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Old 11-26-2011, 07:32 PM   #201
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My efficiency kinda sucked too. About 1.089 with a 75 minute boil. Next time I'll bump it up to a 90 minute boil.

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Old 11-26-2011, 08:52 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
What kind of system do you have? I've found that you need to take a huge preboil off these huge grainbills and do up to a 120 minute boil to get what you need from them...
Rectangular Igloo cooler mash tun with a homemade manifold, and I batch sparge. This was my biggest batch ever and definitely my worst efficiency ever. The mash tun had more than enough space, but, for some reason, the brewing gods weren't with me.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:13 PM   #203
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I also had horrible efficiency 51%, added some dme to bring me up to a SG of 1.096, going to rack to secondary tomorrow and get my first taste, very excited after all the rave reviews this recipe has gotten.

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Old 11-27-2011, 11:40 PM   #204
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For those who had low efficiency, did you batch sparge? The more I read on HBT, the more I think that is the culprit here. I'm now thinking of doing this next time as a hybrid AG-extract batch. Do AG with only 10 lbs. of pale malt (and all those other malts), and then add 6 lbs. of pale LME to the boil.

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Old 11-28-2011, 03:21 PM   #205
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The reason for low efficiency on big beers when we batch sparge is that we have more strike water, less sparge water (less rinsing). If we sparge more and boil longer I would bet we would get better efficiency.

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Old 12-04-2011, 07:12 AM   #206
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Just mashed this one in. Gonna let it sit over night. Smells great already.

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Old 12-05-2011, 11:17 AM   #207
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I second larger boils if you batch sparge. I did a barleywine that i added another couple gallons to my sparge water and I actually got around 9 points better efficiency than i normally do. Ended up with a 1.122 OG....

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:51 PM   #208
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It's not really about batch sparging or fly sparging. It's about water volumes and solubility.

Think of it this way - You've got a pint glass of warm water (this represents your total water volume - mash+sparge). Take 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and dissolve it in that water. If you work at it, stir it, let it sit, stir some more, you can most or just about all of it in solution. That represents a smallish beer, say 4% abv. Now take another pint glass of warm water and dump a 1/2 cup of brown sugar in it and try to dissolve it.

You'll dissolve a lot more in that second glass just because of the greater volume of sugar, but you will leave far more undissolved brown sugar in the bottom of that pint glass. That's efficiency (or lack thereof). How would you get that extra sugar in solution? You'd add a whole bunch more hot water, that's how. You may or may not remember learning about solubility in elementary school, but at a given temperature, water will only accept a finite amount of dissolved solids. Since we can't really mash or sparge at higher temperatures, we've got a hard ceiling for SG at 170 degres. I'd guess it's somewhere around 1.085 judging by the first runnings coming off most beers.

Fly sparging can get you a couple extra points just by the way of dilution over time, but overall if you are making a BIG beer like a Barleywine or RIS, etc, you need to increase sparge water to give the sugar somewhere to go. This of course, results in a longer boil to get rid of all that excess water.

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Old 12-05-2011, 02:15 PM   #209
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For the guys who tried this on nitro - would you recommend it or just sticking with CO2?

Also, what are people waiting on average to serve? I am trying to decide if I should let this rest for months, or dive into it (brewed mine on 11-13-2011 and just racked it off this weekend).

I didn't get my OG because I dropped my hydrometer, but I think I was super low on efficiency. I used math to figure 80% attenuation and therefore I think OG 1.090 and FG 1.020 (FG was actual, OG was estimated)

One thing I did not have was the dehusked carafa. So I added the some about of dark malt matching the SRM, but only put it into the mash after the first batch sparge. Hopefully that doesn't screw too much up.

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Old 12-05-2011, 02:26 PM   #210
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From the orininal post:
"Put into conditioning for about 5 or 6 months and you'll have an amazing imperial stout."

I'd say this beer needs to sit.
I brewed around the same time as you did, and I have it in secondary, on Port soaked toasted oak cubes, and I don't plan to bottle it for a couple of months. Then a couple of months in the bottle.....

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