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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > efficiency question......need help
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default efficiency question......need help

I just did my 2nd all grain batch today, I brewed a rye pa and ended up with only 66% total efficiency. I know that there are probably a bunch of post about this already but I wanted to get some feedback from some of you more experienced all grainers and see if you guys could help me out. I would like to atleast get up into the 70s.

This is what I did

15.75lb of grain

My local homebrew store crushed the grain at .035mm
boiled 5.25 gal of water and mashed at 153 for 60 mins. (stirred really well)
got 3.25 gals of wort for 1st runoff. 1.069 gravity
sparged with 3.30 gal of 180 water. temp in mash was 160. sparged for 10 mins then drained into brew kettle. 2nd runnings 1.036
boiled 60 mins at end of boil had 5.5 gal wort into fermenter. 1.065 gravity.


I was shooting for a starting gravity of around 1.073 which would of got me 72% efficiency. What am I doing wrong? I really want to get this down, if there is any tips you guys can give me Im all ears.

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Old 11-18-2013, 12:08 AM   #2
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I don't think you are doing anything wrong frankly. This may be the efficiency you need to live with for your system. If you truly are not happy with this I'd see if you can get your crush a little finer and do a mash out getting your temp up around 170.

Fwiw the difference between 65 and 70% efficiency is just a few pennies more grain. Hardly worth stressing over from my perspective.

Steve da sleeve

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Old 11-18-2013, 12:09 AM   #3
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Did you take hydrometer readings? With cooled wort?
Were your volume measurements accurate?
Did you have loss to trub or equipment?
If you mix your pre-boil wort really well, and carefully measure SG and volume, that will tell your mash efficiency, which is a better number to chase IMO.

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Old 11-18-2013, 12:09 AM   #4
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In my opinion, the easiest place to start to improve your efficiency is to eventually purchase your own mill and bulk base malts. Toying with the rollers to get your optimum crush (for your system) is simple, especially if you keep good notes. And different brands of malt will also give you different yields. In the mean time, I would simply change your recipes to 66% eff. That is the name of the game. Consistency. If you are confident that your efficiency is a constant number, you can duplicate any recipe.

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Old 11-18-2013, 12:37 AM   #5
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Did you take hydrometer readings? With cooled wort?
Were your volume measurements accurate?
Did you have loss to trub or equipment?
If you mix your pre-boil wort really well, and carefully measure SG and volume, that will tell your mash efficiency, which is a better number to chase IMO.




I used a refractometer with automatic temperature control.
Yes my volume measurements were accurate. I have a sight glass on my brew kettle that tells me how much is in there

I lose about a .25 gal to equipment.

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Old 11-18-2013, 12:39 AM   #6
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My equipment by the way is a 10 gal igloo cooler mash tun w/ a false bottom and a 15.5 gal brew kettle.

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Old 11-18-2013, 02:08 AM   #7
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Typically only doing one batch sparge will cost you a few percentage points. If you'd rather not do a second sparge and save the 15-20 minutes then next time just add another lb or two of malt. Unless you're running a business or truly have dreadful extraction, don't worry about efficiency.

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Old 11-18-2013, 02:26 AM   #8
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How well did you stir after adding the sparge water? That's probably the single most important aspect of batch sparging.

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Old 11-18-2013, 08:12 AM   #9
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I've only done 2 AG batches, but your sparge water volume seems low to me, the batch I did the other day I mashed with 3.4 gallons and sparged with 5.9 gallons. My pre boil volume was 8 gallons and I had 80% mash efficiency. My overall efficiency was 64% though because I didn't boil off enough, I was 6 points low on my OG. Like someone previously said, take your readings with cooled wort because the temperature correction is worthless, that screwed up my readings on my first AG batch.

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Old 11-18-2013, 08:28 AM   #10
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Rye malt can be difficult to crush. It is smaller and harder than barley malt. My first batch had low efficiency. Next batch I crushed the rye on a much smaller setting and the efficiency was back to normal.

The most current batch had no rye but very low efficiency. I think it was caused by poor mash temp control and not stirring the mash 2 or 3 times.

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