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Old 01-20-2007, 02:13 AM   #1
JohnnyK68
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Jan 2007
Lakeville, Pa
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I am pretty pissed. I used my new mini mash tun tonight for the first time, and the efficiency was about as low as it could of possibly been. However, I really think I know why. The biggest reason is that the grains which I got from a LHBS that I found today were barley crushed (this is my fault for still using them, when I had them in question) the second reason I believe is that I let the water run through the grains too fast. I let the valve stay wide open the whole time, and ran 2 gals of water through it in less then 10 mins. Im glad I had some extra DME to fix the OG, but I guess I learned another lesson tonight. From now on my grain is going to come from The Grap & Grainery where I have been getting it all along, and I will slow my process down. Feel a little better now that I vented.

 
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:41 AM   #2
Dark_Ale
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Jan 2005
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I know how you feel, We have all done it at one time or another. I just found out the other day it works better if I pour all of my strike water in my igloo and then let the temp settle then add my grain slowly mashing it in I am able to keep a more constant temp. Before I was just pouring in my water then the grain right away. It was tough for me to get a constant temp throught my mash even though I was stirring it well. Then I sampled my brew for a gravity reading and got a 1.045, I was pissed cause I wanted at least a 1.050 or 1.060. Then it just came too me that I had sampled six gallons instead of 5. So I just laughed at myself and had another stout.

 
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:49 AM   #3
JohnnyK68
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Jan 2007
Lakeville, Pa
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The cooler I use (a rubbermaid) worked fantastic. It held 155 for 1 hr. I added grains and then added water @ 170*. That part worked like a charm. When I sparge I think I may just close the valve next time and let the grains sit for a few minutes before letting them drain much slower. Like I said I will also never use this grain source again. Oh well, at least I had the DME on hand to bring the OG up so I think the beer will still be fine, and I guess when you get right down to it, as long as the beer is good all else can be fixed!

 
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Old 01-20-2007, 05:10 AM   #4
casebrew
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Dec 2005
San Diego
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Taste everything!

After I put the wort on to boil, I dump my grains on the heap, and I sanple some. I figure I would crunch on sweet, un-converted, un dissolved grains, but all I ever get is bitter hulls. I guess I have a good grind, mash, sparge.
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Old 01-20-2007, 05:13 AM   #5
azmtnbiker
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Dec 2004
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I have found that the crush of the grains is one of the biggest factors in efficiency. My LHBS does not crush the grains very well compared to some of the online stores. I always get better efficiency with grains from NB or Austin. It kind of makes me want to get a mill myself.

 
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Old 01-20-2007, 05:46 AM   #6
RichBrewer
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I would recommend that you add the water to the tun first then add the grains to it. Dry grains against your false bottom or strainer can cause it to clog. It is also harder to effectively mix the grains.
I'm assuming you are batch sparging in which case you can let the wort drain quickly after you add your first round of sparge liquor, stir, let the grain bed set for a few minutes, and then vourlof. The only problem I have encountered is draining the wort so fast that it compacts the grain bed. This can cause a stuck sparge.
It sounds to me like you did a pretty good job. Here's to your first mini mash brew. I hope it turns out great!
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Old 01-20-2007, 12:05 PM   #7

I think the only bad crushed grain is a non-crushed grain. If it is cracked or powdered, you should still get the sugars out. You should check pH and Temps, these are probably bigger factors than crack. Oh, except that fast sparge.
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Old 01-20-2007, 03:20 PM   #8
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johnnyk are you in the cleveland/akron area? where did you buy your grains from and did they crush them for you, or did you crush them yourself?
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:10 PM   #9
JohnnyK68
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Jan 2007
Lakeville, Pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichBrewer
I would recommend that you add the water to the tun first then add the grains to it. Dry grains against your false bottom or strainer can cause it to clog. It is also harder to effectively mix the grains.
I'm assuming you are batch sparging in which case you can let the wort drain quickly after you add your first round of sparge liquor, stir, let the grain bed set for a few minutes, and then vourlof. The only problem I have encountered is draining the wort so fast that it compacts the grain bed. This can cause a stuck sparge.
It sounds to me like you did a pretty good job. Here's to your first mini mash brew. I hope it turns out great!
Thanks Rich the idea of the mini mash cooler came directly from the post about it you started a while back. I just found someone to build them for 35 bucks which isnt that much more then it would cost for me to make one and he made it alot nicer then I could of. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for one. I dont feel like I did bad, but the effieciency was like I said as low as it could be. Nice color, no sugar! I will get my grains only from The Grap and Grainery from now on!

 
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:11 PM   #10
JohnnyK68
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Jan 2007
Lakeville, Pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t1master
johnnyk are you in the cleveland/akron area? where did you buy your grains from and did they crush them for you, or did you crush them yourself?
No I am in Pennylvania. I am going to use the G&G though like I stated earlier. Seems I have always got good crushed specialty grains from them so they seem to do a good job with everything.

 
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