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Old 04-08-2012, 04:57 AM   #1
Twofox
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Default Efficiency issues

Hi all,

I've been using my system for over a year now, and have noticed that I almost always come out about 4 points below target on each brew. For instance, beersmith says the amber ale is 1.059, and I usually hit 1.054. Pretty consistently.

Here's my setup:

Igloo Ice Cube 15 gallon mash tun. Batch sparge (I stir it up and vorlauf again). I usually end up draining the mash tun at the end of the sparge to hit my boil volume.

Today, I even went with a longer boil (105 mins), and still only hit 1.052.

I suspect the LHBS doing a bad grind. But beyond that, is there something in my process I can look at?


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Old 04-08-2012, 05:00 AM   #2
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Get a good grind! That's like the number one thing to do! Second is don't drain your mash until you get a good iodine test. I have to mash for 90 mins to get good conversion for some reason...


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Old 04-08-2012, 05:07 AM   #3
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Have you set BeerSmith to appropriately adjust for mash tun loss, boil evaporation rate, kettle loss?

Also have you simply considered formulating recipes that are 4 points over what you want?
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:06 PM   #4
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If your numbers are that consistent, BeerSmith efficiency is set too high. My methods and water additions require I set it at 65% and hit my numbers.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #5
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Some good info, thanks! I seem to lose 2 gallons in my mash tun every time, and that's tipping it to get it all out on first runnings.

I'll check Beersmith for the settings too.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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I wanted to add an update to this:

I had the LHBS do a double crush on the grain, and then when I added water for the batch sparge, I drained off the extra gallon of loss BEFORE stirring for the 10 min batch sparge time.

I then proceeded as usual, 90 min boil and with beersmith set at 75% efficiency, I hit the numbers spot on!

So between those two things, one or both did the trick. Next time I forget to have the LHBS double crush, I'll pull the extra runnings and see.

Thanks all!


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