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Re: Mash Efficiency Question

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  • brewstarr
    Earlier this year I discovered that my old faithful mash tun thermometer had drifted and was reading 5-6 degrees high once I got into the 150 degree range.
    Message 1 of 15 , Oct 1, 2006
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      Earlier this year I discovered that my old faithful mash tun
      thermometer had drifted and was reading 5-6 degrees high once I got
      into the 150 degree range. When I replaced it, I had a noticable
      increase in efficiency. I can now hit 75-80% on most batches. Part of
      this was the conversion temp for the style of beer. When I was brewing
      British or Scottish and shooting for 156 degrees, the conversion was
      still pretty good. When I wanted a very clean beer like the club
      Koelsch I was shooting for 145 and got a low conversion and cloudy result.

      I agree with Justin that Columbus city water is not bad as far as PH.
      It would probably be worth your while to pick up a charcoal water
      filter and take out the chlorine. Also if you run your water into and
      open vessel and let it stand over night most of the chlorine will
      evaporate off.

      Since I got my pump, I recirc well and I'm confident that I get most
      of the sugars off my grains. One thing I've noticed lately is that I
      tend to take advantage of the pump to transfer the sparge directly
      into the kettle and the draw is a bit too fast. A slower sparge will
      give you better efficiency. The good news is that I've pulled some
      really good small beers off second runnings.

      If you are not using a one vessel setup for mashing and boiling, let
      your mash set as you boil and taste the grain tea after an hour or so.
      Compare the taste to your last runnings during sparging. If the tea is
      much sweeter for more than a glass or so, you are leaving too much
      good stuff behind. Keep tweeking your technique.

      One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is how you are reading your
      gravity. If you are using a hydrometer to check the gravity into the
      kettle, make sure you are adjusting for temperature. Most hydrometers
      are calibrated for 60 degrees. Temperature and volume adjustments are
      necessary to get to brewhouse efficiency.

      Rick


      --- In SODZ@yahoogroups.com, "Justin Mulholland" <jmulholland@...> wrote:
      >
      > The fact that you've tried batch sparging with no change in efficiency
      > points to your method of draining the wort off of the grain. I have
      found
      > that batch sparging increases my efficiency; however, runoff speed
      is also
      > an important factor. If you're using a false bottom you can open
      her up and
      > sparge faster because you're draining the liquid across a larger surface
      > area. If you're using a manifold you have to slow the flow as the
      liquid is
      > draining from a concentrated area. If you're using a manifold and
      opening
      > the drain full on, chances are that your wort is channeling through
      pockets
      > in the grain bed to a concentrated area on the bottom of the lauter tun.
      > This would leave a lot of grain unrinsed and a lot of sugar in the
      mash tun.
      >
      > If you like batch sparging try stirring the mash between doses of water.
      > This helps to mix the sugar in the grain with the water that you
      add. Be
      > sure to recurculate before collecting the second running or you'll
      end up
      > with hazy wort full of tannins.
      >
      > I doubt that the drop in temp is effecting your mash unless you're
      starting
      > at 125 degrees, especially if you're using Briss. Briss converts faster
      > than you can the heat sparge water and it doesn't matter what temp
      you rest
      > at. British malts, on the other hand, take a lot longer to mash.
      I've had
      > Muntons take an hour or more to convert at 152 degrees. A simple
      fix is to
      > use the capacity that Anheuser Bush or Miller blessed you with when you
      > snaked the sanke keg and brew a larger batch. A 10 gallon batch
      will use
      > twice as much grain and water as a 5 gallon batch and will hold temp for
      > over an hour. Otherwise, a blanket or old coat does the trick nicely.
      >
      > Columbus is known for good brewing water so I doubt it's your PH.
      >
      > If all else fails dump a pound of "sugar in the raw" in the boil.
      Who needs
      > mash efficiency when you have adjuncts.
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: SODZ@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SODZ@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
      > Mike Heilman
      > Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 8:55 PM
      > To: SODZ@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [SODZ] Re: Mash Efficiency Question
      >
      >
      > The lower PH reportedly helps efficiency. Lighter grain bills will
      > need more PH help than grain bills with more roasted malts. I
      > typically will add about 1/2 tsp gypsum to my mash and then add about
      > 1/4 tsp to my Mash-out liquor. I then add about 1/2 tsp Phosphoric
      > acid (no sulfer) to my sparge water. Lower ph in the sparge water
      > reportedly reduces tannins from leaching into the wort.
      >
      > MashTun design can also impact efficiency, I found John Palmer's
      > reference very helpful:
      > http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-1.html
      >
      > -Mike
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
    • brewstarr
      Dan, Last I heard Frank is going. It s a tough conflict with Alefest. I m in my two month exile for youth coaching on Saturdays and there are two many great
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 1, 2006
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        Dan,

        Last I heard Frank is going. It's a tough conflict with Alefest. I'm
        in my two month exile for youth coaching on Saturdays and there are
        two many great events in September and October.

