Author Topic: Mash efficiency- equipment  (Read 2408 times)

Offline Indy574

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 147
    • View Profile
Mash efficiency- equipment
« on: January 01, 2017, 05:02:42 PM »
Let's start off with equipment...batch sparge
Recipe: Gose

Igloo 10 gallon yellow cooler with perforated false bottom. It is hard piped to the valve and held to FB with nut (from Adventures in Homebrewing). Everything seemed fine with mash but when I sparged with 180*F water it drained from the perimeter. My efficiency has also been a little low around 62-65%, but this batch was 58%.  The plastic cooler-to-false bottom was loose after dumping the grains.
So with all the wheat it found the weekesst link in the system (around perimeter). This must be happening on a regularly basis but was very noticeable this time.
So my question is has anyone experienced this and how did you correct it?  Thought about switching to a bazooka style screen but I may get stuck spares plus I like what I have.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 10:06:03 PM by Indy574 »

Offline natebrews

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 480
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 05:18:23 PM »
I had some problems with lots of rye and oats a couple times, so maybe similar.  I ended up going to batch sparging for those batches and that was immune to the the problem. 
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline Indy574

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 147
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 10:09:46 PM »
I may have not fully brought the jamb nut all the way down.  I will slow down my draining as to set my grain bed better or to eliminate that variable.

Offline Mythguided Brewing

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 07:33:16 AM »
I always batch-sparge and consistently get 75-77% extract efficiency.  My method is to simply drain the sweet wort from the grains as completely as possible, and set the wort aside in the boil kettle for safe-keeping.  I leave all the spent grains in the mash tun and simply pour all of my sparge water (heated to 170) into the mash tun, and let the grains steep in the sparge water for 10 minutes (if you've calculated your mash:sparge water right, you should have enough sparge water to just barely cover your grains during the steep).  Then I drain all the water off the grains, add those runnings to the wort already in the boil kettle, and get to boilin'...

Offline bierview

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 235
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 01:05:41 PM »
I always batch-sparge and consistently get 75-77% extract efficiency.  My method is to simply drain the sweet wort from the grains as completely as possible, and set the wort aside in the boil kettle for safe-keeping.  I leave all the spent grains in the mash tun and simply pour all of my sparge water (heated to 170) into the mash tun, and let the grains steep in the sparge water for 10 minutes (if you've calculated your mash:sparge water right, you should have enough sparge water to just barely cover your grains during the steep).  Then I drain all the water off the grains, add those runnings to the wort already in the boil kettle, and get to boilin'...

I always batch spare and yesterday I got 92% mash efficiency.  I built a copper manifold drilled out and fit to the bottom of my cooler.  I drain the wort down to empty the cooler, then add 180* spare water stir it around a bit and drain.  All the stirring will loosen the grains and the first 12 ounces or so need to be put through a fine strainer.  After that it runs clear.

Offline gman23

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3518
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2017, 03:29:22 PM »
I always batch-sparge and consistently get 75-77% extract efficiency.  My method is to simply drain the sweet wort from the grains as completely as possible, and set the wort aside in the boil kettle for safe-keeping.  I leave all the spent grains in the mash tun and simply pour all of my sparge water (heated to 170) into the mash tun, and let the grains steep in the sparge water for 10 minutes (if you've calculated your mash:sparge water right, you should have enough sparge water to just barely cover your grains during the steep).  Then I drain all the water off the grains, add those runnings to the wort already in the boil kettle, and get to boilin'...

This is pretty much my process exactly other than I use warmer sparge water. Efficiency has always been an issue for me and I average about 70% brewhouse efficiency although I tend to swing between 66-74. I have recently started remilling my grains at home to the point of stuck sparge and have not noticed any difference. I have a 10 gallon round cooler with false bottom. I will be using a brew bag with false bottom removed for my next batch.
On Tap/Bottled: Hopfenbier, Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager,      

Fermenting: Imperial Porter
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19932
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2017, 03:45:41 PM »
A false bottom may affect your efficiency due to the dead space underneat it unless you account for it.  That's one reason I prefer a braid.  Another is that a braid seems to be less likely to have a stuck runoff.  In fact, in 511 batches, I've never had a stuck runoff using a braid.  Efficiency wise, assumkng I hit mid-high 90s on mash efficiency, my brewhouse efficiency will be anywhere from 82-85%.

