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Old 08-04-2012, 01:12 PM   #1
blarsen71
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Jun 2012
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Brewed last night and was disappointed that I didn't hit my OG of 1.08. Used 13.5 pounds of pale malt for a 5 gallon batch. Used a multi step infusion and the temps seemed good. My OG was 1.06, which wast bad but wasn't what I wanted. Only my 5th batch. I'm sure I could have added some extract to raise the OG, but didn't have any on hand. Any advice on what could have happened?

 
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
Yooper
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There are many factors that go into efficiency, but the most common issue is with the crush of the grain. Did you get it crushed at the same place? Did it look well crushed?

With 13.5 pounds of grain, my system would get an OG of 1.077. I don't think it's very realistic to expect 1.080 with 13.5 pounds of grain for most people.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
duboman
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My set up would have probably gotten me about 1.074. As Yooper mentioned there is a lot going into calculating efficiency beginning with the crush and you don't seem too confident with your temperature infusion.

Provide recipe and process and we can look deeper into what may have caused you not getting at least into the 70's. Als, did you hit all your volumes or were you long or short?
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:31 PM   #4
drawdy10
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Haha it took me 16.5 lbs of grain and 2 lb of candi sugar to get to 1.083 for my belgian golden ale. So yeah I would say you just need to accept that your system efficiency is lower like i did and add more grain or work on trying to improve efficiency with a better grain crush, better mash chemistry, or more efficient mash tun. The false bottom and the ability to constantly recirculate will improve efficiency I believe.

 
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
blarsen71
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Great advice everyone!!! Thank you.

 
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:16 PM   #6
blarsen71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
There are many factors that go into efficiency, but the most common issue is with the crush of the grain. Did you get it crushed at the same place? Did it look well crushed?

With 13.5 pounds of grain, my system would get an OG of 1.077. I don't think it's very realistic to expect 1.080 with 13.5 pounds of grain for most people.
Yooper, i used the formula out of the John Palmer book. Maybe I missed something. Is there a better formula I should be looking at?

 
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
SilverZero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blarsen71

Yooper, i used the formula out of the John Palmer book. Maybe I missed something. Is there a better formula I should be looking at?
The issue isn't that you're calculating the theoretical efficiency wrong, but that you're not correcting for your personal mash efficiency, it seems. I think you're going backwards. You need to use the number you actually got and calculate your efficiency, then use that in formulating recipes. Increasing efficiency is another game - mash temp, crush size, etc.

 
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
blarsen71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverZero

The issue isn't that you're calculating the theoretical efficiency wrong, but that you're not correcting for your personal mash efficiency, it seems. I think you're going backwards. You need to use the number you actually got and calculate your efficiency, then use that in formulating recipes. Increasing efficiency is another game - mash temp, crush size, etc.
Got it. Thanks.

 
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:52 PM   #9
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverZero View Post
The issue isn't that you're calculating the theoretical efficiency wrong, but that you're not correcting for your personal mash efficiency, it seems. I think you're going backwards. You need to use the number you actually got and calculate your efficiency, then use that in formulating recipes. Increasing efficiency is another game - mash temp, crush size, etc.
Exactly! The theoretical efficiency is fine- but each of us have different systems/grain crush/water chemistry.

One thing that really helps is calculating your actual efficiency and then seeing if it's the same over several brews. If it is, it's easy to predict probable OG for each time. Consistency is the important thing, not the actual %.

What I mean is this- with my setup I get 75% efficiency each and every time. That's perfect for me, as I can easily predict what I'm going to end up with. What's hard is when one time it's 60% and one time it's 80%- it makes it hard to hit an OG.

If you can look at your last few brews and the efficiency you actually got, then you can plan on it next time.

I hope that makes sense!

I use brewing software to help me out, because I hate the math. But either way is fine. If you want to post a couple of recipes and your OG, we can take a look and see if you're consistent or if we can give you a few pointers to be able to be consistent.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:21 PM   #10
blarsen71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper

Exactly! The theoretical efficiency is fine- but each of us have different systems/grain crush/water chemistry.

One thing that really helps is calculating your actual efficiency and then seeing if it's the same over several brews. If it is, it's easy to predict probable OG for each time. Consistency is the important thing, not the actual %.

What I mean is this- with my setup I get 75% efficiency each and every time. That's perfect for me, as I can easily predict what I'm going to end up with. What's hard is when one time it's 60% and one time it's 80%- it makes it hard to hit an OG.

If you can look at your last few brews and the efficiency you actually got, then you can plan on it next time.

I hope that makes sense!

I use brewing software to help me out, because I hate the math. But either way is fine. If you want to post a couple of recipes and your OG, we can take a look and see if you're consistent or if we can give you a few pointers to be able to be consistent.
Thanks guys. You have been very helpful. I've only been brewing for a few months and last nice was the first time I wrote my own recipe. So far I'm vert happy with the results. It's these little tips that I learn from this site and practice that will make me better.

 
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