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Old 01-14-2007, 11:40 PM   #11
Apr 2006
Sacramento, CA
Posts: 276

As zoebisch01 said, chloramines are what I also strongly suspect.

In that case, you're screwed. there is no easy way to remove them from the water.

You said that you were going to try again with distilled water.


Use spring water, its cheaper and contains the minerals lacking in distilled water. Those minerals are needed for making good beer.

Try using your revised method with spring water and see what happens.


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Old 01-15-2007, 12:46 AM   #12
boo boo
Jun 2005
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,165
Liked 36 Times on 31 Posts

You are NOT screwed. Use a campton tablet to treat 60 litres of water containing chlorimines. If you are fly sparging then you need to watch the ph and gravity of your wort as it leaves the tun.
75f is a bit high to be pitching yeast IMO. Try pitching at 68f.

And you could always try batch sparging and not have to worry so much about ph issues in your sparge water. That gravity reading, is it pre boil or post boil. Pre boil wouldn't be too far off if you collected enough wort.
How do you BBQ an elephant....first you get your elephant....

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Old 01-15-2007, 12:19 PM   #13
zoebisch01's Avatar
Nov 2006
Central PA
Posts: 5,182
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Originally Posted by hopandgator
Let me ask this...could I be using too much sparge water, and could this be diluting my wort too much? Should I drain a great deal of wort initially before I start fly sparging?

I don't think it works that way. Well kind of....if you collect too much that means in order to get back down to the sugar concentration for your recipe size your boil off would have to be increased. In other words, what you extract from your grains in terms of amounts of fermentable sugars is long as you have extracted pretty much all that you can, there is not much more to it I believe. I have a 5 gallon igloo cooler and fly sparge but usually keep just a small amount of water above my grains to keep it from compacting. I have been getting high efficiencies. What is the design of your manifold and how long does it take you to lauter your typical batch?

That all being said, I don't think your water is the problem for your efficiency, but is a taste factor which you have mentioned. It is hard to make bad water taste good. If you can find a spring (that is may wish to have it tested as well) then use that, or buy 'spring' water from the store. Don't use distilled water. It has zero character and will need to be doctored.

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Old 01-15-2007, 05:04 PM   #14
Nov 2006
San Antonio, TX
Posts: 228

I also suspect most of your problems are coming from your water. How?

Clorine - not wanted when you brew beer.
Ph - If the Ph is off, your efficency will be way off. If people say and you agree, that your water taste "funky", I'm going to suspect your Ph is high and the water taste alkiline (acidy) and that will kill your efficency.
Others - your water is most likely a very different source than your old house was. Are you on a well? It would surprise you how many people don't know they are. 4 miles from my house, they are on city water, much better water than my well is.

Solutions - try bottled spring water from the grocery, or simply boil your water the day before and let it sit covered over nite. It will burn off the clorine and the solids will settle out to the bottom. Don't stir it up and don't use the "bottom" of the water. 3 - 5gal jugs would be easier.

FWIW - They may have "disinfected" your well by clorinating it before you bought the house. This is being done more and more.

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Old 01-15-2007, 10:10 PM   #15
Jan 2007
Posts: 3

Continued thanks for the replies. For my next batch, I will definitely try spring water and let everyone know how it comes out.
What are people's thoughts on doing a mash out prior to beginning the sparge? Some research of internet resources has suggested to me that this would be worth trying. Some sites I have seen even suggested doing a decoction before sparging if the mash tun is already too full to add enough boiling water to bring the temp to 168-170. Is this worth it?

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Old 01-21-2007, 06:06 AM   #16
Gregg Meyer
Gregg Meyer's Avatar
Feb 2006
Posts: 130

I use the trouble shooting techniques in my business every day. go back to your old successul way and see if you have success. Then do it again and change only one thing, until you get failure. I am fotunate to live in a place where we are a small town trying to be a big city, of Lincoln, Nebraska. The water here is wonderful to drink and makes killer beer. I let my water set out over night in brew pots and then the next day I brew. Never had a taste problem yet, Knock on wood. I have heard that doing this helps the clorine I guess "disapate"from the
water. Our water has lots of trace minerals and does not taste like chlorine.

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Old 01-22-2007, 10:30 AM   #17
Jan 2007
Posts: 3

One other thing you might want to try is stirring the mash. I only mash for 45 min and I stir the mash every 15 min. until complete. I've never had any problems and my efficiency is great. My efficiency wasn't that good before I started stirring during the mash. Anyway........cheers!


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