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Old 03-05-2011, 02:26 AM   #1
rack04
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Default First all grain. How is efficiency?

I just completed my first all grain brew. I hit my mash temp exactly and didn't lose a single degree over 60 minutes. I mashed out for 10 minutes at 168 degrees and batch sparged the remaining volume.

According to Beer Smith:

Actual Efficiency Based on Target Volume: 68.46%

Efficiency into Boiler: 83.84%

Efficiency into Fermenter: 68.46%

What should I learn from these efficiencies?

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Old 03-05-2011, 02:32 AM   #2
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Brew a few more times and see how things go... As long as you're getting essentially the same results each time, it's all good.

What was your water:grain ratio? 1.25qt/#? Was this with a MLT or BIAB? Did you get rid of all the dough balls/clumps early on? Where did you get your grain and do you know what the crush size was? Grain crush size can impact your efficiency.

I would try mashing for a little longer next time. I typically mash for 90 minutes, then sparge for 10-20...

Once you have your system dialed-in so that you know what your range will be, you can more accurately formulate recipes to get the results you want... Basically, so that you won't use too much, or too little grain to get the desired results.

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Old 03-05-2011, 02:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
What was your water:grain ratio? 1.25qt/#?
Yes. 1.25qt/#

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Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Was this with a MLT or BIAB?
MLT

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Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Did you get rid of all the dough balls/clumps early on?
Yes

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Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Where did you get your grain and do you know what the crush size was? Grain crush size can impact your efficiency.
LHBS. I have no idea what the crush size was but to my untrained eye it was a little too coarse.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:44 AM   #4
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How much grain did you mash?

I tend to go with 1.5-2qt/#... That's been with the BIAB method. I was limited in the size of the sparge pot, so I needed to get the mash amount higher. Got 78-82% efficiency (to the fermenter) every time. I'll be using my cooler/MLT for the first time on Tuesday, so we'll see how that does the first time.

I'll try to take a shot of the grain I run through my BC on Tuesday and post it... I'm sure others will be able to explain what the grain crush should look like better than I can.

See if you can find out what the LHBS has their mill set to for a gap. I know people have gotten better results when they ask for the grain to be run through the mill twice.

Still, 68% is nothing to sneeze at for a first batch.

I would just take notes as you're changing your process and when you get numbers you like, and brews that you love, try repeating it every time.

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Old 03-05-2011, 03:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rack04 View Post
Efficiency into Boiler: 83.84%
This is what you should be looking at when you want to evaluate your efficiency. And 83% into the kettle is pretty good when batch sparging.

68% into the fermenter means that you left a substantial amount of wort behind in the kettle when you transfered to the fermenter. I suggest filtering this wort through paper towels and keeping it in the freezer for use in future starters. That's what I do.

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Old 03-05-2011, 12:31 PM   #6
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You're right I did leave a lot behind in the kettle. Close to 1 gallon. Whirlpooling and racking didn't work as well as I would have liked. I've got to find away to filter more trub.

Btw, I adjusted the hydrometer reading but I'm wondering how accurate the reading is at 145 degrees. I assume this is where a refract shines.

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Old 03-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
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This is what you should be looking at when you want to evaluate your efficiency. And 83% into the kettle is pretty good when batch sparging.

68% into the fermenter means that you left a substantial amount of wort behind in the kettle when you transfered to the fermenter. I suggest filtering this wort through paper towels and keeping it in the freezer for use in future starters. That's what I do.

Kai
Huh, I'd wondered what that difference in efficiency (in to kettle versus in to fermenter) was. As far as using that extra wort, presumably you dilute it (if necessary) to 1.030-1.040?
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:22 PM   #8
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Yes, you should dilute high gravity wort before using it for starters.

I get about 68% into the fermenter. But that's by choice. I tend to collect 3-4 qts of wort from what's left in the kettle. The efficiency into the kettle tends to be around 87% which is the number I give when asked about efficiency.

Kai

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Old 03-05-2011, 01:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser View Post
Yes, you should dilute high gravity wort before using it for starters.

I get about 68% into the fermenter. But that's by choice. I tend to collect 3-4 qts of wort from what's left in the kettle. The efficiency into the kettle tends to be around 87% which is the number I give when asked about efficiency.

Kai
Not to thread-jack, but I got about 87-89% efficiency on my mild that I brewed recently (I was expecting less efficiency, so it ended up at like 4% alcohol.). Anyways, I'm thinking of brewing a dark strong next. Do you have any recommendations for maintaining my higher efficiency (within reason...I realize I'll likely get closer to 75% for such a high OG beer). I figure, since the recipe uses pilsner malt, I'll be sparging more to get a 90 minute boil. I also figure I'll split the sparge in to two batches, to more closely match my first runnings.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:59 PM   #10
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The higher efficiency on the low gravity mild is to be expected. Especially in batch sparging less grain means higher lauter efficiency. You may want to check out what I have on my site about efficiency:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...rging_Analysis
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...ing_Efficiency

long story short, expect less efficiency for the Belgian Strong even if you add another sparge step.

Kai

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