BTW, the episode of the Brew Files that comes put a week from tomorrow is all about batch sparging.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline gman23

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3518
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 03:56:48 PM »
A false bottom may affect your efficiency due to the dead space underneat it unless you account for it.  That's one reason I prefer a braid.  Another is that a braid seems to be less likely to have a stuck runoff.  In fact, in 511 batches, I've never had a stuck runoff using a braid.  Efficiency wise, assumkng I hit mid-high 90s on mash efficiency, my brewhouse efficiency will be anywhere from 82-85%.

BTW, the episode of the Brew Files that comes put a week from tomorrow is all about batch sparging.

Good to know. I will stayed tuned.

I am hoping part or a lot of my issues are related to the false bottom since I have literally chased every other possibility (I think). I had considered going to a braid but the bag sounds like it should take care of it. Should know after Friday's brew session if the false bottom is the culprit...
On Tap/Bottled: Hopfenbier, Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager,      

Fermenting: Imperial Porter
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline bayareabrewer

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 535
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 04:16:33 PM »
Let's start off with equipment...batch sparge
Recipe: Gose

Igloo 10 gallon yellow cooler with perforated false bottom. It is hard piped to the valve and held to FB with nut (from Adventures in Homebrewing). Everything seemed fine with mash but when I sparged with 180*F water it drained from the perimeter. My efficiency has also been a little low around 62-65%, but this batch was 58%.  The plastic cooler-to-false bottom was loose after dumping the grains.
So with all the wheat it found the weekesst link in the system (around perimeter). This must be happening on a regularly basis but was very noticeable this time.
So my question is has anyone experienced this and how did you correct it?  Thought about switching to a bazooka style screen but I may get stuck spares plus I like what I have.

adjuncts like wheat, rye and oats can cause a fairly impermeable layer of gunk to form on the top of the mash. that might be why you're getting channeling down the sides. This is a longshot, but did you happen to take a pic of the top of your grain bed?

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2017, 04:17:58 PM »
Let's start off with equipment...batch sparge
Recipe: Gose

Igloo 10 gallon yellow cooler with perforated false bottom. It is hard piped to the valve and held to FB with nut (from Adventures in Homebrewing). Everything seemed fine with mash but when I sparged with 180*F water it drained from the perimeter. My efficiency has also been a little low around 62-65%, but this batch was 58%.  The plastic cooler-to-false bottom was loose after dumping the grains.
So with all the wheat it found the weekesst link in the system (around perimeter). This must be happening on a regularly basis but was very noticeable this time.
So my question is has anyone experienced this and how did you correct it?  Thought about switching to a bazooka style screen but I may get stuck spares plus I like what I have.

adjuncts like wheat, rye and oats can cause a fairly impermeable layer of gunk to form on the top of the mash. that might be why you're getting channeling down the sides. This is a longshot, but did you happen to take a pic of the top of your grain bed?
If this is the case, raking the top could help

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4383
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2017, 07:47:47 PM »
A false bottom may affect your efficiency due to the dead space underneat it unless you account for it.  That's one reason I prefer a braid.  Another is that a braid seems to be less likely to have a stuck runoff.  In fact, in 511 batches, I've never had a stuck runoff using a braid.  Efficiency wise, assumkng I hit mid-high 90s on mash efficiency, my brewhouse efficiency will be anywhere from 82-85%.

BTW, the episode of the Brew Files that comes put a week from tomorrow is all about batch sparging.

I've had the exact problem with a braided hose.  Stuck just about everytime.  I bought a brew bag to put in the cooler and now I drain too fast!

