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Old 10-07-2012, 01:30 PM   #31
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Nah I'm done. If he wasn't going to take it from Denny Conn he sure isn't going to take it from me.
Thanks for the info bottlebomber. Your posts made a lot of sense to me.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:16 PM   #32
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my next purchase will be a grain mill! I'll be paying closer attention to my sparge volumes. Thanks all.
A grain mill definitely made the biggest difference for me as well. I went from 65% - 74% varying efficiency when I had Northern Brewer crush my grains to a rather consistent 81% efficiency. Seems the only time my efficiency comes in lower than 79-81% these days is when doing my pumpkin ales, and I figured it's likely due to the pumpkin in the mash (absorption, slows runoff, etc), though I still get 75% or so efficiency.


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Old 10-07-2012, 02:35 PM   #33
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I'm still struggling to get my efficiency consistent. I've done 5 all grain batches, with percentages of 61, 62, 73, 61, and yesterday I got 66. Not sure how I managed to pull that 73% but I would be happy to get that every time. I think it's got a lot to do with water volumes for me. I batch sparge, and yesterday I made sure to use less water than my previous batch, less than what Beersmith said to, I tipped my mash tun, but still didn't get as high as I wanted. Interestingly, it seems that I got out more than what I put in when I sparged, about .25 gallons. Oh well, it's a process. I think next time around I'm going to try splitting my sparge water into 2 additions.

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:43 PM   #34
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i dont have a grain mill right now. my LHBS crushes my grain.
I increased my efficiency by >5% avg with store ground grain by recrushing it in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Rarely have I found brew shop crush to be adequate and never as part of a kit batch.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:50 PM   #35
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I think next time around I'm going to try splitting my sparge water into 2 additions.
I double batch sparge. I personally think it makes more sense than a single larger rinse. I know there are some that will disagree but it's worked wonderfully for me.


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Old 10-07-2012, 04:56 PM   #36
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To be honest I just DON'T GET why fly sparging takes longer. I do a double batch sparge (no mash out, 10 minutes rest after each sparge addition is added, vorlouf every time) and it takes a while. 15 mins total for vorlouf, 20 mins total for sparge rests and prolly 20 mins to collect runnings: over 1hr total. I dont fly sparge b/c I only have one kettle and my mash tun is rectangular. Why is fly sparging considered to be the longer process of the two? Does it just take a really long time to collect the runnings (ie do you throttle down the valves really slow)? TIA!
You're taking too long to batch sparge. One batch is enough unless your tun isn't big enough to hold all the water at once. And there's absolutely nothing to be gained from a 10 min. rest after adding your sparge water. It takes me a total of 15 min. from the time I start running off my mash til the time I finish running off my sparge.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #37
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I double batch sparge. I personally think it makes more sense than a single larger rinse. I know there are some that will disagree but it's worked wonderfully for me.


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I tried a double batch sparge maybe 12-15 times. I saw my efficiency rise maybe 2-3%. I don't consider that enough of a gain to be worth my time or effort. There are other things you can do that will increase your efficiency much more than that. And BTW, in batch sparging you're draining, not rinsing. That's why doing it twice shouldn't really increase your efficiency much.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:31 PM   #38
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Can draining the mash tun slower when batch sparging increase efficiency?

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:40 PM   #39
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Can draining the mash tun slower when batch sparging increase efficiency?
Nope. I've experimented with that, too. If you were rinsing, going slower would help. But as pointed out, you're not rinsing, you're draining. The sugar is in solution in the liquid, not in the grain.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:46 PM   #40
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And BTW, in batch sparging you're draining, not rinsing. That's why doing it twice shouldn't really increase your efficiency much.
In regard to what you said prior, that's your experience and I certainly wouldn't argue that. But you really want to correct my use of the term "rinse"? Really? Come on now. You are effectively rinsing the grain to get all the wort off them. From dictionary.com's 2nd and 3rd entry:


2. to douse or drench in clean water as a final stage in washing.
3. to remove (soap, dirt, etc.) by such a process (often followed by off ).

We are removing the wort. To get it out of the tun you are draining, obviously.


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