Stuck in a 50% eff rut.. I would like to use a lifeline, phone a fellow HBTer - Page 2 - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Stuck in a 50% eff rut.. I would like to use a lifeline, phone a fellow HBTer

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-25-2010, 07:55 PM   #11
bwomp313
Recipes 
 
Apr 2009
Kingston, NY
Posts: 1,185
Liked 32 Times on 25 Posts


+1 on Brewmaster's Warehouse. I use the stove top all grain brewing method and with the BMW crush on the grains I hit about 80% efficiency every time



 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2010, 08:18 PM   #12
samc
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 5,387
Liked 62 Times on 58 Posts


Grain crushing is not rocket science (usually), ask your LHBS what gap setting they have on the mill. Get a pound crushed from both places and compare. Put up a photo here so HBT'ers can tell you which is better and if they are good or not.

I pretty much believe in buying your grains local and tasting them to learn what's what. Maybe they don't have demanding customers who know what the crush should be.



 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2010, 12:08 AM   #13
ahave
Recipes 
 
Jul 2009
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 167
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts


Alright, so I went back the the LHBS and got the exact same grains. The owner said he had never done a double crush before but wouldn't mind trying. I am still learning what a good crush is (if i have even seen one yet), but the first crush looked 'ok' - I didn't see any grains that were whole. After the first crush he tightened a single bolt and ran the grains through again. This time a lot more dust was kicked up most of which was absorbed by my coat/shoes.

I think the mill they use is homemade, it doesn't look very big (~3-4" cube) and is powered by a drill.

I will be brewing tomorrow - this time with a no-sparge - hopefully I can see something better than 50%. Here are some photos of the grains after the second crush. Could someone comment on these photos? The stuff looks pretty pulverized to me...

Thanks again!

http://img710.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=1001270.jpg

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2010, 03:35 AM   #14
kaiser423
Recipes 
 
Feb 2009
Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 485
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


Are you keeping temps throughout the mash? I used to lose quite a bit and have to top up with a bit of boiling water once or twice per mash.

Check the mash ph also? 50% seems awfully low.....are you sure that you are measuring/calculating correctly?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2010, 06:13 PM   #15
whatsleftofyou
Third Eye Pried Wide
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
whatsleftofyou's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
U.P. of MI
Posts: 643
Liked 16 Times on 16 Posts


Something often overlooked when troubleshooting efficiency is to make sure your post-boil volume measurements are accurate!!! I was having similar issues where I was calculating my efficiencies and getting as low as 42%. I tried everything you had and it was driving me crazy. In fact what was happening was that I had marked my fermenter (incorrectly) in gallon increments and was basing my calculations off of that. I'd calculate my gravity against what I thought was 5 gallons but was really closer to 5.5 or 6 and that was throwing my numbers waaay off. Since fixing that I get 70-75% every time with batch sparging.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 03:52 AM   #16
Bernie Brewer
Grouchy Old Fart
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Bernie Brewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2006
Eldorado, WI
Posts: 7,507
Liked 146 Times on 57 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff897 View Post
Definitely need a reliable thermometer ( unless like the monks you can calculate water temp by boiling and mixing).

Try mashing in at a lower temp
113 F for half an hour
131 F for 15 minutes
144 F for half an hour
151 F for half an hour to 40 minutes
154 F for fifteen minutes
Mash out at 164 F
Then Batch sparge at 170
It's a total PITA to do this manually, but you can do it.
I know I know the diastatic power of modern malts is ~ ~ ~ yadda yadda yadda ~ ~ ~ . But still, it's within your power to do it and see if it helps

Also you might try a decoction.
There is no need for any of that. At all.

EXCEPT: Mashout. 168. Will help a lot.
__________________
I like to squeeze the nickle until the buffalo craps-mt rob

"Why don't we get drunk and screw?" Jimmy Buffett

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 10:18 PM   #17
rj_hockey
Recipes 
 
Oct 2007
Toledo, OH
Posts: 81

Last year in the middle of the year I had my eff drop drastically somewhere around 85-90 down to 60 for 2 batches. All grain crushed at my LBHS. After the second time I noticed that alot of the grain wasn't cracked well. Next time I had them crush it two times and poof right back up.
__________________
Primary: Pumpkin Pie
Secondary: Woods Pail Cider
Secondary: 50/50
On Tap: Woods Pale Ale, Double Citrus IPA, Blitzen Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2010, 08:13 PM   #18
shoebag22
Recipes 
 
Mar 2008
Virginia Beach
Posts: 264
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by ahave View Post
Alright, so I went back the the LHBS and got the exact same grains. The owner said he had never done a double crush before but wouldn't mind trying. I am still learning what a good crush is (if i have even seen one yet), but the first crush looked 'ok' - I didn't see any grains that were whole. After the first crush he tightened a single bolt and ran the grains through again. This time a lot more dust was kicked up most of which was absorbed by my coat/shoes.

I think the mill they use is homemade, it doesn't look very big (~3-4" cube) and is powered by a drill.

I will be brewing tomorrow - this time with a no-sparge - hopefully I can see something better than 50%. Here are some photos of the grains after the second crush. Could someone comment on these photos? The stuff looks pretty pulverized to me...

Thanks again!

http://img710.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=1001270.jpg



I don't see any flour in those pictures...
__________________
"...bring your green hat."


Following Seas Brewery

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2010, 05:19 PM   #19
Ridemywideglide
Recipes 
 
Oct 2007
Montrose, CO
Posts: 262
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Get your own crusher...

From the sounds of it, you'll recoup the cost in a few batches of 13lb, 1046 beer..

Just according to BS, but if I change a few recipes from current #'s, to
13lbs's of grain, the OG estimate goes up to near 1080..
A couple 10g batches I have call for less than you used in a 5g batch.

I too was wondering about the temp loss.. Is the tun insulated? Do you check the temp after 15 or 45 minutes?

Starting at ~150 is great, but if it drops off to 130 it's not doing any good.
__________________
Heirate nie eine hässliche Frau, saugt es das richtige Leben aus dir.

Primary:

Secondary:

Keg: 1554 Clone (attempt #2)

On deck: BM's Centennial Blonde

Bottled: Nada damn thing... :)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2010, 08:07 PM   #20
ahave
Recipes 
 
Jul 2009
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 167
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by shoebag22 View Post
I don't see any flour in those pictures...
What about all the powder stuff on my hand? http://img214.imageshack.us/i/1001272s.jpg/
I suppose I should compare this against what a good crush should look like.

My keggle is not insulated, but I do keep a lid on it and lightly wrap it in a beach towel. The not-so-great thermometers that I use do not show much drop, maybe 2-4 degrees.

I think my next equipment investment will be a blichmann brewmometer. My thoughts are to just add a 'T' fitting to my keggle coupler and add the thermometer there. I know it is not idea location for taking temperatures, but I think if I just pull off some wort while I take a temp reading it should give an accurate temp.



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools



Forum Jump