Author Topic: Efficiency Mini Test  (Read 1289 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Efficiency Mini Test
« on: December 27, 2015, 08:00:37 PM »
Based on my last brew with my new mill(est. OG was 1.069, measured was 1.046), I wanted to explore setting a finer crush. These results were a 47.8% efficiency.

Is there a "mini efficiency" test I can do with say a pound or two of grain, do a mash and run the measurements? I suppose like a mini brew day that stops after the sparge.

I know this is time consuming, but seems less of a loss than doing a 5 gallon to completion and getting poor results.

*The above results were based on a 13.32 pounds of grain on a 5 gallon batch.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 08:03:22 PM »
I would bet that your crush is not solely to blame here.  What was your mash temp? How do you sparge?  Fly, batch? Most likely you did not rinse the grains enough to get more sugars out. 

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2015, 10:01:49 PM »
My process hasn't changed. Batch sparge, 152 or so mash for an hour, sparged around 175.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2015, 10:31:20 PM »
wow Justin...something happened for sure. that low, you would have had to barley even crush grain at all. did you observe the crush at all?
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 10:50:52 PM »
Which mill did you purchase and what factory gap setting did it come set to? 

+1 to always checking the crush prior to doughing in.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2015, 11:40:05 PM »
wow Justin...something happened for sure. that low, you would have had to barley even crush grain at all. did you observe the crush at all?

I did, seemed fine to me. However, I am no expert at judging what a good crush looks like.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2015, 11:40:37 PM »
Which mill did you purchase and what factory gap setting did it come set to? 

+1 to always checking the crush prior to doughing in.

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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2015, 12:31:40 AM »
You know, I do recall not stirring the mash very much. I ended up hitting the mash temp right away after transferring the strike water. Maybe I didn't stir enough? I know there weren't dough balls though.

Back to my Q, mini efficiency test?

Online tommymorris

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2015, 01:42:28 AM »
I am sure you could brew some small batches (1G-ish) to check efficiency trends but the actual efficiency from the small batches would not likely match your 5G efficiency since the equipment and methods would be different.

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2015, 01:55:00 AM »
You can do mini mashes. Covered in a May/June Zymurgy article by Agatha Feltus.
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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2015, 03:06:28 AM »
I tested my 2 gal Coleman stacker mash tun with 4-5 test mashes. Measured efficiency and dumped then afterward.


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Offline pete b

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2015, 12:52:57 PM »
I tested my 2 gal Coleman stacker mash tun with 4-5 test mashes. Measured efficiency and dumped then afterward.


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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2015, 12:57:35 PM »

I am sure you could brew some small batches (1G-ish) to check efficiency trends but the actual efficiency from the small batches would not likely match your 5G efficiency since the equipment and methods would be different.

If you did 1-2 gallon batches using the same mash tun, it shouldn't be, right?

Offline pete b

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2015, 01:23:11 PM »
My thought is that there are only a few variables and you should be able to get close enough by being careful right away and it doesn't need to be perfect:.
I would do this: calibrate your thermometer, use brun water to get ph in range, mill your malt until your scared then run through again (stuck sparges and tannin extraction are bogeymen few of us have seen face to face), stir the heck out of your mash, keep boiling water and ice cubes ready so you can quickly adjust mash temp, make sure temp and time is right. Also keep some light dame on hand. You will take a few times to dial it in but you'll have beer.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Efficiency Mini Test
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2015, 01:33:12 PM »
Light DME, not "dame". Not the first time auto correct has made me look like an awful person.
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