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Old 05-30-2010, 08:15 PM   #1
Sreidy12
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Default Extermely low efficiency/gravity

Hey all,
I've brewed the past 2 days. Yesterday I brewed a hefeweizen and today a pale ale. With both of them the OG is in the mid 1.03x's which is obviously very low. Can't really figure out whats going wrong so any advice would be appreciated!

Shawn

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Old 05-30-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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can you detail your brewing process? equipment, recipe, temps, times etc? also check the FAQ's

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Old 05-30-2010, 08:41 PM   #3
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I have a 12 gallon cooler mash tun with a stainless steel dishwasher hose for the lautering part. I heat the strike water enough to be able to preheat the tun and hit my target temperature once I add the grain. The temperature stays around 156 for an hour. Then I sparge. I start by draining the water that's already in the tun. I then use a piece of vinyl tubing to sparge with the wort ive drained over the grainbed. I drain that again and collect it in the boil pot. I heat up my sparge water to about 172-175 and do that slowly, sprinkling the grain with another piece of vinyl tubing. I used a total 5.75 gallons of water; 3.75 for the mash and 2 for the sparge. The recipe I used only included 10 lbs of American 2-row malt.

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:31 PM   #4
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How was your crush? It should look like this: http://www.lootcorp.com/wp-content/u...shed-grain.jpg

I screwed my first crush up and only hit 50% efficiency. Your process sounds about right to me.

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:41 PM   #5
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I'm thinking the problem is in your sparge technique. If I'm reading you right, you're saying you sparge with a vinyl tube and move the tube around over the grain bed by hand. I can't see how this would result in a decent sparge. You'll end up with a lot of unrinsed grains in the bed. Have you tried batch sparging? This it the way I do it and I regularly get 80+% efficiency and it's a lot easier than fly sparging (for me anyway.)

You may want to check you thermometers as well to make sure they're correct. If you still want to go the fly sparging route, try putting a piece of aluminum foil over the grain bed and poke a bunch of holes in it then sparge over that. It'll help distribute the water more evenly over the bed.

10lbs of 2row should have yielded 1.055 for a five gallon batch so I see why you're concerned.

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:43 PM   #6
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What recipe did you use? Only using 10lbs of base malt with no specialty grains (or wheat) seems quite odd. Most Hefe's are 50% malt/wheat.

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:43 PM   #7
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I think you'd get better efficiency batch sparging, and heating your sparge water to a higher temperature. The braid is not good for a fly sparge, and you want to raise the grain bed temperature to about 168F, and give it a good stir before vorlaufing and draining.

-a.

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie View Post
I'm thinking the problem is in your sparge technique. If I'm reading you right, you're saying you sparge with a vinyl tube and move the tube around over the grain bed by hand. I can't see how this would result in a decent sparge. You'll end up with a lot of unrinsed grains in the bed. Have you tried batch sparging? This it the way I do it and I regularly get 80+% efficiency and it's a lot easier than fly sparging (for me anyway.)
+1 on batch sparging. definitely works well in getting a high efficiency. and it take less time that fly sparging. and you are making the temperature adjustments for your hydrometer, right?
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:07 PM   #9
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One thing that hasn't been raised is, how quickly/slowly did you drain from the grains? My efficiency went from 65%-70% to 75%-80% when I started slowing my sparge from 20m to over an hour.

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Old 05-31-2010, 12:56 AM   #10
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So what would batch sparging be? lol

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