Anvil Foundry Mash Eff

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I hate the freaking basket. I have had nothing but problems with it. At first the ring didnt fit. I feel that it doesnt get good flow through the grain. There are always clumps in the thing. Not to mention how filthy the beer is from the grain that does get through the basket. Combine that with the original perforated disk, and I am not overly impressed with the unit.
I agree, I'm also not overly impressed with the unit. I knew nothing about the all in ones, other than a YouTube videos. The quality issues and I think poor design don't match it's price. There I said it. I think it's poor design leads to low efficiency for a lot of people, and going to a finer crush only causes other problems with the Anvil, like compacted grain beds and more grain pieces in the boil and scorching just to name a few. I wish I had done more research before buying one, there's a lot of glowing reviews of all the different units and few honest ones.

I'm still sold on the all in ones. I just wish I had spent my money elsewhere.
 

Noob_Brewer

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First, you are recircing too fast and compacting the grain bed. Malt pipes are so narrow that they need to flow at 1qt per minute or less. Even better, you will have better luck crushing at .028" and adding a handful of rice hulls or condition the malt and go even finer. Consider pausing your recirc for long stints like 5 mins on, 15 mins off. The thing is insulated.
@Bobby_M just curious if you have any fellow customers or known anyone to try this approach with the anvil foundry. If so what were the results of mash efficiency? Im likely going to try this approach myself on my next brew but just wanted to see if you could provide any other details. I like the foundry a lot but having only brewed three times on it, still playing around to figure the best method for me. Your idea seems like a hybrid between how the anvil was proported to work best (with recirc) and with traditional BIAB without recirc and using a bag. Thanks!
 

bwible

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I just ordered an Anvil Foundry yesterday (they were out of stock for awhile but they are now back in). I ordered the smaller 6.5 instead of the 10 because I primarily brew smaller 3 gallon batches. It says it has an 8 lb grain capacity which is about perfect for the majority of what I usually brew. I’m fond of blonde ales and English Bitters which are lower gravity. And I still have my 5 gallon Gott cooler mash tun in the event I want to brew something bigger like 3 gallons of barleywine or imperial stout.

Thanks for sharing - Looking at the pictures, it appears the basket in the 6.5 is not perforated up the sides the way the one in the 10 is. So I think there will not be issues with this using the 6.5.

It looks like they also moved the controller up on the most recent incarnation, something people were apparently asking for.

One of the things I am also thinking about is finally having the ability to step mash due to the precise temperature control and RIMS type setup. Step mashing, even though probably 95% of people will say its not necessary with today’s highly modified malts, may increase efficiency if this is an issue? Even if we don’t do a full step mash program and just do a final mash out at 165 or 168 or whatever it is?

And yes, if there is “dead space” in the bottom and some wort is not being collected due to design or is being lost to waste and trub then that loss has to be made up or accounted for. Thats not a conversion issue, thats a loss due to equipment issue. This thing even has a rotating racking arm to help avoid junk - so if you do that you are leaving some wort behind. You account for this by formulating a bigger batch. i.e. If I want 3 gallons and am leaving half a gallon behind, then the recipe needs to be formulated as 3.5 gallons to arrive at the right gravity - not 3 gallons.

I am really looking forward to getting this. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
 
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augiedoggy

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There are still benefits to step mashing for example doing a 30min to 1 hour rest at temps between 158 and 162 will help with head retention.
 

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This is interesting. I have done 2 brews on the foundry, 1st a no sparge, mill gap at .035 and ended with 58% efficiency. Second was a big beer and adjusted down to a 4gal to it'd fit, mill gap at .025, 1.5qt/lb, sparged with 1.5gal. Got 65%.
It sounds like I'm recirculating too fast, I didn't realize 1qt/min was ideal. Are people sparging about that rate as well? Just running a tube to the metal plate on top or are people using sparge arms?
I might try blocking the sides next also, but this is the first I've heard of it and it seems people manage 75% without doing that.
At 0.025” did you use a bag inside the malt pipe and recirculated? Seems that at that tight it would stick on the malt-pipe at the bottom otherwise
 

mkopec1

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I was going to buy this unit myself. But upon reading this thread Im having second thoughts. The thing that attracted me to this unit above the other ones in this price range was more accurate temp control, insulated, and 240V switch if I ever get a circuit installed.

