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Old 09-11-2007, 12:49 AM   #1
griffondg
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Default What's up with my crappy efficiency?

2nd brew in a row where I missed my target OG by quite a bit. This time it's a Stone IPA clone from AHS that's supposed to have a OG of 1.066. When I collected the 6.25 gallons into the brew pot is was somethig awful like 1.046 after temp adjusting hydrometer reading. I ended up adding 1 lb of DME and ended up with a OG of 1.055 when putting 5 gallons into carboy

I hit my mash temps right on so I'm not sure what it could be. I ordered the grain pre-milled and it's from AHS so I assume the crush is good.

I did a batch sparge and this time I only did 1 large sparge; last time I did 2 and was off a little less.

Thanks for any help

Eric

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:06 AM   #2
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Using AHS grain, one batch sparge and get 70%...that is what they calculate their recipe at.

How confident are you in your thermometer, hydrometer?

pH adjustments?

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:10 AM   #3
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Are you stirring the grain well when you introduce the grain into the mash water? I have learned that a good stir will lead to good mash results. Other than that, do you have a good drain system in place? Some people do not realize that they are in fact encouraging channeling when they drain the mash. This will lead to a lower O.G. And finally, not all systems will give you the O.G. that a particular recipe states just because of the limitations of the system. A quick fix to this problem is just increasing your grain bill to give you the difference you are experiencing after you have tried a couple of batches. For instance, it took me 4 batches to dial in my system efficiency and from there I was able to adjust grain bills to give me my desired O.G. Good luck in your brews!

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:12 AM   #4
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First place I'd check is your thermomete, get another and compare. You are taking readings after you mix up the grain and water, right?

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:18 AM   #5
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What's up with my crappy efficiency?
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffondg
2nd brew in a row where I missed my target OG by quite a bit. This time it's a Stone IPA clone from AHS that's supposed to have a OG of 1.066. When I collected the 6.25 gallons into the brew pot is was somethig awful like 1.046 after temp adjusting hydrometer reading. I ended up adding 1 lb of DME and ended up with a OG of 1.055 when putting 5 gallons into carboy

I hit my mash temps right on so I'm not sure what it could be. I ordered the grain pre-milled and it's from AHS so I assume the crush is good.

I did a batch sparge and this time I only did 1 large sparge; last time I did 2 and was off a little less.

Thanks for any help

Eric
Man am I going to catch flack for this, but i seriously think i can help here because i've been there and done that. Your post sounds like one of mine from the past.

1st use a false bottom. Braid won't get it.
2nd quit batch sparging and start lautering (fly sparging) slowly for at least an hour.
3rd and most important, hold your sacc temp for at least 90min, better 2 hr. and ditch the iodine.

These are not my ideas, they came from Dave Miller, now a profesional brewer and author. Following his advise, i now consistently have mash efficiency of 92 -94%. No credit to me at all. I just followed directions. I'm sure a sh*t load of posts will come in saying i'm full of it. dont matter, results are results.

Cheers
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFarmer
Man am I going to catch flack for this, but i seriously think i can help here because i've been there and done that. Your post sounds like one of mine from the past.

1st use a false bottom. Braid won't get it.
2nd quit batch sparging and start lautering (fly sparging) slowly for at least an hour.
3rd and most important, hold your sacc temp for at least 90min, better 2 hr. and ditch the iodine.

These are not my ideas, they came from Dave Miller, now a profesional brewer and author. Following his advise, i now consistently have mash efficiency of 92 -94%. No credit to me at all. I just followed directions. I'm sure a sh*t load of posts will come in saying i'm full of it. dont matter, results are results.

Cheers
Not flack but I think it is important to acknowledge that not everyone wants to completely change their equipment and methods of brewing to achieve the same high efficiency that you are getting via your post......many are simply looking to identify a problem in their current process/equipment.

OP: you said this is a problem with the last two batches...what were you getting before and what has changed?
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFarmer
Man am I going to catch flack for this, but i seriously think i can help here because i've been there and done that. Your post sounds like one of mine from the past.

1st use a false bottom. Braid won't get it.
2nd quit batch sparging and start lautering (fly sparging) slowly for at least an hour.
3rd and most important, hold your sacc temp for at least 90min, better 2 hr. and ditch the iodine.

These are not my ideas, they came from Dave Miller, now a profesional brewer and author. Following his advise, i now consistently have mash efficiency of 92 -94%. No credit to me at all. I just followed directions. I'm sure a sh*t load of posts will come in saying i'm full of it. dont matter, results are results.

Cheers
I'm sure this works like a charm, but there are TONS of batch spargers on this forums that would also say results are results. I consistently hit 80% efficiency batch sparging an dmashing for only 60 minutes. I use a copper manifold though, not a braid.
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:39 AM   #8
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I use a Thermapen thermometer and it's very accurate, up until the battery died yesterday right after my mash I'll get another thermometer just to compare.

I am stirring thoroughly (I think) but maybe not enough?

Yes, I'm taking the temps after mixing the grain and water and I hit it almost spot on; 151F

I'm using Fly-Guys MLT system and I really like it and would hate to move to a new system. I can just hear my SWMBO now if I told her that

Hell, I'd kill for 70% efficiency.

These have been my first two AG and I'm determined to get it right.

I agree that I'll probably have to up the grain bill for the next batch or two just to get the OG up.

Oh, I mash for an hour and don't use iodine...is that a big flaw?

thanks for the quick replies!

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFarmer
1st use a false bottom. Braid won't get it.
2nd quit batch sparging and start lautering (fly sparging) slowly for at least an hour.
3rd and most important, hold your sacc temp for at least 90min, better 2 hr. and ditch the iodine.

These are not my ideas, they came from Dave Miller, now a profesional brewer and author. Following his advise, i now consistently have mash efficiency of 92 -94%. No credit to me at all. I just followed directions. I'm sure a sh*t load of posts will come in saying i'm full of it. dont matter, results are results.
While I am a firm believer in using what works for yourself, I would caution new brewers about this advice. Lots of us have had great success with SS braids, batch sparging, and 60 min rests. Don't be dissuaded just because one person has had a bad experience with them.

OldFarmer: no disrespect intended to you. I am glad you found what works in your system. I just think that your system is a bit atypical, and I doubt that this advice will be generally helpful to most brewers, so it should be attempted with caution.
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffondg
I use a Thermapen thermometer and it's very accurate, up until the battery died yesterday right after my mash I'll get another thermometer just to compare.

I am stirring thoroughly (I think) but maybe not enough?

Yes, I'm taking the temps after mixing the grain and water and I hit it almost spot on; 151F

I'm using Fly-Guys MLT system and I really like it and would hate to move to a new system. I can just hear my SWMBO now if I told her that

Hell, I'd kill for 70% efficiency.

These have been my first two AG and I'm determined to get it right.

I agree that I'll probably have to up the grain bill for the next batch or two just to get the OG up.

Oh, I mash for an hour and don't use iodine...is that a big flaw?

thanks for the quick replies!
I've never used iodine and 60 minutes is plenty of time for conversion. How is your sparge? Are you sure you are thoroughly rinsing the grain? What ratio do you use for mashing water/grain? I use 1.25quarts/lb or 1.33quarts/lb depending on my grain type.
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