So I'm relatively new to brewing, I started in January and have seven extract brews under my belt. A couple weeks ago I leaped into all grain because i felt like a i had developed a good routine with sanitation an organization. So as of this weekend I have three all grain brews attempted and each of them introduced a new experience in which i learned something from. I've been using Beersmith 2.0 since the leap into all grain so this is where I'm getting my numbers from.
1st All Grain attempt - Low efficiency (51%) - No mash out - Fly sparge, to fast (about 10-15min) Mash gravity still high, pre-boil gravity low .
2nd All Grain Attempt - Good Efficiency (76%) Mashed out - Slowed Sparge to 44sec/pint - Pre-boil volume on target, mash gravity above 1.010 Extreme amount of hot break in boil, Clogged home made chiller..
3rd All Grain attempt - Great Efficiency (91%?!?) mash/sparge same as second attempt, lowered PH of water (half tap / half RO) / milled grain twice (purchased crushed but bought my own mill) set gap to .035"
So this is where my problem is, basically my runnings appeared super light so i took a reading and my gravity was less than 1.010, My pre boil volume was only 5.35 gallons (target 6.8+) so not nearly enough to boil off. I did a light boil, and maybe i should have just added water because my hot break wasn't that great (So the boil could be more intense). My OG target of 1.047 was exceeded to 1.054.
Can anyone explain why this happened or is this typical? I understand consistency is whats sought after more than efficiency but I plan on really working on this when I mill my own grain and get a better handle on my water chemistry. These first few batches were somewhat experimental trying methods to improve my efficiency. Any insight or criticism i greatly appreciated!