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Old 03-20-2013, 09:34 AM   #21
arictaylor
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Alright. I tired batch number 2 having read everyones thoughts. The results were better, but still off the mark.

Knowing the amount of detail you guys like now to help out, I recorded some detailed notes.

I was attempting to end up with a batch of 5 gallons.

1. I added my 9lbs of grains to 11.5 quarts of water (167F). Temperature after adding the grains was 157F.

2. Stirred and then left it for 1 one.

3. Drained the mash. (I got 6.5 quarts out)

3. Bulk sparged with 17 quarts of water at 176F.b. I did this 8.5 quarts at time, this time stirring.

4. I ended up with 6 gallons for boiling.

5. Boiled for 1 hour.



OG test 1035. Target was 1049.

I ran the recipe through beersmith2 and the numbers came out hang on what they were supposed to be (1049).

Thoughts?

Thanks guys - this is proving to be a challenge that I hope is rewarding after a few more trials!

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
Thanks guys - this is proving to be a challenge that I hope is rewarding after a few more trials!


I suggest working on the fineness of your crush. next time take a close up picture of it and we will tell if its to course. the gap on my mill is very tight. less the the thickness of a credit card. theres a saying "crush it till your scared" i routinely hit about 75% mash eff and have set up beersmith accordingly to meet my system. i looked at your pict of beersmith, what is the total eff (brewhouse eff) on your design screen. it will be just below batch size. it looks as if you have it set at 75 try lowering it to 70/65.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:16 AM   #23
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I would also bump up the grain bill a little. On your first mash in, you did 1.28 quarts / lbs of grain. Adding another 1lb of grain may help. Try doing your 1st batch sparge with the same amount of water you did you mash in with. Then if you need more, you can do a 2nd batch sparge. Also, you can stir in the first batch sparge, let it sit for 10 minutes and then vourlaf.

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:29 AM   #24
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A mash temp of 157 is a little bit on the high side - not enough to cost you gravity point, but definitely enough to leave you with a bigger bodied beer and a slightly lower alcohol beer. Great if that's what you're going for, not so much if that's not what you're going for.

What are you using as a mash tun? A cooler, or another pot?

To be perfectly honest, it sounds like your process was pretty much right this time, with the possible exception of the higher mash temp. I'm with Glynn at this point, and I'd want to look closer now at the crush of the grain. What you want to see is a lot of flour, or at least lots of very small pieces of the kernel of the grain, but intact husks. The husks will serve to form the filter bed that you drain your runnings through, and that's how you draw off clear wort from the mash tun, while the flour or very small pieces gives you lots of surface area for mashing to actually occur - basically for the enzymes to be able to soak in and get at the sugars and starches and do all the conversion they're supposed to be doing.

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:41 AM   #25
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Did you correct your gravity measurement for the temperature of the wort? The correction factor can be pretty large for hot wort..

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:49 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
As for sparging - I've never heard of sparging with your wort before. The whole idea of sparging is to rinse any residual sugars out of the grain bed that didn't come out when you drained out your first runnings. It's possible (this is a wild guess here, smarter folks than I will probably refute this, and I'd welcome their insight!) that sparging with your wort could actually leave behind some of the sugars that you extracted in your first runnings back in the grain bed. In short, don't do that anymore!
I think that the OP may have been confused by some advice given in by most homebrewing books. As you may know, the first runnings off of a mash are generally thick and cloudy with suspended grist, which if left in the wort can lead to haze and astringency. Thus, between mash-out and sparge, you generally want to re-circulate the wort a bit, a process called the vorlauf. I'm guessing that arictaylor either confused this step - which is usually only applied to the first 10 liters or so of run-off, 1 liter at a time, as the grain bed begins to settle - with sparging itself (which involves a slow addition of new water at just below mash-out temperature, to rinse the grains), or else lost track of things while in the middle and forgot to sparge. That's just supposition though.

arictaylor: Does any of this seem familiar to you? Could you explain what went on at this point a bit better, please?
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:47 PM   #27
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10 liters to vorlauf? That's an awfully large volume - but I suppose it depends on if you're using a false bottom, bazooka screen, etc... I use a bazooka screen, and I typically get clear runnings after vorlaufing about 1.5 quarts, or pretty close to 1.5 liters. 10 would obviously accomplish the same task, but be a huge time waster...

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Old 03-20-2013, 12:55 PM   #28
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Hmmn, you may have a point, there, though I tend to be conservative on these matters and spend extra time on them. Also, with the false bottom I'm using, I may be getting more grits than you are.

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Old 03-20-2013, 01:09 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schol-R-LEA View Post
you generally want to re-circulate the wort a bit, a process called the vorlauf - which is usually only applied to the first 10 liters or so of run-off
10 liters???

Are we supposed to be vorlaufing 10 liters of first runnings? I've only been drawing off a quart or two before deeming the wort "clear" and starting to draw the runnings while pouring the quart or two of vorlaufed wort back into the mash tun.

Am I drastically shortcutting my vorlauf? Do you guys all seriously stand there draining and pouring up to 10 liters of wort before you start draining into your boil kettle?
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:37 PM   #30
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I generally only have to do a couple of liters, I have never had to do 10.

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