Author Topic: Improving Efficiency  (Read 4139 times)

Offline srnoel

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Improving Efficiency
« on: March 11, 2011, 05:05:16 PM »
Alright just finished my first all-grain brew about an hour ago.  I undershot my gravity by about 10 points.  I was doing a 3 gallon batch of pale with a target gravity of 1.053, but I got 1.042.

Recipe was:

5.75 lbs of 2-row pale malt
0.5 lbs or crystal 60L

Batch sparged target at 153 for an hour, actual of 152.
Sparged with 180 degree water to get a grain bed temp of 168ish.

I did 1.5 qts per pound of grain.
Used an absorption rate of 0.12 gallons per pound.
Cooler dead space of 1 qt.
Used 3.5 gallons to do the initial hour mash (was supposed to 3.35 I think but I rounded up).
Then I sparged with 2 gallons, left about 2 qts or so in the mash tun.

I collected about 4 gallons in my kettle and did a 60min boil.
Hops:
.25 oz Magnum - 60min
.25 oz Perle      - 30min
1 oz Cascade   - 10min
.5 oz Cascade  - 0min

Chilled to 75 degrees in about 12min.
Lost about 1 qt to hops and crap in the bottom of the kettle.
Ended with about 3 gallons of wort, I didn't really measure it though.

My efficiency was 56% if I calculated correctly, which is terrible even thought it was my first AG.  What can I do to fix this for next time?

Offline gmac

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 05:16:15 PM »
Well, I can send you some of my 1.072.  You got too little, I got way too much. 

Offline srnoel

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 05:21:57 PM »
Haha, yeah I read that right before I posted mine.  Oh well, things seems to happen that way.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 05:22:39 PM »
Where did you get your grain crushed?  That's a possible source of efficiency loss.
Tom Schmidlin

Online chezteth

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 05:25:49 PM »
How fine the grain is crushed can have an effect on the efficiency.  If you mill your grain at your LHBS you may have to run it through a second time to be sure it is milled fine enough to get a better efficiency  The pH of the mash as well as the mashing time can also have an effect.  Increasing the mashing time to 90 minutes could help a bit although I'm not sure that it would increase your efficiency more than a few points.  Hope this helps.

Happy Brewing,
Brandon

Offline srnoel

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 05:26:38 PM »
I got it crushed at the LHBS yesterday.  The crush looked great like a lot of pictures I see and the owner helped me since it was my first time.  He seemed confident that it was a good.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 05:28:59 PM »
I presume you used a hydrometer to measure the gravity. If so, have you recently calibrated the hydrometer for accuracy?
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 05:30:05 PM »
I think Denny recommends getting equal amounts of water from each batch sparge, was that what you did?  I can't tell how much you collected from each.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline srnoel

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 05:32:05 PM »
Yes, the hydrometer was calibrated and I corrected for the temp during the readings.

I got about 2.5 gallons from the first sparge, and about 1.5 gallons from the second.  Neither are both super accurate measurements but are fairly close.


Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 05:33:32 PM »
Why did you leave 2 qts in the mash tun?  Is that dead space, or lack of room in the kettle?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline srnoel

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 05:35:03 PM »
Lack of room in the kettle, was worried if I collected to much more I was just setting myself up for a boil over.  I was doing this in a 5 gallon kettle.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 05:45:55 PM »
Did you measure your mash pH or do an iodine test?
Ron Price

Offline srnoel

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 05:48:27 PM »
I kind of ignored my ph and water chemistry this first round.  The water I use is a bit hard but I made some solid extract and mini-mash batches with it, so I just went with it.

Offline tubercle

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 05:48:46 PM »
There are several way to improve your efficiency.

Starting with the most obvious, how long did you boil?




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Offline srnoel

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Re: Improving Efficiency
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2011, 05:51:33 PM »
Just the plain 60min boil.  I thought about going longer but then I'd have less beer!  :D

Can you boil longer say 90min, and then top up in the end to raise the gravity, that doesn't make any sense in my head at all.  But I already am relaxing with a homebrew so I could be compromised.