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Old 05-25-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default Am I killing my efficiency...

by mashing too thin? I use the "Denny" set-up, but for some reason have not been mashing out. I mash thin, drain the mash tun, measure my first runnings, and do a single batch sparge with the necessary volume of very hot water. I try to get a 40/60 to 50/50 split in first and second runnings volumes.

With smaller beers, I might eek out 70% eff, but with bigger beers (anything with an OG over 060), I am consistently in the low 60s. A buddy is using the same crush with good efficiency, so I don't think that is my problem.

Would I likely get another 6-8pts by mashing thicker (1.25qt/lb), adding a mash out, and then doing my usual single batch sparge? Would I get the same bump in eff. by not mashing out but instead just splitting my sparge?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 05-25-2013, 11:21 PM   #2
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You don't need a mash out with batch sparging. Once you add the sparge water you essentially have stopped enzymatic activity which is the purpose of the mash out used when fly sparging.

As for efficiency, how's the crush, are you meeting your volumes, do you stir the mash, bazooka screen or false bottom?

Bigger grain bills will usually see a drop in efficiency anyways.

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Old 05-26-2013, 12:21 AM   #3
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How long are you mashing for? I jumped significantly going to a 90 mash using grains crushed by AHBS. Last one was at 83% for pre-boil efficiency.

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Old 05-26-2013, 12:49 AM   #4
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I don't think the mash out will gain you much if any. But mashing thinner and then splitting the sparge water between 2 sparges might get you a few points.

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Old 05-26-2013, 03:48 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=duboman;5223263]As for efficiency, how's the crush, are you meeting your volumes, do you stir the mash, bazooka screen or false bottom?

Volumes are good. Crush is good enough for others that I know are using it to get 80% eff.

I stir the mash once at dough-in and again just before I drain the tun. I then add my sparge and stir very well again.

I use a SS braid, about 18 inches long.

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Old 05-26-2013, 03:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayDubWill View Post
How long are you mashing for? I jumped significantly going to a 90 mash using grains crushed by AHBS. Last one was at 83% for pre-boil efficiency.
60 minutes.

I am beginning to think I have a conversion problem. I was thinking it is related to mash thickness-- had not thought about time.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:34 PM   #7
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I mash for 30 minutes and get 80% + efficiency. I also mash thin, like 2.6 qts/pound (BIAB). I think you have a crush problem and simply can't get the grain particles wet to the center so the enzymes can do their work and can't leach out all the sugars that the enzymes do produce for you. Doing a long time mash is simply a way to work around a crush that is too coarse as it lets the water soak farther into the grains.

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Old 05-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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A lower mash temp will require a longer mash time.
Do an iodine test to make sure conversion is done.
Maybe you are mashing out before the mash is really done?
70% ain't great but it isn't terrible either.

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Old 05-26-2013, 11:19 PM   #9
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Another thought - have you checked you thermometer is calibrated correctly?

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