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Old 12-04-2008, 05:13 PM   #31
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Here is an example. You can get 70% efficiency by allowing all starch to be converted and lauter with 70% efficiency. For batch sparging this is no-sparge efficiency for average beers. And no-sparge is known to produce a high quality wort. Or you may convert only ¾ of the starches in the mash (75% conversion efficiency). But now you need to lauter much more efficiently to get 93% of the converted sugars out of the MLT into the kettle. To get this good of a lauter efficiency you need to fly sparge or use multiple batch sparges and in both cases you may need more water. This could lead to oversparging and lower quality wort.

I have written this before, but I wanted to bring this up again as 70% for one brewer may not result in the same quality wort as it does for another brewer. Especially since Jamil has been saying that 70% is about perfect for him.
Kaiser, I think this is an exceptionally well-made point, and one that is often overlooked by many homebrewers.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:19 PM   #32
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What type of malt mill do you have? Also I have a barely crusher and it is on the factory setting of .039 inches. Your mill is set much closer then mine, so I am wondering if i change my mill setting to i need to be exact in my measurement or just make the mills closer.

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Old 12-04-2008, 05:22 PM   #33
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There probably is no 'correct' setting for gap on a mill. You need to experiment with your crush to find what works best on your system. If you are trying to improve your efficiency by milling finer, just keep incrementally crushing finer and finer with each successive batch until you reach the point where you are getting a stuck sparge or you think the fine crush might be hurting the quality of your wort (e.g., shredding husks if using a Corona mill, which is manifesting itself in astringencies in the finished beer). At that point, just back off and make note of the setting (in case you have to re-adjust it down the road).

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Old 12-04-2008, 05:38 PM   #34
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Maybe it’s the braid, which has much more small holes, than my manifold, which has less but larger holes. Holes, that might be big enough for grain bits to get stuck in them.
That has been my observation when comparing manifolds to braids.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:57 PM   #35
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Kaiser, I think this is an exceptionally well-made point, and one that is often overlooked by many homebrewers.


That was the driving point behind the two articles that I wrote about efficiency: to raise awareness that there are 2 major processes at work. Which are both mostly independent and which can even be measured as that.

One of the problems is that many use an old style mashing technique and expect modern day brewhouse efficiencies. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing bad about using old techniques. But single infusion mashing with about 1.25 qt/lb and a coarsely milled grist w/ batch sparging was never expected to produce efficiencies in the 90s. It’s what old Britsh ale breweries have used and some of them probably still use. To get into the 90s you need to use more modern techniques, which may not be the right choice for a traditional English ale but work for most modern beers. And that is a more tightly milled girst and/or more intense mashing (e.g. agitated mash) to allow better access to the stach. I’m also convinced that a thinner mash (1.5-2 qts/lb) does better. Recently I read that high sugar concentrations can raise the gelatinization temp of starch, i.e. make it harder for the mash to convert the last bit of starch.

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Old 12-04-2008, 05:57 PM   #36
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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.

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Old 12-04-2008, 06:06 PM   #37
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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.


Why not boil less intensely. 3 gal lost on a 8 gal preboil is about 25%/hr and a little high IMO. You can save yourself some propane in the process.

As for shredding the husks and astringency, I’m not convinced that there is such a strong correlation as one might think. Some breweries use a mash filter to separate wort and grain. For such a set-up the grist is completely milled to flour (husks and endosperm) and the wort is then pressed from the mash though a filter cloth. I doubt that the beers will show strong astringency.

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Old 12-08-2008, 05:12 PM   #38
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The situation: 2nd AG brew yesterday. Lower OG than expected. Same problem as 1st AG brew from last weekend (discussed in this thread).
The question: Is my technique simply off or, as suggested with regards to the last brew, is the MoreBeer grind just too coarse? ...or both?
Porter
Grain bill:
8* 2-row
1* Munich
1*Crystal 40L
8oz Carapils
8oz Black Patent
4oz Chocolate
(MLT: 5 gal batch sparger w/ ss braid as per FlyGuy's instructions)
Strike water 3.25 gal. @170
Mash temp dropped from 158 to 156 in 60 min. Stirred twice.
Mash out with 2 qts Vorlauf - took 15 min.
1st sparge 2.75 gal w/Vorlauf, let set 5 min -took under 10 min
2nd sparge 2.25 gal w/Vorlauf, let set 5 min - under 10 min

OG 1.043 (measured after the boil and cooling wort to 85F)

I gathered a good 7 gal of wort that eventually translated to good 5.5 gal in the carboy (much better than the last brew). HOWEVER, the same low-OG problem still came up. This recipe is actually the porter kit from MoreBeer, with an estimated OG of 1.056 (based on 75% efficiency). Clearly I'm not achieving this... but why? hmm

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Old 12-08-2008, 05:27 PM   #39
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1st sparge 2.75 gal w/Vorlauf, let set 5 min -took under 10 min
2nd sparge 2.25 gal w/Vorlauf, let set 5 min - under 10 min
what's your sparge temp? What temp did your grain bed get up to during the sparge?

Did you temp correct your OG? at 85*, you calibrated OG (60*) is ~ pts higher
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:56 PM   #40
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sparge temps were 180 and 181. I tried to get the grain bed up to around 170. This is the hot break(stopping enzyme conversion), correct?

I corrected the hydrometer reading. It was 1.040@85F= OG 1.043

The wort tasted great. It'll just have to be a sessions porter, I guess.

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