to figure out if this was a one-off experience or if I should expect a better efficiency with less grain.
I leave my estimated mash efficiency at 80% in BeerSmith and now ALWAYS beat that number (low 80's to 87%). I never measure the total volumes accurately, but try to estimate as accurately as possible based on my graduated primary fermenter and an actual measurement of trub.

I must admit that I am not interested in chasing abv's much higher than 6%. Someday I might try a barleywine. I suspect the best route being repeat mashings of the same wort - if I don't go the DME route.

I'm not necessarily a "purist".
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:20 AM   #1814
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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.
Sorry to hear that. I had a similar experience with my first 50L. The box was beat to bejeezus when it showed up so I did unpack it in front of the FedEx driver. Everything appeared OK, there were a few minor appearing dents I assumed were cosmetic. I pointed them out to the driver and accepted the shipment. Turns out they weren't, even tho everything worked properly on the component level the malt pipe couldn't make a seal with the bottom of the pot. I had to go through a long waiting period to get a replacement. According to Thorsten Speidel was resistant to sending a new one out due to the damage not being noted by FedEx. Even though I did point it out the driver it didn't get into the system somehow. The replacement arrived in better condition, though there were still some cosmetic dents, they were nothing like the first one and it worked fine.

If I were Speidel I'd consider revamping the packaging. I'm sure it's adequate 90% of the time. However in international shipments I suspect that there are that many more opportunities for loading docks, trucks, and less-than-gentle handlers to do some damage.

Anyway, Thorsten is a good fellow and will get it sorted out for you I'm sure.
Good luck!


ps. speaking of Thorsten sorting out problems, one of my pumps has been acting wonky (odd pressure fluctuations and on/off cycling out of synch with the other pump) for some time, months at least. During my last epic brewcave clean-a-thon (which I did sober ) this past Sunday I had dissembled the pumps when I noticed one of my impellers had a broken blade that either had just occurred or perhaps had been there for some time. I am normally not an oblivious person, but I could see how one could not notice. The blades seem to be molded from a homogenous material so it's actually almost camouflaged against the same dark color. You can see it in the attached pic. I hunted for the missing piece but couldn't find it anywhere...I use a filter when I pump my wort out through my chiller into a fermenter I'm guessing it may have ended up in there with all the trub or something? It wasn't in the pump fittings or the pot itself.

Regardless Thorsten was quick to act and I hope to receive a replacement soon.
img_20121125_122446.jpg  
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:13 AM   #1815
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I must admit that I am not interested in chasing abv's much higher than 6%. Someday I might try a barleywine. I suspect the best route being repeat mashings of the same wort - if I don't go the DME route.

I'm not necessarily a "purist".
me neither. last weekend i brewed my biggest beer, 1.100, on the speidel so far (well, not entirely on the speidel) so i thought i'd post my strategy. i'm not at all saying this is the best way to do it but it went well and was relatively easy. i was going for general easy brew day, i'm not really feeling the consecutive mash schedule, although crazily impressive, and i am also no AG purist. so it's part speidel, part extract (about 10% of the fermentables), part BIAB. made the tricentennial stout (russian imperial) from brewing classic styles. i ferment in a temp-controlled corny (19L) so i was aiming for something like 17 L out of the kettle, expecting an explosive fermentation (that proved true enough, it's still blowing out both blowoff tubes volcanically) so this was calculated as a 20L batch on beersmith, with 70% efficiency i think. i mashed only the base grain in the speidel (5 kg maris otter, 800 g wheat malt in ~23 L), short protein rest and then mash at 65 for 90 minutes, mash out. the mash was beautifully clear and ran off easily, towards the end i took the enormous load of chocolate, roasted barley (1 kg each) and crystal (350 g) and brew-in-a-bag steeped them in 5L of 65 degree water on the stovetop. meanwhile prepared 4 L of 65 degree water as sparge. removed the grain bag and gave it a hearty squeeze to get most of the oily thick black goo out, then dunked it in the sparge, stirred well, drained again. then used this sparge water to sparge the mash. added the 1st runnings of the specialty grains directly to the kettle. collected enough sparge runnings to get to ~26 L all together, which took very little time with the well-flowing grain bed. boiled down to 20 L which took 135 minutes. of course i waited to see what the approximate boil off rate was before calculating the hop additions. added 1 kg of light DME towards the end of the boil. the hop bill for this beer is enormous and all low AA hops, added them as free range pellets, huge trub loss there, as anticipated. hit my gravity of 1.100, cooled, aerated (repeated at 12 hours), allowed to settle for over an hour, knocked out just the right amount of clear wort to the corny. pitched a shocking amount of fresh wyeast 1968 yeast cake. commence eruption
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:41 AM   #1816
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.....last weekend i brewed my biggest beer, 1.100, on the speidel so far (well, not entirely on the speidel) ..... the tricentennial stout (russian imperial) from brewing classic styles.....
Wow! That’s an impressive brew Dinnerstick.

