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Old 10-22-2007, 09:24 PM   #1
yellow70cooper
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Apr 2007
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I just finished my third all grain batch on sunday and my efficiency blows. The first was an oatmeal stout the recipe og saaid 1.052 mine was 1.045, next was my bavarian wheat recipe og was supposed to be 1.053 min was 1.042 last was a fat tire amber clone 1.052 called for 1.038 attained. I have a ten gallon round cooler MLT tha t I batch sparge in. The process has been the same.

1.1 quarts of water per pound of grain at 153 or 154 for 60
1 gallon of boiling water for 10 ten minutes
Vorlaf and drain to the kettle
3.5 to 4.5 gallons of water at 175 ten minutes then drain to kettle.

Is my procedure wrong or might the crush be wrong? I order all my grain crushed as I don't yet have a mill. Help please

Ben

 
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:32 PM   #2
Scimmia
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Are you only doing a single batch sparge?

 
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:33 PM   #3
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Procedure sounds good. Have you taken readings for each sparge? Do you check your pH? Is your thermometer accurate?

I would say it's most likely the crush but the other items I asked about could play a role. For the pH, I would suggest picking up the 5.2 product and giving that a shot. Test your therm. If those don't do it, I would look at the crush. Who are you buying from?
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:38 PM   #4
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Like jdoiv, my guess would be 1) crush 2) pH. Have you calculated your efficiency, or you just know it's lower than the estimate given by the recipe? Unless you're crushing your grains yourself, you may not be able to get very high efficiency. Adding the pH buffer is an easy solution to the pH problem.

Mine pretty much sucks from batch to batch (60-75%), but the beer turns out great, so I don't sweat it much. Some day I may get around to buying a mill. Until then, I'll just live with what I've got.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:38 PM   #5
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Howdy,

Well mine was low for a while but two things really helped...

1 -One doing a better crush of my grain which made a huge difference.

2- Sparging slower, and longer which also made a difference. I did a quick batch sparge before for like 15 minutes but now I do a much slower sparge at around 30-45 minutes.

These adjustments got my BE up from 60% to 77% (77% being my last batch). 77% isn't amazing by any means but it's consistently 75-78% which is really I wanted.

Hope this helped...
LS_Grimmy
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:41 PM   #6
yellow70cooper
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Apr 2007
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I am only doing a sing batch sparge. My thermometer and hydrometer are pretty spot on. I haven't checked the PH yet how do I do that? And lastly my grains come from norther brewer. If I take the plunge and buy a mill what is the suggestion and how do I set it up? Like I said I am fairly new to all grain.

Ben

 
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:48 PM   #7
jdoiv
 
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I think the barley crusher is well respected on the board and you can buy it with the mounting board and hopper. Just add a drill to motorize it or crank by hand if you so desire.

I went back this morning to look over some of my older brew sessions and usually got anywhere from 60-75% efficiency before I purchased my mill. Now I get around 85%. I fly sparge though.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:51 PM   #8
yellow70cooper
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I guess its time to look into a mill when I get back from TN next week.

 
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:54 PM   #9
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The quickest most accurate way to check PH (IMHO) is to call your municipal water supplier. I actually found my water report online in like 2 minutes of searching. Here is Cincy my water is quite alkaline at 8.6 which is way to high for low gravity, light colored beers. I like many here, use bottled water to bring the PH to a usable level. Maybe that's the easiest place to start, do a batch with spring or distilled water and see if your efficiency goes up. If it doesn't, don't sweat it, just up your grain bill by 15% or so to get your OG's closer to what you are aiming for.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:54 PM   #10
LS_Grimmy
 
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Hey,

You can pick up very expensive grain mills that do a awesome job but myself I picked up an older style mill that works great and it was 25.00 US on Ebay. Here is a pic of mine on the left. I just mounted into my workbench and drilled a hole so the grain could fall into the bucket below.



It's called a Victoria (Corona) Grain Mill. Just goggle it or take a look on Ebay to find one. You can choose from many styles but the Corona's are usually the cheaper and in my opinion work great.

Hope I helped,
Grimmy
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