Author Topic: water/grist ratio and efficiency  (Read 7038 times)

Offline hokerer

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2012, 04:28:24 PM »
Have you calibrated the thermometer?

32 F in an ice bath. do I need to use the 212 F method instead?

The best way is to calibrate it at the mash temperature range, 150F or so.  Just because it's right at 32F and/or 212F doesn't really tell you that it's accurate at 150F
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Offline melferburque

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2012, 04:51:16 PM »
Have you calibrated the thermometer?

32 F in an ice bath. do I need to use the 212 F method instead?

The best way is to calibrate it at the mash temperature range, 150F or so.  Just because it's right at 32F and/or 212F doesn't really tell you that it's accurate at 150F

dumb question...  how do I know what 150 F ACTUALLY is if my thermometer isn't calibrated correctly?  I did both the 32F and 212F tests on my portable and 212F on my kettle (didn't have the ice to make five gallons of 32F water), and they're both right there, or as right there as I can see on a small analog dial.

Offline tubercle

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2012, 05:13:45 PM »
Have you calibrated the thermometer?

32 F in an ice bath. do I need to use the 212 F method instead?

The best way is to calibrate it at the mash temperature range, 150F or so.  Just because it's right at 32F and/or 212F doesn't really tell you that it's accurate at 150F

dumb question...  how do I know what 150 F ACTUALLY is if my thermometer isn't calibrated correctly?  I did both the 32F and 212F tests on my portable and 212F on my kettle (didn't have the ice to make five gallons of 32F water), and they're both right there, or as right there as I can see on a small analog dial.

 You don't need 5 gallons of 32f ice water, a cup will do. Take a cup and throw in 2 or 3 ice cubes and wait 10 minutes and measure. A cup @ 32f is 32f, 5 gallons @ 32f is 32f, 10,000 gallons of 32f is 32f. Same with boiling; a sauce pan @ boiling is the same temp as 5 gallon boiling is the same as 10,000 gallon boiling.

Put your thinking cap on.
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Offline melferburque

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2012, 05:23:05 PM »

 You don't need 5 gallons of 32f ice water, a cup will do. Take a cup and throw in 2 or 3 ice cubes and wait 10 minutes and measure. A cup @ 32f is 32f, 5 gallons @ 32f is 32f, 10,000 gallons of 32f is 32f. Same with boiling; a sauce pan @ boiling is the same temp as 5 gallon boiling is the same as 10,000 gallon boiling.

Put your thinking cap on.

my kettle thermometer is welded to the kettle, at the 4.5 gallon line.  I suppose if I got really adventurous, I could tip the kettle at an awkward angle and hold a cup of icewater over the probe, but then I wouldn't have any free hands to make the adjustments.

Offline bluesman

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2012, 07:42:59 PM »
My experience has shown a slight increase in efficiency when using a higher water to grist ratio. I find that 1.5:1 vs 1.25:1 has produced a 5-10% increase in efficiency on average. Kai's experiments have shown that this is most likely due to increased conversion efficiency.

However there is no evidence to show that a higher water to grist ratio will increase fermentability.
Ron Price

Offline malzig

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2012, 08:58:08 PM »
granted, that's still only ~1.5 qt/pound.
That's still on the thick side of thin.

Offline gmwren

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2012, 07:01:08 AM »
How to prepare an proper ice bath from ThermoWorks to calibrate your thermometer.
http://www.thermoworks.com/blog/2010/10/making-a-proper-ice-bath/


Offline denny

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2012, 08:57:14 AM »

My crush is a lot finer than that.

what is your gap set at?

I have no idea.  I just adjusted it til I got the crush I wanted.  I use a JSP adjustable.  I closed the gap as far as I could, then backed it off til I could just see the rollers move.  That's where its been for the last 12 years.
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Offline denny

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2012, 08:59:54 AM »
dumb question...  how do I know what 150 F ACTUALLY is if my thermometer isn't calibrated correctly?  I did both the 32F and 212F tests on my portable and 212F on my kettle (didn't have the ice to make five gallons of 32F water), and they're both right there, or as right there as I can see on a small analog dial.

