Author Topic: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?  (Read 1726 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2017, 03:29:10 PM »
Boil, probably last ten minutes or so

Offline 69franx

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Re: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2017, 06:47:55 PM »
+1 to what Jim said
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Offline Pricelessbrewing

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Re: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2017, 06:16:55 PM »
Honeys aromatics suffer during a boil. I would add it as last as possible.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2017, 12:10:45 AM »
Yes to adding as last as possible. I'd turn off the flame and stir in the honey.

Also, although I've never used honey malt I am Certain it is not as ferment able by weight as honey. Big difference there even for such small volumes. Or mate more so in the small volume.


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2017, 12:51:56 AM »
Or in the fermenter about day 4 for that matter. Honey is fairly bug free. By day 4 your yeast ought to have control

Offline PDY

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Re: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2017, 07:13:23 PM »
Appreciate all these tips, I brewed again today following them and nailed both the pre and post-boil SG, exactly on point.

So thanks!

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2017, 07:22:00 PM »
Nice! Good job.

Offline stpug

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Re: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2017, 12:06:35 AM »
Or in the fermenter about day 4 for that matter. Honey is fairly bug free. By day 4 your yeast ought to have control

Just to expand on this a little bit:

Pasteurized honey bought in a sealed container at a grocery store is pretty "clean" in terms of microbes, and can probably be added at any point (including when fermentation is slowing).  Unfortunately, some of the best aromatic compounds have already been lost in this form of honey due to the processing.

Raw honey, on the other hand, is a cesspool of microbes, yeast, bacteria, bug parts, and bug poop - but that's why it's so good for you.  This form keeps all of it's nuance contained within it's syrupy stucture, but some of those bits are highly volatile and easily lost with high temperatures and fermentation.

If I was adding to a fermenter, I would definitely use some form of pasteurized honey since that's your only form of microbe control in the honey (and, in turn, your fermenter). 

If I wanted to use raw honey then I would just ensure that I added it at a point after the boil that allowed for a quick pasteurization (say at ~165°F) but minimized the volatilization of it's aromatic compounds.  You could use raw late in the ferment but would want to get it up to pasteurization temperatures prior to adding to the fermenting beer (to ensure minimal microbial contamination).  This could be done in a water bath of sorts where the honey is in a container that is in a bath of hot water.  Monitoring the temperature of the honey you'd just aim to get it to about 165°F and then you could cool it back down.

Offline BrewWright

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Re: Can't get above 50% efficiency, what's going wrong?
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2017, 06:23:09 AM »
Most comments on here are about the sparging techniques,  I agree your grains are sucking up the sugars.   I operate about 72% efficiency but my setup is different. You need to use enough water to cover your grains,  let that soak for 60 min,  drain,  then use the remaining water necessary for your post boil quantity and rinse the grains again for 10-20 min at 160F  your malt has gained as much sugars as it can by its first 60 min, anything much longer is going to give off flavors,   it requires the rinse of fresh water to gain the needed missing percentage.  Fyi,  my 5 gallon finish batches start out around 7.5gal pre sparge. Depending on my grain weight,  for me it's about 1.8-1.9 gal per pound of grain. And your sparge Temps matter significantly if your trying for a certain mouth feel.   A medium body will be about 157-163, higher or lower gets you lighter or heavier body.   
Also,  calculate your temperatures to off set each other.   By this I mean if your brewing in your garage at 50° your grain temp will be about that unless you had a warm storage area,  you will have immediate heat transfer from hot water to warmish water when your temperature variance is 100° (grain 60, water 160, the Temps will. Meat somewhere in the middle,  about 130, that's to low) so do things like pre heat your cooler while your water heats up with hot hot tap water for 30 min,  add your water Temps at 180-185 for cold grains,  or try to keep your grains warmer.   Ultimately getting that water to malt in 60 min with minimum temperature fluctuations,  and a second rinse will increase your % greatly.   And cooling it faster.   Wart chiller dude,  wart chiller. You can diy from copper and hose fitting for less than $65.  Happy brewing.