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Old 02-07-2010, 11:19 PM   #1
fredthecat
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Default did my first all grain batch yesterday (very low efficiency)

i used this site a ton, and have been learning from it over the past long while. i would say my first all grain batch was definitely successful, not amazing but far from bad. the main problem is a fairly low efficiency and i ended up with about 80% of the total amount of wort i expected! especially when my total grain bill was 14.5 lbs for a 5 gallon plan..


i didnt use a mash tun, mashed in my 7.5gallon pot, but mashing temps were very consistent i found, after grain hit the 160degree water it went down to just over 150, as i planned, i kept the lid shut and covered and one hour later it was in the mid 140s, then mashed 15 mins more. first mash's og was 1.06

emptied out this wort into other pots, and sparged grain in the 7.5gallon pot (im equipment deficient ) with amount of water that would total 7 gallons for boiling. unfortunately forgot to check the og of this wort

boiled this wort for 60 mins with timed hop additions. it was an irregular boil though i was trying to keep it at a "low rolling boil" as i saw suggested on this site so many times.

i cooled it in the kitchen sinks, alternating between them as each got too warm, fairly quickly for just a waterbath cooling, about 40 minutes at the most. i checked the final og before bottling it and temperature corrected it was only 1.055, which seems to me that i had a really low efficiency, because with 14lbs of grain most online calculators suggest that even at 60% efficiency i'd have a higher og than that


thankfully its going just fine, but im sad that it only seems like ive got about 14-15 litres out of my planned 20+

was it a heavy boiloffs fault?

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:52 AM   #2
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If you used 14.5 pounds of grain and ended up with 4 gallons of 1.055 wort, you achieved a brewhouse efficiency of 42%. Why that is I can't tell you, but if you post (if you have the info) the quantities and gravity readings of each runoff maybe we can figure out where the problem is.

The one thing I can tell you, is that the boiloff has nothing to do with efficiency. If you boil too much you simply end up with less quantity of higher gravity wort. The efficiency relates to how much sugar made it into the primary, and since the sugar doesn't boil off it doesn't affect it.

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Old 02-08-2010, 01:00 AM   #3
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Oh, just noticed you posted your first wort gravity. Even without knowing the quantity, 1.060 seems extremely low. It sounds like your main problem is a lack of extraction. How was the grain crushed? And I would suggest making sure your thermometer is accurate as well.

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Old 02-08-2010, 01:21 AM   #4
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hmm ok, thanks. now that you do mention it, i was using the temperature gauge that came with the turkey fryer (my brewpot), it is the kind that has a gauge attached to a long stick, and it seemed ok, room temperature was accurate on it at least. i was reading kaiser's thread on maximizing efficiency before i mashed actually, not sure what degree it was crushed, but i asked the LHBS person if it was crushed and they said yes.

so i mashed 14.5 lbs of grain into 15 litres (16 quarts) of water, the grain was almost peeking out overtop of the water, might that have been part of the problem too? should i mash longer?

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:07 PM   #5
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1.1 quarts/pound is a thick mash but you should still get decent efficiency. I did a porter this weekend that I mashed at 1.15 qt/lb (mash tun limitation) and ended up with 71% efficiency. If you have room I'd certainly mash thinner.

Are you sure your hydrometer is working properly and/or in calibration. 1.060 off a 1.1 qt/lb mash (assuming you did not mash out) means a severe problem with your mash. You say the LHBS person said it was crushed - could you not tell if it was crushed? See http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/ind...ting_the_Crush
I don't know what kind of efficiency you'd get if it wasn't crushed, but I'd hazard a guess that maybe it wasn't. ??

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Old 02-08-2010, 01:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredthecat View Post
so i mashed 14.5 lbs of grain into 15 litres (16 quarts) of water, the grain was almost peeking out overtop of the water, might that have been part of the problem too? should i mash longer?
For comparison, I did 4g of porter this weekend, and with 11lbs of grain and 15qts of water, My initial runnings were at 1.093.


It sounds to me like you've got really poor conversion.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:59 PM   #7
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This is a good reference as far as conversion efficiency goes:


http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index...use_Efficiency


At 1.1 qts/lb, you should have ended up around 1.105 for your first runnings. Sounds like you had about 60% conversion.

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Old 02-08-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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That's a handy chart - I was looking for something like that this weekend...

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Old 02-08-2010, 06:33 PM   #9
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hmm thanks alot, looking at the grain crushing examples page, i would say the grain was definitely crushed and wasnt one of the poor examples. to be honest, one thing i didnt take into account was that i didnt temperature correct my OG of 1.060 and it could have been up near ~1.075, which i guess still isnt great but is more realistic. thanks for the replies i think the problems i had were too much grain in too little liquid and poor sparging (i only took one runoff..)

but i cant wait to get back on the horse, next one will be a dortmund export attempt i think

thanks!

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Old 02-08-2010, 07:56 PM   #10
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Are you using a big grain bag in the kettle the whole mash, or pouring it through something? (Or another method for that matter. . ?)

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