I liked the sound of that brew so I did a search and imported it from BeerSmith Recipe Cloud to take a closer look. 10.68kg grains, 357g hops, etc. for a total cost of $622.35 – WTF! – The UK Pale Ale Malt was priced at $52.91/kg everything else had weird prices too. Substituting my costs it still comes to $99.33. I’ll have to start feeding my piggybank for this brew.

You used Wyeast 1968 (London ESB) yeast, I have White Labs 013 (London) on hand as well as WLP004 (Irish). I wonder how two consecutive mashes(5.34kg each) would compare with your results?

What are your thoughts?
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:30 PM   #1817
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wasp - i wonder also but have never tried the consecutive mash strategy. maybe someone who has can comment. my total grain bill (excluding extract) was only 8.15 kg; here the MO is about 13 euro for 5 kg and the others around 3 euro per kg, so plus 1 kg extract (8 euro) was only 30 euro or so. it' CAN'T be that your base malt is $50 / kg! even over there in bob & doug ville. due to AA differences i used 125 g EKG and 120 g NB hops, in all only about 10 euro worth of hops, and the yeast was harvested, so free. so not really a bank breaker but english malt is relatively cheap here, and my character and wheat malt was belgian; cheap. the recipe calls for irish ale yeast (is 004 the same strain as wyeast1084?) i believe for both the slightly higher (than 1968) attenuation and because the recipe's author mike riddle says the diacetyl that it produces at higher ferm temps (~20) is part of this beer's character. i went with 1968 because 1. i had a lot of it, very freshly harvested, and 2. i love it in my other stouts, but if i had the irish on hand i would have used it. let us know how you get on, someone should try the same recipe with a double mash and send me a few bottles to compare.

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Old 11-27-2012, 02:11 PM   #1818
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I must admit that I am not interested in chasing abv's much higher than 6%. Someday I might try a barleywine. I suspect the best route being repeat mashings of the same wort - if I don't go the DME route.

I'm not necessarily a "purist".
I'm with you on the abv's. I like bigger beers - I'll take a Belgian triple/quadruple any day - just usually not in quantities of 5 gallons. In this case I was actually going for the low end on abv. I was brewing a mild so I was looking for something around 3.0-3.5%. It's still low in alcohol, but a bit out of style with the higher efficiency. No big deal - it's still beer.

Thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:14 PM   #1819
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Just bottled my triple mashed Imperial Stout the other day. OG on this bad boy was 1.141 and the wlp090 got it down to 1.040. Had it sitting on 160 grams of Jack Daniel's wood smoking chips for two weeks just to get a bit of Bourbon caracter to it. I really have my hopes up on this one. All that recidual sweetness combined the Bourbon flavor in the back ground should be great.

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Old 11-27-2012, 10:49 PM   #1820
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@ dinnerstick
Yeah, the cost of everything in that recipe was F’d up when I imported it. Maybe something I did?

The last 25kg bag of MO I bought cost me $74 CAD (58.60 euro) = 2.30 euro per kg, my specialty malts are $3.99 CAD/kg, my hops cost from $5 to $10 per 100g. Maybe Bob & Doug ville ain’t too expensive.

I’m really pissed-off because I have everything in that recipe in stock - I don’t even need to raid the piggy bank - but commitments mean that I cannot get it brewed for maybe 3 months. I love my darker “Brit-Brews” in the winter months, but that means that it will be ready for serving just as the temperatures start to soar and I am ready for PA’s, IPA’s, Lagers, Kölsch, and the Cerveza lawnmower brew that my friends favour ’cos it reminds them of vacations in Mexico.

Someday I’ll brew it and I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out. Don’t know how well it would travel across the pond though.

@ Refly
Mild @ 3% and Bitter around 4% definitely have a place in my choice of beers. I also quite like Mild or a Cerveza with some lime when I’m lawnmowing in sweltering weather, or want to keep a clear(er) head. OTOH, plenty of friends help me out when I have too much of any style of beer - I wouldn't want to waste it - nor would they.

@ Batfink
What was the weight of each charge of grains? Did you mix all the grains and then divide it into 3 equal parts or did you leave the specialty grains to the last mash, mashing the pale grains first?

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