        Rick

        --- In SODZ@yahoogroups.com, degeorge@... wrote:
        >
        > Is anyone going to this event? I can not make it, but would appreciate
        > someone taking my beer(s) down.
        >
        > Dan George
        >
      • Jay Wince
        Hello all, Just back from Denver and I thought I d jump in on this one. One thing I did not see mentioned is mash thickness. If the mash is overly thick you
        Message 3 of 15 , Oct 1, 2006
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          Hello all,
            Just back from Denver and I thought I'd jump in on this one. One thing I did not see mentioned is mash thickness. If the mash is overly thick you will get lower conversion due to not enough media for the enzymes to move in. I'd recommend no lower than 1.3 - 1.5 qts of water per pound of grain. Just my two cents. Good luck figuring it out.
           
          Jay

          brewstarr <rdeshone@...> wrote:
          Earlier this year I discovered that my old faithful mash tun
          thermometer had drifted and was reading 5-6 degrees high once I got
          into the 150 degree range. When I replaced it, I had a noticable
          increase in efficiency. I can now hit 75-80% on most batches. Part of
          this was the conversion temp for the style of beer. When I was brewing
          British or Scottish and shooting for 156 degrees, the conversion was
          still pretty good. When I wanted a very clean beer like the club
          Koelsch I was shooting for 145 and got a low conversion and cloudy result.

          I agree with Justin that Columbus city water is not bad as far as PH.
          It would probably be worth your while to pick up a charcoal water
          filter and take out the chlorine. Also if you run your water into and
          open vessel and let it stand over night most of the chlorine will
          evaporate off.

          Since I got my pump, I recirc well and I'm confident that I get most
          of the sugars off my grains. One thing I've noticed lately is that I
          tend to take advantage of the pump to transfer the sparge directly
          into the kettle and the draw is a bit too fast. A slower sparge will
          give you better efficiency. The good news is that I've pulled some
          really good small beers off second runnings.

          If you are not using a one vessel setup for mashing and boiling, let
          your mash set as you boil and taste the grain tea after an hour or so.
          Compare the taste to your last runnings during sparging. If the tea is
          much sweeter for more than a glass or so, you are leaving too much
          good stuff behind. Keep tweeking your technique.

          One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is how you are reading your
          gravity. If you are using a hydrometer to check the gravity into the
          kettle, make sure you are adjusting for temperature. Most hydrometers
          are calibrated for 60 degrees. Temperature and volume adjustments are
          necessary to get to brewhouse efficiency.

          Rick

          --- In SODZ@yahoogroups. com, "Justin Mulholland" <jmulholland@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > The fact that you've tried batch sparging with no change in efficiency
          > points to your method of draining the wort off of the grain. I have
          found
          > that batch sparging increases my efficiency; however, runoff speed
          is also
          > an important factor. If you're using a false bottom you can open
          her up and
          > sparge faster because you're draining the liquid across a larger surface
          > area. If you're using a manifold you have to slow the flow as the
          liquid is
          > draining from a concentrated area. If you're using a manifold and
          opening
          > the drain full on, chances are that your wort is channeling through
          pockets
          > in the grain bed to a concentrated area on the bottom of the lauter tun.
          > This would leave a lot of grain unrinsed and a lot of sugar in the
          mash tun.
          >
          > If you like batch sparging try stirring the mash between doses of water.
          > This helps to mix the sugar in the grain with the water that you
          add. Be
          > sure to recurculate before collecting the second running or you'll
          end up
          > with hazy wort full of tannins.
          >
          > I doubt that the drop in temp is effecting your mash unless you're
          starting
          > at 125 degrees, especially if you're using Briss. Briss converts faster
          > than you can the heat sparge water and it doesn't matter what temp
          you rest
          > at. British malts, on the other hand, take a lot longer to mash.
          I've had
          > Muntons take an hour or more to convert at 152 degrees. A simple
          fix is to
          > use the capacity that Anheuser Bush or Miller blessed you with when you
          > snaked the sanke keg and brew a larger batch. A 10 gallon batch
          will use
          > twice as much grain and water as a 5 gallon batch and will hold temp for
          > over an hour. Otherwise, a blanket or old coat does the trick nicely.
          >
          > Columbus is known for good brewing water so I doubt it's your PH.
          >
          > If all else fails dump a pound of "sugar in the raw" in the boil.
          Who needs
          > mash efficiency when you have adjuncts.
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: SODZ@yahoogroups. com [mailto:SODZ@yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of
          > Mike Heilman
          > Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 8:55 PM
          > To: SODZ@yahoogroups. com
          > Subject: [SODZ] Re: Mash Efficiency Question
          >
          >
          > The lower PH reportedly helps efficiency. Lighter grain bills will
          > need more PH help than grain bills with more roasted malts. I
          > typically will add about 1/2 tsp gypsum to my mash and then add about
          > 1/4 tsp to my Mash-out liquor. I then add about 1/2 tsp Phosphoric
          > acid (no sulfer) to my sparge water. Lower ph in the sparge water
          > reportedly reduces tannins from leaching into the wort.
          >
          > MashTun design can also impact efficiency, I found John Palmer's
          > reference very helpful:
          > http://www.howtobre w.com/appendices /appendixD- 1.html
          >
          > -Mike
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >



          Get your own web address for just $1.99/1st yr. We'll help. Yahoo! Small Business.

        • fbarickm
          Dan I am going but only for the morning session. I am going to rush back to Columbus to support Ale Fest. I can take your beers if you get them to me. Frank
          Message 4 of 15 , Oct 2, 2006
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            Dan I am going but only for the morning session. I am going to rush
            back to Columbus to support Ale Fest. I can take your beers if you
            get them to me.

            Frank


            >
            > Is anyone going to this event? I can not make it, but would appreciate
            > someone taking my beer(s) down.
            >
            > Dan George
            >
          • doc@surfbest.net
            Even though the replies have pretty much covered the waterfront on mash efficiency, I ll add two more comments: one about Columbus City water and the other
            Message 5 of 15 , Oct 2, 2006
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              Even though the replies have pretty much covered the waterfront on
              mash efficiency, I'll add two more comments: one about Columbus City
              water and the other about grain.
              As mentioned, Columbus City water is excellent. No surprise,
              considering one of the largest water consumers in Columbus is AB. I
              find that a good boil for 10-15 minutes drives off all residuals of
              chlorine and other chemicals that might affect flavor. If I'm using
              all pale, or mostly pale with only a small amount of dark grain, then
              the pH is almost always perfect after mash in. If I have more dark
              grain in the mash, I adjust the water, usually with a small amount of
              chalk (CaCO3, 0.5 - 1 tsp/5gal) to my strike water.
              After always having good yields from grain, I recently brewed a batch
              and had very low efficiency. I was able to trace the problem back to
              a bad batch of grain. Maybe it was old, maybe it sat in a hot truck
              somewhere along the way, but I was able fix my problem by mixing it
              50:50 with some pale grain the I new was fresh and had good diastatic
              power.
              Good luck and good brewing,
              Herb