For the grist issue you guys are having, why not just plug the larger holes up the sides and bottom with some 300-400 SS mesh? It would definitely cut down on the trub and also maybe restrict the flow a bit. Also if some of you are having problems with stuck mashes, why not just use a lb or so of rice hulls just to make sure, the stuff is cheap.

Dont know, never used the thing, but kinda bummed now. Was gonna use some tax moneys on this thing.
 
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I was going to buy this unit myself. But upon reading this thread Im having second thoughts.
Do your research, and if your lucky enough to have a HomeBrew shop near by that would have several to compare. Watch YouTube videos made by people that had to spend their own money buying one. Their videos may not be as slick but their also not trying to put a positive spin on the product because it was sent to them for review. One thing that got me was, when they show you how easy it is to set temp, they show a hand pushing buttons, what they fail to show is, getting down on your hands and knees so you can see the controller.
So don't get me wrong, I've made some really good beer with the Anvil and I'll be using it for the foreseeable future. I just think my money could of been better spent elsewhere. I'm sold on the all in ones, It's taken hours off my brew day and made brewing fun again.
 

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All of these units have the same dimensional challenge - they all are a bit tall for a tabletop, but if you put them on the floor, you have to bend down in order to use the controller. I don't see this as an Anvil-specific flaw. In fact, the smaller 6.5 gallon version has been re-designed with the controller higher up.

I don't own the Anvil, but if my Braumeister (which I love!) crapped out, I would be hard-pressed not to get the 6.5 given the feature and price comparison with competitive products. If I were in the market for a 5 gallon batch capacity model, though, I would probably raise the budget and look at some other options.
 

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brew bag probably solves the issue with the malt pipe and helps with the efficiency. I would put it on top of a desk or something so its not down on the floor. the grainfather solved the controller access issue but its twice as much $ and doesn't have a 240v option. brewzilla seems to be close. they are having to remove some of the pipe screens to keep it from clogging. doesn't hold temps as close as the anvil though. all seem to need slight modifications to get it to work well, but lots of people love them and are brewing often. thats worth something
 

blaapple

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I just think my money could of been better spent elsewhere.
I’ve strongly considered an all in one system and was leaning towards the Foundry until reading this post. WeHeavy, out of curiosity, what alternative systems have/would you consider that aren’t 3x as much as the Foundry
 
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I’ve strongly considered an all in one system and was leaning towards the Foundry until reading this post. WeHeavy, out of curiosity, what alternative systems have/would you consider that aren’t 3x as much as the Foundry
I can only tell you what I've experienced with my Anvil, it has several quality issues. You can go on Facebook Anvil user group and you'll see there the same issues others are having.

I wish I knew where it was made because when I got it there was nothing on the box saying where it was made and you can't find where it was made anywhere on the unit. My guess somewhere in Asia.

There's several all-in-ones that are in the same price range as the Anvil and I think if I was to shop for another one I would YouTube them to death and go on Facebook user groups and see what's being said. Not to mention using this site for research. Plus I would try and get my hands on one. Not everyone has $500 to take a chance with.

I'm not sure how long all-in-ones have been on the market, but what I've noticed is the big named brands are coming out with updated versions with corrected design issues and better user features. Take Anvil for example they have an updated version out all ready with the controller mounted up high. Plus it seems everyday there's a new one on the market.

If you think about it the all-in-ones really are a hybrid BIAB. I think we'll be seeing more come onto the market getting better and more refined.
 

