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Old 06-15-2012, 06:23 AM   #661
Jason F.
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Originally Posted by Dansrc51 View Post

Anybody have secrets to mash efficiency? I'm beginning to think it has to do a lot with the grain crush.

What are you hitting now for efficiency and do you have your own mill? There is a method some of the guys in my local brew club are experimenting with and having some great results. They are misting the grain before crush with a few ounces of water in a spray bottle. They mist it down and let it sit about 3 to 5 minutes to soak in slightly. Then they crush. It cuts down on the dust and the husks do not shred as bad. They are able to dial the rollers of the mill for a smaller or finer crush which helps them hit efficiencies in the mid to high 80's.

I have not tried it yet but I seem to not have any efficiency problems to worry about. I just run a normal crush on my mill and normally hit 76% to 78% on my system.

I can say if your mashtun is not well setup you can get a stuck mash fairly easily with a crush that is fine. Buddy of mine just had that happen when he crushed is grain nearly to a flour. Took him two hours of stirring and straining to get the wort out of the mashtun and even after that it was very cloudy in the boil kettle. He is going to have a hell of a time clearing that beer up after fermentation.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:53 AM   #662
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What's important to me is consistency from one brew to the next. Other than that I think homebrewers put way too emphasis on efficiency.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:54 AM   #663
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What's important to me is consistency from one brew to the next. Other than that I think homebrewers put way too much emphasis on efficiency.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:27 AM   #664
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Jim,
while I agree with you that consistency is important, efficiency I think is a large piece of that. Unless you are happy boiling way down to your OG target, your final ABV will be way off (I'm sure you know this already). My point is, in the interest of consistency, if I have varying degrees of mash efficiency, then I'm all over the place trying to get to my OG at flame out. I really hate adding sugar or worse, boiling an extra gallon to two out in order to hit my targets. Once volume changes to meet your target Gravity, you have to adjust your hop profiles, otherwise your beer will always taste different.

Long story short, I've been as high as 78 and as low as 56. We have our own mill and are dialing it in. We're new to all grain, so it is a learning curve for sure. We just set the mill to .39" and we are still fiddling with the mash tun. Our recent porter was way over our expected efficiency and we wound up at 73%. which is good, we want better efficiency, just want it all the time. better extraction is good...right?
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:01 PM   #665
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What's important to me is consistency from one brew to the next. Other than that I think homebrewers put way too much emphasis on efficiency.
I have not yet brewed the same beer twice....

Also, if you are trying to crush the piss outta your grain, you'd better be tossing in rice hulls.


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Old 06-16-2012, 06:17 PM   #666
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My system produces 75% efficiency every time I brew with any style or recipe I make up. When I speak of consistency that's what I refer to. I could care less about a few points one way or the next since I'm not a professional. An extra pound or two of malt is no biggie. What is important to me is knowing where I'm going to end up. I never have to guess, and that is what is important to me. Solving the issue of one brew being 75% and the next 58% is the first step IMHO.
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levain screwed with this post 06-16-2012 at 06:47 PM
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:17 AM   #667
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When it comes to grain efficiency there are several variables. The grain itself can be more efficient from one batch to another and from one style to another, ie, an English Pale malt might not be as efficient as an American grown two row. The European malts are not as "modified" as a lot of American malts. American macro brewers use highly modified malts to keep cost per barrel down but they are not as flavorful as unmodified malts. The macro's also mill their malts to talcom powder for the mash but they have the convenience of mechanical rakes that cut slots in the mash to get the sparge going again. We have to keep one eye on efficiency and one on the ability to sparge without getting stuck! I built my own malt mill and have it set at .056". This crushes the malt endosperm into at least 4 pieces and retains the husk. Using a RIMS system we are able to maintain 86 percent efficiency. Now there are two ways to measure efficiency. One is in the kettel before the boil or in the fermenter after the boil. Before the boil we are 75 percent and in the fermenter we're 86 percent. So we need to be clear on which method we all are using to compare. We fill our kettle to the same spot everytime and boil 90 minutes. We are very consistent using this method and we end up with 9.5 gallons after fermentation every time. We use to brew a recipe and boil it till we hit our marks but this screws up the time your flavor and aroma hops are being boiled. I recommend getting some brewing software and putting your recipe in there and make your beer as per recipe. Boil 90 minutes and quit. See what you're getting. If it's thinner or thicker then adjust your malt using your software to maintain your ratios, if you are using adjuncts. Get a consistent procedure and then modify your recipe to fit it. Also the time you mash and your mash temperatures will affect your efficiency. Higher temps will convert faster as Alpha amylese is only chopping the sugar molecules into long chains. Temps below 150F will be mostly Beta amylese and they will chop them into really short chains that are easier for the yeast to eat but this takes longer. Test for starches to make sure you're fully converted. If you're unsure whether or not you're converted then use the time and temp in your recipe, and if you are able to raise the temps by heat or by adding boiling water, get them into the 156 to 160 range for 20 minutes. This should finish off any leftovers and get you converted.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:53 PM   #668
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I always thought efficiency was measured pre-boil. Post boil has too many added variables, ie: boil off in hot/cold/dry/humid conditions.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:12 PM   #669
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We use ProMash software and it measures both ways. We never check gravity pre-boil since were more concerned with post boil. Like I was saying, boil 90 minutes, (or 60, whatever your recipe requires), and quit. Did you hit your target OG? If not, adjust your recipe for the next time. I'm just talking about being consistent, or trying to be anyway!
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:29 PM   #670
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We use ProMash software and it measures both ways. We never check gravity pre-boil since were more concerned with post boil. Like I was saying, boil 90 minutes, (or 60, whatever your recipe requires), and quit. Did you hit your target OG? If not, adjust your recipe for the next time. I'm just talking about being consistent, or trying to be anyway!
This is what I do. I find that its a lot more important that you can hit whatever gravity you're looking for consistently than worrying about a few points one way or the other.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:06 AM   #671
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Good starting recipe for chocolate milk stout then adjust to your taste. http://www.northernbrewer.com/docume...eMilkStout.pdf
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:52 PM   #672
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Originally Posted by levain View Post
What's important to me is consistency from one brew to the next. Other than that I think homebrewers put way too emphasis on efficiency.
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What's important to me is consistency from one brew to the next. Other than that I think homebrewers put way too much emphasis on efficiency.
And from one post to the next.

But I agree completely. Repeatability is the goal. I've twice tried to replicate a saison that I made about 5 years ago, to no avail. Essentially, that means the success of that first saison is attributable to luck -- to a convergence among factors that I was not controlling. I don't like that.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:56 PM   #673
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On a new topic, I got a chance to brew with this guy http://www.brewersunion.com/pub/index.php yesterday. He does cask only British style ales. We made a bitter on his 2 barrel (Imperial barrels of course) system. and drank pints (imperial pints ). good times, and learned a lot.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:11 PM   #674
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On a new topic, I got a chance to brew with this guy http://www.brewersunion.com/pub/index.php yesterday. He does cask only British style ales. We made a bitter on his 2 barrel (Imperial barrels of course) system. and drank pints (imperial pints ). good times, and learned a lot.
Nice! Cask ale is not out of the question at the homebrew level. Here's one of my casks venting

And, another through a cask widge.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:38 PM   #675
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On a new topic, I got a chance to brew with this guy http://www.brewersunion.com/pub/index.php yesterday. He does cask only British style ales. We made a bitter on his 2 barrel (Imperial barrels of course) system. and drank pints (imperial pints ). good times, and learned a lot.
It's about time Oakridge got on the map.
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