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Old 03-14-2007, 11:58 PM   #1
jblewis
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Default first Ag why such a low efficiency

My first ag i used
6lb of 2 row
1lb torrified wheat
.5lb dextrin
4lb malted wheat
total 11.5 lb

I have a 5 gallon mash tun with a ss bread. i mashed with 3.6 gallons of water. Forgetting that the grain would cool the water down it was mashed at about 140 deg f.

I was planning on batch sparging but after the mash there was only about 2 gallons head space. so i decided to try a fly sparge. I fly sparged it for about an hour and collected 6.5 gallons of wort. with an gravity of 1.030. After the boil the gravity was 1.050 and after fermenting 1.010 so 5.2 % alcohol is still good but i was looking for more.

this gave me around a 52% efficiency why so low

was it the low mash temp?
should i used 6 row instead, because i am using wheat?
Is a ss bread no good for fly sparging.
with a five Gallon tun and batch sparging do i just fill up the extra 2 gallons of water and repeat until i have the amount of wort i need?

I am just wondering how i can get a high efficiency next time.

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Old 03-15-2007, 12:19 AM   #2
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so you mashed at 140? you didn't try and raise it up a bit?


no need for 6 row, today's 2 row will convert todays wheat just fine

next time you'll be dead on...watch. Live and learn


if my grains are 60*ish degrees F. I strike with about 165ish water

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Old 03-15-2007, 12:47 AM   #3
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The starches don't gelatinize completely until you hit 149F. So, they don't dissolve into the wort & don't get converted.

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Old 03-15-2007, 12:51 AM   #4
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i did try to raise it up a little but when i added half gallon of boiling water didn't do very much

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Old 03-15-2007, 07:16 AM   #5
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What was your strike temp.

To get 154°F I use 170°F

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Old 03-15-2007, 07:45 AM   #6
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i am still on the same learning curve as you are jb, just a few batches ahead. i use a 5gal and braid and mine takes a strike temp of 166-167 in a cold mashtun to hit 152. besides the usual starting hillarity, like reading th celsius scale instead of F it has progressed quickly as i have gotten used to the equipment. one thing that i learned that i have not seen directly mentioned is to leave your thermometer in the mash tun to monitor temp, they register very slowly and can give a low reading when checked by nervous nellie noobs like myself. myfirst batch was 65%, then 73% then 77 then 78 where it has settled out. the biggest advantage now is that the grain bill and expected OG is getting pretty close. i always plan on 75% and 5 1/2 gal for the grain bill. even with the initial confusion, mess and stupid human tricks i won't go back to extract.

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Old 03-18-2007, 12:06 AM   #7
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I use 173 degrees to get to 155 +/-. About 1.25 qt/pound of grain. In a rectangular cooler, I got better consistency by pouring the hot water in first, then the grains after a couple minutes. About 10 pounds in a a 5 gallon batch, about 1.050 to 60. About within tolerance. Efficiency, About perfect.

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Old 03-18-2007, 12:30 AM   #8
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Er on the side of hotter water into the cooler. Then measure the temp and add the grain when you hit your strike temp of about 170ish. Both your grains and cooler walls sucked the heat.

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Old 03-18-2007, 12:41 AM   #9
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If you fall short of your temp, draw off a couple of quarts of wort and bring it to 180-190 degrees and reintroduce.

This helps if you run out of room and need to increase the temp.

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Old 03-18-2007, 12:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
If you fall short of your temp, draw off a couple of quarts of wort and bring it to 180-190 degrees and reintroduce.

This helps if you run out of room and need to increase the temp.
I did that multiple times on my last (and first) AG batch. Didn't seem to present any problem at all... Of course, if you're ultra paranoid about tannins like I am, you can cycle a few quarts back in (vorlaufing or whatever they call it) and then boil the third or fourth quart to minimize the amount of tannins/husks you're heating.
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