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Old 11-29-2006, 10:42 PM   #1
JeffNYC
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Default Poor efficiency

I just brewed a Belgian Tripel, roughly 14 lbs of grains. My utilization was quite low, like 55%, much lower than my past 5 AG beers. I mashed at a higher temp (158) to give some body. I mashed for about 45 minutes. One thing I noticed is that not all the grains were wet in the middle at the bottom of the mashtun--I didn't stir it enough. Not sure if that is the sole problem here, or if anyone has other thoughts. I'll correct it with another lb of sugar in the secondary--I only used one pound originally so I should be OK.

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Old 11-29-2006, 10:44 PM   #2
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That sure sounds like it would do it. How thick was your mash?

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Old 11-29-2006, 10:44 PM   #3
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Dry grain has got to be the answer.

What sparging method do you use?

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Old 11-29-2006, 10:44 PM   #4
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How much wort did you collect?

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Old 11-29-2006, 10:45 PM   #5
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Don't everybody answer all at once!

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Old 11-29-2006, 10:45 PM   #6
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Gravity happens (or not). I say just keep records and see what trend you settle into. Then calculate from there. With grain and so forth as cheap as it is I think 15 % loss is not a big deal. IMHO of course.

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Old 11-30-2006, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffNYC
I just brewed a Belgian Tripel, roughly 14 lbs of grains. My utilization was quite low, like 55%, much lower than my past 5 AG beers.

...I mashed at a higher temp (158) to give some body
...not all the grains were wet in the middle at the bottom of the mashtun
I think those two issues are easily responsible for the inefficiency you experienced.
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:35 AM   #8
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I didn't think a high temp (within the 150-158 range) would impact efficiency, per se, it would just mean that more of the sugars that were converted were unfermentable?

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Old 11-30-2006, 12:36 AM   #9
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If you get poor efficiency during the mash/sparge, I would suggest that the first thing to do is to determine if it is the mash or sparge that is responsible.
An Iodine test should show if you have any unconverted starches left in the mash (an indication of a mash problem), and taking the gravity of the final runnings from the sparge should indicate if there is a sparging problem. With a good sparge, the final runnings should have a gravity of about 1.010. If noticeably higher than this, your sparge techinque could stand some improvement.

But dry grains in the mash certainly sounds to be a contributing factor.

-a.

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Old 11-30-2006, 04:28 PM   #10
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I batch sparge. Normally I get 65%-68% efficiency, including other beer with modestly high OG. This was the first that I used a slightly higher mash temperature (and a shorter mash time), but it seems that it is simply not having all grain mashed. Live and learn.

I'm looking forward to doing my next beer, a Classic American Pilsner...

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