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11

The few techniques I use to speed things along are: Setup the night before. Start early - there is nothing worse than cleaning boil kettles and mash-tuns at midnight. If you need to pre-boil your water to remove chlorine and/or carbonates, do it the night before. Start heating the wort in your kettle as soon as you have a gallon or so collected, by the ...


6

Putting 10.5kg of grain in 11.5 litres of water will kill your efficiency, unfortunately: From Braukaiser: Traditional British style infusion mashes are with about 2-2.5 l/kg (1 - 1.15 qt/lb) very thick and German style mashes are generally much thinner (3.5-5 l/kg / 1.75-2.5 qt/lb). Historically this is rooted in the fact that the latter needed to ...


5

In principle, brewhouse efficiency measures the yield of the entire process (how much beer you bottle) against the theoretical yield, while mash/lauter efficiency measures specifically the extract from mashing and lautering. However, typically brewhouse efficiency means efficiency into the fermentor. This is the most useful definition, since it takes into ...


5

I suspect the line about higher efficiency leading to off flavors came to be because there are certain situations during a mash where if you over-sparge and your pH drops too low, then you can extract tannins and thus get some off flavors. So what happens was that some guys were over-sparging, which WILL increase your efficiency, and were noticing the ...


5

Could be many things. The first thing I would do is separate your conversion efficiency from your lautering efficiency. That will narrow down the problem. The article at this link has some really great information on efficiency. It gets a little technical, but the chart in the Conversion Efficiency section is especially interesting. What it's saying ...


4

Let's look at the different steps, and see where the times goes, and how to make it shorter. I've found that overlapping steps when possible is the best way to save time. Setup If all your equipment is ready to go, this takes 10 minutes. I have a box of all my gadgets. So I have to grab the kettles, burner, etc., and I'm good to go. Keeping equipment in ...


4

Get to know your system Starting gravity is one measure that helps you produce consistent beers. Suppose you made this beer again with the same ingredients, using the same process. All other things being equal, you should hit the same OG. Ferment the two batches the same way and you reproduce the original beer. It is not necessarily an indicator that you ...


4

In the mash, starch is converted into sugar, which is further broken down to fermentable & unfermentable sugars. There are a lot of things going on in the mash. Like the question says, conversion is the process by which starch in the brewing grain is converted into sugar which can be used by yeast in fermentation. There are conflicting sources citing ...


4

I've done a few brew-in-a-bag sessions. That really shortens up your brewday. Read up about the other Aussie brewing sensation: no-chill. A typical BIAB session is about four hours, cut down from a normal all-grain brewday of 7-8. Do the no-chill method and you cut another half an hour off.


4

65% is not bad. Most recipes only expect 70%, so you're not going to be that far off to begin with if you are getting 65%. I wouldn't do partial mash unless you want to. Use Beer Smith or BrewTarget and just adjust your recipe for your efficiency. Read up on how to calculate efficiency first. Understanding your volumes and gravities at each step will help ...


3

It is only since the advent of homebrewing software that brewhouse efficiency has also meant 'to the fermenter'. Before homebrewing got involved, brewhouse efficiency was only known as efficiency 'to the kettle'. There were two flavors, outlined in the bruakaiser article link in mdma's answer, but both involve 'to the kettle'. Also in the BrauKaiser ...


3

Yes there is a risk - with each successive sparge you increase the risk of extracting tannins, causing the beer to taste "puckering"/astringent (think sucking on a teabag.) Before doing extra sparges, should also be sure that the low extraction is because of your lautering efficiency and not because of mash efficiency, so do an iodine test for complete ...


3

There is an efficiency difference - while a lot of the starch in caramel malts have been converted, there is still some remaining that can be extracted in a mash, but not in a steep. Also, the mash is typically done for longer than a steep, plus a sparge, which extracts more sugars from the grain. 30% extraction for a steep seems on the low side - but let's ...


3

I have been doing mostly BIAB for my last three batches of beer. I got pretty good efficiency, about what I have gotten on a batch sparge. I do squeeze the bag and haven't bothered to try doing any sort of rinsing. As opposed to brewchez I find that doing BIAB does save time. No time setting up the mash tun or cleaning it. No time spent sparging. Go ...


3

I think you're on the mark. a minimum of 50ppm is considered beneficial, while some water sources have in excess of 250ppm with no problems, such as Burton (295ppm) and Vienna (250ppm) water. But since you want to reduce the amount of pH reduction, your plan to add only 50ppm in the mash and put the rest in the boil is a good one. Calcium plays a role in ...


