Author Topic: Low efficiency  (Read 1310 times)

Offline DCHIJARHEAD

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Low efficiency
« on: June 20, 2014, 06:43:49 PM »
June 20th, actively brewing a Clone for Heineken's, basically a Pilsner Lager.  Low efficiency is my problem, corrected it by adding 3 lbs. light dry malt.  But why did it happen?  I normally get 75 - 80 efficiency. Without the additive malt I hit a blazing 40%  .  I use beersmith to get and build my recipes and check my numbers.  My pre boil numbers should have been at adjusted to 1.048 for this Pilsner, but before adding malt the pre-boil numbers were 1.021.  After adding the malt it hit 1.041 and I started the boil, which will be 90 min boil, this is a 5 gal batch.  The following is my general info on this brew. Anyone know what happened?
 
Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.57 gal
Boil Time: 90 min
End of Boil Vol: 5.72 gal
Final Bottling Vol: 4.60 gal
Fermentation: Lager, Three Stage
Date: 20 Jun 2014
Brewer: Steve Covey
Asst Brewer:
Equipment: My Equipment
Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 79.2 %
Taste Rating: 30.0
Taste Notes:
Prepare for Brewing
•   
•   Clean and Prepare Brewing Equipment
•   Total Water Needed: 10.65 gal
•   
Mash or Steep Grains
Mash Ingredients
Amt   Name   Type   #   %/IBU
8 lbs 8.0 oz   Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)   Grain   1   94.4 %
8.0 oz   Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)   Grain   2   5.6 %
Mash Steps
Name   Description   Step Temperature   Step Time
Protein Rest   Add 8.10 qt of water at 136.2 F   122.0 F   30 min
Saccharification   Add 7.20 qt of water at 187.1 F   148.0 F   30 min
Mash Out   Error: Infusion temperature above boiling. Add more water!   168.0 F   10 min
•   Fly sparge with 4.80 gal water at 168.0 F
•   
•   Add water to achieve boil volume of 6.57 gal
•   Estimated pre-boil gravity is 1.040 SG
Boil Ingredients
Amt   Name   Type   #   %/IBU
0.75 oz   Hallertauer Hersbrucker [4.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min   Hop   3   12.1 IBUs
0.50 oz   Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min   Hop   4   17.1 IBUs
0.25 tsp   Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)   Fining   5   -
0.25 oz   Hallertauer Hersbrucker [4.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min   Hop   6   1.4 IBUs
•   Estimated Post Boil Vol: 5.72 gal and Est Post Boil Gravity: 1.048 SG

Offline Stevie

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 06:45:58 PM »
Poor crush?

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 06:58:12 PM »
Poor or forget to crush the grain.

Check your hydrometer to see if it is calibrated.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 07:11:48 PM »
+1 to crush and instrument calibration.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2014, 07:39:51 PM »
I don't think that grist is going to make 5.72 gallons of 1.050ish beer. assuming ~32 pppg at 80% brewhouse efficiency you've got 1.040 POST boil at 5.72 gallons.

also, did you top up with plain water to hit your preboil volume? was everything mixed well when you took your preboil reading?

I like to wait till the boil has started to take my sample for preboil gravity so everything is well mixed.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 07:44:04 PM »


I like to wait till the boil has started to take my sample for preboil gravity so everything is well mixed.

+1
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Offline Victor Coelho

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 08:08:37 PM »
I don't think that grist is going to make 5.72 gallons of 1.050ish beer. assuming ~32 pppg at 80% brewhouse efficiency you've got 1.040 POST boil at 5.72 gallons.

+1

Besides I don't thing only 30 min for saccharification is enough. Try 75 min next time and watch closely your malt crush.

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Offline DCHIJARHEAD

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2014, 08:13:51 PM »
Thanks all, I do have a grain mill and have not has issues with crush, but I will check my settings thanks.  I will check the hydrometer also.  I have a spare if it is off.  I now doing the cool down for this brew.  I will check the hydrometer or use the new one for the post boil test.  Taking the measurement after starting boil, I will give that some consideration. But does need to be mixed well, agree. 

This is fun I will post my results and look into the recommendations.  Going to check the brew. Cheers.

Offline DCHIJARHEAD

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2014, 08:31:47 PM »
Okay, this is strange, after a 90 min boil starting at 1.041 after adding malt the post boil is 1.063.  A little high for Pilsner, at this rate it will be 6.6% or higher.  The hydrometer reads 1.000 with water, so it should be okay.  I think that the setting for gallons are off in this recipe. Someone hit that on the nose, Plus the post on Saccharification us dead on too.  I wish I had not added so much malt, oops. 

Thanks guys I have several adjustments to make next time on this brew.  For now, I have Pilsner that is darker and higher in octane than I has wanted.  But it will still be a keeper.   

Thanks all.

Offline duboman

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2014, 08:54:55 PM »
At what temperature did you take your pre-boil reading? IMO, anything greater than 100oF is completely unreliable even when adjusted for temperature. I always try to get things down to as close to 60oF as possible but at least lower than 100oF.

+1 to checking the calibration of the hydrometer as well, sometimes the paper insert moves:(
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2014, 09:44:53 PM »
So it sounds like you probably would've hit your OG without adding the dry malt and just letting it be?

Offline DCHIJARHEAD

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2014, 10:15:47 PM »
Duboman, my post boil temperature was "140" and I used the adjusts in my Beersmith program to calculate and adjust the readings.  I have always done it this way (Well three years or so) and have not noticed too many reading errors.  But if over 100 is an issue, I could wait a bit longer. Maybe the time it takes to finish another homebrew.  I will take that under advisement.   

And Brewinhard, you are correct I would have been better off just leaving it a lone.  I may have still missed the numbers a bit. But the numbers would have fit the profile better.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2014, 10:46:44 PM »
Duboman, my post boil temperature was "140" and I used the adjusts in my Beersmith program to calculate and adjust the readings.  I have always done it this way (Well three years or so) and have not noticed too many reading errors.  But if over 100 is an issue, I could wait a bit longer. Maybe the time it takes to finish another homebrew.  I will take that under advisement.   

And Brewinhard, you are correct I would have been better off just leaving it a lone.  I may have still missed the numbers a bit. But the numbers would have fit the profile better.

sounds like the bulk of the issue was bad mixing but dubo makes a point and to add to that, if the sample is sitting out waiting to cool it's getting somewhat stronger as it does via evaporation. it's not huge but a point or two. Try capturing your sample in a container with a lid, close it up immediately and pop it in the freezer to chill down to 60 (or whatever temp your hydro is calibrated to). doesn't take long and if you are under your gravity or over there is still plenty of time left in the boil to adjust.

I would wait to adjust till close to the end of the boil anyway to avoid darkening of any added malt and to be really sure you need it!
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2014, 11:14:12 PM »
Great advice from Jonathan. If your initial preboil was reasonably accurate (1.021) , then the 3 lbs DME brings you to an OG of 1.042ish in 5.72 gallons. So there has to be a readings accuracy issue on one or both ends. Getting accurate readings is tougher than it might seem , but not hard either. I also take my preboil sample a couple minutes after reaching boil to get thorough mixing, place in a container with a lid and cool in the freezer for 3 or 4 minutes. I use a refractometer for preboil and OG measurements, so the sample is small.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 11:52:02 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline DCHIJARHEAD

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Re: Low efficiency
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2014, 12:29:42 AM »
Thanks to all and I will change when and how I take the readings.  I'll drink to this mistake and learn for future brew.  Thanks again all, great real time info.  Cheers!