Much Better Efficiency This Time Around

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Monmouth00

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Thanks to everyone who chimed in to help with my poor efficiency numbers last time around. I had some much better results this time around.

So, What did I change? As was suggested, I did the following:
  • Shortened the hoses to and from the pump. I lost less heat through the silicone, though my measured temps at the top of the wort was still 1-2 degrees lower than what was being measured by the Inkbird below the false bottom. I decided to split the difference.
  • I recirculated through the whole mash, stirring 5-6 times over the 60 minute boil.
  • I did a bit of a step mash. I started at 152 for about 20 minutes. Then to 154 for another 30 minutes. Then to 156 for 10 minutes, finishing with a 167 mash out for 15 minutes.
  • I started with less water - about 7.5 gallons instead of the 8.5 I had done in the past.
I tried a Citra Hefeweizen this time around:

Built the water with Bru 'n Water (loving this now that I know how to use it) and aimed for a 5.35 pH. Started with Distilled Water, and added just 1.5 Grams Gypsum and 1.1 Grams CaCl.

6.0 oz Acid Malt
12 oz Munich Light
5.5 Lbs. Pilsner Malt
5.5 Lbs White Wheat
1 oz. Tettnang (60 min)
.5 oz Citra (10 min)
.5 oz Citra / .5 oz Mosaic (flameout)

Here were the numbers:

Boil Volume: 7.39 Gallons
Pre Boil Gravity: 13 Brix - 1.0526
Post Boil Volume: 5.44 Gallons
Post-Boil Gravity: 16 Brix - 1.0654

According to Beersmith 3 Mobile, my Mash Efficiency climbed to 85.1% - which I'm more than satisfied with.

The estimated ABV is 5.7% but Beersmith is saying 7.3% is possible, with Brewer's Friend saying it could be as high as 8.8% - much higher than I was expecting. Certainly higher than I thought for the style. I'm not one to be concerned with higher ABV though.

What are your guys thoughts? Anywhere else I can tweak it?

Regardless, thanks again to everyone who helped last time around. Looks like you've all helped to solve the problem.

Cheers!!
 

bracconiere

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I get 80% BH effec in beersmith 2....pretty respectable, about what i used to get before doing a step mash, i'd just say i hold it at 162f for a second step. might get you to 88%! or 1.073 for that grain bill.....

but i think most of the brewers here would be happy with 80% being they only get 75% ;) :mug:
 

wilserbrewer

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Love it...Well, you say your initial water volume was “about 7.5 gal”, then you report your pre boil volume as 7.39 (to the hundredth gal LOL) meaning your grain absorption was only 0.11 gal....

these are the reasons I run fast and loose with my measurements.....
Glad you got your OG within acceptable range....that’s what matters....
Cheers .
 
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Monmouth00

Monmouth00

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Love it...Well, you say your initial water volume was “about 7.5 gal”, then you report your pre boil volume as 7.39 (to the hundredth gal LOL) meaning your grain absorption was only 0.11 gal....

these are the reasons I run fast and loose with my measurements.....
Glad you got your OG within acceptable range....that’s what matters....
Cheers .
Well, dumping from gallon jugs isn’t precise, so it was likely more than 7.5 gallons, but definitely less than 8.
I measure my water in inches, using a calculator that takes my kettle diameter into consideration. The measurement in inches is also an estimation, because I’m not being super precise down to the eighth of an inch. The calculator spits it out to the hundredths.
I also squeeze the bag with all my might for several minutes- until almost nothing comes out. I’m sure there’s a lot more in there than .11 gallons, but again, not precise.
Thanks! One more step towards being a better brewer.
 

TennBrewer

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I haven't read this entire thread from the beginning but I assume you are using the BIAB method (squeezing). I too, use this method and have greatly improved my efficiency by closely monitoring my grain crush. BIAB brewing is not subjected to stuck sparges so a very fine grain crush can improve efficiency. Not too fine, we don't want flour, but a mill gap of .025 to .035 in. can make a big difference, I have found,
 

odie

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over 12# of grain...yeah your ABVs will be a bit high IMO. I always thought a hefe should be a bit lighter for easy drinking on a summer day
 
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Monmouth00

Monmouth00

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over 12# of grain...yeah your ABVs will be a bit high IMO. I always thought a hefe should be a bit lighter for easy drinking on a summer day
Yeah, it's no coincidence that I got higher ABV than your average hefe. I would've liked something at about a 6% or a touch lower.

After the poor numbers of the last one - likely due to too much water, no recirculation, limited stirring, low temps, etc. - I was expecting a lower ABV.

It's all about dialing it in now. With knowing the system a bit better, and improved process, I'll be able to trust the recipe calculations more.

Until the next brew, I've got a strong hefe to finish.
 

VikeMan

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  • I started with less water - about 7.5 gallons instead of the 8.5 I had done in the past.
I don't recall your previous thread(s), or why someone might have suggested this, but using less water does not improve efficiency. It will result in higher gravity (and less volume), but that's a different thing. (For a given mash efficiency, gravity points are inversely proportional to volume.)
 
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Monmouth00

Monmouth00

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I don't recall your previous thread(s), or why someone might have suggested this, but using less water does not improve efficiency. It will result in higher gravity (and less volume), but that's a difference thing. (For a given mash efficiency, gravity points are inversely proportional to volume.)
Right - my last thread not only had poor efficiency, I missed my ABV targets, and got more into the fermenter than I had planned. Hence the reason I lowered the strike volume. But yes, I've found everything you've said to be true.
 
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Monmouth00

Monmouth00

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This one finished at 6.8% ABV. It’s really good. A very hop-forward Hefeweizen, with a touch of banana, but mostly lemon, cantaloupe (?) and guava, presumably from the Mosaic at flameout. I love it. Can’t wait to share it with a few buddies!
 
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