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Old 03-20-2013, 03:21 AM   #1
hightechlofi
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Jan 2010
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I just performed my first all grain mash and my effeciency is terrible. I am brewing an Oscar Blues G'Knight (Gordon) ale clone. I collected 5 gallons of wort. My grain bill is as follows:

Malt Qty(lbs) Potential Calc PPM
US Pale 2 Row 14 1.036 100.8
CaraMunich 1.4 1.033 9.2
Munich 1.05 1.037 7.7
Caramel 30 1.05 1.035 7.3

Preboil OG:

Effeciency: 34/125 = 27%

I am using a sanke mlt with 1"armaflex all around (including top and bottom) with a false bottom and a dip tube.

Here are the mash details:
1) Preheated my mash tun w 2 gal boiling water, poured out before dough-in
2) Added grist to mlt.
3) Added 6.5 gal strike water (1.5qt/lb) at 160f.
4) Stirred to ensure no clumps.
5) Mash temp measured. Untested temp gauge on sanke showed 140f, digital thermometer showed 152f. Assumed digital was correct, future readings are taken with it.
6) Checked temp 30min into mash, 151f.
7) Begin lauter after 60min. Recirculated four pitchers. Runoff never really clear, but no chunks.
8) While draining first runnings, took gravity sample, 1.052 (cooled wort first)
9) Added 3.5gal sparge water (batch sparge) at 180f.
10) recirculated, measured gravity at 1.025.
11) Final Preboil OG: 1.034

So, now the obvious question, wtf did I do wrong? I have two speculations, but as an AG newbie, they are kinda shots in the dark. 1) mash temp was really 140, should have stuck with the sanke gauge, and/or 2) sac conversion was not completed at 60 minutes, needed longer mash. Also, figured out my dip tube is too low and resulted in the low amount of wort collected.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Gonna top off my og with DME, but need to get this figured out. I tried to give you all of the data, if you need more info, please let me know.

Btw, will this batch even be drinkable, or am I just SOL?

Thanks!!!

PS: Thought I would do a go big or go home beer for my first AG, turns out I am a cocky idiot. Think I am gonna stick with some simple SMaSH brews till I get dialed in.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:46 AM   #2
TahoeRy
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You did everything right. Who cracked the grain? How was the crush? Did you check and adjust your ph? Calibrate that thermometer in the sanke to get better readings. I don't batch sparge so I'm not sure if sparging slow will increase gravity, it really helps with fly sparging. What was you estimated Gravity you where shooting for?

Sorry, kinda all over the place on that but just trying to get ideas as to what you can do.

 
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:47 AM   #3
TahoeRy
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BTW, it will be drinkable. Just more of a session beer with lower abv.

 
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:55 AM   #4
hightechlofi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeRy View Post
You did everything right. Who cracked the grain? How was the crush? Did you check and adjust your ph? Calibrate that thermometer in the sanke to get better readings. I don't batch sparge so I'm not sure if sparging slow will increase gravity, it really helps with fly sparging. What was you estimated Gravity you where shooting for?

Sorry, kinda all over the place on that but just trying to get ideas as to what you can do.
It was crushed at my lhbs, defalco's in houston. As this is my first ag batch, not sure how the crush was, I just assumed it was good. As for ph, I looked and the only strips I had were lower ph for wine, so just went blind. I used ozarka spring water. I had asked the guy at defalcos and he told me he had used it straight (no adjustment) and it was fine. I will definitely be checking my temp gauge, though. I am kinda embarrassed to say what I was shooting for, but the post-boil og was supposed to come in around 1.080, so I am way off. I had 2.1 lbs dme lying around, so I tossed that in. Boiling right now, so I will see what the post boil og turns out to be.

Would the ph or mineral content make that big of a difference? If so, I may start building my mash water from scratch using ro water and salts.

Thanks for the quick reply.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:00 AM   #5
hightechlofi
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Also, doing a 90min boil to increase OG. How will this effect my hops/ibu's? I have added 1oz northern brewer as first wort hops, my only other addition is at 7min left with 3oz columbus. With the lower OG, is this going to be crazy hoppy? Not that I mind crazy hoppy...
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:09 PM   #6
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With that water and grain bill you pH should have been fine, at least not enough off to explain such horrible efficiency. Something else must be really wrong. Interested to hear what the calibration of the thermometers shows, I'd think you would have to be really off like 10-15 degrees or so. Same with crush, that would have to be pretty darn poor. I don't see anything obvious in your process although not sure what you mean your dip tube was too low - do you mean too high and you left a lot of wort in deadspace?

 
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:18 PM   #7
hightechlofi
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I cut the end of the tube flat, so the weight of the grain pushed it against the bottom of the keg and wort couldn't flow through. I had to use a spoon to pry it up. Was barely a trickle so I got impatient after 5 gallons and left the rest behind.

I cut the bottom up the keg out and use it upside down. I think I am going to replumb it to drain through the 2" opening on the bottom and not even worry about a dip tube.

This was just a side not, not really anything to do with efficiency.

I am going to calibrate my thermometers today, I will post the results.

Could you tell anything about the crush if I posted a picture of the spent grains?
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
hightechlofi
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Here is a picture of some of the spent grain:



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Not a close-up, but here is a pic for the grain in the bag:


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After reading this: http://www.brewersfriend.com/2009/03...ng-for-grains/ , looks like the crush was too coarse? Could this have been a part of it?
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:45 PM   #9
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did you stir the batch sparge? I'm not an expert but the crush doesn't look horrible to me (I had a bad crush, ended up at 55%, looked way more whole than that), maybe you had a channeling issue? with a batch sparge, that's unlikely though.

 
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:47 PM   #10
hightechlofi
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Yeah, when I added my sparge water I stirred thoroughly, then allowed the grain bed to set for 10 minutes before begining vourlaf/drain.
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