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Old 02-18-2012, 04:51 AM   #11
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Nice photos and run down... I have less AG experience than you so take this as you will.

It would help to measure first runnings to know what your absorption rate is for future reference. Also you did not mention the amount of sparge water.

I'm guessing about 1.5 gal of your strike is absorbed by grain in this recipe, leaving you with about 3.5 gal of first runnings, meaning you had 4.35 gal of sparge water. I believe Denny would say you should aim for first runnings=total sparge volume. So perhaps adding another half gallon to the strike and reducing sparge by the same would help... Especially with a batch sparge like this I get the sense that having higher volume for the mash will dissolve more sugars in solution so that when you drain initially, there is less need for a lot of sparge water.


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Old 02-18-2012, 04:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by WarBac View Post
What do you want your efficiency to be? You have a nice setup and an obvious understanding of how to brew. If you are hitting 75 to 80 percent which it looks like you should be then you should be fine. You are way ahead of me I'm on 3rd AG but have been really happy with efficiency. Remember grain is cheap.
It seems like most recipes I find online or in books are geared toward 75% efficiency, so that seems like a reasonable and attainable target.


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Old 02-18-2012, 04:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hanso View Post
Nice photos and run down... I have less AG experience than you so take this as you will.

It would help to measure first runnings to know what your absorption rate is for future reference. Also you did not mention the amount of sparge water.

I'm guessing about 1.5 gal of your strike is absorbed by grain in this recipe, leaving you with about 3.5 gal of first runnings, meaning you had 4.35 gal of sparge water. I believe Denny would say you should aim for first runnings=total sparge volume. So perhaps adding another half gallon to the strike and reducing sparge by the same would help... Especially with a batch sparge like this I get the sense that having higher volume for the mash will dissolve more sugars in solution so that when you drain initially, there is less need for a lot of sparge water.
This was my first batch sparge with a 1.5qt/lb grain/water ratio. Usually I use 1.25. Thanks to BeerSmith, I had 4.9gal strike water and about 5 gal of sparge water, one step
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:12 AM   #14
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ok, so use less sparge but keep strike the same? you may not need so much sparge and it could be overly thorough of a rinse. Just a guess. Seems like everything else adds up.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:32 AM   #15
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I'm guessing it is in the sparge/lauter. It looks like you are batch sparging. Are you mixing the grist in between your batch sparging?
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:50 AM   #16
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Hey next time your a couple degrees over on your mash temp just stir it down to the correct temp. no need for ice
Ditto. Stir it down to within a couple degrees above your target, It will lose some heat to the dead space in the tun and the thermal mass in the cooler if you didn't pre-heat.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:16 PM   #17
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I'm guessing it is in the sparge/lauter. It looks like you are batch sparging. Are you mixing the grist in between your batch sparging?
Yeah, I mix for about 3-5 minutes when I dough in and before each sparge
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:40 PM   #18
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I re-read my notes and it said to add 4.5 gal of sparge water, and I added 5. So that explains why my pre-boil wort levels were higher than expected.

I did the math and found out that my mash conversion efficiency was only 80%. That seems pretty low to me and that's probably the main source of my low overall efficiency
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:16 PM   #19
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When you said you went wide open when lautering, how fast are we talking about? Slower the better, no?
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #20
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When you said you went wide open when lautering, how fast are we talking about? Slower the better, no?
I've always read that when batch sparging, it's ok to go wide open.


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