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Old 11-30-2011, 11:37 PM   #11
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Newbie also but couldn't milling adversely effect the OG and final problems of weak wort.

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Old 11-30-2011, 11:51 PM   #12
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Finer milling will improve efficiency. Lots of factors can affect your gravity numbers, everything from mash pH to the geometry of the mash tun's manifold/false bottom. But if you end up with gallons of extra wort and a low starting gravity, the issue at hand is dilluted wort from too much sparge water.

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Old 11-30-2011, 11:51 PM   #13
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Yes the cruch can have a big effect on extraction but I think in this situation the answer is as stated above just way too much water. I second the idea of aiming for smaller batches until you have the boil kettle big enough to boil 6.5 gallons of wort. also 2.5 gallons preboil will only be about 1.5-2 gallons post so you would need more like 3-3.5 gallons preboil if you are topping up with 2.5 gallons water for a 5 gallon batch. I think your best bet for 5 gallon partial boils is no sparge. set your efficiency in beersmith to aroun 60% to start calc your recipe for target pre top off volume and gravity. so when building the recipe build it for a 2.5 gallon batch at 1.080 for a 5 gallon batch of 1.040. Don't throw the left over wort away. you can freeze or preasure can it for starters later.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:10 PM   #14
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OP, I just realized you wanted a concentrated wort to dilute later. How big is your mash tun? You will need a large tun in order to mash enough grains to accomplish this. It's really not recommended, but it is feasible.

If your tun is large enough, you have to get your water amounts in line. There is a limit on how little water you can use. You may have to do a single sparge to prevent having too much water, which means more grain to compensate for the loss of efficiency, and therefore a larger tun to hold the extra grain.

The best thing is to stick with PM, IMO, while looking for equipment upgrades, like larger kettles, MLT, burner, etc.
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