Hi there... not a full blown noob here, I've brewed around 60-70 AG batches within the past 3 years, and most have come out quite nicely.
However, recently I've had several batches fail to hit OG miserably.
Nothing has changed in my process, at least intentionally... I use roughly a 1.25qt/lb mash ratio, single sparge method.
Previously I narrowed the issue down to poor crush from my HBS - after inspecting the mash tun (after the mash, of course) I noticed that most grains were still fully intact and not even crushed.
Today I brewed what was to be a robust porter (14.5lb of grain), and only ended up with preboil gravity of 1.040. After adding a lb of DME and a rigorous boil only got a OG of 1.054... barely an American brown ale.
My question is... can the grain crush affect things that
much? I don't know how this large, online HBS stays in business if they keep shipping out poorly ground grain... or am I the only AG brewer that has yet to buy their own barley crusher?
Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated...