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Old 09-17-2012, 02:42 PM   #21
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Did you stir frequently during the mash?

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Old 09-17-2012, 02:55 PM   #22
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Several times, approximately every 20 minutes. Checked for dough balls as well.

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Old 09-17-2012, 03:07 PM   #23
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Just because double grinding resulted in no improvement doesn't mean your grind is ok. Double grinding only helps if the gap is already pretty close and maybe there's isn't.

If nobody at your LHBS will tell you what the gap spacing is or adjust it down for you, then you simply need to find another LHBS or buy your own mill. You really need to get in control of your grind; it's too important. Or else you can just plan for poor efficiency by using more malt.

BTW, hopefully you saw this sticky. It pretty well covers poor efficiency issues.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/maxi...parging-77125/

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Old 09-17-2012, 03:20 PM   #24
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I am familiar with that tread, thanks! I will eventually get around to buying a mill, just not sure when. Can you discern anything from the pic?

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Old 09-17-2012, 03:39 PM   #25
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Grind still looks a little coarse, but I don't think it's the entire problem. I got a hand-crank corona mill online for about $30 including shipping, works like a charm. My efficiency is 15% higher than before, although some of that is from knowing what I'm doing. Plus, with just a few more high-gravity batches, my right arm will be twice the size of my left.

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Old 09-17-2012, 03:53 PM   #26
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I'm always going to be examining my process, I'd be stupid not to. Currently I think I'm doing as well as expected given my setup. Hitting temps, hitting volumes, spot checking gravity during mash and improving final product. The one piece that is no where close is when I measure my preboil gravity.

What I'm left with currently is examining the grind and potentially water chemistry.

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:55 PM   #27
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Instead of worrying about water chemistry, focus on mash pH instead. Water chemistry won't affect efficiency outside of the pH impact.

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Old 09-17-2012, 07:52 PM   #28
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When you add the sparge water, do you thoroughly stir it in? With a batch sparge, it is the stirring of the sparge water additions that causes the sugars to dissolve.

-a.

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Old 09-18-2012, 01:07 AM   #29
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Yes gave it a good 10 minute hefty stir. Even my 1st runnings gravities are very low. Example: I think it was my last batch, calculator said I should expect 1st runnings at 1.101, batch sparge obviously lower to come to a pre boil gravity of 1.079. I was no where close lol... It will come with trial and error

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