Mash thickness versus efficiency

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Coldspace

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Thought I'd kick this discussion off as it's interested me from the start when I got into all grain brewing several years ago after 28 years of brewing beers .

As some prob know, I've pushed the limits of my 2 grainfathers to max capacity, and the beers are sensational according to my piss head mates/family :) , I double batch, ( what I call it anyway)by basically brewing high grav batches, 2 x 16 ltr cubes from each g/f cook up gives me 4 cubes from 2 units each time,
I use 8.6 to 9 kg max grain depending on receipe on each g/f and get always 80 minimum sometimes 82% efficiency using only 23 ltrs water, as 23 ltrs water to 9 kgs is the absolute max these units can carry. Who says you can't get good numbers with thick mashes..

I get 32 ltrs at 1.070 to 1.072 on regular batches now, which after I water down into my 50 ltr kegmenters I get 45-46 ltrs at around 1.049 - 1.050 or thereabouts , perfect for volume on home scale for standard strength pales and lagers etc.

But, my real success has been using grain milled through my fluted roller mill, better recirc ,better sparg, better effiencey etc. compared to my previous Chinese mill and even my shop milled grains from 3 well know suppliers my best effiencey from these brews was no higher than 75% from my notes of over 100 brews in the g/f units. Now I'm at 80+ I'm one happy camper.

I double my standard hop additions in the high grav boil, and treat my sub 5 mins additions into cube hops, I've pissed off the 60 min additions to scale to 40 mins and then after cube fill and seal, cool in my pool.

Now, there's no issue going thick mash guys, if you have a recirc single vessel unit like g/f, gluten, Robo , homemade etc , just get the right crush grain, and go for it. Effiencey might only suffer couple of points etc but the volume versus time makes up for it,
Good way to get some volume going on precious time on brew days on small back yard machines.

Cuppla tips, grain crush no 1, mash in at mash temp, say 66 is 66 no step ups from lower temps , mash for solid 60 mins, I usually go for 65-70.

And a great tip I got from an experienced fellow brewer Batz, mash out longer, I go for 1 hr, but have done over night mash outs only because of late arvo brew up, 1 to 2 hour mash outs at 78 or 8 hr ones have given me similar gravs. Great tip mate, gets another few grav points and better sparges plus the fact if on Saturday morning you got to do things just leave in mash out till the arvo...

Keen to hear any other tips from advanced brewers including hop additions in high grav worts,

Cheers and beers:)
 

MHB

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This is well worth reading Braukaiser, making good beer is a lot more complex than just extract efficiency.
thick.JPG
 

Coldspace

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Great article MHB, I agree ,

Interesting is the attenuation of the wort is the same in the experiments for a real thick mash compared to a more traditional thin mash.( I see this with my own experiments) The main diff was a lot lower drop in extract effiencey .i see this but it's not too bad, considering..

Yes my numbers are slightly lower going thick mash, when I do a batch with 4.5 kgs grain to say 16 - 18ltrs of strike I get best of 84 to 86 %

But running with 9kgs to 23 ltrs it's only dropping on average 3- 5 points. No biggy as the time saved in the backyard operation to get some good volume is really worth it.

Keen to find more information on the effects of hops in the boil of higher grav worts compared to more normal gravs. Especially aroma/flavour additions, although I get good results with cube hops.
 

pcmfisher

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How do you avoid initial boilovers when filling to like an inch from the top? Spray with water?
 
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