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Old 08-01-2006, 02:03 AM   #1
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Default Off OG on partial Mash

I am a partial mash brewer looking to improve my brewing. I have multiple brews under my belt but since I have gone from extract to partial mash my OG's have been low by as much as 6 points. IE: 1.042 my OG and target 1.048. What am I doing that is keeping me low. Is it my efficiency? I brew 6 gal boils. I mash with an average 3 gal of water and sparge with 1 gal. And then at end of sparge I add my last 2 gal. I need help figuring this out as I plan on doing a couple high gravity ales soon. Cheers


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Old 08-01-2006, 03:19 AM   #2
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I could be wrong here, but I thought your sparge water to wash water ratio should be nearly 2:1. Are you checking the gravity while sparging to ensure you are rinsing all the sugars into your kettle? That's what I might suggest based on the info you provided.

I had a low efficiency with my first partial recently, but I realized I was way off on something to which I won't fess up.


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Old 08-01-2006, 03:32 AM   #3
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First take a look at this thread I created. (Regulars please don't shoot me)
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=8805
This is about converting a 3 gallon cooler into a mini mash tun.

Second. It might be helpful if you show us your recipes. The amount of grain used should determine how much water is used for the mash and the sparge.

Third. What type system are you using and how are you using it?

I bet we can improve your efficiency if you can provide this information.
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Old 08-01-2006, 04:27 AM   #4
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I plan on moving to all grain at some point but these things are the type that keep my brewing confidence in partial mash mode. My usual amount is around 5-6 pounds of grain 4-8# of extract. 7 gal stainless brew pot. All the grain in bag in water for 40-60 min at 155' . Sparge with 5 gal stainless pot at 170' through colander. I then fire it up to boil add my extract or DME and away I go. I did notice that there was a little more malt water in my bag of grain after I took it out of my brew pot. Could this be the few xtra points of gravity Im looking for? Thanks guy's.
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Old 08-01-2006, 04:41 AM   #5
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My bet is that indeed your efficiency is suffering due to process. You would be better with a cooler fitted with a stainless steel braid and mash that way. It would not take any longer and you would be well on your way to all grain as you feel comfortable. I bet it would make a difference. Grain crush can also have a definate effect on how good your mashing turns out
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:08 PM   #6
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The grain I use is from Briess and it usually comes to me milled. So I'm asuming they know what their doing. I have read other hb using the same method as I am , is this just not the way to mash? So a 3-5 gal cooler with a false bottom and a spigot is the way to go? Ill read riches forum 1 more time to get it clear
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabe
The grain I use is from Briess and it usually comes to me milled. So I'm asuming they know what their doing. I have read other hb using the same method as I am , is this just not the way to mash? So a 3-5 gal cooler with a false bottom and a spigot is the way to go? Ill read riches forum 1 more time to get it clear
It's not that the bag method isn't an option, but I don't think you'll ever be able to achieve the same efficiency as you would with a proper mash/later tun (such as the cooler with false bottom.)
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:57 PM   #8
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I have a complete AG setup, but I still use a bag in a cooler for mini-mashes and hit target OG's consistantly. I actually get better efficiency in the mini-mash. One of my reasons for doing mini-mashes is to reduce the cleanup and a bag does exactly that. Using my mash tun for a 4 pound mash would be a waste of time and effort.

I think you are using too much water for the mash, diluting the enzymes. Try cutting it to 1.3 quarts per pound.
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Old 08-02-2006, 04:14 PM   #9
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I think it depends a lot on how full the bad is too. If you are cramming the bag full of grains, it is really hard to sparge through. Even though you might be getting good conversion it will be much harder to rinse the sugars from internal part of the bag and lowering efficiency greatly. I saw a big difference in my PM and AG due to this, don't let it hold you back. My partial mashes were consistently around 50% and my first AG was 70% and I've only gotten better (except when using wheat).

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Old 08-04-2006, 09:21 PM   #10
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U guys have given me an idea! What if I wrapped the bottom of my straining colander with an xtra grain bag and dumped my malt directly from my bag into the colander and then sparged the open grain? would this work? it would keep my grain from going in the wort and would effectivly wash my grain! I don't know ----. Less water would not cover my bag. I don't know if this would matter, some grain would not be mashing !


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