Author Topic: Extreme Efficiency Boost!  (Read 1559 times)

Offline fmader

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Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« on: March 30, 2013, 05:55:19 PM »
OK, I need everybody's two cents here. I brewed a single hopped Citra pale ale that I created the recipe for. Since I've been brewing all grain since June 2012, I've consistently hit 70% efficiency with my mash to within +/- .002 for my OG. My last brew before this one was a Red IPA with a target OG of 1.070, but I hit 1.078. I wrote this off to the increased sparge water temp. I had been sparging with 170ish degree water and upped it to 185 because of some advice from the forum. So yesterday, I decided to brew the Citra pale ale with the recipe derived from 70% efficiency and use the 185 sparge water...Just to see if this becomes a trend before I switch up my recipe calculations. I also decided to not use the pH stabilizer that I have always used per advice from Denny. The brew went very well....until I took my OG reading and found that I over shot my 1.057 target OG and hit 1.077! So, I want to see what everybody has to say about this. Say I increase my gravity by .005 to .007 by using the higher temp sparge water. Could I have increased the efficiency that much more by dropping the pH stabilizer????

I used the same grain mill and settings that I've used since October.
11 lb Two Row
.75 lb 40L Caramel
.5 lb 60L Caramel
60 minute mash @ 150 degrees in a blue cooler
I mashed with 5.5 gallons and batch sparged with 3.5 gallons

Not that overshooting this is a terrible thing if it happens all the time and becomes consistant. This has just never happened before. Needless to say, this is no longer a Citra APA. It is now a Citra IPA. I used 2 oz of Citra in the boil and planned to dry hop with a 1/2 ounce....Well, we're just gonna have to up that dry hop addition to 3 ounces!
Frank

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 06:45:35 PM »
Did you switch from an orange cooler to a blue one? ;D

I don't think the pH stabilizer would make that big of a difference.  I've never used the stuff, so I couldn't give you any actual data to back that up.  The first thing I would do is check the calibration on the device you took your OG with. 
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Offline tygo

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 07:55:40 PM »
By my calculations you hit around 90% efficiency, which is not impossible, but seems unlikely given the 70% you were hitting before.  Dropping the 5.2 stabilizer and upping the sparge water temp a little isn't going to do that.

I'll second checking the calibration of your hydrometer, but I'm assuming you've already done that.

So my guess is that you 1) achieved a higher lauter efficiency, same as the last batch, and 2) your volume measurement is off.  How are you measuring your pre- and post-boil volumes?  Did you take a pre-boil gravity reading?
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Offline fmader

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 08:17:57 PM »
Ok, I just made up some ground. I just looked that the recipe and did it for 5.5 gallons. I use this calculator http://onebeer.net/batchspargecalc.shtml. But I put numbers in for 5 gallons and that's how much wort I ended up with. So, that adds another variable to the equation. I still don't know if the combination of of sparge water temp, pH stabilizer, and being a 1/2 gallon short would be that much off. My hydrometer was calibrated...can one become uncalibrated? I never remember to take a pre-wort gravity reading. I'm going to start making sure I do.
Frank

Offline repo

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 09:03:39 PM »
How are you measuring mash efficiency?  You need preboil volume and preboil gravity or post boil volume and o.g. What ends up in the fermentor does not help you determine mash efficiency. I typically lose at least 1 gallon to chilling and various trub components on a 5.5 gallon batch.  If the math can't add up there is a bad reading somewhere.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2013, 06:34:03 AM »
Are you performing a mash out step to raise the overall temperature of the mash to near 168F?  If not, and you are just applying higher temperature sparging water, I can imagine that the higher water temp is the primary reason you are seeing higher efficiency. 

I do perform a mash out step and see several points increase as the temperature rises (I use a RIMS). The use of higher temp sparging water could simulate that effect.  If you are just doing single temp infusion, I think that a mash out step infusion could provide benefits too.
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Offline malzig

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 01:18:54 PM »
Kai's Batch Sparge Simulator predicts just under 87% efficiency for that grist weight and those volumes.  It looks like you got just over 87%, so you might just be getting what you are expected to get.  For moderate gravity beers like this, 70% is a low expectation and would require only 80% conversion.

As far as hydrometer calibration, all but 1 that I've ever owned has been off.  The one I have now was pretty close when it was brand new, but it is off by 4 points, now.

Offline wort-h.o.g.

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 06:49:05 AM »
OK, I need everybody's two cents here. I brewed a single hopped Citra pale ale that I created the recipe for. Since I've been brewing all grain since June 2012, I've consistently hit 70% efficiency with my mash to within +/- .002 for my OG. My last brew before this one was a Red IPA with a target OG of 1.070, but I hit 1.078. I wrote this off to the increased sparge water temp. I had been sparging with 170ish degree water and upped it to 185 because of some advice from the forum. So yesterday, I decided to brew the Citra pale ale with the recipe derived from 70% efficiency and use the 185 sparge water...Just to see if this becomes a trend before I switch up my recipe calculations. I also decided to not use the pH stabilizer that I have always used per advice from Denny. The brew went very well....until I took my OG reading and found that I over shot my 1.057 target OG and hit 1.077! So, I want to see what everybody has to say about this. Say I increase my gravity by .005 to .007 by using the higher temp sparge water. Could I have increased the efficiency that much more by dropping the pH stabilizer????

I used the same grain mill and settings that I've used since October.
11 lb Two Row
.75 lb 40L Caramel
.5 lb 60L Caramel
60 minute mash @ 150 degrees in a blue cooler
I mashed with 5.5 gallons and batch sparged with 3.5 gallons

Not that overshooting this is a terrible thing if it happens all the time and becomes consistant. This has just never happened before. Needless to say, this is no longer a Citra APA. It is now a Citra IPA. I used 2 oz of Citra in the boil and planned to dry hop with a 1/2 ounce....Well, we're just gonna have to up that dry hop addition to 3 ounces!

IME, when i changed to milling my own grain, my efficiency went up. when i switched to batch sparge, and adding sparge water that raised the grist to about 168F, my efficiency went up. i had been consistently in the 70's, and now range 85-93% mash efficiency. grind, time, temp, and thorough rinse all helps hit higher numbers.

+1 on the 5.2 stabilizer not being a factor

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 07:17:05 AM »
My hydrometer was calibrated...can one become uncalibrated? I never remember to take a pre-wort gravity reading. I'm going to start making sure I do.

Absolutely.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 08:01:45 AM »
If the little chart inside the glass gets moved it will be off.

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Offline kgs

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 09:02:56 AM »
Are you absolutely sure you weighed out your grain correctly -- didn't lose your train of thought and add another pound?
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Offline wort-h.o.g.

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 09:04:59 AM »
If the little chart inside the glass gets moved it will be off.

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot

i have 3 hydrometers..2 read .02 high, and one reads accurate (checking calibration using distilled water). paper seems silly.. annoying at the very least.

Offline fmader

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Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 06:55:19 PM »
Are you absolutely sure you weighed out your grain correctly -- didn't lose your train of thought and add another pound?

No lol....I didn't weigh them out. My uncle did. I asked him about it afterwards. He assured me that it was 11 pounds on the nose. I got there as he started weighing the caramels...they were on.

I am going to double check the hydrometer again...or have him do it. All of my equipment and supplies are at his place. That's where we do our brewing...Just more room.

I won't be doing any brewing until May. I'm trying to finish up grad school this month. But when I do, I am going to use the same grain bill and make another APA with a different hop combination. Thanks for all of the two cents!
Frank