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Old 09-09-2012, 02:08 AM   #1
MrMista
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Jul 2012
New York, NY
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Hi,

Earlier today I brewed my first all grain batch. I though that everything was going really well, I hit all my temps, nearly got the perfect amount of runoff from my mash tun. The problem is that my preboil gravity and postboil gravity are too low. Reviewing my notes, I can't figure out why. As I said all my temps and volume measurements were fine. My mash tun was great and stayed at 150 for the full hour. Could it be that the grain crush was too coarse? I got my grains crushed at Austin Homebrew. Here are my notes/recipe. I figure it would be the best way to show you my results:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wjkhnsb256rndlp/-IjTFEbLRD

Thank you!

 
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:50 PM   #2

I really only focus on the OG in the fermenter. For low efficiency, it could be crush. But after a few batches, I bet you will find your system and process' average efficiency and then just use that number to build/adjust your recipes to hit the target OG.

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Old 09-09-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
Hammy71
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No worries. Like Pappers said, it will take a couple of batches to get your process down and to figure out what your systems efficiency is. It's always a crap shoot with a new system. Once you get an efficiency number that is for your system, you can customize the recipe so that you can get predictable results. Weather your efficiency number is 78% or 65%. Knowing the number and working with that, will make your brew days and brews so much better.

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Old 09-09-2012, 03:13 PM   #4
MrMista
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Jul 2012
New York, NY
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Thank you guys, I think you are right. I feel like my process was OK and I just need to get used to my equipment.

One thing that has confused me is efficiency percentage. BeerSmith has two of those: brewhouse efficiency and effective efficiency. Which is the number people use when they talk about their efficiency? Also I am a little confused about calculating the efficiency I got on my last brew. Will BeerSmith do that for me?

Finally, I was hoping I could get at least a 75% efficiency. What are some things I could do to raise that number?

 
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
douggefreshvt
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Jul 2011
Methuen, MA
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A couple things:

Did you vorlauf when you sparged? That made a huge difference to my efficiency. I went from mid to high sixties to high seventies.

When you're sparging how are you draining the wort from the mash run? You should only open the spigot to a generous trickle, don't open it full blast or you will get channeling in the mash and leave a lot of your sugar behind.

If you do those two things next time I bet you beat Beersmiths efficiency estimate. It has been working for me.

Good luck!

 
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:42 PM   #6
Brulosopher
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMista
Thank you guys, I think you are right. I feel like my process was OK and I just need to get used to my equipment.

One thing that has confused me is efficiency percentage. BeerSmith has two of those: brewhouse efficiency and effective efficiency. Which is the number people use when they talk about their efficiency? Also I am a little confused about calculating the efficiency I got on my last brew. Will BeerSmith do that for me?

Finally, I was hoping I could get at least a 75% efficiency. What are some things I could do to raise that number?
Shoot for 70% and fuhgettaboutit
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:28 PM   #7
MrMista
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Jul 2012
New York, NY
Posts: 87


Quote:
Originally Posted by douggefreshvt View Post
A couple things:

Did you vorlauf when you sparged? That made a huge difference to my efficiency. I went from mid to high sixties to high seventies.

When you're sparging how are you draining the wort from the mash run? You should only open the spigot to a generous trickle, don't open it full blast or you will get channeling in the mash and leave a lot of your sugar behind.

If you do those two things next time I bet you beat Beersmiths efficiency estimate. It has been working for me.

Good luck!
I did vorlauf 2 gallons this time. I did sparge with the valve opened all the way, I think I read somewhere that it doesn't matter how fast you sparge when batch sparging. It does make sense to do it slower, and I will try that next time. Thank you!

 
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:29 PM   #8
MrMista
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Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
Shoot for 70% and fuhgettaboutit
Yea I'll be shooting for 70% next time. How can I calculate my efficiency?

Also now that I think about it I'm not certain I did my sparges correctly. For my first sparge I simply let the mash finish (60 mins) then added the 1.18 gallons of sparge water to the mash before ever doing a run off. I stirred up after adding the water, let sit 10 minutes, then had my first runnings. Is that correct technique for batch sparging?

 
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
Brulosopher
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMista

Yea I'll be shooting for 70% next time. How can I calculate my efficiency?

Also now that I think about it I'm not certain I did my sparges correctly. For my first sparge I simply let the mash finish (60 mins) then added the 1.18 gallons of sparge water to the mash before ever doing a run off. I stirred up after adding the water, let sit 10 minutes, then had my first runnings. Is that correct technique for batch sparging?
I use BeerSmith... it calculates all good and sh!t
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Brulosophy is a place to experiment with home brews. If you've had a crazy idea or wondered how something worked please visit us at Brulosophy.com!

List of exBEERiments

How To Easily Harvest Clean Yeast from Starters

Make Good Lager in Less Time!

Marshall "Brulosopher" Schott

 
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:53 PM   #10
MrMista
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Jul 2012
New York, NY
Posts: 87


Yea my efficiency was around 59%. Could it have been that I ranoff too quickly and that is why it is low?

 
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