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Old 01-10-2013, 05:15 AM   #1
fedexA300pilot
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Default 1st AG batch, low efficiency...

Need some nOOb help/advice...I brewed a Irish Red Ale clone kit from Midwest brewing. I put all the grain bill along with my equipment profile into Beersmith. Equipment I have is a 10 gallon round cooler for a mash tun, no false bottom, using a steel braid for a filter, HLT is a 10 g cooler, and a 12 gallon kettle.

Beersmith called for 14 qts of water @167 for 10.25 lbs of grain. Mash temp was 151 for 60min and held temp the entire time. I stirred as I was doughing in then put the top on and left it. I vorlaufed then began my fly sparge with 4.04 gals@167F which lasted about an hour. My pre-boil Est gravity was 1.047, Act was 1.035 for an efficiency of 53%. Est Post-boil gravity was 1.066, Act was 1.042.

Grains were crushed by Midwest, I guess my question is should I stir the mash every 15 mins? I guess I am at a loss of why it was so low, I thought I did everything right, but obviously not! Any other tips/tricks would be appreciated!!


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Old 01-10-2013, 06:32 AM   #2
djbradle
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Bad crush? Gotta look at the grains closely. I had my lhbs crush last batch's grains twice and there were so many uncrushed grains it looked like they were fresh off the stalk. Must of lost 10% eff. off 7 lbs in. 27 lb bill.


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Old 01-10-2013, 06:54 AM   #3
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It looked pretty crushed up to me, there was quite a bit of "silt" in the bottom of the grain bag...The grain did sit for about 60 days before I brewed it...could that be part of the culprit? I did strike water first then added grains on top, should I have done it the other way around? Stir a couple of times during the hour mash?
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:18 AM   #4
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The likely culprit (in my estimation) is the fact that you are fly sparging with a braid. You should generally not use a stainless steel braid while fly sparging because a braid as a strainer will encourage "channeling" of the wort - i.e. the draining sparge water will simply "channel" a few holes down through the grain bed and will not rinse the sugar from the majority of the grain, resulting in a large amount of the sugars remaining in the mashtun.

I suggest you try switching to batch sparging on your current equipment - see http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
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