3

I manually fly sparge. It consumes my attention, but shows that you do not need a sparge arm. My second-next equipment project will be a sparge arm (after a whirlpool chiller). Does a sparge arm improve lautering? Yes. If there were a quicker method that offered similar results the pro brewing community would have found it. How fancy? Not very. My plan ...


3

Don't worry too much about increasing your efficiency. The important thing is is have an accurate measure of it. Your first mash showed an efficiency of 65%, so go with that until you've done more brews and narrowed it down. I don't know much about all grain kits, but they must make some assumption about efficiency and include the corresponding amount of ...


3

Sure, it would change the color, but isn't the color already altered due to the increased density of the wort? By adding water, you'd be diluting the SRM back to what you originally expected. By having a higher extraction yield, you will suffer a slight loss in alpha acid isomerization (likely not all that noticeable with an 8%+/- efficiency difference). ...


2

Fly sparging is not necessarily more efficient than batch sparging. Grain bed channeling is not an issue in batch sparging. Crush is always the first place to look in efficiency issues. My mantra is "Crush til you're scared!". I average 85% efficiency. I never do a protein rest. I never do more than a single batch sparge. 99.9% of the time I do a ...


2

I have done both, and BIAB isn't any faster than batch sparging. The only difference is less equipment really. BIAB is all in one pot and not cooler or mashtun. If you put your first runnings in the kettle and start heating it the next runnings are ready to add long before it comes to a boil. You add them and you are in the same place as with the BIAB at ...


2

I'd recommend double-checking your hydrometer and thermometer for starters, just to make sure you don't have an equipment problem. Secondly, for my own setup, the crush of the grain is the #1 factor in my efficiency. When ordering online (which I rarely do) my efficiency drops like the gravity on a sour ale compared to my bad-ass local shop's crush. So you ...


2

The difference is so small, that I would NOT expect a change in efficiency. Efficiency with a bottom like that is more dependent upon how well your dip tube continues to pull wort off the bottom of the tun. If you are just using a tube connected to a bard on the false bottom then there should really be no noticeable change in efficiency with a false bottom ...


2

You could add enough DME to offset the lower than expected starting gravity. However, you run a couple of risks by doing so. Contamination. You'll want to boil the DME in a small amount of water to ensure any foreign organisms are dead. Cool it to room temperature before adding to the fermenter. Also, sanitize everything that comes in contact with the ...


1

Sodium hydroxide is lye - caustic soda, and has the same disadvantage as baking soda - leaving behind sodium anions, as well as being a strong base, so careful handling is required. Calcium hydroxide - pickling lye - is better suited, it's also a strong base and is used much in the food industry. (I live in Norway, and here it's used to prepare a fish meal ...


1

I don't think grain absorption varies according to mineral content, so that's not the cause of the problem. For the top up runnings, I would have done that as a 2nd batch sparge - add the extra 1.5 gallons, stir vigorously and leave for 30 mins. Simply running the liquor over the grains won't pick up much sugars unless you let it trickle slowly out over a ...


1

you say that you let the sparge water sit for 10 mins then drain. That's a fast batch sparge. In your situation, I'd do this: recirculate the mash: drain off a half a gallon or more and add carefully back to the mash. If you have a pump, continual recirculation is ideal. after adding the sparge liquor, stir so it's thoroughly mixed and recirc a little ...


1

Is the final volume of wort correct for the recipe? If your volume is high, your specific gravity will be correspondingly low. Similarly, if you're leaving a lot of wort behind in the mash tun or brew kettle, then your efficiency will suffer. In the end, it doesn't really matter what you're efficiency is. The important thing is to hit the same efficiency ...


1

Agree with everything on the great answer above, but isn't 1.25qt/lb a pretty thick mash? I'm off AG at the moment, trying to dial in some cool-side process issues, and never considered myself an expert, but I typically would shoot for 1.5-1.75qt/lb. I know on my first AG batch, I was off to about the extent you are and my Dubbel became a Belgian ...


1

Since you already have your wort, and know the volume and gravity, you don't need an accurate grain bill for that part, but just need to get the software to register 3.6 gallons of 1.034 wort. You can do it like this: create a new recipe and set your desired batch size. add 1 pound of base malt, e.g. pils malt. Click "gravity" and enter 1.034 as the ...


1

The way I did it was to duplicate the recipe, adjust the volumes until the sparge volume on the first is 0 and the mash volume on the second is close to 0, then fiddle with the efficiency settings on the two until the estimated OG matched my measured OG. I think it ends up around 58%/25% efficiency for the first/second batches. Example recipe link here. ...



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