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Recirculation Causing A Near Doubling Of Efficiency?

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pk.sax

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This is doing my head in atm.

Facts:

- Second run of new rig, first one was a stuck mash (left overnight) and still got great efficiency, exceeded targets into fermenter and out.

- Used nearly 2 year old german malt (pils malt + wheat malt + vienna malt). Used 100g extra pilsner malt to compensate for age.

- Mashed between 62-65 since I have no insulation on it and no HEX atm.

- Recirculated throughout (OK, at some point the extension board safety cut it out since I had the HLT on the same board but I fixed that and continued recirculating.

- Rather clear wort out of the mash tun, almost as clear as finished beers of the kind Batz posts pics of!

- Added CaCl2 to HLT, direct, recirc'd HLT to get consistent strike and sparge temps. I used to just add the salts to mash. Ph strips indicated mash Ph of 5.0-5.4.

Result:

- Approx 40L (halfway between the last 'bump' in keggle wall and top) pre-boil.

- Mash tun ran so damn freely I drew out 3.5 ish jugs of second sparge runnings into the kettle. measured with refractometer, 1015 at start, 1012 at end of second runnings. Allowed drops to cool on refractometer lens. Didn't get enough of a last sample to measure with hydro but taste was as sweet as a weak cordial.

- I have potentially 1.5 times post-boil staring at me!, pre adding the last few jugs of wort to the kettle, kettle read 1025 ish. Batch size was 20L @ 75% (Brewmate).

Recipe:

Tony's LCBA
Blonde Ale

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L): 20.0
Total Grain (kg): 3.960
Total Hops (g): 66.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.046 (P): 11.4
Final Gravity (FG): 1.012 (P): 3.1
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.52 %
Colour (SRM): 3.3 (EBC): 6.5
Bitterness (IBU): 27.7 (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 75
Boil Time (Minutes): 60

Grain Bill
----------------
2.700 kg Pilsner (68.18%)
0.800 kg Vienna (20.2%)
0.230 kg Carapils (Dextrine) (5.81%)
0.230 kg Wheat Malt (5.81%)

Hop Bill
----------------
7.0 g B Saaz Leaf (8.1% Alpha) @ 45 Minutes (Boil) (0.4 g/L)
7.0 g Cascade Pellet (8.5% Alpha) @ 45 Minutes (Boil) (0.4 g/L)
11.0 g B Saaz Pellet (8.1% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil) (0.6 g/L)
11.0 g Cascade Pellet (8.5% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil) (0.6 g/L)
15.0 g B Saaz Pellet (8.1% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Aroma) (0.8 g/L)
15.0 g Cascade Pellet (8.5% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Aroma) (0.8 g/L)

Misc Bill
----------------
5.0 g Irish Moss @ 10 Minutes (Boil)

Single step Infusion at 65C for 90 Minutes.
Fermented at 17C with Safale US-05


Recipe Generated with BrewMate

Questions:

- My hopping is obviously screwed, I'm aiming to let it boil off a bit and then adjust hops to 1.5X what is in the recipe. I'll be chilling this wort.

- Is it really possible to over extract so much!!!?? Remember, last runnings were 1012, sparge was a mix of fly and batch sparge.

- Any suggestions what efficiency I should dial my next brew to to not get taken by surprise so much?


I was brewing this recipe again just to get a feel of my rig as I've brewed this one Stovetop BIAB a few times over with palatable results.

Small PS: I'm not gloating, I'm really getting annoyed with over extraction. I was planning to chuck this one in a cube to ferment and doa saison next weekend into the 30L fermenter. Now I'll have to put this in the drum fermenter and do the saison in the cube, PITA. Not to mention stuffing all my hop additions up.
Another small PS: Spiral burners rock! This is my 6th brew from the same bottle, roaring boils, including from strike through boil BIAB in keggle batches and direct heated MT batches, from 30 to 100 boil ramps etc. Its a really damn good burner!
 

black_labb

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I seem to have missed where you state how much you actually extracted and didn't find it in the second scan?
 

pk.sax

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pre-boil ~42ish L (lets say, I'm yet to graduate everything) @ about 1025-1023. @ Mash out temp, cooled drop on refractometer glass.

btw, teaches me to be happy about anything! Gas bottle finally ran out after a bit less than an hour of boiling the wort. Swapped it out, just as it was kicking everything up again, took this pic, no hop additions yet:

Before I turned it back on, the whole thing dropped crystal clear all by itself, I could see the tube connecting the FB to the out socket.
 

pk.sax

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Measured the trapped mash water:

Specific gravity: 1012 Enter the measured specific gravity (i.e. 1.052).
Temperature (C): 43 Enter the temperature at which the SG was measured.


