Originally Posted by dixosx
Good Idea, I will give this a shot. I am sure the crush is a part of the problem, not sure how much, but I have never made a beer that was the correct eff. it has always been low, regular tap water or RO with salts. The only other issue is the astringent taste, which I will have to mess around with sparging to see where that is comping from. Does anyone else use acid in the sparge, or do you just use plain ol water.
I guess I assumed you had written this data down and could figure it out retrospectively, but if not ...
The other thing you can do with a refractometer in this situation is monitor the mash before you start the runoff. Just let it keep going as long as gravity keeps going up or you hit your desired conversion efficiency. Extra time can compensate for other inhibiting factors, especially a poor crush. When I came to the conclusion that poor crush was a major problem for me, I was monitoring my mash and watched it go from 65% to 70% efficiency over the span from 60 to 90 minutes. It's not nice to have to wait an extra 30 minutes, but until you fix the problem, at least you may not have to alter the recipe by adding extract or boiling longer.