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-   -   One more poor efficiency thread....... (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/one-more-poor-efficiency-thread-112918/)

sparkyaber 04-07-2009 03:08 PM

One more poor efficiency thread.......UPDATE
 
Ok, here is my setup:
10 gallon square water cooler mlt with a cpvc manifold with a boiler valve outlet.
6 gallon hlt with a boiler valve outlet.
5' of hose to a spinning sparge arm.
60 quart ss boil pot.
Turkey fryer burner.

I have struggled to get over 70 percent with the efficiency. Well 65%, 71%, 66% on my first 3 ag batches.
First one I sparged in like 10 minutes, way to fast. I also used to cold of sparge water, about 170. I also never stirred the mash except for at the very beginning when I mixed the water and the grain. This was a 90 min mash.

Second one I slowed down to about 35 minutes. I stirred the mash every 20 min. Temp was higher this time, about 175-180 in the hlt. I also stirred during the sparge. (yeah, I know now that is a no no.)

The last batch we slowed down even more, taking about an hour to sparge. I stirred the mash every 20 minutes. I also stirred the top of the grain bed twice during the sparge. the temp in the hlt was about 175. This time I checked the water above the grain bead and it was only in the 150's ( I suspect this is my biggest problem)
Could a guy lose over 20 degrees from the hlt down to the mlt? It was cold out, that is a lot of hose to run through, and also it barely trickled out of the sparge arm.

All three crushes were done at the lhbs, the first two were done at one shop, and the last one done at a different company. All three looked about the same.

No mashout on any batch. (maybe I should?)

Anything we are missing?
Does one need to know about the brew salts that I added?

Any suggestions on where to start?
I would at least like to get to 75% consistently.

SpanishCastleAle 04-07-2009 03:33 PM

Do you think you're doing a pretty good job of mashing/sparging? Because now you've done 3 batches and tweeked it and improved it...but your crush was basically the same. I would make sure it's not the crush because it looks to me like you're dialing in your process but not getting the results. That leads me to believe the crush is the main limiting factor. But I'm just guessing.

IMO...a few degrees difference in sparge water temp might make a few points difference but I don't think it's really that big of a deal.

sparkyaber 04-07-2009 04:07 PM

So go finer on the crush eh? I thought about it, but didn't know if the lhbs would adjust the crush for me. Great, one more thing to buy!

HenryHill 04-07-2009 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sparkyaber (Post 1245524)
So go finer on the crush eh? I thought about it, but didn't know if the lhbs would adjust the crush for me. Great, one more thing to buy!

Nothing says you can't gauge it to see what the rollers are spaced at.

Eliminate variables...maybe it is to coarse, maybe not.

sparkyaber 04-07-2009 04:22 PM

What would be "acceptable" for roller spacing?

SpanishCastleAle 04-07-2009 04:36 PM

For reference; the Barley Crusher factory setting is .039". Many people go even tighter than this but that seems like a good starting point.

sparkyaber 04-07-2009 05:11 PM

Just got off the phone with one of the lhbss and they said they used the shmidling malt mill which has a preset gap of .045".

HenryHill 04-07-2009 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sparkyaber (Post 1245709)
Just got off the phone with one of the lhbss and they said they used the shmidling malt mill which has a preset gap of .045".

BINGO!

Wear in the bearings and abuse to the rollers will make this even wider.

sparkyaber 04-07-2009 05:18 PM

One other thing that may be causing this low efficiency is that when I fly sparge I leave the mlt full when I am done collecting wort. Should I be draining it down when I get up to about 3-4 gallons (for a 5 gallon batch) in my kettle? I mean stop adding sparge water? I know you are supposed to leave 1-2 inches of water above the grain bed while sparging, but does that mean until the end?

sparkyaber 04-07-2009 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Henry Hill (Post 1245733)
BINGO!

78910

Meaning this is the problem I assume :mug: :mug:


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