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Old 12-01-2012, 05:24 PM   #221
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I just kept adjusting my mill tighter and tighter until I got a slow runoff. I backed off the gap just a hair at that point and it's been that way for the last 12-13 years.

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Old 12-02-2012, 02:53 AM   #222
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I just kept adjusting my mill tighter and tighter until I got a slow runoff. I backed off the gap just a hair at that point and it's been that way for the last 12-13 years.
Good idea. That's definitely what I'm going to do.

I'm sure this efficiency deficiency is going to clear up.

I feel like I'm on school house rock!
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:01 PM   #223
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Ive always had difficulty getting my fly sarge up to 170....... I typically get my water boiling hot (230 degrees), and after I put the stuff through my strainer it almost always seems to just measure out to barley above my initial infusion....

no bother, I tend to average +75% efficiency, so I'm ok with my process

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Old 12-26-2012, 12:45 AM   #224
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Thanks to much of the insight on this thread, I've finally broken the 80% barrier.

Not only that, i almost got to 90. I hit 87%. Definitely a record for me.

Thanks to Denny and flyguy for all the great info.

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Old 12-26-2012, 04:20 PM   #225
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Thanks to much of the insight on this thread, I've finally broken the 80% barrier.

Not only that, i almost got to 90. I hit 87%. Definitely a record for me.

Thanks to Denny and flyguy for all the great info.
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I just kept adjusting my mill tighter and tighter until I got a slow runoff. I backed off the gap just a hair at that point and it's been that way for the last 12-13 years.


By the way, the main difference between my 50-60% batches and this one was the crush. Much more fine than previous crushes.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:47 PM   #226
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By the way, the main difference between my 50-60% batches and this one was the crush. Much more fine than previous crushes.

Good on ya, man!
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:19 AM   #227
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Ive always had difficulty getting my fly sarge up to 170....... I typically get my water boiling hot (230 degrees), and after I put the stuff through my strainer it almost always seems to just measure out to barley above my initial infusion....

no bother, I tend to average +75% efficiency, so I'm ok with my process
Were you boiling under pressure?
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:23 AM   #228
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OK, time for another chapter in my elusive quest for efficiency gains. I've been averaging 72% using Denny's hose braid, then subsequently with a new copper collection manifold I made following John Palmer's guidelines. No difference, really. I have been watching the crush like a hawk, even double milling just to be sure. On my last session yesterday, my efficiency actually dropped to 67%. Really disappointing. I'm stirring thoroughly at dough-in, then again at 30 minutes, then stirring thoroughly before vorlaufing each of two equal sparge additions, and it all looks great. I'm hitting my water volumes spot on, but the pre-boil gravity comes in 4 points low. So, I boil longer to get the OG I want, which requires that I recalculate the hop timing to get the target IBUs. After 105 minutes, I finally get my target OG.

The guys at my LHBS just installed a new mill and they say their mash efficiencies have gone UP, to about 85%, and asked me to report how I did. Well, mine's going down. I have to say that this particular mash was designed to be pretty high gravity. I was going for an Imperial IPA at 8% ABV, so I used more base malt than before, adjusting the water volumes appropriately. Total grain bill = 17 lbs for a net volume of 6.375 gal. At 75%, I should have had 1.058 pre-boil gravity and 7.5 gal in the boil kettle (corrected to 68 F); volume was good, but the gravity was 1.054.

What's up?!?

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Old 01-08-2013, 12:30 AM   #229
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OK, time for another chapter in my elusive quest for efficiency gains. I've been averaging 72% using Denny's hose braid, then subsequently with a new copper collection manifold I made following John Palmer's guidelines. No difference, really. I have been watching the crush like a hawk, even double milling just to be sure. On my last session yesterday, my efficiency actually dropped to 67%. Really disappointing. I'm stirring thoroughly at dough-in, then again at 30 minutes, then stirring thoroughly before vorlaufing each of two equal sparge additions, and it all looks great. I'm hitting my water volumes spot on, but the pre-boil gravity comes in 4 points low. So, I boil longer to get the OG I want, which requires that I recalculate the hop timing to get the target IBUs. After 105 minutes, I finally get my target OG.

The guys at my LHBS just installed a new mill and they say their mash efficiencies have gone UP, to about 85%, and asked me to report how I did. Well, mine's going down. I have to say that this particular mash was designed to be pretty high gravity. I was going for an Imperial IPA at 8% ABV, so I used more base malt than before, adjusting the water volumes appropriately. Total grain bill = 17 lbs for a net volume of 6.375 gal. At 75%, I should have had 1.058 pre-boil gravity and 7.5 gal in the boil kettle (corrected to 68 F); volume was good, but the gravity was 1.054.

What's up?!?
Depending on your system, ~70% might just be everything working fine. The question you should be asking yourself is if you are losing sugars from poor conversion or from incomplete lautering. With a few measurements and calculations, you can separate out the various components of your net efficiency. As often as not, the problem is simply that you're leaving water and thus sugars behind, either in the grain or in deadspace.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:48 PM   #230
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OK, I'll bite. How do I parse the results to determine the culprit? I haven't figured out how to do that.

One thing that's different in my latest session is I was mashing quite a bit more grain than usual, looking for a higher gravity. So, the mash was thicker. Also, in contrast to previous sessions, I didn't heat the sparge water quite so hot (near boiling before), which probably reduced the fluidity some. How much do temperature and water/grain ratio matter in a batch sparge system? I've been splitting the total sparge volume into two equal infusions. Maybe I should go back to a single sparge?

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