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Thanks WeHeavy for all the good info in regards to mash efficiency.
I have only been brewing for about 2 years off and on. BIAB 3 Gallon batches and bought the 10.5 Foundry about 6 months ago. I just started tacking OG readings for the first time with a refractometer. My first brew reading was only at 60% eff. After concerns I added steps to the mash making it a 90 minute mash, stirring more, and using more recirculated sparge wort. Second brew batch reading was 67% eff (Cream Ale, 12 lbs grain). Another low reading promoted me to search the internet for answers and thus lead me here. Semi-relieved to see similar problems, and also confronted with my lack of knowledge, experience, professionalism in the brew world. I really just wanted to say thanks and add a few personal points that may help others.
I set the unit to 168 and hold for 5 minutes to mash out (recirculated also). Then after pulling the mash pipe out you will notice the water temp on the digital screen drop from 168 to about 140. A number of reasons for the change, but one big reason points to the fact that temps are not the same through the grain.
I also want to say, apart from the efficiency issues, I really really like the all in one system. Anvil seems like a really good company that makes decent products for the price. They offer scratch and dent versions of the Foundry on their site, with no tax and shipping cost. I got the 10.5 for like $290. it came in near perfect condition. It was missing the racking arm and they sent one to me at no cost. Very legit.
I did not buy the recirculation pump. I dont believe its worth the extra equipment and clean up.
I did buy their 7.5 gallon fermenter. Its $130. A little high but super nice (no plastic. spout is a must). I just bought a second one. I would highly recommend it.
I do not have a lot of money to blow on hobbies and have cut many corners in the brew world, but by purchasing the foundry and fermenter you almost need nothing else. A spoon, scale, and a few cleaning supplies. It has made brew life glories as WeHeavy mentioned. I brew ever 3 to 4 weeks, and make complex and creative beers.
(I am an electrician so the 240v options on the unit and adding a 240v receptacle in the corner of the garage was an easy task, but a big bonus.)
 

Oginme

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Thanks WeHeavy for all the good info in regards to mash efficiency.
I have only been brewing for about 2 years off and on. BIAB 3 Gallon batches and bought the 10.5 Foundry about 6 months ago. I just started tacking OG readings for the first time with a refractometer. My first brew reading was only at 60% eff. After concerns I added steps to the mash making it a 90 minute mash, stirring more, and using more recirculated sparge wort. Second brew batch reading was 67% eff (Cream Ale, 12 lbs grain). Another low reading promoted me to search the internet for answers and thus lead me here. Semi-relieved to see similar problems, and also confronted with my lack of knowledge, experience, professionalism in the brew world. I really just wanted to say thanks and add a few personal points that may help others.
I set the unit to 168 and hold for 5 minutes to mash out (recirculated also). Then after pulling the mash pipe out you will notice the water temp on the digital screen drop from 168 to about 140. A number of reasons for the change, but one big reason points to the fact that temps are not the same through the grain.
I also want to say, apart from the efficiency issues, I really really like the all in one system. Anvil seems like a really good company that makes decent products for the price. They offer scratch and dent versions of the Foundry on their site, with no tax and shipping cost. I got the 10.5 for like $290. it came in near perfect condition. It was missing the racking arm and they sent one to me at no cost. Very legit.
I did not buy the recirculation pump. I dont believe its worth the extra equipment and clean up.
I did buy their 7.5 gallon fermenter. Its $130. A little high but super nice (no plastic. spout is a must). I just bought a second one. I would highly recommend it.
I do not have a lot of money to blow on hobbies and have cut many corners in the brew world, but by purchasing the foundry and fermenter you almost need nothing else. A spoon, scale, and a few cleaning supplies. It has made brew life glories as WeHeavy mentioned. I brew ever 3 to 4 weeks, and make complex and creative beers.
(I am an electrician so the 240v options on the unit and adding a 240v receptacle in the corner of the garage was an easy task, but a big bonus.)
A few comments based upon my choice of the Anvil 6.5 gal over the 10 gal version. I also brew a smaller batch size (10 liters = 2.8 gal) so having an option of a unit which works at the batch size I most typically brew was important. I talked at length with a couple of the Anvil/Blichmann people at Homebrew Con in Providence with an eye towards purchasing an all in one unit. When I asked about the smallest batch size which the 10 gal unit could consistently handle, both of the engineers and their customer service people via email were all pretty consistent in stating that with the side perforations of the mash basket on the larger unit, there would be a loss of mash efficiency with batch sizes below 3 to 4 gallons (depending upon who I talked with.)

