Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Brewing big beers
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Marcorpheus View Post
Thanks for all the useful advice. I've been ordering the grains already crushed from northern brewer and my mash tun has the braided hose instead of a false bottom. Would either of those be contributing significantly to mash efficiency issues? Usually I put all the grains in the mash tun at once. Would splitting it into two mashes help?
You'll definitely see an increase in efficiency if you start crushing your own grains. From what I understand, homebrew supply companies use a pretty coarse crush to prevent any chance of a stuck sparge.

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:09 AM   #12
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I've done it by adding DME as well as making two mashes one in the tun and one in BIAB. Both turned out great.

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Old 02-18-2013, 03:43 AM   #13
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You could also do a double brew. Basically take your grist at normal efficiency and split in half. Mash with half, run off. Empty tun, add 2nd half of grist and your wort from the first mash.

I did this and got like 75% efficiency for a 1.102 barleywine.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:18 AM   #14
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I'm weird in that I still get huge eff on big beers. I got 87% on a 1.098 Quad, and usually get 85%. Crushing your own will probably get you better efficiency, which will allow you to get bigger beers with less grain.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:59 AM   #15
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I use a 10gal cooler with a ss braid and a 8 gal kettle too. I get about 78% efficiency, but i crush my own grain. I agree you should look into your low efficiency first and it probably is the crush of your pre crushed grains. Deffinently do it yourself.

As far as your question goes, dont use dme. You should be able to mash 24lbs of grain in a 10 gal cooler. 24lbs of grain at 60% is about a 1.100 You should be able to do plenty of big beers with what you are doing.

But look into improving your efficiency as well. My opinion, get a mill and find the right crush that works with what you do.

Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #16
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I agree with everyone here that you should be able to get your efficiency up. However, there is nothing wrong with using a couple of pounds of DME if you have to. It will not be noticeable in these sort of big beers. At the vey least, keep a pound or two o DME on hand just in case you need it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:05 PM   #17
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When you do smaller beers, is your efficiency low there too? If not, I would disagree with the multiple posters that suggested that need to get your efficiency up. If your efficiency is good on smaller beers, then I would conclude that low efficiency with big beers is due to it being a big beer (less sparge volume) and not because of another factor.

Doesn't hurt to get a certain OG with some DME, if you need to do that.

Oh yeah, having a braid vs. a manifold won't make a difference if you are batch sparging...

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