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bendavanza

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My friend James and I decided to brew yesterday, and this was my first experience at stereo brewing. I made an Imperial Stout, a clone I found of Bell's Expedition. James did an Imperial Brown that's leaning to porter.
I thought that with 2 AG batches going we should do something with all this "spent" grain so he picked up 5lbs of light LME. After sparging and starting our boils, we re-sparged both MLT's and got about 5.5 gallons of 1.020 wort. We added hops from my brew, it was 1.2 oz willamette leaf, and he had a ton of hops (I don't have his recipe handy) but there was a lot of bitterness left in the hops that would have been otherwise thrown out. after it boiled about 1/2 hour, I added the LME, got it to boil again for another 15 minutes, and after tasting it, we decided to drop in an ounce of simcoe pellets at flameout.
I dunno what this beer would be classified as, but it has a nice brown ale color and smells great. We will never be able to repeat it because of the circumstance, and I thought it would be a fun experiment. It came out to 1.054, and I pitched safale-05.

My efficiency sucked at around 56%. 20.5 lbs of grain in my 10g round igloo cooler was about maxed.
I mashed with about 1qt/gallon, and wished I'd have just filled the tun to the max, it was a bit too thick. My sparge temps should have been higher, the grain bed did not get above 165. I did the double sparge. I should have collected more.
Here is the grain bill
% Weight Weight (lbs) Grain Gravity Points Color
78.7 % 16.14 American Two-row Pale 69.3 5.8
4.9 % 1.00 British Brown 3.7 14.0
3.3 % 0.67 Belgian Biscuit 2.3 3.1
1.9 % 0.38 Belgian Aromatic 1.3 1.9
1.9 % 0.38 British Chocolate 1.5 36.1
2.1 % 0.43 British Black Patent 1.3 49.5
7.3 % 1.50 Flaked Barley 5.6 0.7
20.50 85.1

Any suggestions on improving efficiency with large grain bills like this, I'm open to suggestion. I've read the sticky on efficiency but if there is high gravity methods I'm all ears.
 

david_42

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Cheat. Reduce the size of your mash and use DME to boost the gravity. Packing your tun full will make getting good efficiency tough, unless you have a really good way of stirring the mash. A smaller mash will give you better efficiency and better flavor extraction from the specialty grains.

And if it looks Brown, it's a Brown.
 
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