Author Topic: Efficiency  (Read 814 times)

Offline Brutal Eric

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Efficiency
« on: October 12, 2015, 03:42:01 PM »
My last 4-5 brews have had low efficiency, like 60%? Fly Sparge w/ 168*, 152* Mash temp. No mash out. Briess 2row. WTH? Was getting 75% - 80% like 6-7 months ago?

Offline a10t2

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 03:48:36 PM »
First thought, how recently have you calibrated your thermometer and hydrometer/refractometer? Second, have you changed grain mills, or could the mill gap have slipped? Third, has your mash pH or water supply changed?

Basically, it's either a measurement error or a change in mash crush/temperature/pH.
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Offline Brutal Eric

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 04:20:32 PM »
Ok my mash PH might have changed. I started using 1/4" 10% Phos acid in my water. I use RO water so it helps get my mash ph right. Maybe its to low?

Offline neddles

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 07:13:01 PM »
Im not sure what the 1/4" means but if you switched to 10% phosphoric acid from 88% lactic acid or some other concentration of phosphoric acid than that may be your problem as certainly the pH will not come out the same as before.

Offline Brutal Eric

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 01:29:08 PM »
checked my PH last weekend. 4.8 @ mash. I am still getting horrible efficiency? Grain crush looks good. Ph is a little low but? Maybe the 10 gallon mash tun don't work for 15 pounds of grain?

Offline goschman

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 01:31:20 PM »
checked my PH last weekend. 4.8 @ mash. I am still getting horrible efficiency? Grain crush looks good. Ph is a little low but? Maybe the 10 gallon mash tun don't work for 15 pounds of grain?

Your mash had a pH of 4.8? I think that is a major issue right there...
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Offline Brutal Eric

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2015, 01:48:14 PM »
Really? Please explain?

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2015, 01:56:39 PM »
Really? Please explain?

optimal enzymatic activity with proper PH in mash...starch converting to sugar.

check this out as reference : http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Mash_pH_control
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2015, 02:02:40 PM »
Definitely recommend downloading Brunwater. It will help you predict your pH in the good range. Excellent software  : 

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2015, 02:46:43 PM »
+1 to Bru'NWater
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2015, 03:40:46 PM »
4.8 at mash temperature is ~5.1 at room temp, so not too far off.
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Offline goschman

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2015, 03:58:32 PM »
4.8 at mash temperature is ~5.1 at room temp, so not too far off.

I didn't catch that. My bad. I thought he was simply stating that his mash pH was 4.8...
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Offline Brutal Eric

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2015, 04:19:07 PM »
Ok so here it is.
15 pds 2 row
0.5 pds carapils
.5 pds 20L

Mash at 147* for 75 minutes

Used RO water from grocery. Added 1 tsp of Calcium Chloride and 1/4 tsp of 10% phosphoric per 5 gallons. Read in a book. Checked Mash PH after cooling and had a reading of 4.8. I used litmus paper? Might make a difference. However it does appear low. I plugged in my numbers to Bruinwater and the predicted ph would have been 5.5? I re calibrated all my equip? 55% efficiency is crap!

Offline a10t2

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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2015, 04:27:41 PM »
Can you post all your measurements? Have you calculated conversion/lauter efficiencies? http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Troubleshooting_Brewhouse_Efficiency

Edit: Cheap litmus paper doesn't work well for checking mash pH. The ColorpHast strips do pretty well but read  ~0.3 pH low.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 04:44:26 PM by a10t2 »
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Re: Efficiency
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2015, 04:28:26 PM »
Ok so here it is.
15 pds 2 row
0.5 pds carapils
.5 pds 20L

Mash at 147* for 75 minutes

Used RO water from grocery. Added 1 tsp of Calcium Chloride and 1/4 tsp of 10% phosphoric per 5 gallons. Read in a book. Checked Mash PH after cooling and had a reading of 4.8. I used litmus paper? Might make a difference. However it does appear low. I plugged in my numbers to Bruinwater and the predicted ph would have been 5.5? I re calibrated all my equip? 55% efficiency is crap!

Your low mash pH would definitely affect your efficiency. How is your sparging technique? Maybe it's the low pH coupled with a deficiency in your sparging technique.