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Old 07-28-2008, 12:59 AM   #1
b767fo
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Mar 2007
Durham, NH
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OK. I've done half a dozen AG's so far and my efficiencies have all been from 83% to 97%. I've been reading all of the posts from folks having troubles with low eff and I am just a wee bit curious as to what I am doing different - maybe some of you who have been doing this for some time can provide some enlightenment. I have done single infusion, double infusion, and even a double decoction (danke, Kaiser). My basic mash plan is to start with a water/grain ratio based on the grains used; 1.0 for grain bills around 10 lbs, 1.25 for larger grain bills and 1.5 for grain bills with a large amount of wheat - determine infusion amounts; I like to do a protein rest at 125F with wheat, otherwise I do a sacch rest at 150-154F, mash out at 168F - and then using an absorbtion ratio of .5 qt/lb determine sparge quantity from a boil amount of 7.5 gal. Sometimes I only do a single sparge because I may end up with 20-21 qts of runoff and sparging 13 lbs with 4-5 qts makes the grain bed too hard to thoroughly liquify. I do my own crush with a Barley Crusher at the default setting and am obviously getting a good crush. I built Flyguys 10 gal MLT which give good temp control...Any one see anything I may be doing different?

 
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:03 AM   #2
Saccharomyces
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Your water is probably good for brewing. My water is not. It is so hard and full of bicarbonates, without serious work efficiency stinks.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:08 AM   #3
b767fo
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Mar 2007
Durham, NH
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My water is from a well; good chemistry but a little hard. I've checked the mash ph and it is 5.5 each time. Starch test at the end of the sacch rest shows complete conversion...

 
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:17 AM   #4
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Do you know the pH of your well water?
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:24 AM   #5
b767fo
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Mar 2007
Durham, NH
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I had a test done this spring and the ph was neutral. Don't have the test results here but I think it was 7.2 maybe?

 
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:37 AM   #6
ajf
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I only do single infusion mashes using 1 qt water per lb grain. I tried thinner mashes, and found a difference in the character of the beer, but no change in efficiency.
I used to get 73 - 75% efficiency until I started doing a mash out and paying attention to the sparge temperature. With the mash out, and heating the sparge water to 180F, my efficiency jumped to 84 - 85% (That's fly sparging. I drop 5% if I batch sparge.)
This isn't rocket science. Without the mash out, and sparging with 170F water, my sparge temp stayed in the mid to upper 150's. Now it's jumped to 165 - 170.

 
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