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efficiency has been crap, I want to sparge with more water...

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krausenmustache

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then boil it down, which will likely result in a 2-3hour boil to get to ~5.2 gal. I've heard long boil times can affect the taste/color of the final product. My next batch will be a belgian triple, which by nature is very light in color and texture. Will the long boil cause unwanted caramelization which will negatively affect my triple?
 

jagg

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then boil it down, which will likely result in a 2-3hour boil to get to ~5.2 gal. I've heard long boil times can affect the taste/color of the final product. My next batch will be a belgian triple, which by nature is very light in color and texture. Will the long boil cause unwanted caramelization which will negatively affect my triple?
Why dont you post up your process and see if some of us on here can figure out why your effeciency is so poor, sometimes it is just a small obvious thing to figure out (sometimes). Another 2 -3 hour boil will make for a long brewday. As to yor question on the triple, it will surely caramelize more with the long boil, but I have never brewed a triple, so someone else might be able to answer that better, good luck.:mug:
 
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krausenmustache

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procedure (from yesterday's brew):

-mash @ 154 for 1 hour
-13# grain, 15.5qt H20 (ratio: 1.19) tbsp ph 5.2
-no mash out
-sparge with 172F H20
-fly sparge (coffee lid dispensing method) until 5.75-6gal wort collected

Sparging took about 25 minutes, I'll probably build a copper sparge manifold for next time

Doesnt the sticky at the top of the page say to sparge with 1/2gal/lb grain and mash at 1.00-1.25qt/lb? That would equal ~10gal water less a couple to grain absorption. It makes sense, but the long boil time concerns me when it comes to lightly colored beers.
 
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krausenmustache

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Have you tried sparging, slower?
I think is could be contributing to the problem. I am building a sparge arm for the next brew, so ill try to set it so the whole sparge takes 1-2hours.

I forgot to mention, efficiency was 60%, up 10% from last week using 5.2 and uping the water/grain ratio from 0.9 to 1.19
 
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krausenmustache

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Another thing to note, in the two AG brews i've done when I first drain the wort from the MLT to recirculate, it comes out clear immediately. I, of course, want to attribute this to my amazing manifold fabrication skills, but I think there is more to it than that.

Could this be a sign that the crush is just way to course?
 

GilaMinumBeer

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I try to sparge for at least 45 minutes keeping 1 to 2 inches of headwater above the grain bed until my calculated volume has been added to the MLT. The only thing different after that is, I turn off the HLT valve. Runoff for me takes 45 minutes to an hour, milling at .045" (twice), and getting between 78% to (once) 90% efficiency.

Rice hulls may help too. Sometimes I use them, sometimes not. Depends on the grist.

Once the FB of my kettle has been covered, I fire up that burner on low to medium heat. By time the MLT is drained, I have started my 90 minute boil.
 
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krausenmustache

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after doing some reading, Im afraid that one of my problems my be sparge water temp. Since I dont do a mashout I should definately be using water thats hotter than 172
 
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krausenmustache

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I try to sparge for at least 45 minutes keeping 1 to 2 inches of headwater above the grain bed until my calculated volume has been added to the MLT. The only thing different after that is, I turn off the HLT valve. Runoff for me takes 45 minutes to an hour, milling at .045" (twice), and getting between 78% to (once) 90% efficiency.

Rice hulls may help too. Sometimes I use them, sometimes not. Depends on the grist.

Once the FB of my kettle has been covered, I fire up that burner on low to medium heat. By time the MLT is drained, I have started my 90 minute boil.
let me get this straight;

you sparge for 45 min, shut your HLT valve. Then allow the MLT to drain for 45 min? with stirring or not?
 

Denny

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after doing some reading, Im afraid that one of my problems my be sparge water temp. Since I dont do a mashout I should definately be using water thats hotter than 172
That shouldn't hurt, but my experience is that you won't see much gain in efficiency, either.

Also, you could try batch sparging a batch. If your efficiency goes up, you'll know your lauter design isn't working well.
 

Evan!

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Another vote for your problems being in the crush. Like Denny says, try batch sparging (break the sparge water into 2 batches), and make damn sure you stir it up well, at the beginning of the mash and again at each sparge. And tell whoever is crushing your grain to tighten their gap or run it through twice!
 
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krausenmustache

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Another vote for your problems being in the crush. Like Denny says, try batch sparging (break the sparge water into 2 batches), and make damn sure you stir it up well, at the beginning of the mash and again at each sparge. And tell whoever is crushing your grain to tighten their gap or run it through twice!
first AG batch was a double batch sparge.

I may just bite the bullet and pick up a barley crusher.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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let me get this straight;

you sparge for 45 min, shut your HLT valve. Then allow the MLT to drain for 45 min? with stirring or not?
Kinda.

I sparge with a calculated volume and do my best to stretch that out over 45 minutes. Once I have added the calculated volume to the MLT I shut the HLT (sparge water) valve and let that continue to drain at the same rate. This usually pushes the total run-off time to an hour, sometimes more.

And I don't touch the mash bed at all during the sparge.
 

niquejim

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Personally, I've found that to be more trouble than it was worth. YMMV.
I used to do 2 sparges but didn't really get any better eff.
I tightened the crush on my Corona mill yesterday and got 95%, which screwed up my Mild but was impressive from a tech aspect, so I agree that the crush is the culprit
 

saq

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The crush of your grain can make a huge difference, but also your qt/lbs ratio in the mash can improve efficiency a lot too. I used to do 1.25qt/lbs and got 68-71% eff, now I do 1.5qt/lbs and get 79-86% eff.
 

Denny

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The crush of your grain can make a huge difference, but also your qt/lbs ratio in the mash can improve efficiency a lot too. I used to do 1.25qt/lbs and got 68-71% eff, now I do 1.5qt/lbs and get 79-86% eff.
That's very interesting. I just made the same kind of change, but I didn't see an increase in efficiency.
 

HughBrooks

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I practically doubled my efficiancy when I slowed my sparge. I was fly sparging and the process only took about half an hour. I could not figure out why I had to keep addind dme to the boil to bring me up to gravity. Then I tried sparging Really slow about one and a half hours or more. been getting about 80% since then as before it was in the low 60%-50% range
 
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Doesnt the sticky at the top of the page say to sparge with 1/2gal/lb grain and mash at 1.00-1.25qt/lb? That would equal ~10gal water less a couple to grain absorption. It makes sense, but the long boil time concerns me when it comes to lightly colored beers.
just FYI 1.25qt/lb times 13lbs of grain is 4.0625 Gallons. Not 10G It is 16.25Q divide that by 4Q/G
 
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krausenmustache

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I practically doubled my efficiancy when I slowed my sparge. I was fly sparging and the process only took about half an hour. I could not figure out why I had to keep addind dme to the boil to bring me up to gravity. Then I tried sparging Really slow about one and a half hours or more. been getting about 80% since then as before it was in the low 60%-50% range
do you do a mashout? what temp sparge water?

I think temp may also be playing a large factor. Basic chemistry says solubility will increase with higher temp so a higher temp sparge should no doubt bump me a few points.
 
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