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Old 10-17-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
badmajon
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I'm probably stretching it to say I'm getting 70%. I'm tired of my beers always seeming to be on the low OG side of normal. I have a round cooler with a false bottom. Using single infusion mash, single batch sparge. I also use 5.5 stabilizer. Using precrushed grains.

I probably lose 1.5 degrees of heat per hour, maybe 1 if I put towels on the top of the tun.

I just can't figure it out. Anyone else on here with a similar setup care to tell me what effeciency they are getting?

 
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:07 PM   #2
PantherCity
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You could switch to a double batch sparge or fly-sparge. 70% is not bad if it is consistent. If you are able to get the same efficiency each time then your are good to go.

Use another pound of grain if you need to. I would not want my efficiency to go higher than 85%.

I have the same set up and I got ~70% with batch sparging and I'm around 75-80 with fly sparging.

 
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:48 PM   #3
HomebrewMTB
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I'd say the big variable is the pre-crushed grains, not your equipment or process. But 70% isn't bad as long as you plan for it. That's about what most recipes are geared to anyway. You might try skipping the mash out step and doing two sparges.

 
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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Same setup. I get 75%. Decoction to mashout at 168 on every batch.

We're talking ~$2.00 here. I don't know how others get 85% (so they claim) and I don't really care.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
JJL
 
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Your efficiency is going to be less about your cooler and more about your sparge technique and grain crush. Even if the cooler loses a couple of degrees over the life of the mash, it's not really impacting efficiency. I personally batch sparge. It's quick, reasonably efficient given the time it takes, and works for me. I get a consistent 70%-75% efficiency out of this method. I'm fine with that. If you fly sparge your efficiency might hit 85%-90%, but at the expense of increased time sparging. It's always going to be a trade off between time and efficiency.

 
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #6
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I have a round cooler with a manifold and I fly sparge. I'm usually in the 80-85% range. It's been toward the lower end of the range as I have been sparging a little faster lately.

 
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomebrewMTB View Post
I'd say the big variable is the pre-crushed grains, not your equipment or process. But 70% isn't bad as long as you plan for it. That's about what most recipes are geared to anyway. You might try skipping the mash out step and doing two sparges.
This ^

I used a round cooler with a braid for ~2 years doing mostly single or double batch sparges. I found that the two biggest factors for efficiency were the crush and how well I stirred after adding the sparge water. I got a predictable 80-85% efficiency depending on gravity, and that hasn't changed any since I built my HERMS and sold my cooler. IMO an infusion mash out is counter productive for batch sparging. It's the stirring that gets the sugars into solution, and hotter temps don't aid the process any. As for "locking in" the wort profile, it takes less time to batch sparge than it does to denature the enzymes. Unless you're fly sparging, you're much better off using that water to increase your sparge volume.

 
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:45 PM   #8
Skrimpy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmajon
I'm probably stretching it to say I'm getting 70%. I'm tired of my beers always seeming to be on the low OG side of normal. I have a round cooler with a false bottom. Using single infusion mash, single batch sparge. I also use 5.5 stabilizer. Using precrushed grains.

I probably lose 1.5 degrees of heat per hour, maybe 1 if I put towels on the top of the tun.

I just can't figure it out. Anyone else on here with a similar setup care to tell me what effeciency they are getting?
I tried an ag in a 10 gallon cooler and got horrible efficiency. Something like 50 percent. Then I did one biab with a double crush and got something crazy like 80%. From everything I've read you don't want too much more than that and if you can get anywhere over 65 consistently you are golden.

 
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #9
bbrim
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Just going to agree with several others here and suggest you look at your crush. If you plan to brew for years to come a grain mill is a good investment. Personally I'm not a fan of the pH stabilizer stuff. I do my own adjustments working with this http://www.ezwatercalculator.com/ spreadsheet and hit around 80% consistently. Good luck.

 
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:16 PM   #10
ajf
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10g round cooler with false bottom. 80% efficiency into fermenter with a mash out and fly sparge.
75% efficiency with a double batch sparge and no mash out.
Never tried a single batch sparge.

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