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Old 06-01-2012, 06:08 PM   #1
planecrazy29
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Default Don't know what I'm doing wrong....

I've got about 4 AG batches under my belt, but have yet to have one come close to my desired OG. My efficiency runs about 58%. The LHBS has a monster mill that is set to .042 for the crush. It gives a very nice crush. I have a 2 cooler setup and fly sparge. Any ideas on how to increase my efficiency? The latest brew was 4 lbs of white wheat, 6 lbs of 2 row pale ale and 1 lb of vienna. My pre-boil gravity was 1.032 and volume was about 6.5 gallons. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 06-01-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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Start off with asking your LHBS to run your grains through twice. If that doesn't fix the problem then you'll probably have to provide your whole brewing process for people to analyze and look for solutions.

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Old 06-01-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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There are a number of things, and I'm sure some of the guys out there with more experience can throw in more: what temps are you mashing at? how long are you mashing? and what temp are you sparging at? are good questions to start off with.

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Old 06-01-2012, 06:27 PM   #4
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try batch sparging once and see if it helps your efficency.

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Old 06-01-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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Assuming your crush is good....

First and foremost, I would try batch sparging. It is faster and more forgiving than fly sparging, which can be subject to channeling effects if you're not using the right type of false bottom.

-Make sure your thermometer is calibrated. Double check your mash temp with another calibrated thermometer. Ditto for calibrating/checking your hydrometer/refractometer.

-Check your mash pH. If you water happens to be highly alkaline and you're brewing lighter beers, you could be outside the range for proper enzymatic activity.

-Be sure you are measuring your volumes correctly. Brewhouse efficiency is difficult to measure accurately if you don't know your system losses precisely. You may be collecting more wort than your software is projecting.

-Do an iodine test to ensure complete conversion of starches.

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
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My LHBS has a giant mill that is great and I set the gap to .028 and get efficiency in the 70's. It sounds to me that the gap is set a little loose based on my experience. Try crushing with a tighter gap. Try making one adjustment at a time and keep detailed notes. I noticed that when I mash towards the thin side at 1.5qts/lb that I got better efficiency than when I mashed thicker around 1.25qts/lb. Each system is different so YMMV.

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
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How long is your runoff? If you run it too fast you are going to lose some efficiency

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Old 06-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #8
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+1 on thermometer calibration

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Old 06-01-2012, 11:08 PM   #9
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I'll add to the mile-long laundry list of questions: does your mash hold temperature well? If you're losing heat, how much? How long do you typically mash for? Have you tried doing an iodine test to make sure you're getting full conversion (you probably are, but it's a cheap and easy thing to check).

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Old 06-02-2012, 01:21 AM   #10
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Also what water are you using?

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