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Old 07-09-2012, 10:19 PM   #1
movet22
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Hey guys. I have been brewing AG for about 6 batches now. My last two were complete train wrecks for different reasons.

First a bit of background- I noticed that I was only yielding ~3.5 gallons when my recipe called for 5 gal. In the latter of my 2 recent screw ups I tried to scale a 5 gal recipe up to 6 gal to try and fix the volume issue HOWEVER the beer was terrible. Something went wrong and the beer came out WAY too sweet.

With all of that said, I guess that my main goal should be increasing my efficiency. I batch sparge with a bayou burner and a bazooka screen in my rubbermaid MLT. Would upgrading to one of the less expensive sparge arms and a better mash screen increase my efficiency enough to continue aiming for 5 gal batches?

Any help you guys can offer would be great, let me know what else you need to know on my end. After 2 bad brews, I am dying to get back to some quality beer.

Thanks!

JDV



 
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:29 AM   #2
brewmadness
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Did you take detailed notes on your process? That might help the veterans here help you. How much water did you add for your mash, how much for sparge. What was your pre-boil volume? Gravity? Much more info is needed.



 
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:40 AM   #3
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Oiy, I did take copious notes, however the PC that was running beersmith fried its motherboard in the last 5 min of the boil. So all but a few are gone. I know, hardly ideal for those who may actually be able to help.

Another detail I left out earlier is that I noticed a low boil off, maybe a half gallon. It was raining out that night, so I did cover the pot about 95% to keep rain out of the wort. I vaugely remember hearing that you shouldn't cover the boil, but that was after the damage was done (?) on my part.

 
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:41 AM   #4
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Sorry, dupe post.

 
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:48 AM   #5
heckels
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Seems like there's a few issues here.

First, what is your target preboil volume? That should be your target post-boil volume + your boil off volume + volume accounted for trub and transfer loss.

Once you have that figured out then you can determine what your preboil gravity (SG) should be and where your efficiency is actually falling.

Until you know these things changing your equipment won't really help you. Also, trying out some software such as BrewTarget (free) will really help you figure out your system, target volumes, gravities, etc.

 
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:50 AM   #6
phoenixs4r
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One of the best ways to help would be to post your entire brew day from heating the sparge water to transferring into the fermenter

 
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:43 PM   #7
Jablestein
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As someone who has also been suffering from high yield loss lately, this thread is a great reminder of just how important it is to take notes and measurements every step of the way...something I don't do very often but will from now on.

If I may inject a few questions of my own here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by heckels View Post
Seems like there's a few issues here.

First, what is your target preboil volume? That should be your target post-boil volume + your boil off volume + volume accounted for trub and transfer loss.

Once you have that figured out then you can determine what your preboil gravity (SG) should be and where your efficiency is actually falling.

Until you know these things changing your equipment won't really help you. Also, trying out some software such as BrewTarget (free) will really help you figure out your system, target volumes, gravities, etc.
Preboil Volume - Slightly confused how this number should derived and at what stages you should be taking these readings. Could you provide some additional details here? I've generally done a reading after the boil and chilling of the wort to get an OG reading to compare against the FG before bottling. Should I be taking readings after mashing/sparging as well? Are there ball park figures for boil off volume and trub/transfer loss? What about hop/grain absorption? Thanks so much for any additional details you can provide here!

Also, is it bad to cover the initial grain mashing or are we just talking about the boil itself?



 
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