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Author Topic: Variable mash efficiency  (Read 5223 times)

Offline Robert

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2019, 08:49:11 pm »
One thing to keep in mind is that priorities may be different for homebrewers and commercial brewers, when it comes to efficiency.  Both will want to have predictability.  But maximizing efficiency is of greater importance to commercial brewers who are trying to run a profitable business.   Homebrewers may find it desirable to sacrifice a bit of efficiency if it serves another goal, like getting clearer wort, or simply saving time.  We can be flexible in designing our process.

I believe I recall reading another reason for a coarser crush:  “... the finer the crush, the greater the LOX activity and oxidation.  Like everything in brewing, there's a trade off between efficiency and other things you might prioritize.  Crush is just another area of compromise.”


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Offline dIPA2

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2019, 09:05:07 pm »
Mind blown! Here I was simply happy to be making beer I truly enjoy, sometimes in favor of commercial examples. The paradox to me was that the craftbrewers slides showed a coarser crush to increase efficiency (my head scratcher). That's why I commented on potential differences at the commercial scale.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2019, 09:43:09 pm »
The presentation was for a commercial system with a Mash-lauter tun, I assume. I do remember the V wird Part, so think false bottom. Courser crush, to a point, is desirable. Some homebrewers use false bottoms, so this applies.

How about a braid, or a BIAB system? Finer crush is the way to go, according to many. The Lauterung Dynamics are different, flow is to a point for the braid. The bag let's the liquid out over it's area when pulled.

Big breweries with a mash filter use a hammer mill to make flour. The husks are discarded, as their filtering action is not needed. Efficiencies >100 % can be had, as the standard is the Congress mash which is not squeezed.

My $0.02 is optimize for your system. Your optimization may not work for someone else.


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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2019, 07:37:40 am »
I go with relative coarse grind of .040” for most beers that I make (recirculated mash with return valve just barely cracked open- 2 clicks on a butterfly valve), but I further filter with a 400 micron bag in the 20 gallon InfuSSion mash tun and watch the manometer to avoid compaction.

Run off your fly sparge slowly or batch sparge and don’t worry.  Find what works best for you, including your time and effort in the equation.  Then enjoy the hobby even more.
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Offline goose

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2019, 07:53:24 am »
I go with relative coarse grind of .040” for most beers that I make (recirculated mash with return valve just barely cracked open- 2 clicks on a butterfly valve), but I further filter with a 400 micron bag in the 20 gallon InfuSSion mash tun and watch the manometer to avoid compaction.

Run off your fly sparge slowly or batch sparge and don’t worry.  Find what works best for you, including your time and effort in the equation.  Then enjoy the hobby even more.

^^^^ This.

I also crush at 0.040" for all my beers.  As a hint to starting point, I run off the wort at a rate of about 5 minutes per gallon to avoid a stuck sparge.  I have a false bottom so do not use a bag for the grains.  I used to go 6 minutes per gallon but found that my extraction efficiency did not change when I went to 5 mins/gallon.  I could probably run off the wort even faster, but the slower run off keeps my efficiency up so I stay with this rate.  Yeah, it makes the brew day a bit longer but this works for me.  Of course, YMMV.
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Offline denny

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2019, 08:33:39 am »
I go with relative coarse grind of .040” for most beers that I make (recirculated mash with return valve just barely cracked open- 2 clicks on a butterfly valve), but I further filter with a 400 micron bag in the 20 gallon InfuSSion mash tun and watch the manometer to avoid compaction.

Run off your fly sparge slowly or batch sparge and don’t worry.  Find what works best for you, including your time and effort in the equation.  Then enjoy the hobby even more.

That last paragraph is the key.  I don't know what my mill gap is.  I onky know its as tight (small) as my mill will go.  It's been that way for nearly 20 years and I don't change it.  I get in the neighborhood of 80% efficiency and the beer doesn't taste ruined by oxidation.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dIPA2

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2019, 09:29:10 am »
Agreed. I certainly wasn't fly sparging long enough and given the efficiency of my first two batch sparges were 83% and 84%, I'm thrilled and plan to continue batch sparging. It seems this provides the consistency I was struggling with and shaved time from the brew day.