              >
              >
              >---- Original Message ----
              >From: rdeshone@...
              >To: SODZ@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: RE: [SODZ] Re: Mash Efficiency Question
              >Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2006 13:16:43 -0000
              >
              >>Earlier this year I discovered that my old faithful mash tun
              >>thermometer had drifted and was reading 5-6 degrees high once I got
              >>into the 150 degree range. When I replaced it, I had a noticable
              >>increase in efficiency. I can now hit 75-80% on most batches. Part
              >of
              >>this was the conversion temp for the style of beer. When I was
              >brewing
              >> British or Scottish and shooting for 156 degrees, the conversion
              >was
              >>still pretty good. When I wanted a very clean beer like the club
              >>Koelsch I was shooting for 145 and got a low conversion and cloudy
              >result.
              >>
              >>I agree with Justin that Columbus city water is not bad as far as
              >PH.
              >>It would probably be worth your while to pick up a charcoal water
              >>filter and take out the chlorine. Also if you run your water into
              >and
              >>open vessel and let it stand over night most of the chlorine will
              >>evaporate off.
              >>
              >>Since I got my pump, I recirc well and I'm confident that I get most
              >>of the sugars off my grains. One thing I've noticed lately is that I
              >>tend to take advantage of the pump to transfer the sparge directly
              >>into the kettle and the draw is a bit too fast. A slower sparge will
              >>give you better efficiency. The good news is that I've pulled some
              >>really good small beers off second runnings.
              >>
              >>If you are not using a one vessel setup for mashing and boiling, let
              >>your mash set as you boil and taste the grain tea after an hour or
              >so.
              >>Compare the taste to your last runnings during sparging. If the tea
              >is
              >>much sweeter for more than a glass or so, you are leaving too much
              >>good stuff behind. Keep tweeking your technique.
              >>
              >>One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is how you are reading your
              >>gravity. If you are using a hydrometer to check the gravity into the
              >>kettle, make sure you are adjusting for temperature. Most
              >hydrometers
              >>are calibrated for 60 degrees. Temperature and volume adjustments
              >are
              >>necessary to get to brewhouse efficiency.
              >>
              >>Rick
              >>
              >>
              >>--- In SODZ@yahoogroups.com, "Justin Mulholland" <jmulholland@...>
              >wrote:
              >>>
              >>> The fact that you've tried batch sparging with no change in
              >efficiency
              >>> points to your method of draining the wort off of the grain. I
              >have
              >>found
              >>> that batch sparging increases my efficiency; however, runoff speed
              >>is also
              >>> an important factor. If you're using a false bottom you can open
              >>her up and
              >>> sparge faster because you're draining the liquid across a larger
              >surface
              >>> area. If you're using a manifold you have to slow the flow as the
              >>liquid is
              >>> draining from a concentrated area. If you're using a manifold and
              >>opening
              >>> the drain full on, chances are that your wort is channeling
              >through
              >>pockets
              >>> in the grain bed to a concentrated area on the bottom of the
              >lauter tun.
              >>> This would leave a lot of grain unrinsed and a lot of sugar in the
              >>mash tun.
              >>>
              >>> If you like batch sparging try stirring the mash between doses of
              >water.
              >>> This helps to mix the sugar in the grain with the water that you
              >>add. Be
              >>> sure to recurculate before collecting the second running or you'll
              >>end up
              >>> with hazy wort full of tannins.
              >>>
              >>> I doubt that the drop in temp is effecting your mash unless you're
              >>starting
              >>> at 125 degrees, especially if you're using Briss. Briss converts
              >faster
              >>> than you can the heat sparge water and it doesn't matter what temp
              >>you rest
              >>> at. British malts, on the other hand, take a lot longer to mash.
              >>I've had
              >>> Muntons take an hour or more to convert at 152 degrees. A simple
              >>fix is to
              >>> use the capacity that Anheuser Bush or Miller blessed you with
              >when you
              >>> snaked the sanke keg and brew a larger batch. A 10 gallon batch
              >>will use
              >>> twice as much grain and water as a 5 gallon batch and will hold
              >temp for
              >>> over an hour. Otherwise, a blanket or old coat does the trick
              >nicely.
              >>>
              >>> Columbus is known for good brewing water so I doubt it's your PH.
              >>>
              >>> If all else fails dump a pound of "sugar in the raw" in the boil.
              >>Who needs
              >>> mash efficiency when you have adjuncts.
              >>>
              >>> -----Original Message-----
              >>> From: SODZ@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SODZ@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf
              >Of
              >>> Mike Heilman
              >>> Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 8:55 PM
              >>> To: SODZ@yahoogroups.com
              >>> Subject: [SODZ] Re: Mash Efficiency Question
              >>>
              >>>
              >>> The lower PH reportedly helps efficiency. Lighter grain bills
              >will
              >>> need more PH help than grain bills with more roasted malts. I
              >>> typically will add about 1/2 tsp gypsum to my mash and then add
              >about
              >>> 1/4 tsp to my Mash-out liquor. I then add about 1/2 tsp
              >Phosphoric
              >>> acid (no sulfer) to my sparge water. Lower ph in the sparge water
              >>> reportedly reduces tannins from leaching into the wort.
              >>>
              >>> MashTun design can also impact efficiency, I found John Palmer's
              >>> reference very helpful:
              >>> http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-1.html
              >>>
              >>> -Mike
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
              >>>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>Yahoo! Groups Links
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
            • degeorge@aep.com
              Jay and Lori Wince - I have harvested hop rhizomes for you. Are you coming Monday night to the meeting? Will you be in Columbus this weekend? Dan George
              Message 6 of 15 , Mar 16, 2007
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                Jay and Lori Wince - I have harvested hop rhizomes for you.  Are you coming Monday night to the meeting?  Will you be in Columbus this weekend?

