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Old 07-01-2012, 04:17 AM   #1
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Default Poor efficiency with wheat

2 weeks ago I made a cherry wit that used 8 lbs of pils and 7 lbs of wheat for a 10 gallon batch and ended up getting 80% efficiency. Last weekend I made another version of the same beer that used 4 lbs of pils and 4 lbs of wheat for a 5 gallon batch and only got 60% efficiency. Nothing else changed. I had been averaging 80% efficiency except for that batch. I did not add any enzymes because I thought a 50/50 ratio was okay, but I guess I was wrong. Do you think there weren't enough enzymes to convert the starch with a 50/50 mix? I can't think of anything else that would have caused this...


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Old 07-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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Did you mill the grain yourself? Crush might be a factor.

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Old 07-01-2012, 01:12 PM   #3
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Yeah, same crush as always
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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I've done 75% wheat with no issues. Wheat malt should have plenty of diastatic power to self convert.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
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Very confusing to me...everything was the same, the crush, the equipment, same thermometers....
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #6
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might be your mash tun, I mash in a 70qt extreme cooler, and my efficency also suffers when only doing 5 gallons. to counter that I end up taking a littler bit longer mash, and stir much longer when sparging, that seems to "wash" the grains out a little better. I think with the large surface area/to grain bed volume in the larger tun, you lose some of the washing effect.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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That makes a lot of sense. I had some sort of suspicion that it was related to doing 5 gallon batches but couldn't figure it out. I did another 10 gallon batch on Sunday with almost the same recipe and it was 80% efficient, like normal, so I'm guessing you're right.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #8
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I had crummy efficiency on the first wheat heavy beers I did all-grain, and I do think it had to do with the milling. On the hefe I just did I double milled the wheat, and my efficiency was right back up to my usual...

In your case though, it's weird b/c the only thing that changed was the volume...makes me too think lalnx may be correct; however, have you had the same problems with other 5 gal batches?
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:56 PM   #9
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I also run my wheat through twice, to lazy to adjust my gap.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:48 PM   #10
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I'm bumping this thread. I've noticed a very similar result. Every time wheat gets into my recipe, my OG is much lower than expected. I've got my system running like a top on all barley recipes. Between beersmith and repetition, when I shoot for a target, I damn near nail it every time. Yet on the same software and brewrig, wheat is acting like my nemesis.

Yesterday's starting OG should have been 1.058. I hit 1.046. I'm blaming some on the crusher (yesterdays came precrushed, and I've noticed my crush is finer, so I'll take a .003 loss on that one). But historically for me, wheat brings me down. My grainbill was only 9% (1#) white wheat malt.

Obviously others are seeing this also, but is anyone figuring out how to counter it? I'm seeing double crush the wheat, or just plan on the lower OG (not really a loss, just not a realized potential). At this point my plan is simply to lower the potential SG for my wheat in Beersmith. That may not be the right way, but it could work.


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