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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > OG level lower than what beer smith says
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:48 AM   #11
HawaiianBrew
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Originally Posted by pharaohpierre View Post
When I put in 14 lbs. of 2 row into Beersmith and try to get your OG of 1.073, I see that the efficiency is ~72%. If I then enter your other OG of 1.042, that is an efficiency of ~40%. There is no way that you are getting this low of efficiency. You are buying your grain already crushed and if you are mashing even somewhat correctly you should be getting better numbers. I would really check what you are entering into your beersmith software. I would check the calibration of your thermometer.

And smyrn had a good question too. Is that you pre-boil or post-boil numbers?
The 1.042 is post boil, like right before I pitch yeast. I'm thinking the grains aren't being crushed all the way. As far as grains go I made my own recipe basically pulling ingredients from a bunch of recipes and making my own. I input it into beer smith and then I buy grains. So far the beer is doing good enough to enter so I just entered the beer in a completion in hawaii at the Kona brew festival. I will post the scores and result when I get them some time on FB. I was just wondering y the efficiency is so low maybe I am doing something wrong. But from all the reading and YouTube watching can't see what went wrong.
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:02 AM   #12
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It's important to understand that beersmith is a tool to help you organize your recipes and information in a way that is useful. It is not a guide to making beer.

You say you are using 14 lb of grain in a 5 gallon batch. others have pointed out that you are not using enough water.

you are mashing in with 3 gallons of water which is only .85 qts/lb which is a very very thick mash. this is already a recipe for poor efficiency.

I batch sparge and regularly mash in at 1.75-2 qts/lb and unless you are doing a step mash you should be at at least 1.5. if the mash is too thick it is difficult for the enzymes to really saturate the mash and act on all the available starch. It is also really difficult to get a good stir of the mash so everything is fully incorporated.

you are fly sparging so you should be spargeing until you have ~6.5-7 gallons in the kettle.

Assuming your crush is good and you are not getting channelling in the grain bed this should make all the difference.

after that you can start worrying about water chemistry and mash pH. The next frontier.

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Old 03-08-2014, 05:09 AM   #13
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Describing your mashing process including equipment might help diagnose the issue here too.
Ok so I have a 10 gallon Home Depot cooler with a SS filter. I heat water till about 180 to pre heat my tun. Then when my strike temp is reached per beer smith 162 I pitch grains. That drops the temp to 153 154 which is what beer smith says. The I wait 1 hour I live in hawaii so the temp hold for the whole hour. I vorlofe till wort is clear. Then put in my 10 gal brew pot. Then I fly sparge with the temp and the total about of gallons said by beer smith. I build a sprinkler type spray type copper thing...lol. That sits about an inch of the grains then I make it rain till I use all of the three gals of water. After that I tilt the tun to get all wort out of tun. I check my pre measured level in my brew pot. If low I top of water I normally start the boil at 6 gallons. I then start the brew process. After all said and done I dump cooled wort in my fermenting bucket. I then check the total level again. Sometimes I am just alittle lower than 5 gals of wort. I top of the wort with pre boiled and cooled water. Then take a sample to find OG. I input into beer smith the OG and then calibrate for temp. Oh by the way I work for Johnson controls so I have cool calibrating tools so I know I'm good there with the equipment. Just need some answers about y my efficiency is so low. So the batch that I make is 5 gals of brew asked by someone else. I think I'm leaning more to the grains not being cracked as well. I will check that and take a picture of that one I brew again.
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by morticaixavier View Post
It's important to understand that beersmith is a tool to help you organize your recipes and information in a way that is useful. It is not a guide to making beer.

You say you are using 14 lb of grain in a 5 gallon batch. others have pointed out that you are not using enough water.

you are mashing in with 3 gallons of water which is only .85 qts/lb which is a very very thick mash. this is already a recipe for poor efficiency.

I batch sparge and regularly mash in at 1.75-2 qts/lb and unless you are doing a step mash you should be at at least 1.5. if the mash is too thick it is difficult for the enzymes to really saturate the mash and act on all the available starch. It is also really difficult to get a good stir of the mash so everything is fully incorporated.

you are fly sparging so you should be spargeing until you have ~6.5-7 gallons in the kettle.

Assuming your crush is good and you are not getting channelling in the grain bed this should make all the difference.

after that you can start worrying about water chemistry and mash pH. The next frontier.
I think you along with everyone else I'm not starting with enough strike water I stir the grain in as I pour the grain in. It appears that the water level in the tun is just enough but like I said still learning. That's y I love this site. Thanks again
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:21 AM   #15
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I will take what you all have thought me and then go from there. I will post a this is what I found on the next batch using the well informative post. Thanks if anyone can see what I am doing wrong from the last 2 post which I went into detail please give input. Thanks

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Old 03-08-2014, 07:09 AM   #16
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I will take what you all have thought me and then go from there. I will post a this is what I found on the next batch using the well informative post. Thanks if anyone can see what I am doing wrong from the last 2 post which I went into detail please give input. Thanks
right on. learning is half the fun of this endeavor we have embarked upon. The first bigish beer I did I got ~45% efficiency. When I was emptying my 'mash tun' (a bottling bucket lined with a grain bag) I found great huge balls of totally dry grain.

four years from now, I predict, you will open a bottle of three year old 12% ABV barley wine that YOU BREWED and taste heaven.
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