Author Topic: Mash efficiency survey  (Read 1990 times)

Offline trapae

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Mash efficiency survey
« on: April 15, 2014, 03:21:53 PM »
I've been wondering, for those of us who batch sparge, what is the average mash efficiency most people are getting?  I know the answer that most seasoned brewers will give is "the number doesn't matter as long as you're consistent with your equipment", but i'm still curious.
I use a circular 10 gallon cooler for my mash tun with a false bottom.  I mill my own grains with the barley crusher mill with the setting it came with (mill on day of brewing).  I use strike and sparge water amounts so as to get approx 50/50 1st and 2nd runnings.  I heat my sparge water to 190 and it is about 165-167 after transferring it to the grain.  I stir for about 5 min and let a rip.  (Pretty much Denny's technique I think).
I just did my 10th all grain brew yesterday and for the last several have been getting right around 72% mash efficiency.  Funny that my first 5+ AG brews, I was getting 75-78%, but now that I have my system streamlined and hitting strike temps better etc, it has dropped? 
Anyway, what are your numbers and setup?
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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 03:28:24 PM »
My efficiency varies based on the total amount of grain. In the past, 5 gallons smaller beers can get me near 80% while big beers get me about 65-70%.

The mill at my LHBS sucks and my efficiency has been hovering between 60-65% for all beers. A mill is my next brewery addition at the expense of a pump. I'll take solid consistency over recirculation chilling.

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 03:43:33 PM »
I use a rectangular cooler (Denny style), mash and sparge roughly equally, sparge 190-195F, and get 78-80% efficiency on most beers. I used to get 68 -70% before getting grain double crushed at the LHBS , and finally getting a mill.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 03:45:28 PM »
I use a 10 gallon Rubbermaid with a false bottom, mill my own grains and both my mash and brew house efficiency are pretty consistently 80% equal.

On my biggest beers, 1.070 or greater I average 75% on both due to the larger grain bills.
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 05:07:33 PM »
I use a rectangular cooler with braided hose, sparge at around 180*, have my own mill, and consistently hit 80-85%.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 05:25:20 PM »
For a single batch sparge, it ranges from about 63% at 1.110 to 85% at 1.038. Boiloff is 15-21%.

As long as you get full conversion in the mash, there's no reason to have any error at all in estimating batch sparge efficiency. http://seanterrill.com/2013/10/05/batch-sparging-calculator/
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2014, 06:03:20 PM »
14 gal SS mash tun with false bottom and direct fire recirculation. I get 73-78% depending on malt bill. I consider that perfect enough.

Offline swlusk

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2014, 06:06:46 PM »
I'm a brewer of the small batches, almost always 2.5 gallons. I use a 3 gallon Gott type cooler with a 6 inch kettle screen. It's more designed for partial mashing but with my size batches I can do a 1.075 all grain brew with no problem. I grind somewhat coarse, some kernels only broke in half and I typically get around 75% efficiency batch sparging. My water/grist ratio is usually in the 1.25qt/lb  to 1.5qt/lb range.
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Offline denny

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 06:07:43 PM »
I use a rectangular cooler with braided hose, sparge at around 180*, have my own mill, and consistently hit 80-85%.

Same here
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 06:50:18 PM »
Sanke with false bottom and cooler with braid.  I crush relatively course (I know, I know) at the factory setting for the Schmidling Mill.  72-75% efficiency, which I accept.  I have a second mill that I set much finer and got better efficiency, but the mill would free spin at times, so I don't use it for anything but dark grains these days (so I don't have to go through a lot of cleaning.)
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Offline alestateyall

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 07:16:08 PM »
I have a 10 gallon round cooler mash tun with toilet braid. I try to follow dennybrew.com instructions. I get 75% +/- 2%.


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Offline gmac

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 07:42:59 PM »
Used to have a red cooler and got about 34 percent.
Switched to blue and am at a consistent 100 to 105 percent.

Seriously. Blue and 80 is what I calculate recipes at.

Offline ultravista

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 08:44:46 PM »
Is there possibly a difference in the tun, round or square?

Offline dcb

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2014, 09:50:48 PM »
I'm on my 5th AG batch now so still learning my own system.  My last three have all been around 68%, which seems disappointing.  I have a rectangular cooler with a SS braid and pretty much do as the others above except I've been sparging with 170F water.   I crush my grains at my LHBS and have considered running them through twice.  Now I'm wondering whether to try 180F water first.  I'm getting good beer but feel like I'd like to increase my efficiency for no particular reason other than just because. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Mash efficiency survey
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2014, 04:45:28 AM »
Just because is not a good reason. 68% is only 2% below what Brewing Classic Styles recipes are calculated at.