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Old 02-08-2013, 03:37 PM   #31
Echoloc8
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Originally Posted by Clonefan94 View Post
Volumes are a big deal and until I did this, I found I was always, off, even using water calculators I always had more water left in the tun than I wanted. The two things that seemed to have helped my efficiency the most were correct water volume and my own mill to crush to my preference.

As others have said though, once you get to the 70-75% range, you are doing OK. At that point, rather than chasing the numbers, just enjoy the consistency. I think bein consistant is better for making good beer than getting higher efficiencies, but being of by 5% + or - every time.
Yeah, that's my plan after this discussion.

First, I'm going to make a calibrated dowel for my boil kettle. I'm going to be using it for hot wort as well as water, and I've watched my buddy's stick need remarking, so I'm buying a set of letter and number punches so I can actually stamp the numbers and lines into the wood. I may make more for my other pots, but boil kettle is first.

Second, I'm going to get familiar with my refractometer and use it at each stage: first runnings, post-sparge/preboil, etc. along with a calculator like Kai's to be sure of my numbers and allow adjustments early.

And consistency is indeed my goal. I'm using someone else's crush and batch sparging, so I don't expect anything over 70-75% brewhouse efficiency, But I do want to hit conversion and volume numbers within narrow bands each time.

-Rich
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:01 PM   #32
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Brewing a Russian Imperial Stout today. Got 94.7% mash efficiency, and I have a nicely calibrated dipstick to be certain of my volumes. Bodes well for the brew.

I need a little less than 2 gallons' boil off (7.21 at mash temp down to 5.2 gal at boiling=5 gal at pitching temp), and with a 15" diameter pot my 90 minute boil ought to make it happen.

-Rich

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Secondary: 2013 Velvet Hammer RIS | 2012 Kit Raspberry Merlot
Bottled: Rich's Legal Wit | 2013 Fireside Barleywine | 2007 Oaked orange blossom mead | 2013 Kit Cabernet
Kegged: Old Chub clone | Traditional Porter
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:19 PM   #33
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Forgot to post my post-mortem. Wound up hitting very close to my intended gravity (1.090 of 1.093), which is the best I've ever done for an all-grain beer this size. It was a huge grain bill, too: 22.2 lbs of grain and 6.8ish gallons of water in a 10-gallon MLT made for less than 2 inches of head space, barely enough to screw the cooler's lid on!

I forgot to collect my mid-lauter SG, so I couldn't fill out Kai's entire spreadsheet, but it's good to know I could have. Unsurprisingly, my 60% estimate of brewhouse efficiency wasn't far off: with that much grain it's just hard to lauter well.

Calibrated and used my refractometer for the first time, and learned to convert from Brix to SG. Great to be able to get a quickie gravity reading without risking my hydrometer in hot liquid.

The dipstick did its job. I marked it in quart increments, and it's awesome to know I don't need to guess at volumes any more!

Thanks again to everyone who pitched in on this thread.

-Rich

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Secondary: 2013 Velvet Hammer RIS | 2012 Kit Raspberry Merlot
Bottled: Rich's Legal Wit | 2013 Fireside Barleywine | 2007 Oaked orange blossom mead | 2013 Kit Cabernet
Kegged: Old Chub clone | Traditional Porter
On Deck: Bottling dammit!
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