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Old 01-14-2009, 12:16 AM   #21
The Pol
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I use 5.2 Buffer... so I dont think it wavers much.

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Old 01-14-2009, 02:41 AM   #22
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You have one major drawback going against you in this case, because the thin mash will inevitably dry out your beer (simply: denatured enzymes = high concentration of fermentable wort).
A thicker mash should actually lead to a thinner beer as the enzymes (in particular the protein converting ones and the beta amylase) will be better protected and stay active for longer. But that's not what I have been experiencing. I'm also not saying that every beer should be mashed thin. I do however say that brewers should give it a try (especially for styles that are traditionally mashed think like almost every German style) and see for themselves.

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Old 01-14-2009, 02:43 AM   #23
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My E-HERMS is aching to perform some tests!

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Old 01-18-2009, 06:11 PM   #24
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So I tried this 2qt/lb deal today. Now, I broke rule number 1 and also changed my gap on the barley crusher and cut my tap water with RO water (50/50). I put together a recipe based on 70% and well, got 70%. All my numbers hit except my final volume (off by 1/2 gallon and still trying to fine tune that). So I can't say it was a great success, but it really didn't hurt either.

I'll try this again for sure though. This time only changing this aspect of the brew process.

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Old 01-18-2009, 11:53 PM   #25
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Brian,

If you want to troubleshoot where you are loosing efficiency, I recommend taking a gravity reading of the first wort. From the mash thickness and the first wort strength you can calculate how much of the starches were converted in the mash. This gives you an idea if a thinner mash can help or not.

Details are here: Troubleshooting Brewhouse Efficiency - German Brewing Techniques

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Old 01-19-2009, 01:00 AM   #26
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Thanks for the link Kai. I'll check that out.

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Old 01-27-2009, 01:36 AM   #27
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Hey all... brewed today, have a full thread up with commentary, stats, pics and vids.

I DID do a 2qt/lb mash today and achieved 85% eff. Keep in mind that I brewed this same brew a couple months ago, along with about 6 other brews and only recieved 70% eff. on ALL of them.

I way overshot my OG... by 12 points to be exact. Check out my hydro pic in my brew thread posted today.

I have ALWAYS gotten 70% eff. on my HERMS, and I have always done 1.15 - 1.25qt/lb mashes. I can say, it is MUCH easier to mash in and break up dough balls in a SOUP than in OATMEAL

I am going to take note of my FG and attenuation, and do 2qt/lb mashes in the future to track more results.

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Old 01-27-2009, 02:12 AM   #28
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Hey all... brewed today, have a full thread up with commentary, stats, pics and vids.

I DID do a 2qt/lb mash today and achieved 85% eff. Keep in mind that I brewed this same brew a couple months ago, along with about 6 other brews and only recieved 70% eff. on ALL of them.

I way overshot my OG... by 12 points to be exact. Check out my hydro pic in my brew thread posted today.

I have ALWAYS gotten 70% eff. on my HERMS, and I have always done 1.15 - 1.25qt/lb mashes. I can say, it is MUCH easier to mash in and break up dough balls in a SOUP than in OATMEAL

I am going to take note of my FG and attenuation, and do 2qt/lb mashes in the future to track more results.
I appreciate you providing the data points on this experiment Pol.

I am curious about the decrease in the sparge volume. It just seemed logical to me to try to minmize this ratio so that I could maximize sparge volume.

The last batch I did I actually experimented with this by decocting for the mashout instead of infusing. Then I was able to add close to 2 gallons of extra sparge water. My efficiency went up from 74% on my last batch to 79% on this latest batch with this method.

So it seems you might get better conversion efficiency but I still wonder about the brewhouse efficiency because you are not rinsing the sugar out of the grain as well?
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:16 AM   #29
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My final runnings were at 1.008... that is about as dilute as I want to go.

All I know is that I got 85% into the fermentor, compared to 70% on my SIX previous brews... it is worth trying again, and again...

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Old 01-27-2009, 02:27 AM   #30
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Yet another case that supports mashing thin. Thanks for trying this Pol.

dontman, If you maximize the sparge volume you are also maximizing the extraction of unwanted compounds from the malt.

The efficiency equation looks like this:

efficiency = conversion efficiency * lauter efficiency

increasing the sparge volume aims at increasing the lauter efficiency while increasing the strike volume aims at increasing the conversion efficiency. If I have a choice (and I do) I choose increasing the conversion efficiency. The best quality wort comes from the first wort. So I want to maximize that volume instead of sqeazing the last bit of extract from the grains through more sparge water.

Obviously there are limits. Especially if you want to brew higher gravity beers and want to have decent efficiency.

Kai

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