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Old 05-25-2012, 02:04 AM   #1
homebrew212
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Default First All-Grain Brew-Efficiency Questions

Hello,
After a few weeks spent attaining a keg, converting it to a mash tun, and getting some stands built, I finally put it all to the test yesterday during a rain storm here on Long Island. It's pretty ghetto as I don't have a HLT, just a bottling bucket that I fill up with 168 water off the stove to sparge with and place atop a ladder. Also, I don't have a march pump so I just insulate the heck out of my keggle mash tun using reflectix insulation...which actually works quite well according to my Miljoco thermometer that I have mounted into the keg wall. For boiling I have a 10 gal. Megapot but only one burner that gets shared between it and the mash tun.The mash tun has a 13" jaybird false bottom into it with a stainless steel dip tube attached to a ball valve.

Anyway I bought the Surly Furious all-grain kit from Northern Brewer and used 4.12 gallons of water in my mash tun, heating it up to 168 degrees and then mixing in the grains, I did the mash. After mashing for 60 min. at 153 degrees, although I do believe that I was 3-4 degrees above this value, I vorlaufed about 3 quarts until the water was mostly free of grains, afterwards draining the mash tun into the boil kettle. Then I batch sparged using 5.93 gallons at 168 degrees, let it sit for 10 minutes, and did the recirculation and draining procedure once again. This collected ~7.3 gallons of pre-boil wort that I measured using my hydrometer to be 1.030...this is where my questions begin. I know that hydrometers can be inaccurate at higher temperatures so I used the correction tool on BeerSmith to adjust this reading to 1.052 but that seems far too high. Using the following calculations I found my efficiency to be 90% using the adjusted value and only 51% using the measured value.

Grain bill:

7.5 lbs. Canada Malting Pale Ale Malt=((34 ppg*7.5 lbs.) / 7.3 gals. pre-boil volume)=34.9 ppg

3.25 lbs. British Golden Promise=((36 ppg * 3.25 lbs.) / 7.3 gals.)=16.03 ppg

0.88 lbs. English Medium Crystal=((34 ppg * 0.88 lbs.) / 7.3 gals.)=4.1 ppg

0.63 lbs. Belgian Aromatic Malt=((34 ppg * 0.63 lbs.) / 7.3 gals.)=2.93 ppg

0.125 lbs. English Roasted Barley=((25 ppg * 0.125 lbs.) / 7.3 gals)=0.43 ppg

Adding these all up=58.37 ppg and dividing that by 30 and 52 gives 51% and 90%, respectively.

So, what should I go by, 51% or 90%??? Also, my gravity after cooling the wort down was 1.057 or so...the target OG being 1.064

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Old 05-25-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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I'm not a fan of the corrections. I prefer to chill the wort in the fridge/freezer to 60* and then check gravity. If your OG after boil was 1.057 you should be able to figure out what the preboil should have been. I'm guessing it was somewhere in the middle of the two numbers you have above, probably in the 40's.

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Old 05-25-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help! I actually let the hydrometer sit in the test jar overnight and it reads 1.060 now. Not sure how accurate that is though....

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Old 05-25-2012, 06:01 PM   #4
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I just plug my numbers into this calculater as my wort starts to boil. I like to see my efficiencies before the boil is complete so I can at least adjust volumes if necessary (or add sugar for Belgians if necessary). Yeah I can calculate the numbers too, but that's only fun once. This website lets you specify amounts of your various ingredients.

http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/

Immediately following my sparge, I thoroughly mix the wort and take a gravity sample. Put the sample jar into a juice pitcher full of ice water. Usually comes down to room temp in 10-15 minutes. For some reason I don't trust the temp correction tables either.

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Old 05-26-2012, 06:22 AM   #5
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Its the KILLER false bottom! LOL


I used to do what solbes does, and I would use a stainless bowl in an ice bath. It would bring my sample down to temp in 5 min or less. I am a big fan of a refractometer myself, they auto correct temp and now read in Brix and OG.

Cheers
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solbes View Post
I just plug my numbers into this calculater as my wort starts to boil. I like to see my efficiencies before the boil is complete so I can at least adjust volumes if necessary (or add sugar for Belgians if necessary). Yeah I can calculate the numbers too, but that's only fun once. This website lets you specify amounts of your various ingredients.

http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/

Immediately following my sparge, I thoroughly mix the wort and take a gravity sample. Put the sample jar into a juice pitcher full of ice water. Usually comes down to room temp in 10-15 minutes. For some reason I don't trust the temp correction tables either.
I love this program! We use it a bunch in the store to build recipes! I like that you can save everything in your own folders! And its FREE!!!!
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http://www.norcalbrewingsolutions.com and like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NorCalBrewingSolutionsfor Facebook only promos too
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