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Old 03-02-2009, 12:06 PM   #121
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Instead of adding mashout water and since you are batching you could just thin the original mash so that it will drain half the boil volume and then you add sparge to get the boil volume. It is not really necessary to mashout specifically when doing batch. (The method you mention is called single infusion, mashout, single batch sparge on Beersmith.)

I mention this not because Denny's method lacks merit. It is just that this thread is about using thinner mashes to increase efficiency.

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:44 PM   #122
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My efficiency seems to be locked at a certain value. It seems it doesn't matter whether I do a simple mash or a decoction...thin or thick...medium-low or high-ish gravity...it's always right at about the same number (84% into the fermenter). Maybe that means one process (such as mashing) is reasonably efficient for my crush but another (such as lautering) sets a cap on how high my efficiency can go. But even when I mash thin and don't have as much sparge water it doesn't seem to matter.

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Old 03-02-2009, 02:34 PM   #123
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:42 PM   #124
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Thanks Kai...I'm not really trying to increase it...more like just trying to identify the losses and where they occur. Just so I'll know.
EDIT: this post was in response to Kaiser's post which is now 2 posts down.

And you were darn close...I'm usually right at about 88% into the kettle.

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Old 03-02-2009, 02:42 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
For beer quality sake you need to leave some extract behind in the lauter (at least with a simple lauter tun and not one of those high tech ones they have in breweries). 10%-15% sounds about right to me.
Why is that, Kai? I've seen that written, but not explained. Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:43 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontman View Post
I mention this not because Denny's method lacks merit. It is just that this thread is about using thinner mashes to increase efficiency.
Denny mentioned that he has started to mash thinner not because it improves his efficiency but b/c a thin mash is easier to work with.

SpanishCastleAle,
You have hit the wall when it comes to your efficiency. 84% in the fermenter is pretty good and means that you probably have ~90% in the kettle. If you were to test your first wort's gravity it should be very close to the theoretical max that I posted here: Troubleshooting Brewhouse Efficiency - German Brewing Techniques

For beer quality sake you need to leave some extract behind in the lauter (at least with a simple lauter tun and not one of those high tech ones they have in breweries). 10%-15% sounds about right to me.

There is not much more that you can do to improve your efficiency.

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Old 03-02-2009, 02:50 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
Why is that, Kai? I've seen that written, but not explained. Thanks.
The 10-15% number is just a gut feel.

In order to increase your lauter efficiency such that you leave only little extract in the spent grain you'll have to sparge more. But the wort derived from sparging has a lower quality (tannins and such) and should be minimized. There will be a point at which you do more harm than good. This is why I think leaving 10-15% behind when batch sparging and maybe 10-5% when properly fly sparging is a good compromise.

Here is the page in Brigg's brewing science and practice that has a graph showing how the undesirable compounds increase towards the end of the lauter: Brewing: Science and Practice - Google Book Search

What I'm talking about is basically the avoidance of oversparging.

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Old 03-02-2009, 03:06 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
There will be a point at which you do more harm than good.
OK, that's what I was thinking. But how independent is this of pH and temperature (the two factors implicated in tannin extraction)? If your pH and temperature are under control the whole time, could you sparge a bit more than the normal recommendations without lowering wort quality?
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:11 PM   #129
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Quote:
This is why I think leaving 10-15% behind when batch sparging and maybe 10-5% when properly fly sparging is a good compromise.
I'm glad you wrote that because I'm leaving ~15% behind but I'm fly sparging. I should try a finer crush just to see what I get...I'm only at .040" gap and I condition my malt (prob not even necessary at that gap...but it just looks soooo much better).
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:20 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
If your pH and temperature are under control the whole time, could you sparge a bit more than the normal recommendations without lowering wort quality?
It is certainly possible to leave very little behind and still make high quality beer. You'll have to give this a try. I have a batch sparging system and as a result my lauter efficiency is limited by that.


SpanishCastleAle,

You may want to go through the exercise of measuring your conversion and lauter efficiency before tightening your crush. If your conversion efficiency is already very close to 100% then a tighter crush should not gain you anything. The opposite may actually be the case as it will further restrict your flow rate which makes the lauter more prone to channeling. My technique of measuring the lauter efficiency (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...ch_sparging.29) is designed to detect uneven extraction during fly sparging as it mixes up the spent grain.

Kai
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