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Old 10-15-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
saevans18
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Default Help! Low Efficiency...why?

I've been all-grain brewing for about a year and can't figure out why my measured OG is so much lower than expected. Maybe it's my equipment, when I'm measuring the OG, how quickly I'm lautering, how much sparge water I'm using, etc. I've been able to make some solid brews, but the OG is always lower than expected. BeerSmith tells me my efficiency is usually about 45-50%.

Here are a couple pictures of my mash tun:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/photo/ph...-am-56870.html
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/photo/ph...-am-56871.html

I've been measuring the OG right before I put the wort into the fermenter (after I've cooled it down). When lautering, I continuously sparge for about an hour.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
-Sam

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Old 10-15-2012, 07:18 PM   #2
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Your false bottom/braid set up is terribly inefficiency for fly sparging, as is the shape of your tun.

I'd suggest batch sparging for your next batch, if you haven't done so. It will make a big big difference (and be an hour faster!) since your setup will not really work well for fly sparging.

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Old 10-15-2012, 07:21 PM   #3
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Also, look into the quality of your grain crush. This is often the issue when you have poor efficiency. If the grain is not crushed fine enough you will not be able to extract a high percentage of the available sugars.

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Old 10-15-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Your false bottom/braid set up is terribly inefficiency for fly sparging, as is the shape of your tun.

I'd suggest batch sparging for your next batch, if you haven't done so. It will make a big big difference (and be an hour faster!) since your setup will not really work well for fly sparging.
Thanks, will give it a try. Also, should I measure OG before the boil?
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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Yes, That's your preboil SG. Knowing that can help you know if you need to boil longer or dilute, before you add your hops so you can adjust the schedule/amounts accordingly

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slarkin712 View Post
Also, look into the quality of your grain crush. This is often the issue when you have poor efficiency. If the grain is not crushed fine enough you will not be able to extract a high percentage of the available sugars.
Thanks. I've typically had my LHBS crush the grain. I've never really asked them about how fine they crush it up. Is there a certain amount I'm looking for? Would it be better to crush my own grain?
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saevans18 View Post
Thanks. I've typically had my LHBS crush the grain. I've never really asked them about how fine they crush it up. Is there a certain amount I'm looking for? Would it be better to crush my own grain?
Look at the grain they've crushed. If you see ANY whole grains, it's not good enough. I crush pretty fine (I also use a braid like you) and as long as there's some husks to form the lauter bed, you'll be just fine.
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tre9er View Post
Look at the grain they've crushed. If you see ANY whole grains, it's not good enough. I crush pretty fine (I also use a braid like you) and as long as there's some husks to form the lauter bed, you'll be just fine.
+1

My first 3, or 4 all-grain batches I got terribly LOW OG and the crush was the problem! I have the braid like you too, now I have to tell the LHBS every time i go in to move it down a notch from 5 to 4 on their crusher and that does the trick for me. The last I don't know how many batches in a row now my OG has been spot on or even slightly high

Good luck!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Your false bottom/braid set up is terribly inefficiency for fly sparging, as is the shape of your tun.

I'd suggest batch sparging for your next batch, if you haven't done so. It will make a big big difference (and be an hour faster!) since your setup will not really work well for fly sparging.
This! Batch sparge and you should get 10% increase.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:08 PM   #10
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Any tips on batch sparging? I've never done it.

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