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Old 11-19-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
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Default Wheat efficiency is downright killing me!!!

So ever since getting a Barley Crusher I had adjusted the gap to credit card thickness - 0.030". On all of my ales outside of Pumpkin (but that's pretty obvious) I get 81% efficiency across the board - all straight barley type beers like Amber Ales, English Ales, Pale ales, etc. Have done repeat batches of Northern's belgian Patersbier and always hit 81%.

However, wheat is giving me wildly fluctuating results. I'd thought I was finally in the clear when I did my last hefeweizen and hit 81%. However, my Weizenbock came in at 69% and my latest hefeweizen brewed this past weekend was a ridiculously low 66% efficiency. The only difference between these latest two wheat beers and ones prior is that I didn't do a protein rest, they were both single infusion, though I can't see how that would make that much of a difference. But even before that though my efficiencies would swing from 70% to 81% with the most common being 74-75%.

Is a credit card thickness simply not enough for the smaller wheat grains? I've thought about just double milling the wheat for the next batch but figured I'd post here for some opinions to help alleviate another possible disappointment if that doesn't cut it.

I've noticed I do a much better and more consistent extraction when double decocting but I really can't do that in the house due to a certain whiner that complains about the smell. The two times I decocted I got 79% efficiency.

Anyhow, I've probably read it all already but if anyone has any recommendations for the best way to keep consistent with wheat I would be most appreciative.


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Old 11-19-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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If you are getting predictable barley bresults I'd leave the mill alone and try double milling the wheat to see where your effeciency goes. Once you get it predictable you can poke your grain bill up to compensate and hit your OG.

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
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I've got the same issue, but my all barley efficiency is 75%. If I plot the percentage of wheat in the grain bill vs efficiency it is almost linear. My 100% wheat efficiency would be 50%! (not that that is possible without adding enzymes)

I add about a cup of rice hulls per pound of wheat which seems to help a little, but I'm looking forward to hearing what others do to improve wheat efficiency.

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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I have always milled my wheat separate at a tighter setting than my barley. Same with Rye. Works for me.

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shutupjojo View Post
I have always milled my wheat separate at a tighter setting than my barley. Same with Rye. Works for me.
I was thinking about that too but boy wouldn't that be a pita having to adjust the mill each time? If I had it my way I'd just get one more mill reserved for wheat or rye (which I've not yet done), but with me haven taken over the house already I think the wife would hang me. Lol.


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Old 11-19-2012, 07:23 PM   #6
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What's your mash tun set up?

Personally I find 70 to be pretty acceptable and I don't usually shoot for much higher.

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:18 PM   #7
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My setup is a 10G Rubbermaid cooler with brass spigot and a bazooka screen internal. But like I said, that coupled with having gotten a Barley Crusher and milling my own grains, so long as I am only crushing barley, I get a very nice totally consistent 81% efficiency.

*EDIT - hmm, this thread is pretty interesting:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/different-efficiency-wheat-7456/

Doesn't answer anything for sure but it's interesting to see a number of others with the same experience. And as mentioned in the thread maybe I will try really tightening my mill for wheat and using some rice hulls to see what that gets me.


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Old 11-19-2012, 11:24 PM   #8
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I did a hefeweizen yesterday and my efficiency was 66%. I'm usually in the 75-78% range. My barley crusher is also set at .03" and I had the same mash tun set up.

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:41 PM   #9
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I get a consistent 75% on barley beers and 70% on wheat beers with my BC at the factory gap.
My mash tun is an ice cube with a cpvc manifold.

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Old 11-20-2012, 12:54 AM   #10
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Wheat & rye aren't just smaller, they do not have hulls. You can pretty much grind them to flour if you want, although you certainly get more doughballs you have to take care of that way.

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