Increasing efficiency....

Reads 908 • Replies 11 • Started Friday, January 3, 2014 8:26:33 PM CT

The forums you're viewing are the static, archived version. You won't be able to post or reply here.
Our new, modern forums are here:
RateBeer Forums

Thread Frozen
 
stumpyiliz
beers 220 º places 7 º 20:26 Fri 1/3/2014

Did a step mash last night because my all grain big abv beer batches have been 66-68%.



Attained 75% for the first time but it added another hour to my 5 hour schedule for brewing big abv beers.



I feel I could have ground the malt finer, sparged/lautered another 15 minutes on top of the 40 I made it happen in, and I do to know what else.



Any tips for the home brewing nut for increasing efficiency would be greatly appreciated



Cheers

 
boisebeerguy
beers 237 º places 16 º 21:14 Fri 1/3/2014

Try fly sparging till you’re at a gravity reading of about 1.010
coming out of your mash

 
DA
places 1 º 21:47 Fri 1/3/2014

How big of ABV beers are you getting 67% on?

I’d definitely recommend checking the mill setting. I’m not sure what my Barleycrusher is set at, but I get around 72-75% efficiency with batch sparging even when doing up to 9% beers.

What’s your mash tun setup?

 
stumpyiliz
beers 220 º places 7 º 21:50 Fri 1/3/2014

Ya for that to happen I would need a vessel twice as big as I have to boil in and then would have to boil longer than 90 minutes. I have never had a stuck runoff, possibly grind finer?

 
JulienHuxley
beers 5933 º places 416 º 00:14 Sat 1/4/2014

67% mash efficiency? I usually get around 70% brewhouse efficiency and somewhere around 85% mash efficiency with a coleman cooler and batch sparging. I have a copper manifold, not sure if that makes a difference, I use a relatively fine grind, mash for about 40-45 minutes, mash out (bring the whole thing up to about 165 to dissolve more sugar). When doing big beers, I’ll often cut my sparge water into two batch sparges, that seems to help as well.

 
stumpyiliz
beers 220 º places 7 º 08:57 Sat 1/4/2014

My setup runs as follows. Lauter vessel 8.5 gal pot, mash vessel 10 gal pot, boil vessel 10 gal pot. Can’t run more than 25 lbs of grain

I recently have started step mashing vs single mash infusions it takes longer but works better

 
Cobra
beers 1100 º places 24 º 09:14 Sat 1/4/2014

My advice: grind until you’re scared.

Do you stir the mash? What is your water/grain ratio?

 
bitbucket
beers 2166 º places 63 º 18:55 Sat 1/4/2014

Originally posted by Cobra
My advice: grind until you’re scared.

What if I’m scared before I start?

 
Unclerudy
beers 30 º places 3 º 19:03 Sat 1/4/2014

Use 5.2

 
bitbucket
beers 2166 º places 63 º 19:09 Sat 1/4/2014

Originally posted by stumpyiliz
Did a step mash last night because my all grain big abv beer batches have been 66-68%.



Attained 75% for the first time but it added another hour to my 5 hour schedule for brewing big abv beers.



I feel I could have ground the malt finer, sparged/lautered another 15 minutes on top of the 40 I made it happen in, and I do to know what else.



Any tips for the home brewing nut for increasing efficiency would be greatly appreciated



Cheers

There are a ton of things that affect efficiency, including but not limited to mash tun geometry, mash pH, mash temps, sparge time, sparge temps, grist size. etc.

A process engineer will tell you that your process is out of control: you have too much variation between batches. I don’t think anyone can point to something specific without more data from you: Have you brewed this exact beer before? Have you noticed any correlation between bigger vs smaller (lets say 9% ABV vs 5% ABV) beers? If the malt bed gets too deep it encourages channeling, which is one reason why it’s harder to hit high efficiency in higher alcohol beers.

It’s good that you only messed with one variable at a time (step vs single infusion) but it would be interesting to see if you can duplicate your results on another batch of some other beer. The swing from 66% to 75% seems too large to be explained by a step mash.

Have you looked a batch sparge vs a fly sparge? IMHO, the batch is less susceptible to per-batch variations.

Homebrew Shops - A collection of homebrew shops and supply houses submitted by RateBeer readers

Homebrewing Articles - RateBeer Magazine's homebrewing department

Homebrew Recipes - Experiment, share and post your own homebrew recipes

Until we can make beer come out of your monitor...

Beer2Buds
Send Beer Over The Net

Free signup now. Even out a trade, keep good vibes alive, say hi with a beer