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Old 10-22-2012, 02:11 AM   #1
GoldenShowerGladiator
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this was my 5th or 6th all-grain brew so i'm still dialing in my system. i seem to run into the same problem every time. i'm not extracting enough sugars from the grain during my mash. my preboil gravity for 7 gallons ended up being 1.040 (shooting for 1.055). my OG was 1.052 (shooting for 1.065). i bought a mill and crushed my own grains. i added pH stabilizer into the mash water. i mashed for 90 minutes and held my temp between 149-150 degrees which was my goal. not sure what the remedy is. anyone have any pointers?



 
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:20 AM   #2
GoldenShowerGladiator
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this has happened to my last few brews (ESB, 80 schilling scotch ale, the red ale from Radical Brewing) but all have turned out good. i use beersmith but it's become more of an app for storing recipes since so many of the figures are way off. i've taken tons of readings and plugged them in yet it still has my preboil volumes set over 8 gallons when 7 gallons is where it needs to be.

anyone in the Indianapolis area want to brew with me for a day and get my Beersmith settings straight? i have a fridge full of Russian River sours we can share



 
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:25 AM   #3
brettwasbtd
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How accurate is your thermometer and volume markings? If you are positive those two are spot on then you can look at other things. How long does it take you to sparge? I can let it rip in my system, but efficiency suffers so I slow things down. Probably takes me a good 30 minutes or so to collect my 7.5 gallons

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:43 AM   #4
GoldenShowerGladiator
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i use 10 gallon Blichmann boilermaker with a sight glass. i found that it's not accurate so i took a straight bamboo stick and marked off gallon and half-gallon increments all the way to the top of the kettle so i know for sure that's accurate.

my thermometer is calibrated perfectly.

as far as sparging (i batch sparge), takes me roughly 30 minutes as well.

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:54 AM   #5

This is an 'efficiency' issue. When brewing all-grain, your recipe is based on a certain efficiency. By plugging in your efficiency, you can accurately predict how much grain you will need to mash to achieve your target original gravity.

For example, my efficiency is 70%. If I am using a recipe from a brewer who gets 80% efficiency, I will need to adjust the recipe to include more grain. The brewing software I use is Beersmith and its easy to adjust the efficiency (and determine your efficiency).

Commercial breweries aim for high efficiency to cut costs. For homebrewers, our volumes are small and the cost isn't such an issue. A consistent efficiency from batch to batch is more important than high efficiency.

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:06 AM   #6
GoldenShowerGladiator
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something i noticed today was...let me start with what i use. i use a basic 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler with a braid as my mashtun. i have 0.6 gallons of deadspace. should i add 0.6 gallons of strike water? for instance, i roll with 1.25 quarts water per 1 pound of grain. i had 14.75 lbs of grain today and used 4.6 gallons of water for the mash. would adding that 0.6 gallons (5.2 total in theory) improve anything?

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:11 AM   #7
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Just curious, you said you know your sight glass isn't accurate, but your rod is. How do you know which is right/wrong?

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:40 AM   #8
GoldenShowerGladiator
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i go by my rod. i don't bother with the sight glass. the sight glass is off by a little less than a 1/4 gallon. i'm sure theres a way to fix it but the rod works and is 100% so i go with it

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:48 AM   #9
GoldenShowerGladiator
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how would i calculate my efficiency using the numbers i pulled? i think Jamil says all the recipes in his Brewing Classic Styles book are based on 70% efficiency.

pre-boil volume / gravity: 7 gallons - 1.040 (his: 7 gallons - 1.055)
OG / batch size: 1.052 - 5.5 gallons (his: 1.065 / 5.5 gallons)

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:35 AM   #10
apshaffer
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make sure you are stirring your mash really well. if you think you've stirred it enough, go for at least another 30 seconds. stir again before taking you 1st runnings. split your sparge into 2 equal parts. each time stirring like crazy.

if you are accurate on your volumes and temp, it seems like its a problem with the sparge.



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