Author Topic: Mash Efficiency Problem  (Read 11692 times)

Offline denny

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #135 on: September 16, 2013, 01:38:02 PM »
kramerog, if I was brewing a 5 gallon batch from say 13.5 lbs of grains and about 5.9 gallons of strike water in that 10 gallon MLT, would I lose more than 1 degree in heat?  Just wondering because I read a lot on blogs that if you are doing 10 gallon batches you should lose little, but more dead space on top of mash you lose more temp.

Thanks again.

It's not a big deal and it's not the cause of your lack of efficiency.  Stir for at least 3-5 min. before closing up your cooler.
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Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #136 on: September 16, 2013, 01:40:41 PM »
kramerog/denny, so perhaps stirring for about 5 minutes can improve extract efficiency and also give more time to get a better accurate temperature reading in multiple locations, then close the top of the lid, likelier to see less of a drop. 

I like making session beers, but wanted this one to be a step towards making a bigger beer, an RIS, I just want to make sure that I am not letting my pounds of grain go to waste.

Offline denny

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #137 on: September 16, 2013, 01:43:55 PM »
kramerog/denny, so perhaps stirring for about 5 minutes can improve extract efficiency and also give more time to get a better accurate temperature reading in multiple locations, then close the top of the lid, likelier to see less of a drop. 

I like making session beers, but wanted this one to be a step towards making a bigger beer, an RIS, I just want to make sure that I am not letting my pounds of grain go to waste.

I don't think stirring longer will have any effect on your efficiency.  It will just mean that you have an even temp throughout your cooler.   Your efficiency issue is either your crush (most likely), or volumes.  I don't recall the beginning of the thread...are you using a false bottom?
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Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #138 on: September 16, 2013, 01:45:22 PM »
I am using a mesh screen.

Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #139 on: September 16, 2013, 01:48:51 PM »
As for volumes, I had 13.5 lbs of grain, I did 1.75 qt/pd, used about 6 gallons for strike water, about 2.5 gallons for sparge water. My temp was a bit low for sparge as well, about 165. I got about 7.5 gallons of wort from the 1st and 2nd runnings.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #140 on: September 16, 2013, 01:55:41 PM »
Do you have a strike temp calculator? If not here's the math.
.2 x quarts per pound
X
Target temp - dry grain temp
+
Target temp
= strike water temp

I'd try dumping my strike water in, let sit a few minutes, dump back into hot liquor tank and bring back to strike temp. In other words preheat the mash tun. I'm also a fan of quickly stirring in grain, a quick temp check, then leave it alone. If your finished beer seems too dry just bump up YOUR mash temps accordingly. Remember it's homebrew, your home. So you may need to do these type of adjustments sometimes.

Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #141 on: September 17, 2013, 07:38:10 AM »
thanks klickitat jim, I do plan to keep reheating mash tun, especially as I brew in my kitchen next to a window.   I think if I bump my temperature a little bit higher than my strike temp, I can stir off some heat during the 5 minutes or so I will be stirring grain to get to an even temp.

Offline denny

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #142 on: September 17, 2013, 08:21:01 AM »
thanks klickitat jim, I do plan to keep reheating mash tun, especially as I brew in my kitchen next to a window.   I think if I bump my temperature a little bit higher than my strike temp, I can stir off some heat during the 5 minutes or so I will be stirring grain to get to an even temp.

Sounds like a plan!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #143 on: September 17, 2013, 08:50:26 AM »
Let us know how it goes.

Offline nicosan1

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #144 on: October 15, 2013, 01:13:04 PM »
Guys,

I did do a double crush this time, definitely helped my efficiency, though I still added some DME to pump up this Imperial Stout recipe. I think I mashed a bit high, was at 153 when I closed lid and when I started vorlaufing my first running they came in at about 149.5. 

In the end, for about 15lb of MO and misc. grains I probably would have gotten 1.080 post boil. Added two cups of DME and it bumped up nearly to 1.100.

One thing a couple of folks mentioned is testing my water ph to find out if that might effect my extract efficiency. Most folks have told me NYC (Brooklyn) water is just fine and don't need to mess with it. Do you have any thoughts on water ph affecting mash? 

BTW, thanks immensely for your help, I'm plugging away with your ideas and I feel like I am making progress and not spinning my wheels.

Offline denny

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #145 on: October 15, 2013, 01:15:10 PM »
I think you should have your water tested so you know where you stand.  But your pH would have to be WAY off to have much effect on your efficiency.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« Reply #146 on: October 15, 2013, 01:22:02 PM »
Guys,

I did do a double crush this time, definitely helped my efficiency, though I still added some DME to pump up this Imperial Stout recipe. I think I mashed a bit high, was at 153 when I closed lid and when I started vorlaufing my first running they came in at about 149.5. 

One thing a couple of folks mentioned is testing my water ph to find out if that might effect my extract efficiency. Most folks have told me NYC (Brooklyn) water is just fine and don't need to mess with it. Do you have any thoughts on water ph affecting mash? 


The temp of your first runnings are probably not representative of the mash temp at the end of the mash.  The exposure to air will likely drop the temps of your runnings a few degrees.

You should ask for a water report from your municipality that includes alkalinity and then you can plug those numbers into a spreadsheet to estimate mash pH beforehand. 

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