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Old 01-02-2013, 02:48 AM   #1
Komocabo
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Default efficiency question... sitting around 60%

Hi there. I am doing 5.5 gallon AG batches. Currently have a keggle mashtun. Using false bottom and dip tube set up. Did 12 lbs Great Western Pale 2-row and 1 lb Great Western Crystal 40L. 3.6 gals strike water at 168 and hit my target of 153. Temp moved from 154 to 152 by end of 1 hour mash. Sparged at 190-200° with 5.5 gals of water for 35 mins then boiled away. Preboil gravity was 1.038 at 70°?? OG was 1.046 at 60° after a 90 min boil. Seems really low... I guesss 60% or less. I can't figure out why this is happening. Mash temp is staying constant, sparging for good amount of time... the only thing I can imagine would be my crush. Using an older hand mill (yeah, it sucks to mill that much grain... about 30 mins!)

Does anyone see any problems with my process or figures? I want to stick with my equipment as I've spent some good money ant time on it all.

Thanks and Cheers!

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:59 AM   #2
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Just about the same set up as me.
The two variable are grain crush, and stirring.
I stir every 15 minutes, and my crush is fairly fine. Got 74% today... not as good as when I was doing BIAB, but not too bad.
Are you stirring? How's your grind?
BTW, hook a drill motor up to your mill.

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komocabo View Post
Hi there. I am doing 5.5 gallon AG batches. Currently have a keggle mashtun. Using false bottom and dip tube set up. Did 12 lbs Great Western Pale 2-row and 1 lb Great Western Crystal 40L. 3.6 gals strike water at 168 and hit my target of 153. Temp moved from 154 to 152 by end of 1 hour mash. Sparged at 190-200° with 5.5 gals of water for 35 mins then boiled away. Preboil gravity was 1.038 at 70°?? OG was 1.046 at 60° after a 90 min boil. Seems really low... I guesss 60% or less. I can't figure out why this is happening. Mash temp is staying constant, sparging for good amount of time... the only thing I can imagine would be my crush. Using an older hand mill (yeah, it sucks to mill that much grain... about 30 mins!)

Does anyone see any problems with my process or figures? I want to stick with my equipment as I've spent some good money ant time on it all.

Thanks and Cheers!
Did you weigh your own grains? Maybe the kid at the LHBS forgot to count.:-)
You could have the grains milled at ghe store next time to see if it helps.
Have you achieved better efficiency before?
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komocabo View Post
Hi there. I am doing 5.5 gallon AG batches. Currently have a keggle mashtun. Using false bottom and dip tube set up. Did 12 lbs Great Western Pale 2-row and 1 lb Great Western Crystal 40L. 3.6 gals strike water at 168 and hit my target of 153. Temp moved from 154 to 152 by end of 1 hour mash. Sparged at 190-200° with 5.5 gals of water for 35 mins then boiled away. Preboil gravity was 1.038 at 70°?? OG was 1.046 at 60° after a 90 min boil. Seems really low... I guesss 60% or less. I can't figure out why this is happening. Mash temp is staying constant, sparging for good amount of time... the only thing I can imagine would be my crush. Using an older hand mill (yeah, it sucks to mill that much grain... about 30 mins!)

Does anyone see any problems with my process or figures? I want to stick with my equipment as I've spent some good money ant time on it all.

Thanks and Cheers!
Did you yield 5.5 gallons into the fermentor?

What is the gap setting on your mill and type?


Really sounds like the crush.. My mill is set to 0.030 and yields 80-82% every single time.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:11 AM   #5
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Did you hit your target of 153? you state your mash temp is from "154" to 152. Do you have an insulated Keggle? The drop seems small. I use a cooler and the drop is in that range. Maybe your strike temp is higher than you think. Also, I have adjusted my PH and been able to raise my efficiency.

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:13 AM   #6
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You could also try mashing a bit thinner and shooting for equal runoffs from the lauter and sparge.

Edit

Nevermind, I forgot you were fly sparging.

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:28 AM   #7
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I usually stir in the grains after adding the strike water. I stir for a minute or two to make sure no dough balls. I fly sparge so.I usually draw about half gallon after 15 mins to set the grain bed and of.course return those runnings gently back into the mash tun.
Was shooting for 154, not 153... that was a typo... only dropped 2° after an hour.
I measure my own grain as I just started purchasing bulk.
The mill has an adjustment nut but it doesn't give a reading, so I have no idea about that, but I've got crushed grain from my LHBS and had about 70% efficiency... It must be the crush as I am basically eyeballing it at this point... crap... guess it's time to buy a good mill...

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:31 AM   #8
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Acidrain, Do you stir every 15 mins while mashing? I was under the impression that I am not supposed to stir once I've doughed in as to not disturb the grain bed... Sounds like I need to rethink some.of my technique... I haven't done a batch sparge but maybe I should go that route and see if I get better results.

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:34 AM   #9
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Oh and I use a 1:1 grain:lwater ratio. Tried 1:1.25 last time and had a little better efficiency...

Likely will try something else to crush... Still questioning the constant stirring (can't seem to get over the concept of not disturbing the grainn bed)

Thanks for all the advice!

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:36 AM   #10
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Satisfaction... I yeilded 5 gals in.the fermenter. The batch ends up as 5.5 but I always lose about half gallon due to the height of my ball valve/bazooka screen set up.

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