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Old 07-31-2010, 09:16 PM   #1
teach
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Default evaluating conversion efficiency

Anybody have much experience dealing with efficiency problems in the conversion, not the lauter?

Thanks to Kaiser's Troubleshooting Brewhouse Efficiency, I think the source of my ~65% brewhouse efficiency might actually be in my conversion, not the lauter/sparge.

My most recent brewday, I started with 10 lbs of 2-row, which I mashed with 4 gallons of water (1.6 qts/lb). I mashed for 90 minutes at 152F.

I ran off 3-1/2 gallons of first runnings, which I measured at 1.059. If I calculate correctly, this gives me a conversion efficiency of ~78%, way worse than the 95% I ideally should be getting.

Am I figuring that right? Suggestions?

I don't have a mill, so I'm at the mercy of AHS' default crush.

I did *not* mash out or add any water to the MLT, so the temperature was not raised anywhere near 170F for my first runnings. Maybe this would make a difference?



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Old 08-01-2010, 12:41 AM   #2
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I believe your calculations are correct. I would look at mash pH, and grind. Another possibility, although improbable, is inaccurate temperatures. Are you checking for conversion with an iodine test?



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Old 08-01-2010, 01:22 AM   #3
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I don't really have much control over the grind, but I can pick up some Five Star 5.2 for my next mash and see how that goes.

Also, I'll have my thermometer checked; it could very well be off.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Old 08-01-2010, 01:58 AM   #4
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I would not buy 5.2. Get pH test strips or meter instead.

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Old 08-01-2010, 02:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I would not buy 5.2. Get pH test strips or meter instead.
And then if the pH is off, do what?
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:05 AM   #6
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/water-modification-videos-ths-spreadsheet-144461/
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:32 PM   #7
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Eek. That's a fair bit more involved than I want to mess with. Guess I'll just live with the low conversion for now. Thanks for all the help, though.

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Old 08-03-2010, 12:01 AM   #8
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It's not as bad as it looks, really. At the very least, get a water report either through your utility company or you can order on at wardslab.com for 20 bucks. Then you'll know where you stand as far as water and pH is concerned.

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Old 08-03-2010, 06:12 AM   #9
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I had my friend in a chemistry lab test the pH of the filtered water I was using to brew with: it's got a pH of ~8.2. So I already add CaCl (1 tsp per 5 gallons) to the brew water.

I don't know the mash pH, though.

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Old 08-03-2010, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reelale View Post
It's not as bad as it looks, really. At the very least, get a water report either through your utility company or you can order on at wardslab.com for 20 bucks. Then you'll know where you stand as far as water and pH is concerned.
www.wardlab.com


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