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Old 06-21-2012, 02:06 PM   #11
hogwash
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I usually take the total amount of water I need and split it in half but I think I need to get my first runnings to be half of the preboil volume instead of the strike water being half. I don't want to change too much at once because I want to figure out what is causing this. Any thoughts.
The way I read this it sounds like you're not accounting for absorption? Typical strike water volumes are, as said before, 1 - 1.5 qts. Per lb of grain and sparge water usually 2 qts/lb. I have lately been using less sparge water per brewpal's instructions and actually hit 82% on my last batch. (which I'm not considering a good thing because that means my OG was way high.) I'm not sure the 2 are related but maybe they are.

Make sure there are no dry grains when you mash in and stir like hell when you add your sparge water. Also make sure your sparge water is raising the temp of your grain bed to 165-168f. Some will say they sparge at a lower temp but once I got that worked out my efficiency shot up. So it helped for me.


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Old 06-21-2012, 03:08 PM   #12
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I am taking account for absorption, I usually need 7 gallons to get 5.5 post boil. I usually lose .12 gallons per pound to absorption. I am usually within 1.25 to 1.5 qts/lb. when I split my mash and sparge water evenly. I am wondering if my hydrometer is off. I will take it to work tonight and check it in distilled water(I work in a lab with a still).



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Old 06-21-2012, 03:32 PM   #13
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I hope that's it. Good luck!

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Old 06-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #14
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I just brewed a batch purchased from BMW, and got my usual 75% efficiency - this is batch sparging using a 10 gallon cooler w/ braid. Seems okay to me (it's usually somewhere between 70-75%). I have another bag of crushed grain from BMW for my next batch sitting at home. I can take a picture of the crush later this evening which you can use for comparison.

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Old 06-21-2012, 04:03 PM   #15
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Ok, so fwiw I've noticed the mash/sparge ratios made a huge difference on my efficiency. I run a very small kettle (4g) so I have to mash concentrated worts. If I split the water evenly it was pushing it to use 1 qt/lb depending on grain bill. The trick I found was to mash big and sparge small, that way I'm getting the good conversion on first runnings. It has gotten me up to almost 70% even with a thick sparge. I don't know if it would make as much difference though, if you can use over 1.25 qt/lb for both.

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Old 06-22-2012, 12:03 AM   #16
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My LHBS is BMW and I get 65-70% batch sparging. Sometimes a little bit higher, sometimes a little lower. I mash with 1.33 to 1.5 qt/lb and usually end up with around a 7 gallon boil.

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Old 06-22-2012, 12:33 AM   #17
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I regularly get 72-75% efficiency with BMW's crush.

PS. That is the same efficiency (72-75%) I get with Farmhouse and Northern Brewer's crush.

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Old 06-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #18
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I am taking account for absorption, I usually need 7 gallons to get 5.5 post boil. I usually lose .12 gallons per pound to absorption. I am usually within 1.25 to 1.5 qts/lb. when I split my mash and sparge water evenly. I am wondering if my hydrometer is off. I will take it to work tonight and check it in distilled water(I work in a lab with a still).
Okay, looks like I read it wrong then!
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:29 PM   #19
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I alternate between NB and BMW and I can tell you that my efficiency is not related to who I get the grain from. I also get around 60% mashing 6 lb of grain w/ 1.25qt/lb and batch sparging with the same ratio, bringing my temp up to 170 F for 10 minutes for the mashout phase. I'm using a cooler, easily hit 152F for the mash, mash about 60 minutes and only lose 2 degrees in the process. I use the 60% figure in Brewsmith and usually come very close to getting the predicted OG, that is how I know that the 60% figure is representative of what I'm getting.

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Old 06-22-2012, 04:29 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the replies. I didn't think it was their crush I was just hoping I found an easy answer. I didn't get a chance to check my hydrometer with distilled water last night(I actually had to work when I was at work).



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