MASH EFFICIENCY

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HoundboundCo

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Let’s see if y’all can help me problem solve.

Just switched from my brewers edge mash and Boil to a 10 gallon Clawhammer Supply all in one 120v system.

When using my brewers edge system, I would use 1.25qt of water per pound of grain used in the mash. With this method I would almost always his my numbers and if not I’d be around 2 off at most.

I brewed my second batch today with the new claw hammer system which is a wider over all kettle setup. The first batch I was supposed to hit a 1.057 OG but hit a 1.047. With that batch I used the same 1.25qt method and observed it was tough mashing in appearing to not be enough water and lowering the mash temp drastically.

Today with my batch, I did a full volume mash starting with 7 gallons of water for 10.5 lbs of grain. Temps all set well this time and brew seemed smooth. OG was supposed to be 1.053 but ended up with 1.042…. Trying to problem solve at this point.

Does anyone have any recommendations? Or has anyone gone through this same issue after switching to a new system? Might just be a matter of figuring out what works best and having a few number errors until that happens.
 
I use a claw hammer and had the same problems early on. My solution was to squeeze the grains using 3 food safe buckets. In one of them, I drilled a bunch of small holes on the bottom and up the sides, making a colander. I dump the grain in the colander bucket after the mash, then place the colander bucket inside a second bucket that collects the wort from the grain. I use the 3rd bucket to place inside the colander bucket and use my body weight to squeeze the grain, pushing the wort out the colander and into the collection bucket. Just make sure you are taking a preboil gravity, because I consistently overshoot my OG using this method.
 
My first comment is on the idea of "hit my numbers." Are you calculating "your numbers" using brewing software. Almost all brewing software works the same. You tell it what efficiency you achieve with your system and process, then it will predict a gravity based on the efficiency that you told it (or maybe you just left this at the default). If you get 65% efficiency, then use that value and treat the predicted gravity as "your numbers."

Taking accurate gravity and volume measurements at each major step will help you understand what is driving your efficiency. You can then take steps to improve your efficiency (or you can be happy with the process and efficiency that you already have). Grain crush is often a driving factor. Also, look at how much sweet wort is being left in the grains.

For your "1.25qt method" did you account for dead space around the basket? Are you recirculating during the mash?
 
As you’re noticing, most systems require a few batches to dial in.

+1 to what @aaronmq said using the buckets. I BIAB and do the same. If you’re new setup utilizes a bag, you can simply put the grains, bag and all, into the drilled bucket and press. If you have a metal basket (I think that’s the setup of most AIO’s) I’d be cautious dumping the grains directly into your 3 bucket press. Maybe drill your holes with a very small bit.

Other things you can do:
Add a little more base malt to compensate.

Do a dunk sparge or pour over sparge with an extra 1-2 gallons of water. This would be water withheld from the mash, not additional water.

Mill, or request, your grains be milled extra fine or twice.

Buy your own mill. I finally bit the bullets and bought a 3 roller mill. I set it to its finest setting and have seen my mash and lauter efficiency go from mid 60’s to low 80’s
 
Your "numbers" need to change based on the new system efficiency. Once you change those numbers, you'll get closer to hitting them. Use brewing software to scale batches to the correct grain amount.
 
Let’s see if y’all can help me problem solve.

Just switched from my brewers edge mash and Boil to a 10 gallon Clawhammer Supply all in one 120v system.

When using my brewers edge system, I would use 1.25qt of water per pound of grain used in the mash. With this method I would almost always his my numbers and if not I’d be around 2 off at most.

I brewed my second batch today with the new claw hammer system which is a wider over all kettle setup. The first batch I was supposed to hit a 1.057 OG but hit a 1.047. With that batch I used the same 1.25qt method and observed it was tough mashing in appearing to not be enough water and lowering the mash temp drastically.

Today with my batch, I did a full volume mash starting with 7 gallons of water for 10.5 lbs of grain. Temps all set well this time and brew seemed smooth. OG was supposed to be 1.053 but ended up with 1.042…. Trying to problem solve at this point.

Does anyone have any recommendations? Or has anyone gone through this same issue after switching to a new system? Might just be a matter of figuring out what works best and having a few number errors until that happens.
The first question I would ask is did you mill your own grains or buy them milled from the LHBS? You will NEVER be consistent with someone else doing the milling....
 
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