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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Weak Beers
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:48 PM   #1
mouthfullofbeer
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Default Weak Beers

I'm frustrated and quite frankly, embarrassed.

5 AG brews and it's the same thing over and over. 50% efficiency just isn't cutting it. i have read about 1000 posts on increasing efficiency and have tried so many of those suggestions. checking crush, not stirring enough, cooling wort for readings, etc... i even upgraded my mash tun & added a cpvc manifold following several designs from brewers here and still, same results of %50. and no, i cant just buy more base grains to compensate for this loss. it's just not practical.

now, i'm not just shooting for numbers here. i want to make good beer. the beers i'm making taste good, but for example, even my tiny wife who has 1 beer and is tipsy complained that "...she's going to need something else if she wants to feel anything". how about that for a blow to the brewer ego for ya!

please help

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Old 05-06-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
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What method are you using to sparge?

I batch sparge, and I found that if I split my sparge in 2, I get a better efficiency. If you fly sparge, perhaps you're going too fast. My efficiencies were in the crapper. Now they're good. My beers taste pretty good. Don't give up. You'll get it dialed in.

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Old 05-06-2013, 01:06 PM   #3
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have you checked your thermometers against a known good one?
did you get a digital probe thermometer cable wet?

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Old 05-06-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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I think you are going to need to provide more specifics on your process and recipes if you want detailed advice.

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Old 05-06-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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I would check your thermometer against another. If you are consistently getting around 50% while changing your methods something is up.

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #6
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just a temp solution, chuck some dextrose in there?

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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i figured i was leaving out some details. sorry about that, didnt want to post a novel up here.

i batch sparge. weird thing is i routinely come up 1.75g short on pre-boil with the suggested h2o volumes beersmith comes up with. i know i lose .5g to my mlt for dead space, and i guess the other 1.25g is coming from grain consumption. is that normal?

i never thought about splitting my sparge step. i suppose another good stir of the mash wouldnt be a bad thing.

i use the thermometer that came with my turkey fryer. never thought of checcking it against another one but that's easy enough to do.

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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for my next batch, beersmith says 12 lbs of grain would absorb 1.5 gallons of a 5 gallon strike, so 1.25 gals doesn't sound out of the ordinary

and the thermometer I got with my WalMart turkey fryer is complete & total piece of garbage.

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Old 05-06-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
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If you are coming up short on total pre-boil volume and then topping up with water, that is likely most of your problem. 1.75 is 25% of your 7 gallon total, so getting your volumes in line could easily be a 25% bump right there.

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Old 05-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
If you are coming up short on total pre-boil volume and then topping up with water, that is likely most of your problem. 1.75 is 25% of your 7 gallon total, so getting your volumes in line could easily be a 25% bump right there.
yep

instead of topping off, throw that 1.75gal in as a sparge. dead space and absorption is already accounted for, so you should get all of that back
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