I contemplated making a block out of SS shim stock, but finally went for the 6.5 gallon version. I brew a 5 gallon batch so seldom these days, that it really does not make sense to purchase a unit where I am consistently operating at the bottom end of its capability. Recently, Anvil has been trialing a removable piece to block the side perforations which in initial runs has seemed to help with achieving a much better efficiency for the user who is doing the testing.

It took me a few brews to get my process down with the new device (I had previously been doing stove top BIAB at the above mentioned 10 liter batch size) and then about 4 brews with adjustments to my grain mill to get the efficiency to where I achieved repeatable and consistent results. I am currently getting mash/lauter efficiencies in the 84% to 85% range. This is with a 60 minute mash, 10 minute mash out, recirculation of the wort, and use of a filter bag to line the mash basket.

In short, these devices are not limited to low efficiency issues and with just a little work can be optimized.
 

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After concerns I added steps to the mash making it a 90 minute mash, stirring more, and using more recirculated sparge wort....
I set the unit to 168 and hold for 5 minutes to mash out (recirculated also)....
I did not buy the recirculation pump. I dont believe its worth the extra equipment and clean up.
Please clarify this.
 

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I know the title of the thread but hey does this thing make good beer? I just brewed my third only one is old enough to drink it’s an Austin home brew chocolate stout kit and everybody absolutely loves it. I got exactly the ABV that the kit was supposed to put out and I think I exceeded expectations on the next two beers. I see a lot of mathematics floating around here and I guess I haven’t been brewing long enough to get caught up in all that. I’m just tickled to be doing all grain beers this easily. I think that’s the point, there will always be a tipping point between pros and cons depending on YOU. RDWAHAHB
 
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skidoofus

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I know the title of the thread but hey does this thing make good beer? I just brewed my third only one is old enough to drink it’s an Austin home brew chocolate stout kit and everybody absolutely loves it. I got exactly the ABV that the kit was supposed to put out and I think I exceeded expectations on the next two beers. I see a lot of mathematics floating around here and I guess I haven’t been brewing long enough to get caught up in all that. I’m just tickled to be doing all grain beers this easily. I think that’s the point, there will always be tipping point between pros and cons depending on YOU. RDWAHAHB
And yes! Adding a mesh bag to the pipe is an excellent and necessary 5 dollar modification
 

TheBigBarleyBall

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Please clarify this.
I just use a 3 qt picture. There is a spigot on the bottom of the Foundry. I fill the picture and pour over the grain bed a few times. i do this a few times through the mash at the different steps, and then at the sparge once the grain is lifted out in the mash pipe. You can use hot water too but need to figure in the volume difference.
 

TheBigBarleyBall

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The sum of the problem addressed in this forum is highlighted on the http://braukaiser.com/wiki mentioned earlier.

"Another important parameter for fly sparging, which is of no significant importance to batch sparging, is the design of the lauter tun (or mash/lauter tun if the same vessel is used). It is important that it allows for uniform wort collection at the bottom of the grain bed without creating single or preferred drain points. This is best accomplished though a perforated plate on which the grain rests, but many brewers also have had good success with a manifold design consisting of slotted or perforated pipes. In his book How To Brew, John Palmer has a complete chapter dedicated to the science of lauter manifold designs [Palmer, 2006]."
 

dwshotwell

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I recently bought the Anvil Foundry as a way to move from extract to all grain. I've run two batches so far, and efficiency has been low - but at this point I don't know what I don't know. I don't have enough experience with all grain brewing to know where to begin correcting the process.

Essentially I've been following the process outlined in the Anvil instruction manual, and of course cruised You Tube extensively. I've used two recipes from Adventures in Homebrewing (an Irish Red and a Blonde Ale).

