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Topics - mwa500

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All Grain Brewing / mash efficiency question
« on: June 13, 2013, 10:28:29 PM »
Ive been brewing for about a year and a half with good success. This is my first forum post. I did one extract brew and then moved on to all grain. Overall everything is going well but I'm having an ongoing question about my low efficiency (about 65%). I have been trying to eliminate variables one brew at a time but am getting frustrated when I think I have it figured out only to get similar results. I use a 48qt rectangular cooler mashtun and recently built a pipe manifold per John Palmer's instructions which came out great but didn't solve the issue. Ive been making a lot of similar RyePAs to try and figure it out...On average with about 11-12lbs of grain, single infusion 60m around 152df, and a 170df sparge, targeting around 1.055-60 OG. Usually I add some corn sugar or lengthen the boil to get the desired gravity which is fine but I've been asking around and reading the forum, re-reading the mash chapters in Palmer and I still can't figure it out. What do you expert all grainers think the most likely culprit is?

1. technique...mashing out/sparging too fast? should be a just above a trickle? the longer it takes the better?
2. water composition? I live in a rural area and the water is fairly hard, but we have a culligan system for the tap and a better drinking water filter system. I haven't done a fancy analysis yet cause I dont think this is a major factor. I use a combo of tap/filtered for mash and 100% filtered for sparge, and don't do any other treatments.
3. mash Ph? I've tested this a couple times and seems ok...
4. mashtun/equipment?

any advice or suggestions welcome and appreciated, thanks

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