Author Topic: Questions after first all grain  (Read 4486 times)

Offline johnny_b

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Questions after first all grain
« on: May 05, 2010, 06:02:15 PM »
Hello all,
First off, all in all I think it went well, just have some questions about the numbers.

I am using Beersmith and the estimated boil volume was 7 gal, with the amount of water suggested, I collected 7.25 gal. This seems to be an easy adjustment in the equipment settings for next time.

The estimate for OG was 1.049 and I achieved 1.045 going in to the fermenter. This worked out to 62% efficiency according to Beersmith. I mashed at 154F with a ratio of 1.25 qt/lb for 60 min. (grain bill was 10 lbs for 5 gal batch) My mash tun is a 48 qt ice cube using a copper manifold with 4 main rails that are roughly equally spaced. There are slots cut at about 1/2" intervals in the copper tube.

I stirred the mash at mash in, mash out, and after adding the final sparge water. Before running off, I allowed the mash to sit for 10 min each time.

I did not take any pH readings and used the same filtered tap water that I have always used for extract.

Does my efficiency seem out of line?
Can it be improved by some obvious means that I may not know of?
Maybe a more vigorous or frequent stir?

Thanks in advance,
Steve
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Secondary: Fall Cyser
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Offline dhacker

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010, 06:10:36 PM »
First question . . did you have exactly 5 gallons going into the fermenter, or more like 5.5? (or even more)
Just brew it...

Offline johnny_b

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2010, 06:31:48 PM »
I had 5 gallons in the fermenter. At the end of 60 min boil I had about 5.75 gal, I boiled about 15 min. longer to get to 5.5 gal on my sight glass.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 06:33:21 PM by johnny_b »
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Offline tygo

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010, 06:33:08 PM »
What was your recipe?
Clint
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Offline johnny_b

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2010, 06:36:17 PM »
BeerSmith Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Midwest Sierra Pale Ale
Brewer: Captain & Crew Brewery
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal      
Boil Size: 6.66 gal
Estimated OG: 1.049 SG
Estimated Color: 5.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 61.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU      
9 lbs         Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)            Grain        90.00 %      
8.0 oz        Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)              Grain        5.00 %        
8.0 oz        Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)     Grain        5.00 %        
2.00 oz       Pearle [7.70 %]  (60 min)                 Hops         58.7 IBU      
1.00 oz       Cascade [7.20 %]  (2 min)                 Hops         2.3 IBU      
1.00 items    Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min)          Misc                                        
1 Pkgs        American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [Starter Yeast-Ale                  


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 10.00 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp    
60 min        Mash In            Add 12.50 qt of water at 168.0 F    154.0 F      
10 min        Mash Out           Add 7.00 qt of water at 197.7 F     168.0 F  

the boil volume was originally estimated at 7.0, I have already updated my equipment setting in Beersmith.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 06:37:56 PM by johnny_b »
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Drinking: Rye IPA, ESB

Offline weithman5

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2010, 06:46:48 PM »
efficiency smischiency.  let me know how it tastes.

that said. probably reasonable job.
Don AHA member

Offline hokerer

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2010, 07:02:03 PM »
Does my efficiency seem out of line?

Doesn't seem particularly out of line.  Seems like the biggest contributor to efficiency is your crush.  Did you crush your own grain?  have the LHBS do it?  LHBS seem to crush with a generally larger gap than most people crush at home.  They're more concerned with you not having a stuck mash than they are with your getting max efficiency.
Joe

Offline The Professor

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2010, 09:24:47 AM »
efficiency smischiency.  let me know how it tastes.
that said. probably reasonable job.

+1
exactly...that's the main issue. 

As you dial in your methods & procedures by brewing more, you'll get a better idea of what your own brewhouse efficiency is and you'll be able to formulate beers and achieve desired gravities just by eyeballing it.  A gravity reading before the boil helps to determine if the boil needs to be slightly longer or shorter (based on the initial volume and your evaporation rate)...it just takes a couple of batches to get a feel for that. 

The software solutions can be helpful at times, but I think the mistake a lot of brewers make is to take the data output by the programs (or a printed recipe for that matter) as some kind of definitive goal.  Besides, missing target numbers generated by a piece of software (which can only calculate based on educated guesses as to interpreting the data you input)   doesn't constitute failure or a lesser brew. 
The bottom line is ALWAYS "how does it drink". 

A  few gravity points are not all that significant anyway, really.   Such variations occur in commercial brewery operations of every size, every day,

 
AL
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2010, 09:35:57 AM »
wow. my first +1  woot woot.
Don AHA member

Offline euge

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2010, 09:46:41 AM »
What was your method? Fly sparging? Batch?

I think 62% isn't too bad. If the beer tastes good, and it probably will- don't worry you on track. Chasing that elusive "higher efficiency" is the road to madness. Aim for consistency.

Congratulations on the first all-grain experience!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline bbump22

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2010, 11:26:25 AM »
Does my efficiency seem out of line?

Doesn't seem particularly out of line.  Seems like the biggest contributor to efficiency is your crush.  Did you crush your own grain?  have the LHBS do it?  LHBS seem to crush with a generally larger gap than most people crush at home.  They're more concerned with you not having a stuck mash than they are with your getting max efficiency.

I batch sparge and hit between 66%-68% pretty consistently.  I believe that the crush is the most important...depending on your water source, the pH may play a role.  I also hear that fly sparging can bump up your efficiency rates too...i track the efficiency so I can use it as a basis when creating recipes, but I don't use it as a tool to measure my success as a brewer.  I use the final product to measure the success rate.


Cheers and welcome to AG!  My first couple of AG recipes are kegged and bottled - ready for tasting this weekend - im stoked!
mmmm....beer

Offline hokerer

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2010, 12:06:34 PM »
i track the efficiency so I can use it as a basis when creating recipes, but I don't use it as a tool to measure my success as a brewer

+1 Well said.  The goal of figuring out efficiency issues should be consistency in the percentage and not necessarily getting the maximum.  Once you consistently know your efficiency, your recipes will start turning out as you predict.
Joe

Offline fritzeye

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2010, 01:01:06 PM »
Great job. From what I understand any efficiency in that range yields the the meat and potatoes part of the grain.  I batch sparge as per Denny and one thing I did notice is that when I slowed down my run off to about 15 minutes from 5 minutes, my efficiency got 5-10 points higher.
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Offline denny

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2010, 01:51:45 PM »
Great job. From what I understand any efficiency in that range yields the the meat and potatoes part of the grain.  I batch sparge as per Denny and one thing I did notice is that when I slowed down my run off to about 15 minutes from 5 minutes, my efficiency got 5-10 points higher.

Boy, that's interesting!  I've tried all different speeds without any difference.  I wonder why it's different for us?
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Offline bbump22

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Re: Questions after first all grain
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2010, 02:02:42 PM »
Great job. From what I understand any efficiency in that range yields the the meat and potatoes part of the grain.  I batch sparge as per Denny and one thing I did notice is that when I slowed down my run off to about 15 minutes from 5 minutes, my efficiency got 5-10 points higher.

Boy, that's interesting!  I've tried all different speeds without any difference.  I wonder why it's different for us?

I've used Denny's method of Batch Sparging too and always just open the valve all the way once it has started flowing and I know I shouldn't get a stuck sparge.  One question I have always had is should I continue to tilt the MT when the flow is down to a slow trickle so that I can get all of the final drips out or am I just waisting my time with that since it doesn't bring my volume up by much?   
mmmm....beer