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more efficiency questions...

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hokerer:

--- Quote from: goschman on January 22, 2013, 10:43:10 AM ---Shouldn't my mash pH be somewhat consistent when using the same water and mash thickness? May be a stupid question and I assume the answer is no.

--- End quote ---

In addition to water and mash thickness, the types of grains will also affect the pH.  In general, roasted/darker grains will tend to drive the pH down.  So just keeping the water and mash thickness the same doesn't mean your pH will be the same.

dmtaylor:
Depending on how you calculate efficiency, your volume measurements can also have a huge impact.  For example, if you expect to make 5 gallons at an original gravity of 1.060 but you boil too hard and only ended up with 4.5 gallons, then your gravity will look way high by a ratio of 5/4.5, so you might get 1.067, which makes it look like you got like an extra 10% efficiency, when in fact your efficiency is probably the same as it always was, you just boiled it down too hard.  It can happen if you don't account for volumes in your measurements.  Think about it.

goschman:

--- Quote from: dmtaylor on January 22, 2013, 11:20:54 AM ---Depending on how you calculate efficiency, your volume measurements can also have a huge impact.  For example, if you expect to make 5 gallons at an original gravity of 1.060 but you boil too hard and only ended up with 4.5 gallons, then your gravity will look way high by a ratio of 5/4.5, so you might get 1.067, which makes it look like you got like an extra 10% efficiency, when in fact your efficiency is probably the same as it always was, you just boiled it down too hard.  It can happen if you don't account for volumes in your measurements.  Think about it.

--- End quote ---

I always collect 6.5 gallons of preboil wort so I use my preboil gravity readings to measure efficency. Based on my OG into the fermenter, I calculate what my final volume was...

hokerer:
Another strategy you might want to consider is to simply alter your efficiency targets for your big beers rather than chasing a bunch of possible tweaks/fixes.  As long as you're consistent, even it is lower, you'll be able to calculate and hit your volume/gravity targets just fine.

goschman:

--- Quote from: hokerer on January 22, 2013, 11:30:24 AM ---Another strategy you might want to consider is to simply alter your efficiency targets for your big beers rather than chasing a bunch of possible tweaks/fixes.  As long as you're consistent, even it is lower, you'll be able to calculate and hit your volume/gravity targets just fine.

--- End quote ---

I don't do too many big beers so I am hoping to get reasonably consistent efficiencies for OGs of about 1.045-1.055. I keep a spreadsheet with charts for my efficiencies and yeast attentuation %s. Using my average efficency from about the last 20 batches, I was approximating I would hit about 1.051 with yesterday's batch...got 1.060.

Looking more and more like a mash pH issue maybe...

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