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Old 02-02-2014, 06:06 PM   #1
atoughram
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Default Efficiency Problems

I recently remodeled my RIMS system, electrifying my HLT and changing the RIMS element to 240V 2Kw (from 1125W 120V) so I could do step mashes. In my years of brewing I've tried to step mash but with on 1125W, steps took took long.

I've been making the same recipe hefeweizen for a few years now and my efficiencies have been 65-66% for wheat type mashes - my efficiencies for all malt are 75-85%. I'm not getting all wrapped around the axle with efficiencies, but I brewed my hefe yesterday and added two pounds of malt to counter the lower efficiency.

In the past, I've been pretty consistent, hitting 1.042 to 1.044 with two pounds less grain. Yesterday, I did a step mash, holding it at 122f for 30 minutes first, then raising it to 148f for 75 minutes. After 75, I did an iodine test and it still shown some starch so I let it go for another 20 minutes before mashing out. My final gravity was 1.037 and 50% efficient I've never had a mash take that long.

I stuck the mash once - I'm still learning my new and improved system, and it smelled a bit scorched but the outlet temp on the RIMS never exceeded 148f so I dont think it denatured anything. Also, the wort was quite milky even though the iodine test looked good. It had an incredible hot break in the BK.

So I guess my question is - Should I not do a protein rest next time? I'm not sure that it's necessary for fully modified malts. Comments/Suggestions?

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Clover Creek Brewery, Puyallup WA
Planning - Snagtooth Pale Ale
Fermenters - Carbon River Hefe OG 1.050, Mulholland Hard Cider OG 1.055
On tap
Ichter Hill IPA OG 1.058
Carbon River Hefe OG 1.046
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:07 PM   #2
atoughram
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I wanted to add - it's the same LHBS, same grain, same mill, same water, same same...

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Clover Creek Brewery, Puyallup WA
Planning - Snagtooth Pale Ale
Fermenters - Carbon River Hefe OG 1.050, Mulholland Hard Cider OG 1.055
On tap
Ichter Hill IPA OG 1.058
Carbon River Hefe OG 1.046
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
stpug
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That's a tough one without actually being there to watch the whole process.

I'm assuming wheat malt (as opposed to raw wheat), in which case the protein rest is not necessary HOWEVER it should not have had a negative effect on your efficiency. If anything, it should have helped due to a less sticky sparge and a longer rehydration period for the grain.

If you were fly sparging then perhaps you developed some channels and missed rinsing some of the sugars from large sections of the grainbed. If you were batch sparging (and stirring) then I don't know. If you're saying that everything was equal to prior batches - just the change RIMS system - then perhaps it was somehow related to the RIMS system. My understanding is that starch will read very nearly the same as sugar in a solution with a hydrometer so even if you denatured the enzymes and left a large amount of starch in solution it would still have read the same.

Sorry I can't help more.

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Old 02-02-2014, 08:31 PM   #4
atoughram
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Hmm... Batch sparged, but I typically dont stir - never have.

I'm not sure if I'd call it batch sparge - I adjust my outflow to keep from compacting the grain bed and then pump sparge water onto the top of the bed to keep it covered. Same as I've always done it. Thanks for the thoughts!

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Clover Creek Brewery, Puyallup WA
Planning - Snagtooth Pale Ale
Fermenters - Carbon River Hefe OG 1.050, Mulholland Hard Cider OG 1.055
On tap
Ichter Hill IPA OG 1.058
Carbon River Hefe OG 1.046
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