I know the subject of efficiency comes up a lot, but I have a few questions. I enjoy 70% efficiency on most brews. I would like to increase that some. During the next few months, I plan on brewing 3 beers around the same gravity to work on my efficiency.
I here there are three things I can easily do to increase efficiency: crush my grains a little smaller, eliminate dead space in the mashtun, and mash out and/or sparge (I batch sparge) with hotter water. Getting a finer crush is easy. But what do they mean when they say eliminate dead space? Are they referring to the space between the grain bed and the cooler lid? Or are they talking more about reducing wort losses in your system (I loose about a quart to a quart1/2)?
Lastly, I've always been confused about sparge water temps. Some people just say they sparge with a certain temperature of water. So is it OK to use one single temperature sparge water for all brews? Shouldn't I be worried about raising the grain bed to a certain temperature? And using one standard sparge water temp may not work every time?