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Old 04-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #51
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The increments are pre-printed. I never thought to check and make sure they were correct.

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Old 05-29-2013, 02:09 AM   #52
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Finally had time to brew, between work and being the general contractor on building my house time is hard to come by.

Brew went good but numbers didn't come out that great.

Grain Bill:
3.4 lbs 6 Row
3.4 lbs Vienna Malt
3 lbs Instant Grits
.7 lbs Crystal 60
.3 lbs Rice Hulls
.8 lbs Black Barley
.5oz Brewers Gold 9.6% aa
White Labs German Bock Lager (2l starter)

estimated sg 1.044
estimated og 1.053

Heated 4 gal strike water to 167deg, poured into mash tun, allowed mash tun to heat up
when water in mash tun was 162 deg, slowly poured in grains, mixed vigorously
mashed for 60min @ 152 deg, stirring mash every 15-20min
checked for complete conversion with iodine test
preformed voluraf
drained wort from mash tun, output is 2.5 gal, of 1.052 gravity
poured 4 gal 185 deg sparge water into mash tun, mixed vigorously for 2-3 min
preformed voluraf
drained mash tun, output is 4 gal, of 1.021gravity
boil volume 6.5gal
sg 1.036

brought wort to boil added hops
added wort chiller @ 45min
boiled 15 min
total boil time 60min
chilled wort with ice bath and wort chiller to 70deg
poured into fermeter and areated
total volume into fermeter 5.5gal
og 1.042
poured off most of liquid from starter
pitched starter slurry

I did check the pre-printed marks on my measuring bucket they were correct.
I did check my thermometers and made sure they were calibrated properly.

I thought well maybe my hydrometer is faulty and instead of ordering a new one ordered a refractometer instead.

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Old 05-29-2013, 01:26 PM   #53
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Hi and welcome back...
Sorry you are still having troubles. I entered your recipe into my software and came up with a couple questions...
You are mentioning fractions of pounds, most recipes in english units use pounds and ounces, if your fractional pounds were really ounces that would make a difference. E.g 3.4 pounds or 6-row or 3 lbs 4 oz?

Assuming you really meant 3.4,
I end up getting a target pre-boil sg of 1.045 and OG of 1.051...pretty close to your targets. I assumed 6.5 gal into kettle, 5.75 gal post boil, 5.5 gal transferred to fermenter, 75% mash efficiency. Beer Alchemy doesn't get into brewhouse vs mash efficiency, I believe this is brewhouse efficiency.

Given you got 5.5 gal of 1.042 wort it looks to me like your efficiency was 62%. If you really meant 3 lbs 4 oz then your efficiency was 66%.

So this is low but maybe not horrible. Probably some experience and a minor tweaks to your process will get you to a respectable efficiency. Here are some suggestions.

1. Work with a simple recipe while you figure out your issue...Something like a pale ale 10 lbs 2-row (US or British) and some C60 (8-16 oz depending on your preference). That should be a pretty reliable and repeatable mash, you can make a variety of beers by trying different yeasts and hops.

2. Look into your crush again. See if the supplier will double crush if you aren't crushing yourself.

3. Adjust your mash / sparge water so that you get equal amounts of run-off from first and second runnings. If you had added 3 quarts of hot water to the mash before running off first time you would have had 3.25 gallons of first runnings. Then you would have reduced your sparge water to 3.25 gallons to produce 3.25 gallons of second runnings for a total of 6.5 gallons into the kettle.

Good luck

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Old 05-29-2013, 04:58 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric19312 View Post
You are mentioning fractions of pounds, most recipes in english units use pounds and ounces, if your fractional pounds were really ounces that would make a difference. E.g 3.4 pounds or 6-row or 3 lbs 4 oz?

I assumed 6.5 gal into kettle, 5.75 gal post boil, 5.5 gal transferred to fermenter, 75% mash efficiency. Beer Alchemy doesn't get into brewhouse vs mash efficiency, I believe this is brewhouse efficiency.

Given you got 5.5 gal of 1.042 wort it looks to me like your efficiency was 62%. If you really meant 3 lbs 4 oz then your efficiency was 66%.

So this is low but maybe not horrible. Probably some experience and a minor tweaks to your process will get you to a respectable efficiency. Here are some suggestions.

1. Work with a simple recipe while you figure out your issue...Something like a pale ale 10 lbs 2-row (US or British) and some C60 (8-16 oz depending on your preference). That should be a pretty reliable and repeatable mash, you can make a variety of beers by trying different yeasts and hops.

2. Look into your crush again. See if the supplier will double crush if you aren't crushing yourself.

3. Adjust your mash / sparge water so that you get equal amounts of run-off from first and second runnings. If you had added 3 quarts of hot water to the mash before running off first time you would have had 3.25 gallons of first runnings. Then you would have reduced your sparge water to 3.25 gallons to produce 3.25 gallons of second runnings for a total of 6.5 gallons into the kettle.

Good luck

3.4 lbs or 3lbs 4.8 oz

I use BeerSmith for the recipe and estimates with the default 75% efficiency it has.

yes 6.5gal into kettle, post boil and into fermenter was 5.5gal (poured the entire kettle in)

I've been using brewers friend efficiency calculators and came up in the 59% for conversion/mash eff, and 58% for Brewhouse. Not horrible but could be better.

