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Old 11-19-2012, 10:10 PM   #21
Hex23
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Originally Posted by tre9er
Use software or at least formulas to determine the extract you're going to get from the grain you use, at the efficiency you plan for, and then adjust until your gravity is where you want it.
This should also help you avoid leaving so much water behind. I've done no sparge and batch sparge and with proper calculations I always seem to hit my pre boil volume right as the runnings slow to a trickle.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:46 PM   #22
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Good Idea, I will give this a shot. I am sure the crush is a part of the problem, not sure how much, but I have never made a beer that was the correct eff. it has always been low, regular tap water or RO with salts. The only other issue is the astringent taste, which I will have to mess around with sparging to see where that is comping from. Does anyone else use acid in the sparge, or do you just use plain ol water.
I guess I assumed you had written this data down and could figure it out retrospectively, but if not ...

The other thing you can do with a refractometer in this situation is monitor the mash before you start the runoff. Just let it keep going as long as gravity keeps going up or you hit your desired conversion efficiency. Extra time can compensate for other inhibiting factors, especially a poor crush. When I came to the conclusion that poor crush was a major problem for me, I was monitoring my mash and watched it go from 65% to 70% efficiency over the span from 60 to 90 minutes. It's not nice to have to wait an extra 30 minutes, but until you fix the problem, at least you may not have to alter the recipe by adding extract or boiling longer.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:49 AM   #23
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Next time I brew I will do a control batch with a simple pale ale recipe I have brewed before (Edworts pale ale). I will use tap water with no mineral additions, do a batch sparge with one sparge, and make sure I get the temps correct. I will see how it turns out and if the eff is off, and if the astringent flavor is there, ad then make adjustments from there.

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