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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Abysmal Efficiency (55%-ish). Help?
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:53 PM   #11
erikpete18
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I have a buddy who swears mashing out increases his efficiency by 3-5 points. I sparge with 175-180 degree water doing essentially the same thing without an added step and get slightly higher efficiency than he does. All systems are different though. It is definitely worth trying and seeing what is going to work best for you.
Yeah, a mashout is going to help a bit. You'll loosen everything up a little and dissolve a few more sugars in your first runnings. No idea what it might do to overall efficiency, but it certainly can't hurt. Plus, since you're fly sparging, you'll want to make sure that you inactivate all the enzymes before you start to sparge, otherwise they'll keep working while you're sparging and you run the risk of drying your beer out.


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Old 06-17-2012, 12:47 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the advice everyone. Tomorrow is brew day with my Dad. We're doing a vanilla cream porter. Since tomorrow will be my first batch using the new 10-gal. Igloo cylindrical cooler, I think I will go ahead and stick to the same methods I had been using for the last few batches (a.k.a. no mash-out) just to see if the new set-up provides greater efficiency. I'll be brewing again in about 10 days, so I will try the mash-out for that one (i'm a scientist at heart, so I need to isolate my variables). I'll post back here tomorrow once I get an efficiency reading.

Cheers!


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Old 06-17-2012, 12:49 AM   #13
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What kind of water?
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:53 AM   #14
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I've been using filtered spring water for all of my brews. I use 5.2 for pH control. I would say that water is the one thing that I have yet to really look into or tweak with my brewing.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by BrewDoc22 View Post
I've been using filtered spring water for all of my brews. I use 5.2 for pH control. I would say that water is the one thing that I have yet to really look into or tweak with my brewing.
I would stop using the pH5.2 stuff. It's buffering capacity is minimal and it adds tons of sodium. I had problems with low efficiency using Durham city water which is very low in calcium (like your spring water). Amylase enzymes need calcium. I would make some adjustments based on Bru'n water and see if that helps, and dump the pH5.2 stuff.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pabloj13 View Post
I would stop using the pH5.2 stuff. It's buffering capacity is minimal and it adds tons of sodium. I had problems with low efficiency using Durham city water which is very low in calcium (like your spring water). Amylase enzymes need calcium. I would make some adjustments based on Bru'n water and see if that helps, and dump the pH5.2 stuff.
Thanks for the advice. I've read through a bit of the web site you posted and it seems like it has a lot of good info. I'm realizing I shouldn't have been so cavalier about my brewing water. I don't have time to gather all the necessary additives and testing strips before tomorrow morning, but I will most definitely use this info for my next beer.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:52 PM   #17
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Well the new set-up worked well! I achieved 75% eff. (15% better than I have ever done).

I think the combination of the cylindrical mash tun plus a long, slow fly sparge (~45 min. long) were the two difference makers.

My goal for the next brew is to work on mash water chemistry.

Cheers!


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