The braid ALWAYS gives me issues.  100% of the time. 

But I'm mashing in a round 5 gallon cooler, so the geometry and weight of the grains maybe has something to do with it.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Mythguided Brewing

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2017, 08:47:32 PM »
I always batch-sparge and consistently get 75-77% extract efficiency.  My method is to simply drain the sweet wort from the grains as completely as possible, and set the wort aside in the boil kettle for safe-keeping.  I leave all the spent grains in the mash tun and simply pour all of my sparge water (heated to 170) into the mash tun, and let the grains steep in the sparge water for 10 minutes (if you've calculated your mash:sparge water right, you should have enough sparge water to just barely cover your grains during the steep).  Then I drain all the water off the grains, add those runnings to the wort already in the boil kettle, and get to boilin'...

This is pretty much my process exactly other than I use warmer sparge water. Efficiency has always been an issue for me and I average about 70% brewhouse efficiency although I tend to swing between 66-74. I have recently started remilling my grains at home to the point of stuck sparge and have not noticed any difference. I have a 10 gallon round cooler with false bottom. I will be using a brew bag with false bottom removed for my next batch.

My efficiency improved quite a bit when I moved from single infusions to a three-step mash schedule (I have yet to play around with decoctions).  Have you tried playing around with your mash schedule to see how it affects your efficiency?

Offline gman23

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3518
    • View Profile
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2017, 09:10:41 PM »
I always batch-sparge and consistently get 75-77% extract efficiency.  My method is to simply drain the sweet wort from the grains as completely as possible, and set the wort aside in the boil kettle for safe-keeping.  I leave all the spent grains in the mash tun and simply pour all of my sparge water (heated to 170) into the mash tun, and let the grains steep in the sparge water for 10 minutes (if you've calculated your mash:sparge water right, you should have enough sparge water to just barely cover your grains during the steep).  Then I drain all the water off the grains, add those runnings to the wort already in the boil kettle, and get to boilin'...

This is pretty much my process exactly other than I use warmer sparge water. Efficiency has always been an issue for me and I average about 70% brewhouse efficiency although I tend to swing between 66-74. I have recently started remilling my grains at home to the point of stuck sparge and have not noticed any difference. I have a 10 gallon round cooler with false bottom. I will be using a brew bag with false bottom removed for my next batch.

My efficiency improved quite a bit when I moved from single infusions to a three-step mash schedule (I have yet to play around with decoctions).  Have you tried playing around with your mash schedule to see how it affects your efficiency?

Don't really want to mess with multistep mashes in a plastic cooler. I think a lot of single infusion batch spargers get really high efficiency.
On Tap/Bottled: Hopfenbier, Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager,      

Fermenting: Imperial Porter
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19932
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2017, 09:25:19 PM »
A false bottom may affect your efficiency due to the dead space underneat it unless you account for it.  That's one reason I prefer a braid.  Another is that a braid seems to be less likely to have a stuck runoff.  In fact, in 511 batches, I've never had a stuck runoff using a braid.  Efficiency wise, assumkng I hit mid-high 90s on mash efficiency, my brewhouse efficiency will be anywhere from 82-85%.

BTW, the episode of the Brew Files that comes put a week from tomorrow is all about batch sparging.

I've had the exact problem with a braided hose.  Stuck just about everytime.  I bought a brew bag to put in the cooler and now I drain too fast!

The braid ALWAYS gives me issues.  100% of the time. 

But I'm mashing in a round 5 gallon cooler, so the geometry and weight of the grains maybe has something to do with it.

What kind of braid, Joe?  I've found the Lasco brand (part number 10-0121 or 10-0321) very reliable.  Still using the same one after nearly 20 years and 512 batches.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19932
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Mash efficiency- equipment
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2017, 09:26:47 PM »
Don't really want to mess with multistep mashes in a plastic cooler. I think a lot of single infusion batch spargers get really high efficiency.

83% today, AAMOF.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell