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Old 06-05-2006, 05:50 PM   #1
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Default Help diagnose a problem

OK, I need a little help. My last two all grain beers have been way off on their original gravities. I have been all grain brewing for a long time and I have never missed my target gravity by more than 2-5 gravity points. I've done five or so batches since December that have all been perfect, and all of a sudden the last two batches have been off by 8-10 points . As far as I can tell, I have not varied my technique at all, although I have been shooting for 5.5 gallons instead of 5 but have been accounting for the difference in my recipes. I have two new thermometers to maintain mash.

I am beginning to think it is my grain. the only two things in common these beers have is they came from the same bulk order. I always order pre-crushed and it looks to me like the base malt is very poorly crushed (lots of whole grains). Sadly, I did not notice this until after I started mashing this past weekend.

Would this account for a low gravity of this magnitude? This is an entirely new problem to me.

Thanks in advance.

Jeff
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:09 PM   #2
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I have limited experience ( 5 batches) but the quality of your crush certainly can affect efficiency. I have read a lot of threads where people have the same problem you describe and when they got a better crush efficiency went up considerably. I personally have seen the difference in the 2 shops I use for grains. I'm getting a crusher very soon.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffg
Would this account for a low gravity of this magnitude? This is an entirely new problem to me.
Certainly, it is the crush affecting the efficiency.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:36 PM   #4
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Crushing to the correct size is very important. There should be very few if any whole grains in pre-crushed barley. Time to get out the rolling pin.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:15 PM   #5
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I can't believe I did not notice it on the first go around. Looks like I will be going back to Williams for my crushed grain, or buying a mill.

Would light duty in a food processor work? I only have one batch left and it's about 10 lbs of grain.
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