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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Efficiency debacle
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
SONICYOUTH
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Default Efficiency debacle

I brewed an IPA last night with the following:

10# Pale 2-row
4# Muntons
1# 10L
.5# 20L
.125# Carapils

I mashed it for 60 minutes at about 156-158 and then recirculated the first runnings. I sparged with about 5 gallons of water to collect 6 gallons of wort. It should have come out to an efficiency of above 1.07 but I only got it to 1.054. I've even gone as far to get a grain mill to mash my grains better than at the store. WHAT IS GOING ON

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Old 02-02-2012, 03:36 PM   #2
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Looks like you got an efficiency of 50% ish. I would look at the crush from the mill (did you adjust the rollers?)

Another thing would be to make sure you are stirring the mash really well.

If you're getting a poor crush or not stirring enough your efficiency will suck.

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:00 PM   #3
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I did adjust the rollers but how small is too small for the crush? I felt like I was getting either flour or what I got. I stirred plenty well so I'm pretty sure that is not the problem.

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SONICYOUTH View Post
I brewed an IPA last night with the following:

10# Pale 2-row
4# Muntons
1# 10L
.5# 20L
.125# Carapils

I mashed it for 60 minutes at about 156-158 and then recirculated the first runnings. I sparged with about 5 gallons of water to collect 6 gallons of wort. It should have come out to an efficiency of above 1.07 but I only got it to 1.054. I've even gone as far to get a grain mill to mash my grains better than at the store. WHAT IS GOING ON
So you collected only 1 gallon from the mash and 5 from the sparge? Sounds like a really thick mash. Temperature could come down a couple of degrees, too.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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How much should I be collecting from the initial mash then?

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
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If you do a batch sparge.... everything from the initial mash. Was the mash tun completely drained? How many gallons did you mash with?

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #7
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I mashed with about 4-5 gallons of water. How much should I be getting BEFORE I sparge?

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by librewer View Post
If you do a batch sparge.... everything from the initial mash.
This is not my understanding of batch sparge nor my practice.

When you mash in, you want somewhere between 1.25-2 quarts of mash water per pound of grain. I aim for 1.4qt. In your case, you're looking at ~22 quarts or 5.5 gallons of strike water (initial infusion).

After your mash time expires, you drain the 1st runnings and add the sparge water you've been heating while you wait. Grain absorbs somewhere around .12-.15 gal of water/pound (in your recipe, about 2.4 gallons), so you should get about 3-3.25 gallons first runnings.

If you want to start your boil with 6 gallons, it's simple math from here. 6 gallons pre-boil (goal) - 3.25 1st runnings = 2.75 gallons needed. Since the grain is pretty much full of water, you don't need to worry about absorbtion. Sparge volume is 2.75 gallons... let it sit 10 mins or so while the 1st runnings heat, then drain until you have your 6 gallons pre-boil volume.

The sparge/2nd runnings rinses a lot of sugar that was left behind by the original mash. Should help your efficiency a LOT!
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:45 PM   #9
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If you add 4.5 gal to the mash, that is about a 1.5 qt/lb. ratio. The grain will absorb about 1.4 to 1.5 gal leaving you with about 3 gal from the initial mash (first runnings) excluding any loss from dead space in the mash tun.

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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Aha. It sounds like I've been collecting too little from the first draining of my mash and sparging a bit too much. Gracias.

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