1. next couple of brews after the blue moon clone are going to be a blonde pale ale, to dial things in a little better

2. bought a corona mill to do a second crush myself (couldn't bring myself to spend the bucks on a barley crusher just yet)

3. I bought a false bottom for my mash tun and did away with the SS washer hose and looking at trying a fly sparge instead of batch sparge (losing 1.5gal to grain absorption/deadspace on a 10-11lb grain bill seams like a huge loss to me, which causes my sparge volume to be high to meet boil volume, which lowers my gravity)
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:00 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schiersteinbrewing View Post
I've been using brewers friend efficiency calculators and came up in the 59% for conversion/mash eff, and 58% for Brewhouse.
OK I got the same thing now that I know you really meant 3.4 lbs and you ended boil with 5.5 gallons and dumped all into fermenter. 59%

Quote:
Originally Posted by schiersteinbrewing View Post
3. I bought a false bottom for my mash tun and did away with the SS washer hose and looking at trying a fly sparge instead of batch sparge (losing 1.5gal to grain absorption/deadspace on a 10-11lb grain bill seams like a huge loss to me, which causes my sparge volume to be high to meet boil volume, which lowers my gravity)
I don't lose much if any to deadspace in my system and don't believe you did either. Most of the 1.5 gallon difference between the water that went into the batch and the wort that was collected was absorbed by the grain... 0.125 gal / lb is number I see used most often but understand others use as low as 0.1 or as high as 0.2. You had 11.5 lbs grain bill, that would absorb just about 1.5 gallons...you used 8 gallons and collected 6.5...so just about no deadspace in your system.

Anyway good luck with the false bottom and fly sparging. Guess I'd consider the same thing in your shoes but want to point out that a lot of people seem to be getting very good results with the batch sparge / braid system. My efficiency is averaging right about 75%.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:03 AM   #56
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I'm starting to get this down, made some big changes to my brewing. Added a mill, false bottom to kettle and mash tun, added a plate chiller, and fly sparging. My last batch a Blue Moon Clone, mashed at 150 deg, I was able to hit 70% efficiency. One or two more batches I am hoping for 75%-80% numbers. Going to do an even finer crush and insulate my HLT for the next batch.

Also, playing with PH levels. "Sierra Springs" bottled water was 6.0 added Five Star PH and was right at 5.2. The next batch was tap water, had a PH of 6.5 added five star PH and was at 5.2. I've always added Five Star PH but now in seeing if it really works, so far so good.

I'm on well water here so not really concerned with chlorine levels, but I did send off a sample for analysis.

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Old 06-19-2013, 12:54 AM   #57
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My thoughts are this;

Too fine a crush will cause more channeling to occur in the grain bed. This may be controversial and I'm good with that, I can tell you from my personal experience, opening my gaps made my efficiency jump up 4%.

Someone I don't know from parts unknown did a study on it;
http://509899.cache1.evolutionhosting.com/wp-content/uploads/ImprovingBrewhouseEfficiency-Havig.pdf



I didn't hear anyone mention length of time in sparging. Fly sparging too fast causes a large interface between wort and water. The larger this interface, the less effective the sparge. Ideally I like the sparge to take at least 40 min. The longer the sparge, the higher the efficiency ( there are, of course, diminishing returns).

Unless you have unbroken kernels in your grist, consider opening your mill gaps( assuming you are milling your own)

If you fly-sparge, run it as slow as you can stand.

These two things raised my mash efficiency to an average 77%

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Old 06-19-2013, 02:06 PM   #58
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I have been ordering my grains milled, my last brew was ordered crushed then gave them a "light once over" in the corona mill.

My next brew the grains are unmilled, so I'll be tossing some pics up with grain crush, for approval before brewing, when the time comes.

For fly sparging, I sparged with 170 deg water over 50min. I did not do a mash out this time, but planning on doing it with the next brew.

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Old 06-19-2013, 03:26 PM   #59
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My last brew session a Blue Moon Clone

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name
1.00 tbsp Five Star PH 5.2
5 lbs American 2-Row
4 lbs White Wheat Malt
1 lbs Oats, Flaked
1.00 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 4%AA
1.25 tsp McCormick Ground Coriander Seed
0.33 tsp McCormick Ground Orange Peel, Sweet
1.0 pkg Safale American #US-05

Notes:
------
Ran the milled grains (ordered milled from AHS) through the corona mill (with very little to no change in crush)
Heated 13.5 quarts of strike water to 175 deg
Poured the strike water into mash tun, ph was 6.2
Allowed mash to to heat up
Stirred in 1 tbsp PH 5.2, ph now 5.0
Mashed in at 160 deg
Mashed for 60 min at 150 deg
Iodine test for starches was negative
Voluraf x 2
Heated 6 gal of sparge water to 170 deg
Fly Sparged with 170 deg water over 50 min to boil volume of 6.5 gal
sg 1.038 / 9.5 brix
heated wort to boil
added hops in muslin bag
boiled 45 min
added coriander and orange peel
boiled 15 min
flame out and covered pot
connected plate chiller (circulated ice water through plate chiller with it submerged in ice water)
drained kettle through plate chiller
wort was 200+ deg going in and 70 deg going out
cooled 5.5 gal wort to 70 deg in 30 min
og 1.50 / 12 brix
oxygenated wort and pitched yeast

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Kegged: Full Sail Amber Ale, Guinness Stout, Blonde Ale, AHS Moose Drool, AHS Shiner Bock, Roggenbier, SmasH Pilsner/Saaz, Cream Ale
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:57 AM   #60
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Brewed up a blonde ale today. Very happy with the results.

10lbs pale 2 row
1 lb crystal 10l

75% Conversion Efficency and 86% Brewhouse Efficency

Changes for this brew
1. Ran unmilled grains through my new corona mill
2. Did a mash out

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Primary: Shiner Wild Hare
Secondary: Barleywine
Kegged: Full Sail Amber Ale, Guinness Stout, Blonde Ale, AHS Moose Drool, AHS Shiner Bock, Roggenbier, SmasH Pilsner/Saaz, Cream Ale
Bottled:Merlot, Dead Ringer IPA, Apfelwine, Stout, Porter
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