There's some great info in this thread, but again I don't know enough to effectively apply it. If some of you more experienced folks could help outline the process of brewing on the Anvil, incorporating the tweaks discussed above, I'd appreciate it (or point me to another thread? I found this one by searching this site for Anvil Foundry but didn't find many others).
 

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I recently bought the Anvil Foundry as a way to move from extract to all grain. I've run two batches so far, and efficiency has been low - but at this point I don't know what I don't know. I don't have enough experience with all grain brewing to know where to begin correcting the process.

Essentially I've been following the process outlined in the Anvil instruction manual, and of course cruised You Tube extensively. I've used two recipes from Adventures in Homebrewing (an Irish Red and a Blonde Ale).

There's some great info in this thread, but again I don't know enough to effectively apply it. If some of you more experienced folks could help outline the process of brewing on the Anvil, incorporating the tweaks discussed above, I'd appreciate it (or point me to another thread? I found this one by searching this site for Anvil Foundry but didn't find many others).
First off - what do you mean exactly by low efficiency? what were the mash efficiency numbers? Ive brewed 8 times on this 10.5g system and Ive been trying different things on the same style beer (NEIPAs with all about 65% base malts and 35% flaked/malted adjuncts) and my mash efficiencies have ranged from 60%-79% but Ive been changing processes/approaches and making some mistakes along the way. Do you have a grain mill? If you do and have control over your crush that will be a huge help. IMO, you have two choices with this system: 1) abide by the anvil guidelines posted in the manual with using a "moderate" crush which I interpret as a range of gap between 0.036"-0.40" and follow the recirc guidelines OR 2) get yourself a wilserbag and crush fine (0.028-0.32"ish) but don't sweat the recirc for at least the first 30minutes while the mash converts. If you try to tow the line in the middle, thats where my issues were with the grain bills I outlined above. Personally, I think I prefer adding the bag to help with keeping grain out of the boil kettle and going with a finer crush. My best efficiencies (with 30% adjuncts producing a sticky-ass mash) have been with at 0.030" using the wilserbag. Ive also sparged for all my brews. Sparging with finer mashes is obviously tougher than with a moderate grain crush so theres a balance for sure with this system. With my limited experience - I think that the mash will do well in either moderate/finer grain crush approaches, but still seeking the best lautering solutions. Honestly though, after all the trials and errors on brew day, all my brews have been great in the end. My wife likes them too! :)
 

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Yeah, I have a vague idea of what some of the above means. By efficiency all I meant was that my gravity seems lower than it should be, and that's what I thought efficiency meant. I don't know enough to know what I'm doing wrong, and I guess I'll just have to soldier on and figure this out on my own. I have watched the various videos I could find on You Tube, and it seems like I'm doing things correctly. I'll keep lurking here and try to pick up what I can. I do not own a crusher, I just used the one at the home brew store.
 

doug293cz

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Yeah, I have a vague idea of what some of the above means. By efficiency all I meant was that my gravity seems lower than it should be, and that's what I thought efficiency meant. I don't know enough to know what I'm doing wrong, and I guess I'll just have to soldier on and figure this out on my own. I have watched the various videos I could find on You Tube, and it seems like I'm doing things correctly. I'll keep lurking here and try to pick up what I can. I do not own a crusher, I just used the one at the home brew store.
Efficiency is a measure of how much sugar you collected vs. how much potential sugar was available. Your SG may be low, but if your volume is high, you could still have acceptable efficiency. If you have the same amount of sugar in a larger volume of wort, your efficiency is the same, but your SG will be lower.

Brew on :mug:
 

Oginme

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Yeah, I have a vague idea of what some of the above means. By efficiency all I meant was that my gravity seems lower than it should be, and that's what I thought efficiency meant. I don't know enough to know what I'm doing wrong, and I guess I'll just have to soldier on and figure this out on my own. I have watched the various videos I could find on You Tube, and it seems like I'm doing things correctly. I'll keep lurking here and try to pick up what I can. I do not own a crusher, I just used the one at the home brew store.
There are proactive steps you can take to help your understanding of what is going on. As doug293cz pointed out, efficiency is more than just the gravity measurement. The best thing you can do for your process is to define your actual volumes and your actual process efficiency. This will help you in making your process more predictable and consistent.

