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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 5th all grain, process help.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:44 PM   #1
BugleBrew
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Default 5th all grain, process help.

I've done 4 all grain batches (Stout, winter warmer, pale ale, and an Irish Red). They have all produced outstanding beer, but my efficiency was terrible (50-60%) and I always end up with 4-4.5 gallons. I'm doing my 5th all grain tomorrow, and I would like some help looking over my process to to give myself the best shot at getting the results I expect. It's not good enough for me just to have good beer. I've got a scientific mind, and need to figure out why I'm getting the results that I am.

Recipe is Yooper's Dogfish head 60 minute clone.
14 lbs 2 row
.4 lbs marris otter
(I added an extra pound of 2 row and an extra half ounce or so of maris otter, just in case efficiency is a problem again.)

.75 oz warrior 60 minutes
.5 oz amarillo 35 minutes
.5 oz simcoe 30 minutes

After 14 days, dry hop .5 ounce simcoe and 1 ounce amarillo for another 7 days, then bottle. (I'm not going to do secondary).

Yooper's notes say "Hops were added as continous- first warrior only for the first 25 minutes just a few pellets at a time, then remainder all mixed together and continuosly added, starting at 35 minutes."

us-05 dry yeast

Grain and Mash Tun are at room temparature.

At 1.25 quarts/pound, add 18 quarts of 175 degree water to Mash Tun (converted cooler with SS braid)

Let sit for about 10 minutes to preheat tun. Once it gets down to 169 degrees, dough in.

Stir big time until I reach 152 or 153 degrees. Let it do it's thing for 90 minutes (I'm not screwing around with the starches not converting. I'm thinking about a good long Mash).

Meanwhile, heat 5 gallons of sparge water.

After 90 minutes, stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes, vorlauf, and drain into kettle.

(Up to this point I am usually right on with my temperatures. The sparge is where I have issues).

Add 2.5 gallons of 190 degree sparge water. Stir until it gets down to a/b 169, or add some boiling water to bring it up. Let sit for about 10 minutes, stir vigorously, vorlauf, drain.

Add another 2.5 gallons of water, this time at 168. Let sit about 10 minutes, stir vigorously, vorlauf, drain.

This should get me about 7 gallons into the boil kettle (my boil off rate is pretty steep, especially since I do it on a stove top and it takes it awhile to get all that wort to boiling.

Once the water is boiling, start adding hops. (Need some recipe specific help for those who have done this one.)

Just Warrior to start, continuosly. At 35 minutes left, mix ALL remaining hops together and continue hopping throughout the boil.

The rest of the process should be a breeze.

I'd appreciate any help you all could give me. Any tweaking of my process, especially in relation to the sparge, would help tremendously.

I did use beersmith, but I'm still getting the hang of it. I also looked at Bobby_m's directions and several other websites/calculators, but I really want this to go well. My biggest concern is with the sparge temperatures. The grains came crushed from Austin Home Brew. Hopefully their crush is good.

Okay, have at it.



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Old 01-22-2009, 04:53 PM   #2
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If you're ending up short on volume, then you're boiling off more than you're accounting for, so try to increase your sparge water volume to compensate.

I would change your initial sparge to 170 degree water, since your grains are already hot. 190 is too high. I don't think that's affecting your efficiency, though. Are you making sure you break up clumps while stirring after dough in? Even vigorous stirring sometimes just moves the clumps around. Feel around carefully with the paddle to make sure you've gotten them all broken up. Try to avoid smashing your braid.

I don't really see anything wrong with your process, though. I don't know about pre-crushed grains, but you'd think they should be fine.


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Old 01-22-2009, 04:56 PM   #3
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190F sparge might be a slight bit too hot but 180-185 is what I'd consider safe. You'll want to stir it in reasonably quickly, but the grainbed will only get up to about 167F with a 185F addition. Of course, software will help you obtain any temp you want.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:57 PM   #4
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If the Mash is at 153 and I add 170 degree sparge water, wont that leave me closer to 160ish than 168? I thought 168 is ideal for getting remaining sugars into suspension while halting starch conversion as well.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
190F sparge might be a slight bit too hot but 180-185 is what I'd consider safe. You'll want to stir it in reasonably quickly, but the grainbed will only get up to about 167F with a 185F addition. Of course, software will help you obtain any temp you want.
How do I get brewsmith to calculate sparge water temp. It does the mash just fine, but all it tells me with regards to the sparge is to add 168 degree water, which would leave my sparge a little too cool.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:01 PM   #6
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It looks like your process is good. I have made 25 gal using this recipe so far and love it. One thing I can tell you about the hops..... I added all the Amarillo at 35 min and the Simcoe at 30 min and it is a dead ringer for the real thing. When I tried continuous hopping starting at 35 minutes, everyone agreed that it tasted more like the 90-min IPA than the 60. I also subbed Galena for Warrior the first batch because that is all I had at the time. I was so pleased with the results, I have stuck with the Galena. Not that it really matters that much since it is for bittering more than the flavor.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bull8042 View Post
It looks like your process is good. I have made 25 gal using this recipe so far and love it. One thing I can tell you about the hops..... I added all the Amarillo at 35 min and the Simcoe at 30 min and it is a dead ringer for the real thing. When I tried continuous hopping starting at 35 minutes, everyone agreed that it tasted more like the 90-min IPA than the 60. I also subbed Galena for Warrior the first batch because that is all I had at the time. I was so pleased with the results, I have stuck with the Galena. Not that it really matters that much since it is for bittering more than the flavor.
So you added the bittering hops continuously until 35 minutes, then just dumped in the other two hop additions? Did you continue to hop with the bittering hops all the way through the boil, or were they gone by 35 minutes?
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BugleBrew View Post
If the Mash is at 153 and I add 170 degree sparge water, wont that leave me closer to 160ish than 168? I thought 168 is ideal for getting remaining sugars into suspension while halting starch conversion as well.
You're right, you want your grain bed to be at 168F after your H2O has been added. My H2O has to be at 190F+/- in order to achieve that temp.( depends on your system, how much your grain bed cools, how long your lauter takes, etc.).
- As far as your efficiency goes, I would check your grind, a finer grind (not flour) can/will definatly increase your efficiency.
- If you are starting to boil with 7gal and ending up with 4-4.5gal , the only things I can think of are that you must have a raging boil going on, or you are leaving some wort behind with the trub after transferring to your fermenter. In any case, until you have it figured out you can have a "B" Plan ready, like having some DME on hand, or doing an addition batch sparge of 1-1.5 gal and adding it to your fermenter.(boil the addition sparge in a seperate pot, and make sure that the SG is high enough to justify using)
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:21 PM   #9
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For your effeciency question....I'll just bring up the most obvious suspect: how fine is your crush? These days I'm just crushing finely since I've noticed I don't get stuck sparges with a false bottom/fly sparge. With my experience, that's the #1 factor for efficiency.

You mention trying to do a mash for longer periods of time.....actually, on Basic Brewing, I heard of an experiment where they found effeciency went up a little when you add more water then the 1.25 qt/lb recommendation. I do step infusions, but I don't get the mash that soupy....so I still say that crush is the main way to get your efficiency up.

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Old 01-22-2009, 06:31 PM   #10
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I do a split batch sparge and the first one needs to be dang near 200f to get me to 168. Use this rest calculator http://www.krotchrott.com/calc.html, it will only give you a fixed water amount at boiling but with some tweaking it will get you very close to 168-170f.


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