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Old 07-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #1
dukes7779
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Jun 2011
, NY
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I am getting ready to do my second AG brew. The first one was a IIPA with apparent low efficiency as the OG was significanlty lower than predicted. I'm starting to question my batch sparge method after further reading.

I got my water volumes from BrewPal for 18.16lb of grain. I mashed in with 6.5 gallons at 152* for 1 hour, vorlaufed, took first runnings, then I added 2.5 gallons of 185* sparge water for 15 minutes, vorlaufed, took the sparge/second runnings(?) and boiled.

Did I do this batch sparge correctly? I understand that my crush contributes to efficiency but right now am focusing on what I can control currently (don't have my own mill.....yet!).

 
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #2
Yooper
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Let's see............that's about 1.4 quarts of water per pound of grain for the mash. That's fine, as anywhere from 1.25-2 quarts of water per pound of grain is good.

But a 2.5 gallon sparge is pretty light, and will definitely decrease your efficiency.

You did it correctly, but I'd try to sparge more.

What's your desired boil volume?

If you want to start with 6.5 gallons, I'd suggest using a bit less water in the mash and using a bit more in the sparge.

I'd probably mash with 1.25 quarts/pound, for 23 quarts for the mash (rounding up), or 5.75 gallons. Then, you'd run off about 3.25 gallons from the mash, and you could sparge with 3.25 gallons.

The reason big grain bills get lower efficiency is because of the reduced sparge amounts, generally speaking.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yooper
let's see............that's about 1.4 quarts of water per pound of grain for the mash. That's fine, as anywhere from 1.25-2 quarts of water per pound of grain is good.

But a 2.5 gallon sparge is pretty light, and will definitely decrease your efficiency.

You did it correctly, but i'd try to sparge more.

What's your desired boil volume?

If you want to start with 6.5 gallons, i'd suggest using a bit less water in the mash and using a bit more in the sparge.

I'd probably mash with 1.25 quarts/pound, for 23 quarts for the mash (rounding up), or 5.75 gallons. Then, you'd run off about 3.25 gallons from the mash, and you could sparge with 3.25 gallons.

The reason big grain bills get lower efficiency is because of the reduced sparge amounts, generally speaking.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
greatschmaltez
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One way I increase efficiency drastically is by lautering very slow. On the order of a gallon every 10 or 15 minutes. Also remember to stir up your grains with your batch sparge water and let them sit for another 10 minutes. Then reestablish your filter bed and slowly lauter out.

Takes more time, but I get right around 80% with that method.

 
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatschmaltez View Post
One way I increase efficiency drastically is by lautering very slow. On the order of a gallon every 10 or 15 minutes. Also remember to stir up your grains with your batch sparge water and let them sit for another 10 minutes. Then reestablish your filter bed and slowly lauter out.

Takes more time, but I get right around 80% with that method.
I don't think there is any advantage at all to draining slowly when batch sparging- I get 80% or so just with the "let-er-rip" method.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:16 PM   #6
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I had this problem and was at 55% when I first started AG 2 months ago. I figured my set up may have contibuted to this, so I worked different techniques and have found a good one. I use 1.25 quarts per pound for mash then figure out how much sparge water I need. I divide that in half and sparge twice. I am now 4 or 5 batches later at 80% efficiency.

 
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:07 PM   #7
dukes7779
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Jun 2011
, NY
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not sure how to figure desired boil volume......recipe called for 90min. boil. what is a typical boil off rate? if it called for a 90min. boil with continuous hop additions should I stop early if I get to 5.25gal?

 
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
LarsonLE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukes7779 View Post
not sure how to figure desired boil volume......recipe called for 90min. boil. what is a typical boil off rate? if it called for a 90min. boil with continuous hop additions should I stop early if I get to 5.25gal?
I think the average is like 9% / hr, but probably depends on your elevation.

 
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:31 PM   #9
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There's not much you can do with a big grain bill. Your efficiency will suffer.

Normally, I split the batch sparge into 2 sparges - using half for each sparge. However, 2.5G sparge isn't much at all...I would've done the same thing and used the entire sparge amount in one batch, knowing my efficiency would in the toilet. I would use Beersmith to adjust the eff and use more grain.

 
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