Start by tracking your volumes carefully. The more accurately you measure your volumes, the faster you will get to predictable volume in versus out. Measure in your initial strike water volume and sparge volume. Next, your pre-boil volume is important to define how much wort you leave behind in the grain. This volume divided by the weight of the grain gives you a water retention per wt unit of grain (lb/kg/oz/g) so that you can figure out the water needed for this loss as a function of your grain bill.

Next post-boil volume will give you the amount of loss due to boil off. Lastly, your volume into the fermenter will allow you to track how much of your post-boil volume made it there and the difference is the amount of trub and wort you left behind.

Now, the measurement of specific gravity pre-boil and into the fermenter will give you your sugar extraction and eventual process losses.

I step through the process, specifically for the Anvil Foundry and BeerSmith, in a post on the BeerSmith forum which can be found here: http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,20874.msg74583.html#msg74583
 

WESBREW

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Yeah, I have a vague idea of what some of the above means. By efficiency all I meant was that my gravity seems lower than it should be, and that's what I thought efficiency meant. I do not own a crusher, I just used the one at the home brew store.
Simply put: if you prepare a recipe for 5.0 gallons and you wind up with 5.5 gallons in your fermentor, your gravity measurement will likely be lower than your target. when you oversparge you are collecting less sugars with that extra liquid and diluting your wort in the kettle. if you notice you collected too much wort from the mash, you can always boil it longer to get it to the correct volume.
If you aren't using any brewing software to help with recipe creation or water volume calculations, see the above post on how to calculate it.
I don't have an anvil but its been mentioned that using a biab bag like "wilser bag" in the mash pipe and milling the grain finer would help bump mash efficiency. since you don't have a mill, you could ask your brew shop to double-mill the malts. also, look up online how to calculate mash effeciency.
 
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McKnuckle

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I find it interesting that the Anvil Foundry is the center of an efficiency controversy. It's a well-proven type of brewing device at this point, with many similar products available. They work well and have few if any serious "gotchas." Also, they should not need to be jerry-rigged with an extra brew bag.

You do want to be aware of grist contact time and exposure during the mash. By that, I mean the amount of time during the mash that the grist is fully and evenly saturated with liquor.

There are perhaps three main factors affecting this:
  1. The crush, but only to the extent that it's either too fine (inadequate flow) or too coarse (inadequate surface area exposure);
  2. The flow pattern through the grist, which, if there are too many escape pathways for the liquid, some areas of grist will not be fully saturated; and
  3. Recirculation rate, if applicable, which can exacerbate #2 if too rapid.
From what I've seen of the Anvil's malt pipe, it has a fairly wide band of holes near the bottom. This might encourage wort to channel around the circumference of the pipe, rather than evenly through the center of the grist. I would think that either having no circulation (not ideal for temp control) or very slow circulation would ameliorate that.

The Braumeister, which I use, pumps from the bottom to the top of its malt pipe. The malt pipe has no holes at all in its sides. Only the bottom and top plates are porous. This ensures that the entire cylinder of grain is evenly saturated with continuously flowing wort during the mash.

In any case, no system is perfect. Nothing beats just following generally accepted, consistent practices such as a standard "good" crush, careful volume measurement, dialing in the resulting efficiency, and moving on to simply building recipes that reflect it - whatever it may be.
 
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I find it interesting that the Anvil Foundry is the center of an efficiency controversy.
There are perhaps three main factors affecting this:
  1. The crush, but only to the extent that it's either too fine (inadequate flow) or too coarse (inadequate surface area exposure);
  2. The flow pattern through the grist, which, if there are too many escape pathways for the liquid, some areas of grist will not be fully saturated; and
  3. Recirculation rate, if applicable, which can exacerbate #2 if too rapid.
From what I've seen of the Anvil's malt pipe, it has a fairly wide band of holes near the bottom. This might encourage wort to channel around the circumference of the pipe, rather than evenly through the center of the grist. I would think that either having no circulation (not ideal for temp control) or very slow circulation would ameliorate that.
After a dozen or so brews with the Anvil I've come to the conclusion the efficiency problem with it stems from the mash basket tall design with holes up the side. The tall design causes the grains to become compacted and with holes up the side lets the sparge water just run out the sides. I got inconsistent results when trying to sparge. I finally stopped sparging and started treating it like a BIAB and finally started getting consistent results. 72% efficiency.

