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Old 04-27-2010, 02:14 PM   #1
GLoBaLReBeL
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Default My efficiency is HORRIBLE!!

Here is my info . .

10 Gal Rubbermaid w/ 9" long and 1" wide SS heater hose with nothing inside.
1st time doing all grain so didn't take readings at every point that i should have . . . might have actually saved me from this . .
Grain bill 10.25 lbs
1.25 qt/lb

Mashed in at 155F with 3.2 gallons of water for 60 minutes. Stirred only once in the beginning to make sure there were no dough-balls.
Before Vorlauf(sp?) the temp was 152. I Vorlaufed 1.2 gallons and then threw that back on top of the grainbed via tinfoil on top.
I then added 6.2 gallons of 180F water (which made my brand new igloo cooler make some weird crackling noises, but no cracks where found in the inside after everything was said and done.) and mixed VERY WELL.
Let this sit for 10 minutes while the first runnings where being heated.
I then vorluafed this as well for about 1 gallon and then turned the spiggot on to full blast and added gallon back to top of MLT.
I then brewed for 30 minutes per AHS's directions. (This was new to me! I actually used 1 hour boil in the sparge calculations, and am thinking this was also a VERY big contributor to the low OG)
After the beer was cooled down, I let it sit for about 2 hours since my water could only get it to around 90, I pitched at around 75F with a 800ml starter.

Here's my problem, and I really think it is because of the boil times . . . but I measured my OG before pitching . . . 1.031!!! My gravity was supposed to be around 1.048!!! So, either my efficiency is EXTREMLY BAD, or I just didn't boil off the correct amount of water so bring my gravity up. I have already pitched, but is there some way to at least raise this somewhat when I get home? I really would like to have a SOMEWHAT alchoholic beer. HAHA

Also, anyone have any suggestions for me? When to take readings and so forth, so my next batch will be better? Or so that I can report back with my numbers and you all can tell me where things need to be improved?

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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how many gallons did you end up with in the fermenter? 5 or much more?

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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I had about 5.9 gallons in the fermentor and a little more left in the kettle. But I usually leave the last half inch or so in the kettle because of all the trub at the bottom.

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
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The extra gallon of volume accounts for a bit of the missing gravity. 6 gallons of 1.031 would make 5 gallons of 1.037 if you boiled off more.

But, the other chunk of gravity must be from efficiency (or hydrometer sample or reading) problems.

If you feel the need to try and patch it, you could boil some DME in a very small amount of water and then add it to boost the gravity.

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:48 PM   #5
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how much DME to how much water? I have some Light DME that I use for my starters.

Also, any ideas on the readings I should take next time to help you (and me) determine where I need to fix things?

All in all, the first AG batch went pretty smoothly. Wasn't that much harder to do then an extract batch. The color came out GREAT too, but its just that damn gravity!! haha

Also, the gravcity reading was a little off because I forgot to fix it per the temp. So it was actually 1.033 but not much of a difference.

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Old 04-27-2010, 03:18 PM   #6
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I had a similiar problem on my first few batches. I know its not the professional way, but here is what I did and now I always get 75% or better. Everytime I add water from mash to final runnings I stir the grain well and vorlauf until clear.

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Old 04-27-2010, 03:22 PM   #7
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I highly suggest using this spreadsheet. It will tell you what is going on with your system. Details about the sheet can be found at braukaiser.com

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Old 04-27-2010, 03:36 PM   #8
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@Boerdeji : that is some INSAINE spreadsheet! If I ever figure out how to use it I will! haha Thank you.

@Walker : You have always been a GREAT help to me. Thank you.

So, any ideas on how much DME and how much water I should add? How long should I boil it for? 20 min??

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Old 04-27-2010, 03:48 PM   #9
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It really isn't hard. I complete it for every brew and therefore always know what is happening in my brewery. All you need is a pitcher for measuring.

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Old 04-27-2010, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppymonkey View Post
I had a similiar problem on my first few batches. I know its not the professional way, but here is what I did and now I always get 75% or better. Everytime I add water from mash to final runnings I stir the grain well and vorlauf until clear.
I will try this next time for sure. I will also try stirring a few times throughout the 60 min mash.

The only thing I would be afraid of is extracting the tannins from the grain while stirring so often.
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