                Dan George
              • Jay Wince
                Hey Dan, Lori is planning on being there but will email you if she cannot make it. We may be able to have Jeff H. or someone else pick them up for us that we
                Message 7 of 15 , Mar 16, 2007
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                  Hey Dan,
                    Lori is planning on being there but will email you if she cannot make it. We may be able to have Jeff H. or someone else pick them up for us that we run into often. She'll let you know and thanks for holding them for us. We appreciate it.
                   
                  Jay and Lori

                  degeorge@... wrote:

                  Jay and Lori Wince - I have harvested hop rhizomes for you.  Are you coming Monday night to the meeting?  Will you be in Columbus this weekend?

                  Dan George


                  We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
                  (and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.

                • Bill Velek
                  ... snip although a bit dated, this looks like a good thread to mention that I am a first time hop gardener, having just planted 12 rhizomes this spring. In
                  Message 8 of 15 , May 21, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    degeorge@... wrote:
                    >
                    > Jay and Lori Wince - I have harvested hop rhizomes for you.

                    snip

                    although a bit dated, this looks like a good thread to mention that I am
                    a first time hop gardener, having just planted 12 rhizomes this spring.
                    In researching for a couple of problems -- including 'Hop powdery
                    mildew' -- I noticed how hard it is to find other homebrewers who grow
                    their own hops, in order to share info -- so I formed a Yahoo Group
                    exclusively about growing hops, and want to extend a warm invitation to
                    all to visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Grow-Hops

                    Thanks.

                    Bill Velek
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BrewingEquipment Discuss 'equipment only'
                    with 580+ brewers, including many pros and many with Tiers/RIMS/HERMS.
                  • degeorge@aep.com
                    Vic, I m brewing at my house tomorrow morning with a work mate, and he has never done all-grain. Can we borrow you mash tun for a couple hours? If anybody
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jun 29, 2007
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                      Vic,
                      I'm brewing at my house tomorrow morning with a work mate, and he has never done all-grain.  Can we borrow you mash tun for a couple hours?  If anybody else wants to hang-out just give me a call.

                      Dan George

                      Cell Phone:  614-374-1168
                    • doc@surfbest.net
                      I have Cascade and Willamette. Both grow well so I have plenty. I ll trade or simply give rhizomes for free to good home. I d love to have some Saaz or English
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 5, 2008
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                        I have Cascade and Willamette. Both grow well so I have plenty. I'll
                        trade or simply give rhizomes for free to good home. I'd love to have
                        some Saaz or English Goldings if anyone has some. I'd also take a
                        rhizome of any other European Noble variety.
                        Thanks,
                        Herb
                        >
                        >
                        >---- Original Message ----
                        >From: degeorge@...
                        >To: SODZ@yahoogroups.com
                        >Subject: RE: [SODZ] Hop Rhizomes
                        >Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2008 14:25:50 -0500
                        >
                        >>I know its only Jan, but it's not to early to think about hop
                        >rhizomes,
                        >>and the trading there of. Morebeer.com has no hops and I'm scared.
                        >>Therefore I will grow more. I'm looking for East Kent Golding and
                        >>Sterling. I can swap Cascade, Chinook, or Saaz. Or I'll take them
                        >for
                        >>free.
                        >>
                        >>Dan George
                      • Bill Velek
                        ... Herb, our Grow-Hops group is planning a rhizome exchange in the next couple of months, and you re more than welcome to join us. I have Fuggles that did
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 8, 2008
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                          doc@... wrote:

                          > I have Cascade and Willamette. Both grow well so I have plenty. I'll
                          > trade or simply give rhizomes for free to good home. I'd love to have
                          > some Saaz or English Goldings if anyone has some. I'd also take a
                          > rhizome of any other European Noble variety.
                          > Thanks,
                          > Herb

                          Herb, our 'Grow-Hops' group is planning a rhizome exchange in the next
                          couple of months, and you're more than welcome to join us. I have
                          Fuggles that did very well last year, so I hope to be able to harvest a
                          good number of rhizomes. My Magnum and Centennial did not do well
                          enough for me to confidently tamper with their roots. If interested,
                          please visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Grow-Hops

                          Cheers.

                          Bill Velek - PERSONAL sites = www.velek.com & www.2plus2is4.com
                          Join 'Homebrewers' to Help Cure Disease: www.tinyurl.com/yjlnyv
                          690+ members Grow Hops, Barley or Herbs: www.tinyurl.com/3au2uv
                          800+ homebrewer group just for Equipment: www.tinyurl.com/axuol
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