I'm a little more OCD than denny. I used a #14 sieve to get 55% retained which translated to a mill gap of .030". Using a blichmann false bottom I've not had a hint of a stuck sparge.

Offline denny

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2019, 09:55:17 am »
Agreed. I certainly wasn't fly sparging long enough and given the efficiency of my first two batch sparges were 83% and 84%, I'm thrilled and plan to continue batch sparging. It seems this provides the consistency I was struggling with and shaved time from the brew day.

I'm a little more OCD than denny. I used a #14 sieve to get 55% retained which translated to a mill gap of .030". Using a blichmann false bottom I've not had a hint of a stuck sparge.

Measurements are great .  Experience is better.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2019, 08:00:05 pm »
Agreed. I certainly wasn't fly sparging long enough and given the efficiency of my first two batch sparges were 83% and 84%, I'm thrilled and plan to continue batch sparging. It seems this provides the consistency I was struggling with and shaved time from the brew day.

I'm a little more OCD than denny. I used a #14 sieve to get 55% retained which translated to a mill gap of .030". Using a blichmann false bottom I've not had a hint of a stuck sparge.

Measurements are great .  Experience is better.
And when you combine both together, you have a home run.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2019, 08:11:44 pm »
Agreed. I certainly wasn't fly sparging long enough and given the efficiency of my first two batch sparges were 83% and 84%, I'm thrilled and plan to continue batch sparging. It seems this provides the consistency I was struggling with and shaved time from the brew day.

I'm a little more OCD than denny. I used a #14 sieve to get 55% retained which translated to a mill gap of .030". Using a blichmann false bottom I've not had a hint of a stuck sparge.

Measurements are great .  Experience is better.
And when you combine both together, you have a home run.
Yes.  How do you know what you've experienced if you haven't measured it?  Empirical understanding is derived from cumulative data.
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Offline denny

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #55 on: December 04, 2019, 08:15:21 am »
Agreed. I certainly wasn't fly sparging long enough and given the efficiency of my first two batch sparges were 83% and 84%, I'm thrilled and plan to continue batch sparging. It seems this provides the consistency I was struggling with and shaved time from the brew day.

I'm a little more OCD than denny. I used a #14 sieve to get 55% retained which translated to a mill gap of .030". Using a blichmann false bottom I've not had a hint of a stuck sparge.

Measurements are great .  Experience is better.
And when you combine both together, you have a home run.

Exactly!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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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 denny

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #56 on: December 04, 2019, 08:16:26 am »
Agreed. I certainly wasn't fly sparging long enough and given the efficiency of my first two batch sparges were 83% and 84%, I'm thrilled and plan to continue batch sparging. It seems this provides the consistency I was struggling with and shaved time from the brew day.

I'm a little more OCD than denny. I used a #14 sieve to get 55% retained which translated to a mill gap of .030". Using a blichmann false bottom I've not had a hint of a stuck sparge.

Measurements are great .  Experience is better.
And when you combine both together, you have a home run.
Yes.  How do you know what you've experienced if you haven't measured it?  Empirical understanding is derived from cumulative data.

Sorry if I implied it was a one or the other situation
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Variable mash efficiency
« Reply #57 on: December 04, 2019, 09:19:03 am »
Personal experience is a great teacher. Fortunately, we stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before us so accumulated knowledge doesn’t have to be relearned thru personal experience. It can be gained by the experience of others.

But that begs the question, what if someone has more experience than we do and comes to a different conclusion than we have?  In that case actual data helps.

The ‘IBU is a lie’ shtick is a great example. Based on a very specific calculation by someone with more experience that we routinely misuse, we say the beer’s IBU is X. We begin to associate X with a perceived bitterness. But when measured the actual is X+ or X-.  Our experience can be deceiving.

Maybe ‘I don’t taste oxidation’ is also inaccurate when measured. Maybe we’re all so used to a certain level of oxidation we don’t associate it with being ‘oxidized’. Like the IBU, our experience can be deceiving.

Which begs another question: how much O2 in our beer = ‘oxidized’?  Zero?  More than zero?


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