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Old 01-02-2013, 06:34 PM   #11
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I would also calibrate you temp readers. The crush might be your real issue. I would also look into doing a starch conversion test next time and make sure it looks converted that way. But realistically the only reason why it wouldn't be converted would be due to a temp issue.



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Old 01-02-2013, 06:37 PM   #12
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One question, during my sparge, should my water temp be 170? or should it be higher to compensate for the temperature loss once added?



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Old 01-02-2013, 06:38 PM   #13
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I would also calibrate you temp readers. The crush might be your real issue. I would also look into doing a starch conversion test next time and make sure it looks converted that way. But realistically the only reason why it wouldn't be converted would be due to a temp issue.
I actually thought temperature was the problem too, so on a previous beer what I did was used two thermometers to double check the accuracy. One was an instant read and the other was a regular old dial thermometer and they were within 1 degree of each other.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:55 PM   #14
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One question, during my sparge, should my water temp be 170? or should it be higher to compensate for the temperature loss once added?
I don't batch sparge. I fly sparge, but I think your sparge water can be hotter as long as it doesn't bring the final temperature of the mash back up above the 170 degree mark. My sparge water is often pumped up to my HLT at around 180. By the time I get some heat loss from the HLT and that 180 water works its way through my mash, I don't have any concern of going over that mythical, and probably overly cautious, 170 mark.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:57 PM   #15
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I wonder if my sparge water temp is too low... I think Saturday I will be brewing again and I want to get all my ducks in a row to try and up my efficiency. I am having my LHBS double mill my grains.

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:02 PM   #16
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Here's how to isolate it. Before you sparge, take an OG reading from the mash tun. Compare it to this chart: First Wort Gravity. You should be in the mid 90% for your conversion. If you are, then you know it's a lautering problem, if you are not, then it's temperature or crush.

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:02 PM   #17
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I will definitely agree with questioning the crush you are getting. I was crushing at a LHBS and I was sure the crush was the issue. I even tried double crushing and it didn't help all that much. I found a new store and their mill was crushing much finer. Now I run consistantly 70-75%. It's a good chunk of cash, but I would consider getting my own mill if you can't get your LHBS to tighten their mill up for you. Heck, then you could buy some bulk grain and slowly work the cost of your mill back.

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:04 PM   #18
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Could be a combination of a few little things. I wouldn't think a slighlty lower sparge water temp would make fifteen points of difference on its own. I could be wrong though, I've never actually tested it or batch sparged for that matter. Maybe a finer crush and slightly higher sparge temp will be all it takes to get you in the mid 60% range.

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:05 PM   #19
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Here's how to isolate it. Before you sparge, take an OG reading from the mash tun. Compare it to this chart: First Wort Gravity. You should be in the mid 90% for your conversion. If you are, then you know it's a lautering problem, if you are not, then it's temperature or crush.
This is a good suggestion I think.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:13 PM   #20
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I double batch sparge, and I noticed an improvement in efficiency when I began heating the first round of sparge water to 190 and the second round to 170. Because you're not doing a mashout step, you can use much hotter water in the first sparge than is normally recommended. It'll heat up the grain bed closer to 170.

I agree with the other suggestions to check your crush and thermometer as well.



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