Another Efficiency Question

Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:56 pm

I was wondering how many people double grind their grain. I hear denny conn mention that he does this. I just tried my first batch sparged beer and only got 56% efficiency, I wanted to cry. My fly sparging efficiencies are not a whole lot better though. I have my grain crushed at my local homebrew shop, and I wonder if thier mill is not crushing fine enough for me. Just wondered how many people out their are having this problem.
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boise_brewer
 
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Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:40 am

I usually 1.5 grind my grain - if that makes sense. I grind it all up the first pass, then run half of it through the mill again. I am usually in the 70 percent efficiency range batch sparging.
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calvey
 
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Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:32 am

There are a lot of other factors that could be affecting your efficiency. Don't be to quick to blame it on your grist grind. More info on your mashing process would help us help you troubleshoot.
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rich
 
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Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:48 am

rich wrote:There are a lot of other factors that could be affecting your efficiency. Don't be to quick to blame it on your grist grind. More info on your mashing process would help us help you troubleshoot.


There are indeed some homebrew stores with mills that produce an awful crush. I went to one of those once and got a very poor efficieny on my mash. If you have conversion in your mash (negative iodine test) and are properly batch sparging, I'd blame the crush for low efficiency.

A good grush leaves very few grains unboken. The majority of the grains needs to be boken whith most of the endosperm exposed or fallen out.

I also assume that we are talking of the same deinition for efficiency here: % achieved extract of the maximum extract that the malt can yield. This is what Promash/Beersmith are using.
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Kaiser
 
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Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:16 pm

My Mash was straightforward 1.2 quarts / 1 pound grain. I mashed at 154f for one hour. I did not do a iodine test but in the past I have, and have never had a problem with conversion. I batch sparged the way Denny suggested on the brewcast. I am thinking the crush is the problem more and more. I see almost nothing that looks like flour. I do see a lot of hard balls of malt, it is much more like gravel with husks inbetween than flour with husks inbetween. I think next time i will have a double grind done. BTW, thank god for promash, as soon as i realized what my OG was gonna be, I was able to play with the hop amounts so that my BU:GU was still pretty much the same. I would never have been able to do all of those calculations by hand.
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boise_brewer
 
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Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:21 am

boise_brewer wrote:I see almost nothing that looks like flour. I do see a lot of hard balls of malt, it is much more like gravel with husks inbetween than flour with husks inbetween.


If this "gravel" is exposed and out of the husk then the crush is okay. You don't necessarily want flour. It depends on your system. In mine a double crush would cause a stuck mash. As long as the husks are cracked and the malt is exposed then your crush is fine. You may eek out a few more points by pulverizing it, as long as you don't get a stuck mash.

You mentioned that your efficiency from fly-sparging was not much better. What do you usually get? You WILL have a drop off in efficiency from fly to batch. Also, what was your specific batch procedure, sparge water temp. etc? What si your Mash Tun Design?

Rob
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Speyedr
 
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Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:36 am

Speyedr wrote:You don't necessarily want flour.


I have to second that. Though flour will give you better efficiency (fine grind extract numbers from the malt analysis are always higher than coarse grind numbers), it can lead to a stuck mash. The flour particles cannot completely be converted into soluble extract and will cause a very fine dust that clogs the filter bed formed by the husks. I found that out the hard way last weekend. But it enabled me to get better than avarage efficiency, which was important for me to get to the OG I wanted with my system.

For a regular gravity beer I'm fine with a decent efficiency if this prevents my mash from getting stuck. Which generally doesn't happen for all barley beers.

Kai
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Kaiser
 
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Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:34 pm

Thanks for all the help so far. I am starting to get scared though that the crush is not my problem. When fly sparging, I was getting efficiency in the low 60's. Once I hit 70%, but that was kind of strange. My mash tun is a 5 gallon gott style cooler with phils phalse bottom. it is like a big plastic disk with holes in it. I mashed around 155, I drained it and then added about 3 gallons of 190 degree water to the cooler. I stirred it up a little and then drained it out.

Here's another question, Does the ph of the mash affect efficiency significantley. I have never measured mine and wonder if that may be a part of the problem. Thanks
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boise_brewer
 
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