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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: quattlebaum on April 24, 2013, 02:27:18 AM

Title: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: quattlebaum on April 24, 2013, 02:27:18 AM
Any suggestions on decreasing my efficiency. I use a HERMS type system. I have 82% efficiency. I must adjust my mash and sparge H2O by cutting it with RO and lactic acid/salts.  It sucks 262 Bicarbonate, 224 Alkalinity 8.1 PH of house water:( i get my mash and sparge PH to between 5.6 and 5.8 (tested with PH meter). My typical mash is around 3.5 gal of H20 (1.5 qts per lb of grain) and i sparge with 6 to 6.5 gal.  I have checked my gravity of my sparge and i do get to around 1.008 to 1.010 most of the time. I cant taste no off flavors such as tannins or graininess. I have always heard to keep the sparge running's above 1.015 or so. I fly sparge x 20 to 30 min. How do i decrease my efficiency to keep from sparging so low
Title: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: denny on April 24, 2013, 02:37:17 AM
All you need to do is sparge less.  Increase your mash ratio and use less sparge water.
Title: Re: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: quattlebaum on April 24, 2013, 02:41:45 AM
If i increase my ratio to say 2 qts will that not effect my body of my beer. Or what will it effect if i increase my ratio
Title: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: denny on April 24, 2013, 03:01:20 AM
If i increase my ratio to say 2 qts will that not effect my body of my beer. Or what will it effect if i increase my ratio

Mash ratio has no effect on body that I've ever noticed.   it might increase your efficiency, but if it does you can just scale back your recipes.  Or you could try batch sparging, which generally never drops your sparge gravity low enough for pH to be a problem.  Keep in mind that it's not the sparge gravity per se that's an issue.  The gravity is really being used as an indicator of pH.
Title: Re: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: quattlebaum on April 24, 2013, 03:14:10 AM
O.........So if i sparge to low per say the finial PH of my beer can be off? sorry just trying to wrap my head around if i should be sparging to this low of a gravity and what are the consequences
Title: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: denny on April 24, 2013, 03:40:55 AM
O.........So if i sparge to low per say the finial PH of my beer can be off? sorry just trying to wrap my head around if i should be sparging to this low of a gravity and what are the consequences

As I said, sparge gravity is an indicator of pH and a high sparge pH is the real issue you want to avoid.  Unless you measure your pH, it's hard to say if your low gravity final runnings are a problem.  They might be too high a pH, but it's just a guess.  Unless you measure the pHi it's probably best to keep your final runnings a bit higher just to be sure you're safe.
Title: Re: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: garc_mall on April 24, 2013, 03:42:17 AM
the reason you are concerned about sparge pH is because as the pH increases, you are more likely to extract tannins from the husks. I thought that the goal was to keep the sparge gravity above 1.008, but I am not sure (I am a batch sparger). I wouldn't worry too much about it if you are not tasting tannins.
Title: Re: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: malzig on April 24, 2013, 10:44:01 AM
O.........So if i sparge to low per say the finial PH of my beer can be off?
Yes, but you are more concerned with the pH of the mash and sparge.

82% efficiency isn't particularly high, but 1.008 is low for final runnings.  Definitely try sparging with less water, but also review the design of your tun to make sure that you are sparging as evenly as possible.
Title: Re: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: morticaixavier on April 24, 2013, 03:41:33 PM
It seems to me like what you want to do is increase the gravity at the point where you have your desired pre-boil volume.

So use slightly more grain and your gravity should be higher when you have reached your pre-boil volume, you will leave more sugars behind which is what you are really asking about.

However. as others have said If you don't taste a problem don't worry about it.
Title: Re: how to decrease my efficiency ?
Post by: euge on April 25, 2013, 12:45:45 AM
I really don't see there being a problem if the beer isn't bad. Keep doing what you are doing because it sounds like it works well.