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Old 12-16-2012, 05:58 PM   #1
HopLife
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Oct 2011
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I am writing on behalf of my brother who is a fellow all grain brewer.

He is having a really hard time reaching improving his efficiency. To mash and lauter, He is using a coleman rectangular cooler with a stainless steel braid in the bottom. He can't get past the 62 -65 range. Any thoughts?

He currently does not modify his water and does batch sparging.

He is considering buying a fly sparge arm. do these help in a rectangular cooler? Or should he be looking elsewhere to improve the effieciency.?
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:07 PM   #2
Xpertskir
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Does he have a grain mill?
Is his thermometer accurate/is he hitting his temps?
Sounds like he is fly sparging..had he tried batch? Rectangular coolers are more friendly with batch sparging unless you have an elaborate sparge arm.

I am a batch sparger and IMO I see 0 reason to fly sparge. It takes longer, is more involved and only gives a marginal increase in efficiency which I don't care about as a non commercial brewer.

 
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
Dan
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The crush of the grain is often the first thing looked at with efficiency issues. Are you and him using the same grain crusher and is your efficiency better?

 
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
dbsmith
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The reason is probably because you guys are ducks fans..

I don't think his sparging is the problem. We need more details, such as his water/grain ratio, times, temperatures, crush, and even recipes can make a difference (beers with tons of grain have lower efficiency).

 
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
LAbrewer
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I bet on the crush as well. Also does he sparge twice? My first biab got me about 73% and my first batch sparge got about 73% as well.

 
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:25 AM   #6
HopLife
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Sorry I didn't give many details.

I really have a hard time getting anything really worthwhile out of him in terms of info. My feeling was that he is probably missing his desired efficiency because of bad temp monitoring, poor ph buffering, or most likely and insufficiently fine crush on the grains.

Do y'all monitor PH?

@ dbsmith... yeah we may be too fast... he is aware of the diminishing returns with big beers. he is only hitting like 65 % on a beer with OG 1.045. I on the other hand am able to plan on around 75% for a small beer like this. I think there is certainly something wrong with his system.


I am going to advise him to use a second thermometer and to calibrate his current one to ensure its' accuracy.

Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:26 AM   #7
HopLife
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Oh yeah,

He would want me to mention that he is a Hokie not a Duck.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:32 AM   #8
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Do you guys brew together, you and your brother?

 
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:48 AM   #9
Satisfaction
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopLife View Post
I am writing on behalf of my brother who is a fellow all grain brewer.

He is having a really hard time reaching improving his efficiency. To mash and lauter, He is using a coleman rectangular cooler with a stainless steel braid in the bottom. He can't get past the 62 -65 range. Any thoughts?

He currently does not modify his water and does batch sparging.

He is considering buying a fly sparge arm. do these help in a rectangular cooler? Or should he be looking elsewhere to improve the effieciency.?
I agree with everyone else on this post.. using my LHBS grind I got 60% efficiency. Bought my own mill and now hit 80-82% every time.


The question is, how much do you love your bother? Monster Mill or Barley Crusher..

 
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:43 AM   #10
HopLife
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I only brew with him once a year when I visit. I live in Oregon and he lives in North Carolina. He also has a home business, wife and three kids, so he has plenty of distractions.

It sounds like the mill is the solution.
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