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Old 03-02-2006, 01:25 PM   #1
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Default I have 2 questions?

My first question is this: I have done about 5 or 6 batches of AG and have come pretty close to my OG, but not close enough. I have been batch sparging since I don't have a sparge arm to fly sparge with. Should I make one to get my gravity up to where I would like it to be, or better yet, how do I make one? I have the 48qt igloo square cooler on wheels with a drain plug and stainless screen. What I have been doing is do my first mashin, then do two sparges with equal amounts of water. In other words if I mashin with say 5 gallons and need 6 gallons more to sparge with, I will sparge with 3 gallons one time for 10 mins, then sparge with the remaining 3 gallons for 10 mins.

My final question is this, should my mashin be of a thick consistency, or should it be pretty liquidy? It seems to me that when I go by the 1.5qts per pound of grain it is pretty much a liquid consistency, but I have read where it should be like almost oatmeal consistency.

Sorry for the long winded run-ons here.......



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Old 03-02-2006, 01:43 PM   #2
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I don't know how much of a difference it makes, but I have always mashed with 1 qt. of water per pound of grain to start with, and if I don't hit my correct mash temp I add more water which dilutes the mash more. the 1:1 ratio produces a nice thick mash and I tend to hit my gravities about right so I see no reason to change, but it appears from reading this site and some of the newer brewing books that many people do more of a 1.3 to 1.5:1 ration of water to grain...



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Old 03-02-2006, 02:26 PM   #3
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Your mash ratios are fine. You should scale your expected OG to your expected efficiency. I consistently get ~80% efficiency batch sparging when I get my crush right.

Q1: What is your current efficiency and why do you think it should be higher?
Q2: Are you crushing your own grain and how is it being crushed?

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Old 03-02-2006, 02:34 PM   #4
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Well.....Okay, here lies my next question. How do I know what my efficiency really is? I am having the LBHS crush my grains for me.....is this a bad thing?
I am downloading ProMash today, so I will have that as another tool to work with in helping things out......at least I hope so.......

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Old 03-02-2006, 02:41 PM   #5
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Go ahead and download Promash and it will calculate your efficiency for you based on your recipe. After you mash out into your kettle, take a sample or wort from the kettle, chill it to whatever temp your hydrometer requires, and take a reading. Input that reading into the efficiency calculator in Promash and it will tell you your efficiency.

I've never had as good a crush from a HBS as I can do at home with my $14 Corona, but I'm sure it varies from shop to shop.

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Old 03-02-2006, 02:44 PM   #6
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Ahhh......well then I will certainly download the ProMash today. I am brewing a HEFE this weekend, so will be able to get a good reading on my efficiency then. Maybe I will look into a grain crusher then for myself.......what should the grains be crushed to, I mean the consistency so I should know how well the LHBS is doing verse what I should be looking for if I did it myself?

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Old 03-02-2006, 02:52 PM   #7
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It's hard to describe in words...I usually adjust my Corona until the husks are crushed well, but not shredded into multiple pieces. They should be more in less in one piece. This usually results in a combination of grain husks, grain grits, and grain flour. If you stick your sparge or it becomes a goopy mess you went too far.

One thing about hefes...I usually get around 5 points lower than my normal efficiency. Not sure if it's the wheat, or if I just don't grind wheat fine enough for fear or a stuck sparge.

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Old 03-02-2006, 02:59 PM   #8
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Okay!! Thanks for the help BEEGEE.....now, where did you get your mill from for that cheap.......

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Old 03-02-2006, 03:01 PM   #9
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Dude posted a link to a sale at Northern Tool late last year...I don't think it's running anymore, but you can still find Coronas pretty cheap on eBay, etc.

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Old 03-02-2006, 03:04 PM   #10
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Cool.....will look into it there then........ Thanks again!!!!



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