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Old 05-20-2014, 10:28 AM   #71
s89bunton
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I do not have a dip tube nor am I using hop bags. I figured I could just calculate for the loss of wort. Sounds like I'm gonna need to start using both if I want to increase my overall efficiency and hit recipe gravities.


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Old 05-20-2014, 02:02 PM   #72
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I do not have a dip tube nor am I using hop bags. I figured I could just calculate for the loss of wort. Sounds like I'm gonna need to start using both if I want to increase my overall efficiency and hit recipe gravities.
You can either adjust every recipe's grain and hop bill up to a 6 or 6.5 gallon batch size (to get 5 or 5.5 gallons into the fermenter), and live with the consistent inefficiency (in something like Beersmith you can set the kettle and trub losses appropriately and see the effect on the OG, IBUs, etc.) but that will increase your costs per batch of grain and hops by 20%. Maybe not an issue on a mild, but could cost $8-$10 a batch on a Pliny clone.

A dip tube would be the best way to reduce the amount of wort left in the kettle. The idea of using hop bags or a spider is to reduce the amount of hops picked up by the dip tube. Using a false bottom or hopblocker in the kettle will also strain out a lot of the break material if you can cool your wort fast and get a good cold break. I switched to using a hop spider (paint bag, PVC pipe adapter, 3 bolts and a worm clamp) because my kettle domed false bottom which also acts a dipt tube was clogging with whole leaf hops and break material on hoppier beers. You can also whirlpool if you have a pump and have the dip tube near the side to get much the same effect. Lots of options over in the Equipment and DIY sections, and neither should cost very much - cheap enough that you make back the cost in 3-4 batches.
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:09 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by s89bunton View Post
I do not have a dip tube nor am I using hop bags. I figured I could just calculate for the loss of wort. Sounds like I'm gonna need to start using both if I want to increase my overall efficiency and hit recipe gravities.


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Yeah actually I was wondering about this... Where did this extra gallon go? Generally I dump my kettle straight into the fermenter (using a metal strainer to remove excess hop material if necessary) so there's really no loss until I siphon into the bottling bucket after primary. I think you should address this if you can. Losing a quarter gallon (maybe a half) to trub is inevitable, but a full gallon before primary is a lot.



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Old 05-20-2014, 02:16 PM   #74
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I use a bayou classic. That kettle holds a gallon of liquid before it even reaches the ball valve. When I did my water calculation I factored in a loss of a gallon not thinking I was leaving sugars in the bottom of my kettle. It all makes sense now. I wasn't seeing the obvious. The last two batches I've done I've missed my gravity by about 10 and that seems to explain it. Correct me if I'm wrong.


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Old 05-20-2014, 02:27 PM   #75
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So I think this could get confusing because not everyone defines efficiency the same way. When I discuss efficiency I'm talking purely into the kettle efficiency -- how well did the mash convert and how well did you lauter. This determines the amount of sugar in your wort, which is conserved regardless of the volume of liquid, boil off etc.

If one is trying to hit a particular OG, then it becomes necessary to adjust the volume of your batch size to hit the desired value for the given amount of sugar in the wort. For example, had you boiled down to 5 gallons, you would have hit your desired OG.

Once the boil is over, the wort in the kettle has a particular specific gravity. If you leave some of it behind, the rest still has the same gravity you measured, you just have less of it. I prefer to think of this as loss not efficiency but really it's just terminology.

You need to either adjust your batch size up to 6 gallons to incorporate the loss or figure out how to minimize the loss (I would look at this one personally). Could you not tip the kettle a bit to get all the wort you can out through the ball valve?


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Old 05-20-2014, 02:40 PM   #76
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So I think this could get confusing because not everyone defines efficiency the same way. When I discuss efficiency I'm talking purely into the kettle efficiency -- how well did the mash convert and how well did you lauter. This determines the amount of sugar in your wort, which is conserved regardless of the volume of liquid, boil off etc.

If one is trying to hit a particular OG, then it becomes necessary to adjust the volume of your batch size to hit the desired value for the given amount of sugar in the wort. For example, had you boiled down to 5 gallons, you would have hit your desired OG.

Once the boil is over, the wort in the kettle has a particular specific gravity. If you leave some of it behind, the rest still has the same gravity you measured, you just have less of it. I prefer to think of this as loss not efficiency but really it's just terminology.

You need to either adjust your batch size up to 6 gallons to incorporate the loss or figure out how to minimize the loss (I would look at this one personally). Could you not tip the kettle a bit to get all the wort you can out through the ball valve?


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I also sometimes get lost in the terminology. I was just trying to figure out why my efficiency was high but I missed my OG. Also to answer you question I could try tipping the kettle. I think before my next batch I will get a dip tube though.


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