I still use the 400 micron bag and do a complete stir of the mash every 15 minutes, use the pump to recirculate and set my roller gap at .040
 

Fidelity101

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So what's the verdict overall? I really like the Anvil Foundry's ability to switch between 120/240v but I also like the brewzilla v3.1 because it doesn't seem to have the same problem with the tall mash basket (with side holes). I also like the Grainfather but it's EXPENSIVE and it's only 120v.
 

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So what's the verdict overall? I really like the Anvil Foundry's ability to switch between 120/240v but I also like the brewzilla v3.1 because it doesn't seem to have the same problem with the tall mash basket (with side holes). I also like the Grainfather but it's EXPENSIVE and it's only 120v.
The biggest "issue" I see with the anvil foundry 10.5g overall seems to be related to lower efficiency but I really don't think thats isolated just to the foundry. The foundry (I'm on 240V) maintains temps very well to what I set it to. And even though Ive missed my efficiency numbers at times due to experimenting with different variables, the end result has still been great beer! Ive gotten to the point of having mash efficiencies in the 75-79% range with 16lb grain bills that have ~20-30% flaked oats/malted oats/white wheat etc that inherently make the grain bill sticky. I think I can still optimize my mash efficiencies a little better as well as brewhouse efficiencies by cutting down on losses along the way. Its been a fun challenge along the way learning the ropes. Since I do have a bag and a grain mill, I have a lot of flexibility in how I use the system. Again - in the end, its made some great wort for me and especially for the price, I still wouldn't go in a different direction. Lastly - my wife likes the beer Ive produced which is essential in having your life partner backing your hobby :) .
 

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Simply put: if you prepare a recipe for 5.0 gallons and you wind up with 5.5 gallons in your fermentor, your gravity measurement will likely be lower than your target. when you oversparge you are collecting less sugars with that extra liquid and diluting your wort in the kettle. if you notice you collected too much wort from the mash, you can always boil it longer to get it to the correct volume.
If you aren't using any brewing software to help with recipe creation or water volume calculations, see the above post on how to calculate it.
I don't have an anvil but its been mentioned that using a biab bag like "wilser bag" in the mash pipe and milling the grain finer would help bump mash efficiency. since you don't have a mill, you could ask your brew shop to double-mill the malts. also, look up online how to calculate mash effeciency.
Thanks for the above suggestions, guys. I'll build on this with my next attempt. Lots of details. I thought I was ready to go from extract to all - grain, but there's more to the switch than I anticipated, even with an all in one system. I am pretty sure my volumes were as much a problem as anything. I followed the volume calculations that came with the machine, but I don't think I had as much boil off as they expected, so my post - boil volume was high. I'll pay more attention next time around.
 
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Thanks for the above suggestions, guys. I'll build on this with my next attempt. Lots of details. I thought I was ready to go from extract to all - grain, but there's more to the switch than I anticipated, even with an all in one system. I am pretty sure my volumes were as much a problem as anything. I followed the volume calculations that came with the machine, but I don't think I had as much boil off as they expected, so my post - boil volume was high. I'll pay more attention next time around.
Before your next brew day, calibrate your equipment.

Check your scale with a known weight.

Weigh out a gallon of water, 8.34 lbs. Then make a permanent mark on your vessel and always use that. Plastic kool-aid pitchers work great.
Never trust the markings on anything, My Anvil's gallons markings are off by 3 pints at the 7 gallon mark, and as many plastic fermenter buckets that I've had, I've never had one spot on.

Check your thermometer by filling a glass full of ice then add water to top off. It should read 32 degrees. Then boil water and check, don't forget to take into account your altitude.
You'd be surprised how many thermometers I've found to be off.