I use a calibrated, certified lab thermometer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2012, 09:28:11 AM »

I use a calibrated, certified lab thermometer.

Of course if your certified lab thermometer is glass, I recommend that it not be used for everyday brewery usage.  Keep it safe and use it only to calibrate your 'brewing work' thermometers.  I'm betting that Denny does this too.
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Offline denny

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2012, 09:34:13 AM »

I use a calibrated, certified lab thermometer.

Of course if your certified lab thermometer is glass, I recommend that it not be used for everyday brewery usage.  Keep it safe and use it only to calibrate your 'brewing work' thermometers.  I'm betting that Denny does this too.

You've got it, Martin!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline richardt

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2012, 09:59:36 AM »
I'm using a ten gallon round igloo cooler with a 12" false bottom.

This could also be your problem.
As a former user of a 10 gallon round Rubbermaid cooler for mashing, I routinely noticed whenever I did 10 gallon batches with gravities above 1.060 and/or with wheat malt as a significant % of my grist, that grain bed compaction would significantly slow down the lauter, especially if my grains were crushed too finely in pursuit of higher efficiencies.  I also noticed how I didn't have enough room in the MLT to add more water to correct mash temps (with additional infusions) or to increase the water/grist ratio (i.e., thin the mash).

I highly recommend evolving to the rectangular coolers to eliminate the above issues, especially grain bed compaction, as the height of the grainbed never exceeds the width (or length, depending on your point of view).  For 10 gallon batches, I'm happy with my 82 quart rectangular cooler, but would consider moving up to a 100 or even a 120 quart cooler for more flexibility.

Offline melferburque

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2012, 10:47:41 AM »
I'm using a ten gallon round igloo cooler with a 12" false bottom.

This could also be your problem.
As a former user of a 10 gallon round Rubbermaid cooler for mashing, I routinely noticed whenever I did 10 gallon batches with gravities above 1.060 and/or with wheat malt as a significant % of my grist, that grain bed compaction would significantly slow down the lauter, especially if my grains were crushed too finely in pursuit of higher efficiencies.  I also noticed how I didn't have enough room in the MLT to add more water to correct mash temps (with additional infusions) or to increase the water/grist ratio (i.e., thin the mash).

I highly recommend evolving to the rectangular coolers to eliminate the above issues, especially grain bed compaction, as the height of the grainbed never exceeds the width (or length, depending on your point of view).  For 10 gallon batches, I'm happy with my 82 quart rectangular cooler, but would consider moving up to a 100 or even a 120 quart cooler for more flexibility.

I started out with a rectangular cooler, but was having trouble getting the last of the lauter out through the braided dishwasher hose (set up with a tee).  I only ever do five gallon batches of beer, so the ten gallon round cooler seems sufficient in that regard. yesterday was the most I've ever filled it (eight gallons) and it was at the tippy-top with the grains.  I've only ever had two stuck mashes, one was half wheat and the other was yesterday.  I only had 3/4 pound of midnight wheat yesterday, but was also experimenting with the grist and may have gone too fine.  I had a LOT of little particulates I had to filter out.

I had a pretty crappy homebrew weekend overall between two batches.  killed a yeast starter, had a stalled fermentation, a boilover and a stuck mash.  still better than being at work, tho.

Offline tygo

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2012, 10:52:41 AM »
I started out with a rectangular cooler, but was having trouble getting the last of the lauter out through the braided dishwasher hose (set up with a tee). 

I prop the rear of the cooler up before I start the runoff.  Get's almost everything out.
Clint
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Offline denny

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Re: water/grist ratio and efficiency
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2012, 11:10:07 AM »
I started out with a rectangular cooler, but was having trouble getting the last of the lauter out through the braided dishwasher hose (set up with a tee). 

I prop the rear of the cooler up before I start the runoff.  Get's almost everything out.

I prop mine up after I've gotten all the runoff I can with it level.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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