Mash Problems - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash Problems

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-16-2009, 02:21 AM   #1
Cellarbrau
Recipes 
 
Jun 2009
Richmond
Posts: 205
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts



Hi, First post here. I've done lot's of reading already but i just can't figure out why my mash efficiency/brew efficiency is so damn low.

I just did my 4th all grain brew yesterday. I was going for 1.052 OG for a 6 gallon batch of wheat beer. At the end of the day I read 1.032 OG on my hydrometer and there was under 6 gallons due to boiling and other losses.

Grain:
6.5 lbs Wheat Malt
4 lbs 2-Row
1 lb Flaked Wheat
0.5 lbs rice hulls
=12 lbs

In a 6 gallon plastic bucket the grain bed is about 16 inches deep with rice hulls integrated throughout.

I add 12 liters of 130*F water and rest for 20 minutes at 122*F
I add boiling water to bring temp up to 155* for 60 mins
Temperature is down to 150* so I add a liter or so of boiling water and
recirculate for 45 minutes.
I drain wort at 1 liter per minute and collect 7 gallons.

Everything went very smoothly. I only tested the OG at the end of the boil so sorry I don't have more information there. Grains were milled at the LHBS here in Vancouver which has a good reputation.

I've not been happy with my efficiency in the previous batches hitting between 50-55% even with some late addition malt extract.

1.032 is like 40% efficiency. Am I missing some important aspect of mashing grains?



 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2009, 02:24 AM   #2
sundowner
Recipes 
 
Apr 2009
Walk About Creek
Posts: 222
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts


It's the crush...always the crush. Crush 'em 'till they scream.


__________________
A person who knows everything, knows nothing...

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2009, 02:56 AM   #3
adamjab19
Recipes 
 
Apr 2008
Berkley, MI
Posts: 490
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts


check therometers as well.
__________________
Element Brewing

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2009, 03:17 AM   #4
Yankeehillbrewer
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
Yankee Hill, CA
Posts: 1,541
Liked 28 Times on 28 Posts


Crush would be #1, make sure your adjusting your OG for whatever temp your sample is at, but it's best to let it cool then take a reading. Calibrate your Hydrometer in Distilled Water, should read 1.000. +1 for calibrating your Thermometer, an inaccurate one can screw everything up.

What percent efficiency do you plan your recipes for?

16 inches is a pretty deep grain bed IMO, any chance you can upgrade to a converted cooler for an MLT w/ SS braid or a manifold? Then you could fly sparge or double batch sparge, you would also be able to use a thinner mash which will also improve efficiency, and I think a thinner grain bed will help as well.

Hope that helps

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2009, 03:23 AM   #5
samc
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 5,387
Liked 62 Times on 58 Posts


Not familiar with your method, I am sure it has some fancy name. But I don't see a high temperature sparge that we use for batch sparging. 180-190F water to get all the residual sugars out, is that missing ?

Try batch sparging - look up Bobby M's method as it is very simple to follow and yields great results.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2009, 10:38 PM   #6
Cellarbrau
Recipes 
 
Jun 2009
Richmond
Posts: 205
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


The crush could be a culprit.

Thermometers and hydrometers are calibrated. The reason I only have one reading is because I only test once, for OG, once the wort is cooled.

The sparge water was only around 150* F. I will try 185* next time. Also I am going to buy a barley crusher asap. Also I will be looking into making one of those converted cooler MLTs I see around everywhere on this site.

I am aiming for 75% when I plan my recipe. 50% is just not good enough. First, it is more expensive to brew with grains at that rate than extracts. Secondly, I am already very frustrated with missing my targets. Not only that I am getting worse. So, looks like its time for some better gear.

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions they were all considered and followed up on.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2009, 02:01 PM   #7
david_42
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2005
Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,593
Liked 151 Times on 142 Posts


You might try running the next batch through the mill twice.
__________________
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2009, 03:18 PM   #8
The Pol
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Posts: 11,454
Liked 96 Times on 81 Posts


Check your crush, water chem. and your temps.

Next brew, take a sample of the first wort, get that gravity reading and compare it to Kias chart here for conversion eff.

Then take a reading of all of the wort in the kettle prior to boiling, this will give you mash/lauter eff.

Then take gravity and volume reading when the wort goes into the fermentor, this will give you brewhouse eff.

Then you can look at all of these and see where the bottleneck is.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2009, 11:19 PM   #9
Cellarbrau
Recipes 
 
Jun 2009
Richmond
Posts: 205
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


I forgot to mention, twice, that I do use the "Ph 5.2" powder. And I will take a pre boil gravity sample next time.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2009, 11:29 PM   #10
Beernip
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Oregon.. Go Beavs!
Posts: 612
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjab19 View Post
check therometers as well.
+1 to thermometer. I just found one of mine that was reading 10 degree's low. If you're mashing at 145 instead of 155 it could be your problem.

Do you always use the same double infusion mash schedule? Have you tried a single mash at 155 and mash out at 175-180 batch sparge?



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Regulator problems? Or Judo problems? Judochop Bottling/Kegging 11 05-13-2015 03:14 PM
DAy 1 Mash day 2 Boil - problems?? Grinder12000 General Beer Discussion 7 02-02-2009 11:10 PM
Partial Mash/AG Efficiency Problems efreem01 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 10-04-2007 04:18 PM
Problems hitting mash temps? Sir Humpsalot All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 07-03-2007 08:16 PM
Problems with Mash Temps Sir Humpsalot All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 36 05-16-2007 06:16 PM


Forum Jump