Follow the instructions that came with your hydrometer/refractometer for calibrations

You can really chase your tail if your measurements are off.
 

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Before your next brew day, calibrate your equipment.

Check your scale with a known weight.

Weigh out a gallon of water, 8.34 lbs. Then make a permanent mark on your vessel and always use that. Plastic kool-aid pitchers work great.
Never trust the markings on anything, My Anvil's gallons markings are off by 3 pints at the 7 gallon mark, and as many plastic fermenter buckets that I've had, I've never had one spot on.

Check your thermometer by filling a glass full of ice then add water to top off. It should read 32 degrees. Then boil water and check, don't forget to take into account your altitude.
You'd be surprised how many thermometers I've found to be off.

Follow the instructions that came with your hydrometer/refractometer for calibrations

You can really chase your tail if your measurements are off.
THIS! couldn't agree more with taking extra time to measure/calibrate/measure all your equipment. I took the time, twice!, to do this with volume measurements and it has helped tremendously rather than eyeballing the volumes based on the stamped markings.
 

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I never trust visual liquid volume marks, or my own crappy eyesight!

I weigh all my water and wort in kilograms. Water weight in kg equals liters. There are 3.785 liters in a gallon. Simple math and very accurate.

For wort, divide the result by the gravity to get the equivalent water volume. If very hot (just off the boil), divide again by 1.04 to account for thermal expansion.

I put tare weight markings on most of my vessels to make this easy. Just weigh the full vessel, then subtract the tare weight to get the liquid weight.
 
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dwshotwell

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The world of partial mash / extract brewing didn't require anywhere near that level of precision, so I'd never really thought about it. Thank you all. I'll go through that process before I brew again.
 

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All grain brewing doesn't strictly require that level of precision, either. But if you are going to aim for gravity and volume targets, then evaluate and question your results, it makes sense that you need to measure things accurately to have a basis for making adjustments. Later on, when you get your process and equipment settled, you can be less stringent about it if you like.

Today, for example, I went nuts and didn't weigh out 12L of strike water. I just filled visually to the 12L mark on the mash pipe. It felt so liberating. ;)
 

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Today, for example, I went nuts and didn't weigh out 12L of strike water. I just filled visually to the 12L mark on the mash pipe. It felt so liberating
Thanks again. Makes sense. I'll be more scientific until I get it figured out. In general I'm not a detail person. I'm a cook, not a baker, and that's carried over to my brewing.
 

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After a dozen or so brews with the Anvil I've come to the conclusion the efficiency problem with it stems from the mash basket tall design with holes up the side. The tall design causes the grains to become compacted and with holes up the side lets the sparge water just run out the sides. I got inconsistent results when trying to sparge. I finally stopped sparging and started treating it like a BIAB and finally started getting consistent results. 72% efficiency.

I still use the 400 micron bag and do a complete stir of the mash every 15 minutes, use the pump to recirculate and set my roller gap at .040
I agree with your theory as it has been one Ive used to advocate against biab folks using baskets instead of bags with recirulation. but if this were True wouldnt we see this complaint from all the others using brew in a basket designs with recirculation like brewboss?
 

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I have three brews done on the 10.5 foundry. No sparging, recirculating only and use a bag inside the malt pipe.

Batch 1 - milled at 0.040 69.2% ME 63.2 BH -stirred mash every 15
Batch 2 -milled at 0.035 76.9% ME 68.5 BH - no stirring of mash as sparge plate was stuck in place due to bag
Batch 3 - milled at 0.035 72.1% ME 69.1 BH - stirred twice during the mash

With regular BIAB before the Foundry I was usually around 82-85% ME and 75% brewhouse.
 

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Probably a simple answer to this question, but it’s been a long 4 weeks with 3 teenagers stuck at home due the current state of affairs. So, Anvil has a mash pipe cover now (and some have made there own). Why, when covering the side can you only do session or lesser volume batches? What am I missing? I assume something obvious. Thanks in advance.
 
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