Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Another efficiency thread - sorry!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-11-2009, 02:00 AM   #1
erock2112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 300
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Another efficiency thread - sorry!

Hey guys. I just brewed a porter today and I tried several new things to improve my efficiency. I've been hovering around 65% for the past few batches. This time, I did a thinner mash (2qt/lb) for 75 min instead of 60 min. I also used Primo water (www.primowater.com) from the grocery store instead of my tap water.

The recipe, for 5.5 gal:

8 lb 8 oz 2-Row ---------- 76%
1 lb 2 oz Crystal 60L ----- 10%
1 lb 0 oz Victory --------- 9%
0 lb 6 oz Roasted Barley -- 3%
0 lb 4 oz Chocolate Malt -- 2%

Mash @ 153 for 75 min

Est. OG at 70% Eff: 1.053

2 oz Willamette @ 60 min

I've been doing a double batch sparge, but this time I used a single batch.

FW Volume: 4.1 gal
FW SG: 1.056
Second Running Vol: 3.2 gal
SR SG: 1.021

I boiled down and ended up with about 5 gallons of wort at 1.053. I can't complain too much, since I hit my OG, but my FW SG suggests that I could be doing a lot better, and I should have ended up with 5.5 gal of wort. I had hoped between mashing longer, using store-bought water, and mashing thinner, I'd get a big jump in conversion efficiency, but I was right where I've been, at about 77%. I'm pretty sure the grain crush was good, but this is what happened at the LHBS: They typically let you crush your own grains. I started to do so, when the crusher stopped turning. I went and got the guy, and he fixed it, but the rollers had moved apart, and not much was getting crushed. We went through a couple of different settings and milled all of the grain three times at progressively narrower gaps. It was the finest crush I've had yet, and I'd have a hard time believing that was the problem. I haven't checked the pH, but I hoped I would have fixed that issue through the use of store-bought water. I dough in by transferring the strike water from kettle to mash tun and then slowly pouring in grain while stirring. I stirred every fifteen minutes during the mash. Any ideas on what's keeping my conversion efficiency down?

__________________
HomeBrew Blog
erock2112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2009, 02:05 AM   #2
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,616
Liked 53 Times on 50 Posts

Default

How do you know your conv. eff is low?

What is your current conv. eff?

What is your current lauter eff?

Is your conv. eff. 77%?? Or is that your brewhouse?

If you have a good crush, what is your mash pH?

Is your thermometer reliable?

If your FW was 1.056, and you mashed at 2qt/lb, I am showing conv. eff. of 89%

__________________

Last edited by The Pol; 11-11-2009 at 02:14 AM.
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2009, 02:11 AM   #3
erock2112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 300
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Based on the FW gravity: mine was 1.056, vs 1.064 at 100% conversion

This puts my conversion efficiency at 77%. I haven't figured out the lauter efficiency, but in this case it (with the help of the extended boil) was enough to put me in the high 60's overall post-boil.

__________________
HomeBrew Blog
erock2112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2009, 02:16 AM   #4
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,616
Liked 53 Times on 50 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by erock2112 View Post
Based on the FW gravity: mine was 1.056, vs 1.064 at 100% conversion

This puts my conversion efficiency at 77%. I haven't figured out the lauter efficiency, but in this case it (with the help of the extended boil) was enough to put me in the high 60's overall post-boil.
56/64 is actually 88%
__________________
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2009, 02:19 AM   #5
erock2112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 300
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
56/64 is actually 88%
So it is. I was reading my numbers wrong. The FW SG was 1.050. So I was at 78%.
__________________
HomeBrew Blog
erock2112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2009, 02:21 AM   #6
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,616
Liked 53 Times on 50 Posts

Default

If you have the crush, pH and temp. nailed down, you should be in the 90's.

So, somewhere in there... one or more of those things needs tweaking IMHO

Store bought water wont solve a pH issue necessarily.

__________________
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2009, 02:34 AM   #7
erock2112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 300
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I'll pick up some 5.2. The store-bought water was expensive (first time purchase of the bottles => $30 for this batch in water alone). I'll see what 5.2 does to my tap water, and then maybe I'll try store-bought again.

Crush is inconsistent as I'm still having it done at the LHBS, but as long as I'm picky about it there I think it'll be fine. Crusher is on my wish list!

Wish I were more accurate with the temperatures... I have a cheap candy thermometer which tends to stop moving when it's within a few degrees of the actual temperature. I can be fairly sure that the temp was between 150 and 155F though. Decent thermometer is also on the wish list, but all I see is complaints about any given model.

Thanks for your feedback

__________________
HomeBrew Blog
erock2112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2009, 02:42 AM   #8
The Pol
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,616
Liked 53 Times on 50 Posts

Default

That is a lot for water. I can get a gallon of distilled for $.80

__________________
The Pol is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2009, 02:48 AM   #9
erock2112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 300
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Yeah, I may have to look into other options if I decide to permanently replace tap water. It's the bottle exchange thing at the front of the grocery store. The refill for a 5g bottle is $7, now that I've paid for the bottle, so it'd be cheaper next time, but around $15/batch is still steep.

__________________
HomeBrew Blog
erock2112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
One more poor efficiency thread....... sparkyaber All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 26 04-24-2009 11:38 AM
Yet another efficiency question thread cladinshadows All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 02-16-2009 05:10 PM
"Prost" ratings next to thread titles; also, "Skunk This Thread"? Evan! HomeBrewTalk Announcements & Feedback 21 01-11-2008 07:21 PM
Another efficiency thread. Sea All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 26 11-01-2007 01:46 AM