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Old 01-12-2009, 12:12 AM   #1
Nostrildamus
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Default Heating the mash before sparging.

Heating the mash before sparging and really making sure it was up near 170F before lautering really made a difference in my efficiency today.

I have been plagued with low efficiency (68%) in the past and have attributed it to the crush etc. I have a direct fire MLT so this time through I hit the MLT with some heat before sparging and gave the mash a good stir to make sure there was uniform temperature throughout. Nice hot sparge water (170F) and I kept the flame on super low to make sure the it stayed in the upper 160s for the entire sparge.

76% was the result. Considering it is the same crush and same mash schedule and technique as my past brews this represents a considerable jump.

I guess it makes sense considering sugar needs to be warm to stay liquidy.

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Old 01-12-2009, 11:43 AM   #2
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It sounds like you could do with some insulation on the Mash Tun.

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Old 01-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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I have observed the same effect in my insulated cooler with steam injection system. I routinely get 80-85% efficiency now. I am a bit annoyed by the unexpected jumps in OG's but I'll adjust.

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Old 01-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #4
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I could certainly use a little insulation on the mash tun, but even if it maintained the mash temp if would still only be at 154 F which is considerably below where I had it at sparging.

I'm thinking of picking up one of those water heater jackets and throwing it around it come mash time and post flame.

I still think I could have brought the overall temperature up a few more degrees and used hotter water as it tended to cool down considerably before the entire 7 gallons was through. Maybe a jacket on the HLT is what I need in conjunction with a little flame below the MLT prior to the sparge?

Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised and like Noisy will adjust to my new efficiency by simply brewing bigger and better beers.

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