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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > yes, another bad efficiency thread...
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default yes, another bad efficiency thread...

I've been brewing all grain for almost a year now and my beer usually turns out pretty good but lately i've been paying attention to my efficiency and its been in the mid 50's. So i decided to run the grain through the mill twice for a better crush and nothing improved. mash ph was about 5.6 or 5.7 ish. i'm not too worried because i'm getting my predicted OG almost every time. anyways my main question is does efficiency really matter if i'm hitting the numbers from the recipes? Also, any ideas for improving my efficiency?

recipe is as follows
5.5# 2 row
5# white wheat
1# crystal 20L
.5# dextrine
.5# rolled oats – 15min
1oz hallertau – 60 min
1oz sweet orange peel – 10min
3/4oz ground coriander – 10min
mashed at 156F for 60 minutes, and then batch sparged with 190F water to bring it up to about 168-169F for 10 minutes

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Old 09-01-2012, 10:46 PM   #2
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Do you know what the gap is on your grain mill?

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Old 09-01-2012, 10:47 PM   #3
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Better efficiency might save you a few dollars but if the beer tastes good who cares?

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Old 09-01-2012, 11:25 PM   #4
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The optimal PH range for beta amylase is 5.0-5.5. That is the enzyme that makes most of the maltose. Getting down into that range should help. Mashing longer can help. Stirring the heck out of it at mash in and sparge can help.

Efficiency doesn't really matter much if you are brewing wits and similar strength beers. It would be a lot more challenging to brew big beers with really low efficiency numbers.

If you post your current procedures, I'm sure you can get some recommendations to get up to 70% without much work

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Old 09-01-2012, 11:35 PM   #5
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i'm not sure about the gap on the mill because my hbs has one in the back that i just go back and use. I'll post my exact procedures later. I mean im not too worried because the beer still comes out pretty good, i'd just like to hammer some things out

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Old 09-02-2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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Maybe denny can chime in. His advice has helped push my batch extract efficiency from 75% to mid 80s. Yooper gives good advice too.

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Old 09-02-2012, 06:32 PM   #7
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for my procedure: preheat the mash tun with 166 degree water (rectangular coleman cooler). Empty the mash tun, Add 4 gallons of 166F(lets me hit my 156F mash temp) water and pour in 12lbs grain bill and stir well making sure no dough balls or dry clumps. Shut the lid and let sit for 30 minutes and then open up and stir. close the lid and wait another 30 minutes. Vorlauf and drain mash. (I usually get about 2 gallons out of my mash tun with this recipe). Sparge with 5 gallons of 190F water to reach about 168-169F, stir and let sit for 10 minutes. vorlauf and drain. and then begin boil

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Old 09-02-2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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Are you leaving behind much wort in the mash-tun or in the boil kettle? That wort has dissolved sugar in it and will reduce your brewhouse efficiency.

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:36 PM   #9
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Your process of mashing seems good. Efficiency isn't as important as consistency and it seems your process is consistent.

You are not milling your own grain and you don't know the gap on the lHBS mill so I would start there. Even if you mill twice if the gap is too big you won't get a good crush. Mine is set to .035 which is 1mm so I would check that first or get your own.

Have you checked you ph? Ideally around 5-5.2 is good for conversion purposes and how is your water? Water chemistry can play in as well.

Also as mentioned how much wort are you leaving behind, if you reach your pre boil volume before the tun is drained you are leaving behind a lot of sugary goodness!

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Old 09-03-2012, 04:25 PM   #10
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the ph has been around 5.6-5.7 on the last 2 brews and my mash tun is pretty empty, i have the calculations down pretty well so that almost all of my sparge water ends up in my kettle

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