Don't know what I'm doing wrong.... - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Don't know what I'm doing wrong....

Thread Tools
Old 06-01-2012, 06:08 PM   #1
planecrazy29's Avatar
Feb 2012
Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 49
Liked 9 Times on 6 Posts

I've got about 4 AG batches under my belt, but have yet to have one come close to my desired OG. My efficiency runs about 58%. The LHBS has a monster mill that is set to .042 for the crush. It gives a very nice crush. I have a 2 cooler setup and fly sparge. Any ideas on how to increase my efficiency? The latest brew was 4 lbs of white wheat, 6 lbs of 2 row pale ale and 1 lb of vienna. My pre-boil gravity was 1.032 and volume was about 6.5 gallons. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
May 2011
Minneapolis, Minensota
Posts: 29

Start off with asking your LHBS to run your grains through twice. If that doesn't fix the problem then you'll probably have to provide your whole brewing process for people to analyze and look for solutions.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
Jun 2011
North County, San Diego
Posts: 405
Liked 20 Times on 18 Posts

There are a number of things, and I'm sure some of the guys out there with more experience can throw in more: what temps are you mashing at? how long are you mashing? and what temp are you sparging at? are good questions to start off with.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 06:27 PM   #4
Oct 2009
Sacramento CA
Posts: 240
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

try batch sparging once and see if it helps your efficency.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
Feb 2010
Posts: 847
Liked 146 Times on 103 Posts

Assuming your crush is good....

First and foremost, I would try batch sparging. It is faster and more forgiving than fly sparging, which can be subject to channeling effects if you're not using the right type of false bottom.

-Make sure your thermometer is calibrated. Double check your mash temp with another calibrated thermometer. Ditto for calibrating/checking your hydrometer/refractometer.

-Check your mash pH. If you water happens to be highly alkaline and you're brewing lighter beers, you could be outside the range for proper enzymatic activity.

-Be sure you are measuring your volumes correctly. Brewhouse efficiency is difficult to measure accurately if you don't know your system losses precisely. You may be collecting more wort than your software is projecting.

-Do an iodine test to ensure complete conversion of starches.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
BrewinHooligan's Avatar
Dec 2011
Mesa, AZ
Posts: 5,152
Liked 1763 Times on 1180 Posts

My LHBS has a giant mill that is great and I set the gap to .028 and get efficiency in the 70's. It sounds to me that the gap is set a little loose based on my experience. Try crushing with a tighter gap. Try making one adjustment at a time and keep detailed notes. I noticed that when I mash towards the thin side at 1.5qts/lb that I got better efficiency than when I mashed thicker around 1.25qts/lb. Each system is different so YMMV.
No yeast, no beer. No beer, no civilization. Therefore, we really have yeast to thank for all our modern-day conveniences and tasty beer

*Member: The HBT Sweaty Fat Guys Cigar club

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
Oct 2011
Florence, Alabama
Posts: 1,653
Liked 116 Times on 98 Posts

How long is your runoff? If you run it too fast you are going to lose some efficiency
"Why did you.... what was the point of... how drunk were you when you decided this was a good idea?" - DMartin

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #8
Jun 2010
Poulsbo, WA
Posts: 211
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

+1 on thermometer calibration

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 11:08 PM   #9
daksin's Avatar
Aug 2011
San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,617
Liked 357 Times on 311 Posts

I'll add to the mile-long laundry list of questions: does your mash hold temperature well? If you're losing heat, how much? How long do you typically mash for? Have you tried doing an iodine test to make sure you're getting full conversion (you probably are, but it's a cheap and easy thing to check).
I can't be arsed to keep up this list of what's in the fermenters, but hey, check out the cool brewery I own! .. ..

Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 01:21 AM   #10
Dec 2011
Durham, NC
Posts: 1,553
Liked 92 Times on 80 Posts

Also what water are you using?

Kegged Two Hearted, Dragonmead Final Absolution
Bottled Robust porter, Founder's Breakfast Stout, Ommegawd Hellepin, Ed Wort's Apfelwein
RIP Snake Dog IPA, Biermuncher's OktoberFAST, Falconer's Flight IPA, Two-Hearted clone (Culturing Bell's Yeast), Noberon wheat, Skeeter Pee using dry yeast, Smooth Oatmeal Stout

Simple and easy wort aeration - Harvest yeast from your blowoff - Homebrew Spicy Mustard

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What did I do wrong, or what is wrong with my setup? Opus_X All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 04-03-2012 01:58 AM
Low OG Again What am I doing wrong? vindee All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 24 05-27-2011 09:15 PM
...I did it all wrong... TwoWheeler All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 15 12-07-2010 07:42 PM
What did i do wrong??? Frenchy All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 07-25-2010 02:36 PM
What did i do wrong? Way low SG Gritsak All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 7 01-31-2010 05:34 PM

Forum Jump