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1st Mash (help With Efficeincy)

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locost

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Did me first mash (a Bavarian Weizen) on the weekend and all kinda went well.

Just a few glitches to report.

1. My liqour transfer process and mash tun (a 44l rubbermaid esky) absorbes a lot of heat. Every infusion missed its target temperature by several degrees. I bagan to doubt my ability to do the maths but once I'd got my strike water up to the desired temperatre and doughed in, the mash hit 65C exactly. So it aint me maths that's up the spout.

2. The first runnings were really slow, but I was using a ratio of 3kg wheat malt to 2.5kg pils malt and no rice hulls so what do I expect? The second glye (I was batch sparging) ran much more quickly.

3. I collected 34l of wort and that boiled down to 22l exactly which means I evaporated more than I expected and have a weizen that is now hopped to 25IBU's rather than the 20 I wanted (yeh I know i could have added some boiled water but I was concerned about diluting my lower than antcipated gravity).

4. The OG was 1.048 which according to Beermith gives me 63% efficiency, which was a little dissapointing!

So what do the exerienced AG'ers amongst you think accounts for the low extraction? I'm sure its not the crush, Dave at goliath crushed it for me and sent it through his Barley Crusher twice. My guess is that I lost efficiency through my inability to perform a decent mashout or sparge (neither of which got above 68oc), and somewhere in my second gyle, which seemed really thin.
 

chiller

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Hi,

You don't say what the kettle gravity was supposed to be, so if you can provide that I can have a look for you.

Your evapouration rate is far too high. I have an evap rate of 18 - 19% and loose about 6 litres over an hour.

You lost 12 [?] litres over the boil?

How long was your boil time?

PM me if you like with all the figures or contact me and you can email me directly with the recipe file and I will look at it for you.

I'll look at your equipment set up as well [in the programe]

Steve.

efficiency figures are not important as long as they are above about 60% and totally repeatable. You don't want wildly different figures each time you brew.
 

Jethro

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I found with batch sparging that if you keep each batch down to 5 litres and give the sparge water 5 to 10 minutes to absorb the sugars i get a better efficiency it takes more time but it seems to work for me Cheers B) Jethro
 

locost

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Good point Steve,

Here's the mising information:

1. Target gravity post boil 1.048 (ish)

2. Target post boil quantity 25l (I've got wide brimmed pots and no lids)
 

pint of lager

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Don't worry about efficiency for the first few brews. Next brew up the amount of grain. Also, use less wheat, brew simple recipes like pale ales untill you get your setup parameters worked out for your gear and techniques.

It is more important to try and nail expected start gravities, not high efficiencies. As you tune up everything, efficiency will increase. 65% for the first brew is fine.

After 5-10 brews, revisit efficiency.

Don't forget, efficiency is a measure of two things, the amount of extract from the grain and the amount lost in the brew system due to hops, dead space etc.

Every first time brewer should do an easy recipe, with a bit more grain, rather than launching into a multistep mash, high gravity stout/belgian.
 

Rubes

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Preheat the eskie with a kettle load of boiling water. Put the lid on and leave 5 - 10 mins while you are getting up to strike temp in the HLT. This made a big improvement to strike temperatures for me.
 

locost

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I've got to admit I did not want to try a wheat beer first but I promised a mate my first batch in return for making the kettles and wheatbeer was what he asked for.

Its possible I've misjudged just how much liquor i lost to dead spaces etc because I wasn't paying quite as much attention to the porcess as I should have (lesson #1, don't try to AG, host a BBQ, and drink until you've got a few batches under your belt); however, I would like to gain better efficiency because I used all the margin for error I built into what was my first bash at mashing
 

grunter

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locost
know just what you mean
my first AG was a belgian wheat 50- 50 wheat and barley
same efficiency about 60%
i also thought i was doing something wrong

guess it is just that we are on the bottom of the learning curve
 

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