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Old 05-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #291
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Since completing my prototype system, I've been getting consistent 99% efficiency rates (ibrewmaster).

I condition my grains (have to here, the ambient temperatures are generally always at or over 30 degrees C) set my first crush at 3 business cards and my secondary crush at 1 business card. Technical I know (lol)

I brew 80 litre batches, with up to 16kg grain bill down to 11kg grain bill. I start with heated 66 litres of water for all grain bills, mash my grains, raise my mash tun, vorlauf (not sure how to spell that) with 40 litres of the wort and then sparge when the wort is at grain level with 35 ltres 82 degrees C water. This takes about 30 minutes for both steps and leaves me with a boil volume of around 86 litres. I also just leave the malt pipe hanging over the mash tun until the end of the brew. By the time all is done, the malt pipe has drained completely and the mash has been vigorously boiling for around 90 minutes.

Before this system and the secondary crush, my efficiency was stuck at 65%.

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Old 05-09-2013, 12:54 PM   #292
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Sorry, didn't do the last post very well

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Old 05-10-2013, 03:02 PM   #293
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I'm only on page 3. Ssssoooo much info, just on those 3. I feel as if I'm studying at the greatest beer university in the world to become a one of you. "Legend brewmaster" I love reading all these threads. This one has really fired up my interest. I will graduate from Beer Tech University. B.T.U for instance. "sparge water"? "slow fun off, fast run off"? Let the sparge water slowly flowly run through the mash or grains. So much info. I must read again. "extraction effeicency". Man.

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Old 05-10-2013, 03:13 PM   #294
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I don't quit understand run off. I undestand run off time. May depend on what is being brewed alobg with tge mill size. May also be effecting run off time. But what exactly is "run off"? I'm rereading page 2. So mybe my question is premature.

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Old 05-10-2013, 03:30 PM   #295
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radtek View Post
I have my Barley Crusher closed as far as it can go- about 0.015". Beer and efficiency are fine.

I boil off about 2.5-3 gallons in a typical 90 minute boil. So I'm getting about 8 gallons total out of the tun for a 5 gallon batch by compensation.

Would I be better off using less sparge water and just topping up the kettle pre-boil? If it would improve my brew I'll certainly try this.
Sparge water? Cold water you pour back in to cool your wort, and refill what has been evaped off?
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:51 AM   #296
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I started to get massive improvement in my batch sparging when I:
Crushed the grain a bit finer
Let the mash go for at least 2 hours
Sparge with more water and do two sparges.

I use an Eski (cooler) with a total volume of about 25 litres which I top up as far as I can with water for the mash, and for both sparges. I end up with about 30 litres of liquid from this, which reduces down to about 28 litres after boiling for an hour. From about 5 kg of grain, I end up with at least 25 litres of beer with a gravity of at least 1.045, sometimes as high as 1.050. That is 25 litres kegged/bottled, not before loss from trub etc.
This is heaps better than when I only mashed for an hour and used less water.

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Old 06-02-2013, 04:22 PM   #297
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Great tips!

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Old 06-08-2013, 04:57 AM   #298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inthekeg View Post
I would be curious to know from those of you who track their grind setting on their mills...what is your prefered setting. I don't own a mill, but my brew supply store has an industrial grade mill with a caliper on it. I noticed the other day when I was grinding out a grain bill that the setting was on.032" I asked one of the emplyees who has worked there a long time and he said that was their "standard setting". Not for nutin', but I have been getting low efficiencies (60%) for over a year now (I have my brew system calibrated down to the last ounce of fluid) and have been scratching my head ever since. When I changed the settings to grind at .020", the guy freaked out and pushed me to pick up some rice hulls to prevent a stuck sparge, which I did just in case. I am starting to wonder if the .032" setting was a bit too course and may be the part of the problem.

Thoughts?
I just did an overnight mash and got an immediate 15% increase in efficiency from low 70's up to high 80's. My grain is crushed pretty well, and everyone keeps telling me just crush finer, but I dont think that is the issue and I am getting way better efficiency just by letting it sit there longer. The other advantage is that I can finish the brew easily by lunch the next day, rather than waste an entire day making a brew.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:58 AM   #299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inthekeg View Post
I would be curious to know from those of you who track their grind setting on their mills...what is your prefered setting. I don't own a mill, but my brew supply store has an industrial grade mill with a caliper on it. I noticed the other day when I was grinding out a grain bill that the setting was on.032" I asked one of the emplyees who has worked there a long time and he said that was their "standard setting". Not for nutin', but I have been getting low efficiencies (60%) for over a year now (I have my brew system calibrated down to the last ounce of fluid) and have been scratching my head ever since. When I changed the settings to grind at .020", the guy freaked out and pushed me to pick up some rice hulls to prevent a stuck sparge, which I did just in case. I am starting to wonder if the .032" setting was a bit too course and may be the part of the problem.

Thoughts?
I just did an overnight mash and got an immediate 15% increase in efficiency from low 70's up to high 80's. My grain is crushed pretty well, and everyone keeps telling me just crush finer, but I dont think that is the issue and I am getting way better efficiency just by letting it sit there longer. The other advantage is that I can finish the brew easily by lunch the next day, rather than waste an entire day making a brew.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:06 AM   #300
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I have found that I need to do a primary and a secondary crush. I end up with a very fine grind and I don't have a stuck sparge, but efficiency still suffers if I don't do a 2 hour mash. My pre-boil gravity is always under with a 60 minute, but with 120 minutes I generally hit the pre-boil gravity right on the button (with the "iBrewmaster" software showing 99%).
My crush settings are:
Primary crush - .0475"
Secondary crush - .0155"

yes, 4 decimal places

My volumes and sparge time for an 84 litre(22 gals) 90 minute boil, 66 litre (17.5gals) batch are:
66 litre mash - 120mins.
vorlauf 40 litres, 30-45mins.
sparge 26 litres, 30mins.

Finished volumes change slightly dependant on ambient temps and wind speed.

Hope this helps.

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