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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First AG Brew
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:28 PM   #1
Ondori
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Default First AG Brew

Hey guys,

I brewed my first AG brew yesterday, a robust porter, and the day went smoothly, but I seemed to have missed my mark. I was shooting for 75% efficiency with an SG of 1.067, and I missed the mark with 1.062. I calculated my efficiency at 68% which is not HORRIBLE, but not what I wanted lol.

I am thinking this was due to me missing my batch sparge temp. I have seen to try and get as close to 170 as possible, and I fell short. I was sitting at 164. I didn't think it was a HUGE deal since I have also seen to just batch sparge with your mash temps, but something is up lol

Also, my mash in temp was a little high at 156 which i stirred like crazy and added some cold water to get it down to 152. Could the few minutes at 156 have affected it too?

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:35 PM   #2
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Your temperatures that were used were fine and won't be the cause of your efficiency woes. Most likely it is your crush, weight of grain used (accuracy of measurement as well), or your lautering method. What was your water-to-grain ratio when mashing? How do you lauter?

All in all, you tried to reach 1.067, which is a higher OG, and as you use more grain you generally see a decrease in efficiency. 68% might be all that you should expect for the amount of grain you used in your system.

EDIT: I looked up some numbers. On my system, normal strength beers normally get 77-78% brewhouse efficiency, but when I make 15 lb grain bills it can drop down to 65%.

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:35 PM   #3
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Congrats on your first AG batch!

Just curious, did you mill the grains yourself or was it milled at you LHBS? The way the grains are crushed could have a pretty significant impact on your efficiency.

Sound like you were close, so whatever the problem is, it's minor.

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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Since this was your first batch of all grain, you are just learning your system. Sparge volume, sparge style, grain crush, types of grain are all things which can affect your efficiency. And efficiency is just a number. Every system has limits and you can only do so much to improve it. I used to obsess over increasing it to some magic level, but eventually you will learn to live with it. But first you have to brew several batches on it to learn its limits and potential.

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Old 01-13-2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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I use a 10 gallon cylindrical cooler for my MLT, which worked amazingly well. It held the temperature like a champ! I also used 1.3qt/lb of grain.

According to IBrewmaster, I was spot on to their auto-calculated numbers and the predicted OG was not 1.067, but Midwest Supplies said it should have been like 1.067. Maybe it was just unachievable, and they over shot it on instructions?

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Old 01-13-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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I read somewhere here that you should stir the heck out it for a couple of minutes after adding sparge water. They say that boosts efficiency quit a bit.

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Old 01-13-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
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Hmm, I stirred it around a little bit, but not like I did with the mash. I will have to give that a shot.

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