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Old 11-18-2008, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default 2nd AG under the belt, worse efficiency than the 1st, but still ok

Well, I have my second AG under my belt now. I brewed up http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f66/casc...ale-ale-84558/ by blacklab.

There were quite a few firsts. I have never used leaf hops before and never FWH either. Both worked out very well, I just used a strainer to catch all the hops and orange peel when dumping the wort into the fermentor at the end.

My efficiency dropped from 85% (1st AG) to 77% but I think this is due to the crush by B3, the grains didn't look as crushed as my first batch where I got the grain from the LHBS. I actually got out the pin roller and crushed some of the specialty grains up more because they really didn't look that crushed.

The recipe was based on 75% so I came out ok on the OG (1.053)

The fermentation has started, a bit slow right now, but I am sure it will speed up. Can't wait to taste this one. I will post a picture later.

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Old 11-18-2008, 03:53 PM   #2
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Awww, I wish I had your bad efficiency. Congrats on the second AG beer and good luck on the next one.

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Old 11-19-2008, 01:49 PM   #3
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Well here are some pictures. Things are looking good and even the gas coming out the airlock smells great.

This is after about 8 hours



This is after about 32 hours and lava lamp like too.



The only thing is I understand that the beer is generating its own heat, but 8 degrees more? Is that right? You can see on the second picture after 32 hours of getting acclimated to its environment, the thermometer below says 60 degrees yet the carboy thermometer says 67-68. One or both of them has to be inaccurate.

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Old 11-19-2008, 01:58 PM   #4
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My barleywine was running +10F over ambient.

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Old 11-19-2008, 03:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
My barleywine was running +10F over ambient.
Ok, so I'm not crazy. I also take it that I want the carboy temperature to be at the temp for fermenting not the ambient temperature?

Does this do the same thing with lagers? If you are suppose to ferment at 50, but need to ambient in the low 40s.

I need to put this answer into my memory bank for later when I finally do a lager.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Awww, I wish I had your bad efficiency.
I'm trying to learn how to be nice, this pretty much sums up my reaction, but McKBrew had the nice answer. (Something about hating someone for knocking it out of the park you ....)
Welcome to AG, and if your hitting those numbers, I would never complain, I may get banned for all the symbols.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:14 PM   #7
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I just completed my second all grain last weekend and I did get 92% brewhouse efficiency. There are three main things (well okay four) that I did which anyone can do to accomplish this.

0) Read tons here about how to maximize efficiency
1) Pony up for your own grain mill - it became clear from reading about efficiency that this would be the key. I set my gap at 0.025" for my oatmeal stout and while the runoff was slow it didn't stick.
2) Fly sparge slowly - because my grain was so finely crushed, it actually took me 3 hours to fly sparge. While I would have preferred 1 hour its hard to argue with results.
3) Decoction mash - One thing which definitely helped my efficiency was having decoction mashed. This frees up almost all your needed water to sparge with which obviously ups your efficiency since you have more water to rinse the grain bed with. It takes longer to decoction mash but you get more Malliard reaction products and sugar in the boiler for your trouble!

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Old 11-20-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humann_brewing View Post
Ok, so I'm not crazy. I also take it that I want the carboy temperature to be at the temp for fermenting not the ambient temperature?

Does this do the same thing with lagers? If you are suppose to ferment at 50, but need to ambient in the low 40s.

I need to put this answer into my memory bank for later when I finally do a lager.
Lagers never quite reach a voracious active ferment so they're likely only going to run 1-2F over ambient. Whenever I'm running a batch in my temp controlled fridge, I use a large rubberband to hold the temp probe right to the side of the better bottle. Between the rubberband and probe, I also slide in a 4" square of reflectix insulation (an old mouse pad would work too).
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