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Old 04-22-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
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It reads like you've got accurate temp measuring devices. I'd look at the grain crush. Denny offers good mashing tips which have helped push my extraction into the upper 80s. Now I have to scale down grain bill recipes.

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Old 04-22-2013, 06:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post
In both cases you said "poured in 3.5 gallons of 168 deg sparge water let sit 20 min"
I suggest changing this a little bit to:
  • pour in 3.5 gallons 168 deg water
  • stir vigorously for at least 3 minutes

You then don't need to let it sit for 20 minutes (but it wouldn't hurt).


-a.

Sorry, I should probably revise my chicken scratch brew notes prior to copy and pasting to the board, for a little clearer picture.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:05 AM   #13
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Your sparge water is too cold for batch sparge. Adding 168 degree water won't get your temp up enough. You want the whole grain bed up to 168. I typically heat to about 185 to get up to 168.

Also the 5.2 stabilizer might not be helping. Do you measure pH? Proper pH will affect efficiency.

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Old 04-23-2013, 02:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by tgmartin000 View Post
Your sparge water is too cold for batch sparge. Adding 168 degree water won't get your temp up enough. You want the whole grain bed up to 168. I typically heat to about 185 to get up to 168.

Also the 5.2 stabilizer might not be helping. Do you measure pH? Proper pH will affect efficiency.
Changing sparge water temp from 168-185 wouldn't affect your efficiency...
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:43 AM   #15
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"Changing sparge water temp from 168-185 wouldn't affect your efficiency..."

Not exactly true. It's just a couple percent change for the sparge portion, so it's a 1%ish change overall. Not a zero impact, but pretty small overall.

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Old 04-23-2013, 02:54 AM   #16
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You should be adding the 5/2 and mixing before adding the grain. Adding it when the grain is already in makes proper mixing that much harder. Also make sure your thermometer is calibrated at the right temperature. I once had a temperature probe that was off by 10F. I ruined two batches before I noticed. Once I got a reliable probe, my efficiency rose by 10%. (Word of advice: Don't use taylor probes! They fall off calibration so fast)

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Old 04-23-2013, 03:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgmartin000 View Post
Your sparge water is too cold for batch sparge. Adding 168 degree water won't get your temp up enough. You want the whole grain bed up to 168. I typically heat to about 185 to get up to 168.

Also the 5.2 stabilizer might not be helping. Do you measure pH? Proper pH will affect efficiency.
I have not been checking ph level, nor have I bought test strips.My water comes from a well in west texas and is very hard water (no filtration or softener).

I should have it tested and be adding other items to achieve a better water profile.

I did read a post where they add 1-2 gallons of higher temp (180deg-190deg) water and mix well before they do their first running. Also on the same post they had a link to what seems to be an very good page on no-sparge and batch sparge, and a well made calculator. http://home.roadrunner.com/~brewbeer.../nbsparge.html
(Hope posting that link doesn't violate any rules)
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
"Changing sparge water temp from 168-185 wouldn't affect your efficiency..."

Not exactly true. It's just a couple percent change for the sparge portion, so it's a 1%ish change overall. Not a zero impact, but pretty small overall.
I believe (read) the solubility of the sugars from 168-185 are virtually the same. I just don't see how you would get any change besides raising the temps so you boil slightly faster or if you want to denature. Malfet (or Kai?) has a thread on his tests with cold sparge water around here somewhere..and he was using non heated water.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schiersteinbrewing View Post
I have not been checking ph level, nor have I bought test strips.My water comes from a well in west texas and is very hard water (no filtration or softener).

I should have it tested and be adding other items to achieve a better water profile.

I did read a post where they add 1-2 gallons of higher temp (180deg-190deg) water and mix well before they do their first running. Also on the same post they had a link to what seems to be an very good page on no-sparge and batch sparge, and a well made calculator. http://home.roadrunner.com/~brewbeer.../nbsparge.html
(Hope posting that link doesn't violate any rules)
Adding the higher water before you take your first running is called a mash-out. If it raises the grain bed high enough you denature the enzymes, setting the profile of the beer. A lot of people skip the step because they are draining right into the kettle and turning it on.. achieving the same thing.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:57 PM   #20
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Unless I read it wrong, you had to add unplanned water in both cases. First to raise your temp and second to achieve boil volume. This is where you lost your points. Also, you didn't specifically mention it, but do you stir in your sparge water? If not, I would start doing so. An aggressive stir and a 5 minute wait is my method.

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