Author Topic: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings  (Read 1252 times)

Offline goschman

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equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« on: September 10, 2013, 12:03:17 PM »
I have read that efficiency may be increased if amounts collected from 1st and 2nd runnings are the same. I am usually collecting around 2 gallons from first and 4.5 gallons from 2nd for a preboil volume of 6.5 gallons.

Should I increase my mash ratio to try to get these amounts closer? I normally mash around 1.4 qts/# of grain so I would likely need to go up to around 2 qts/#.

I recently got a grain mill so I am really looking to start getting more consistent efficiency which has been varying from around 62% - 72%. That is way to big of a variance batch to batch...

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 12:16:33 PM »
I shoot for close volumes, but I am always within a gallon.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2013, 12:19:36 PM »
Mathematically, greater efficiency can be achieved by making the 1st and second runnings about the same in volume, but the curve is fairly flat at the peak; your 2 and 4.5 gallons are probably quite far from the peak.  Your efficiency is on the low end so I would also look at doing a finer crush (consistently) and adjusting your mash pH.  Getting a finer crush has helped me to get a higher and more consistent efficiency.  Jumping from 1.25 qts/lb to 1.5+ qts/lb has also help me get a higher and more consistent efficiency probably because I don't see dough balls anymore.
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Offline beersk

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2013, 12:26:47 PM »
I shoot for close volumes, but I am always within a gallon.
Difficult to do with a high gravity beer, where you still want to mash at 1.25-1.5qt per gallon and still make up your planned volume with the sparge.
I brewed a weizenbock, 4 gallon batch recently, with 17qt in the mash and 10qt in the sparge, and that was still planning to boil for 90 minutes.
For the most part, I think it's been shown to help if you keep the runnings close enough. Most beers I do is usually with in a quart or two between mash and sparge.
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Offline goschman

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 12:28:37 PM »
I feel that my LHBS must change the gaps on their mills constantly whether it is intentional or not. My process is consistent yet my efficiency is extremely variable from batch to batch.

This next batch will be a test of sorts with my new grain mill. It's nothing special but at least I will be able to remove it from the equation once I decide on a constant crush.

pH is defintely something I will need to address in the future...
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 12:32:24 PM by goschman »

Offline beersk

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 01:36:21 PM »
I feel that my LHBS must change the gaps on their mills constantly whether it is intentional or not. My process is consistent yet my efficiency is extremely variable from batch to batch.

This next batch will be a test of sorts with my new grain mill. It's nothing special but at least I will be able to remove it from the equation once I decide on a constant crush.

pH is defintely something I will need to address in the future...
Yeah, address pH and water chemistry when you're ready. Getting your own mill is a big and important step.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 01:45:59 PM »
There is nothing wrong with mashing closer to 2qt/lb if you want to try that. I mash around that level most of the time.
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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 02:08:45 PM »
I shoot for close volumes, but I am always within a gallon.
Difficult to do with a high gravity beer, where you still want to mash at 1.25-1.5qt per gallon and still make up your planned volume with the sparge.
I brewed a weizenbock, 4 gallon batch recently, with 17qt in the mash and 10qt in the sparge, and that was still planning to boil for 90 minutes.
For the most part, I think it's been shown to help if you keep the runnings close enough. Most beers I do is usually with in a quart or two between mash and sparge.
Agreed.  High OG beers are tougher.
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Offline goschman

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 02:10:03 PM »
Thanks everyone. I will start with the new grain mill and adjusting my mash water ratio in order to get my collected volumes from 1st and 2nd runnings closer to the same amount.

I may be posting a pic of what my crush looks like in a separate thread to get advice on how it looks...

Offline erockrph

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2013, 02:23:29 PM »
There is nothing wrong with mashing closer to 2qt/lb if you want to try that. I mash around that level most of the time.

+1 - I no-sparge, so I'm generally at 2.5+ qt/lb. I don't start seeing issues until I get over 3 qt/lb, then my efficiency starts to dip a bit.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 07:18:09 PM »
Instead of sparging so much, add part of your hot sparge water to the mash before the first runnings so that your two runnings will be equal.  Or if you want really awesome efficiency, mash super thick at like 0.9 qt/lb and then sparge twice so that your runnings are 1/3 of the total volume each.  This is overkill, but it would certainly maximize your efficiency.
Dave

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 07:31:17 AM »
Instead of sparging so much, add part of your hot sparge water to the mash before the first runnings so that your two runnings will be equal.  Or if you want really awesome efficiency, mash super thick at like 0.9 qt/lb and then sparge twice so that your runnings are 1/3 of the total volume each.  This is overkill, but it would certainly maximize your efficiency.

Seems like you risk poor conversion at that thickness.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 08:35:08 AM »
I disagree.  I've done it and conversion is just fine.
Dave

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Offline denny

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 08:45:01 AM »
Thanks everyone. I will start with the new grain mill and adjusting my mash water ratio in order to get my collected volumes from 1st and 2nd runnings closer to the same amount.

I may be posting a pic of what my crush looks like in a separate thread to get advice on how it looks...

Sounds like a plan.  I know my efficiency went up a few points when I went to a thinner mash.  In addition, I didn't have to mess with adding more water before the mash runoff to equalize the runnings.  As mentioned, if your runnings are within about a gal. of each other it's plenty close enough.  In addition, there's a school of thought that getting more first runnings will increase the quality of your beer.

Go ahead and post a pic of your crush, but I really don't think it will help you.  None of us are brewing on your system, so none of us can tell you if it's too fine.  Sure, it's easy to spot if it's not crushed enough, but beyond that you just have to crush and brew, and see how it works for you.
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Offline denny

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Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 08:46:20 AM »
I disagree.  I've done it and conversion is just fine.

I agree with you, Dave, but that seems like so much extra effort when you could just mash thinner in the first place.
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