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Old 03-17-2012, 01:06 AM   #281
chrisinpgh
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Default First AG brew..need a lil advice

Fellow HB's...well I ventured into my first AG brew last weekend! My issue is that I used an insane amount of hops (hopburst ale) 16oz to 6 gal wort...the filtration is not as good as I would have liked. I am seeing the TRUB as a mostly green tan appearance. I am wondering, with so much hop sludge is there a better filter to use or should I switch to hop extracts? I want to maintain the integrity of the brew by using real hops but my filter is just not catching as much as I think it should..any help is appreciated!
thanks

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Old 03-17-2012, 01:21 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by chrisinpgh View Post
Fellow HB's...well I ventured into my first AG brew last weekend! My issue is that I used an insane amount of hops (hopburst ale) 16oz to 6 gal wort...the filtration is not as good as I would have liked. I am seeing the TRUB as a mostly green tan appearance. I am wondering, with so much hop sludge is there a better filter to use or should I switch to hop extracts? I want to maintain the integrity of the brew by using real hops but my filter is just not catching as much as I think it should..any help is appreciated!
thanks
The trub isn't going to hurt anything. when you rack it to keg/secondary/bottling bucket you'll leave it all behind
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:31 AM   #283
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Grain absorbtion is approximately .125 gallons per pound of grain. So 12 .125 = 1.5 gallons absorbed by the grain. So you would be able to get 2.25 (3.75 - 1.5) gallons of wort out of that. Sparge with a remaining volume X so you reach your target pre boil volume. 2.25 + X = Y

I like to collect 7.5 gallon to start my boil. evaporate of 1.5 gallons in an hour boil and arrive at my 6 gallon planned batch size. In the equation above my X value would be 5.25 gallons of sparge water to equal my pre boil of 7.5
You evaporate 1.5 gallons / hour???
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:23 PM   #284
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"Try doing a batch with store bought water, see if you get any improvement. If so, you've found your culprit and can start working out how to address it."

I have brewed two batches with my old 5 gallon cooler.

One with tap water and one with store bought water

53 % efficiency on one batch and 59% on the last batch. I'm now wondering if fly sparging and or switching to a false bottom will help?
I currently have a 1/2" stainless braid for my 5 gallon and a 1" for my 10 gallon tun.

3 gal and 5 gal batch procedures: ( water quantity is the only variable)
Heat water to 163. Usually around 5 gal, but follow Beersmith
Add my grain ( crushed to .39). Add 5.2 and stir for 3-4 mins,
Insert temp probe to monitor temps inside Tun. Always hit 150-152 and hold for 60 minutes. ( last batch was 75 mins).
I then drain slowly (vorlof) 4 quarts and add back in, pouring through collander.
I then drain slowly at first and then open valve all the way. To fully drain tun.
I then add sparge water. 180 degree. Around 3 gallons. I stir 4-5 mins and then vorlof again just like above. Drain slowly and then open valve fully. I measure collected wort and take prevail gravity.

Anything stick out as the source for my poor efficiency?

Thanks!

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Old 03-19-2012, 10:13 PM   #285
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Add my grain ( crushed to .39).
Add 5.2 and stir for 3-4 mins,
Insert temp probe to monitor temps inside Tun.

Anything stick out as the source for my poor efficiency?

Thanks!
stop using 5.2. it doesn't stabilize your PH at 5.2. think about it. How does the company making it know what your starting PH is? How do they know what type of grain you're using? They don't and can't adjust your PH magically by adding one product. Besides if you search here you'll find PLENTY of posts about how it didn't work.

When you tried store bought water, did you adjust the water at all? Other than 5.2? Was it distilled water? or spring water? If distilled you need to add salts back into it. Check the water chemistry section to learn more about that. TW, A lot of the store bought "Spring Water" really comes from a city water source, you know... tap water

if you crush your own grains, try conditioning the grain and then crushing at a finer setting.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:31 AM   #286
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stop using 5.2. it doesn't stabilize your PH at 5.2. think about it. How does the company making it know what your starting PH is? How do they know what type of grain you're using? They don't and can't adjust your PH magically by adding one product. Besides if you search here you'll find PLENTY of posts about how it didn't work.

When you tried store bought water, did you adjust the water at all? Other than 5.2? Was it distilled water? or spring water? If distilled you need to add salts back into it. Check the water chemistry section to learn more about that. TW, A lot of the store bought "Spring Water" really comes from a city water source, you know... tap water

if you crush your own grains, try conditioning the grain and then crushing at a finer setting.
Thanks for the feedback. I have researched the 5.2 topic and even mentioned it in my previous post that I have started to doubt the validity of the claims. I agree with you on "how could this work"? But got suckered in when I first started brewing and didn't know any better


The water I bought was spring water which has a PH of 6.

Http://www.crystalgeyser.com/docs/bottled_water_report_arkansas_colgrove.pdf

After running these numbers through the EZ water calculator, it says my mash was 5.65.

This leaves me with double crushing or narrowing the gap of my mill just a tiny bit to see if this helps.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:38 AM   #287
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This leaves me with double crushing or narrowing the gap of my mill just a tiny bit to see if this helps.
look into conditioning the grain.. its real easy to do and will allow you to go MUCH tighter on the gap while leaving the husks mostly intact (which is needed for the filter bed)
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/if-you-not-conditioning-your-grain-check-out-255860/
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:24 AM   #288
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5.2 is a Ph buffer. It generally works to keep the Ph of your mash from falling below 5.2,regardless of starting point. I say generally because if you have a abnormal water profile or a grain bill with large amounts of roasted malts it may not do the job well enough. IMO, using 5.2 is a good alternative to doing nothing. Understanding your water profile and grain bill and adjusting accordingly is best.

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Old 03-20-2012, 07:13 PM   #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticmead

look into conditioning the grain.. its real easy to do and will allow you to go MUCH tighter on the gap while leaving the husks mostly intact (which is needed for the filter bed)
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/if-you-not-conditioning-your-grain-check-out-255860/
I ran about 6 lbs through my mill last night and ended up with complete husk intact. I'm going to dial down the mill to .25 and run the other half through for my next batch.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll post back my efficiency next week. Cheers!!
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:31 PM   #290
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I ran about 6 lbs through my mill last night and ended up with complete husk intact. I'm going to dial down the mill to .25 and run the other half through for my next batch.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll post back my efficiency next week. Cheers!!
For those who haven't tried conditioning their grains, this is one of the best tips I have received on HBT for improving efficiency. I brewed up a Pale Ale (all hopped up of course) and got 71% efficiency for the first time. Conditioning allowed me to tighten up to .20 gap on my mill. I may try to tighten up a little more to see if I can get even more efficiency next time.
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