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Mash Efficiency Problem

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Stir well, once, at the beginning of the mash, eliminate all dough balls, and close it up and be done with it.  Do not stir during the mash.  You just lose too much heat that way.

dm, I had my grains crushed at a homebrew store in Brooklyn, should I ask for a tighter gap next time? I'm doing my equipment in babysteps given that I live in New York and space is a concern, eventually I will get a mill once I move back to California.

I used 13 lbs of grain, I mashed in at 4.25 gallons, I sparged with 5 gallons, I ended up with what I can get as 7 gallons of wort pre boil when I should have had about 6.5. I followed a recipe/schedule that was predetermined. At end of boil I had probably about 5.75 gallons.  Is there a ratio you tend to stick to? or should I use a specific water calculator?

klickitat jim:
I stir about three times in 90 min.

Your efficiency is incorrect because you got the incorrect volume.  I pump all my recipes into software, then adjust the post-boil volume to what I really got, then adjust the efficiency until the OG turns out where I actually got, and this will give you your actual efficiency.  Then you'll know for next time.

You could get your grains double crushed in future.  But also take care to hit your volumes correctly.

As for equipment in baby steps... ha!  You are talking to Mr. Ghetto Brewer.  I used a blender to "crush" grains for 3 years.  It works great!  Eventually I asked for a mill for Christmas because I was too cheap to buy one myself.  And a good mill takes up very little space.  It's definitely a worthwhile purchase and use of space.

That is an extra 3/4 of a gallon of water in your wort. That will bring OG down some. And I stir my mash a lot. Not only to get dough balls out but also to get even uniform temperature throughout. I take frequent temp readings as I stir. Then put the lid on.


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