Temperature (C): 15.6 The SG will be adjusted to this temperature.
The adjusted specific gravity: 1.020
 

kelbygreen

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is it just me confused by what you mean?? there is so much conflicting info in here I dunno where to start. Maybe I am pissed but still it confuses the hell out of me!

you say you doubled deficiency yet in the last post you say SG was 1.020 and it was meant to be 1.046??

you also say the recipe is for 20lts and you have 42lts pre boil??? now you only need 10% boil off not 50% if you are boiling down to 20lts (plus trub)

I dunno I keep re-reading this thinking I missed something and every time I read it I get more confused. Is it just me?
 

pk.sax

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OK, 1020 is just the SG of the wort trapped in the mash (aka last runnings).

42ish L is what I have post boil after all the sparge etc. As in, I'm way over volume. Way over! Trying to boil it down to something sensible.

10% boiloff would've meant maybe about 23L pre-boil? (20L + 1L kettle waste) X 110%.
I've got 42ish L of 1025 ish wort. If I gave it a 270 min boil, that'd give me about 23L of target gravity wort.

Well, this is assuming 1025 was correct (from the refractometer,
I know I've measured it on that before and it doesn't neccesarily ATC so that was probably more and the vol too, 42 is conservative eyeballing.

My real concern is, I need some help to dial in recipes to a roughly right % so I can manage volumes and sparge water etc better.

PS: Just to explain, my biggest problem so far all along has been managing volume.
 

nala

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This is doing my head in atm.

Facts:

- Second run of new rig, first one was a stuck mash (left overnight) and still got great efficiency, exceeded targets into fermenter and out.

- Used nearly 2 year old german malt (pils malt + wheat malt + vienna malt). Used 100g extra pilsner malt to compensate for age.

- Mashed between 62-65 since I have no insulation on it and no HEX atm.

- Recirculated throughout (OK, at some point the extension board safety cut it out since I had the HLT on the same board but I fixed that and continued recirculating.

- Rather clear wort out of the mash tun, almost as clear as finished beers of the kind Batz posts pics of!

- Added CaCl2 to HLT, direct, recirc'd HLT to get consistent strike and sparge temps. I used to just add the salts to mash. Ph strips indicated mash Ph of 5.0-5.4.

Result:

- Approx 40L (halfway between the last 'bump' in keggle wall and top) pre-boil.

- Mash tun ran so damn freely I drew out 3.5 ish jugs of second sparge runnings into the kettle. measured with refractometer, 1015 at start, 1012 at end of second runnings. Allowed drops to cool on refractometer lens. Didn't get enough of a last sample to measure with hydro but taste was as sweet as a weak cordial.

- I have potentially 1.5 times post-boil staring at me!, pre adding the last few jugs of wort to the kettle, kettle read 1025 ish. Batch size was 20L @ 75% (Brewmate).

Recipe:

Tony's LCBA
Blonde Ale

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L): 20.0
Total Grain (kg): 3.960
Total Hops (g): 66.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.046 (P): 11.4
Final Gravity (FG): 1.012 (P): 3.1
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.52 %
Colour (SRM): 3.3 (EBC): 6.5
Bitterness (IBU): 27.7 (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 75
Boil Time (Minutes): 60

Grain Bill
----------------
2.700 kg Pilsner (68.18%)
0.800 kg Vienna (20.2%)
0.230 kg Carapils (Dextrine) (5.81%)
0.230 kg Wheat Malt (5.81%)

Hop Bill
----------------
7.0 g B Saaz Leaf (8.1% Alpha) @ 45 Minutes (Boil) (0.4 g/L)
7.0 g Cascade Pellet (8.5% Alpha) @ 45 Minutes (Boil) (0.4 g/L)
11.0 g B Saaz Pellet (8.1% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil) (0.6 g/L)
11.0 g Cascade Pellet (8.5% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil) (0.6 g/L)
15.0 g B Saaz Pellet (8.1% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Aroma) (0.8 g/L)
15.0 g Cascade Pellet (8.5% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Aroma) (0.8 g/L)

Misc Bill
----------------
5.0 g Irish Moss @ 10 Minutes (Boil)

Single step Infusion at 65C for 90 Minutes.
Fermented at 17C with Safale US-05


Recipe Generated with BrewMate

Questions:

- My hopping is obviously screwed, I'm aiming to let it boil off a bit and then adjust hops to 1.5X what is in the recipe. I'll be chilling this wort.

- Is it really possible to over extract so much!!!?? Remember, last runnings were 1012, sparge was a mix of fly and batch sparge.

- Any suggestions what efficiency I should dial my next brew to to not get taken by surprise so much?


I was brewing this recipe again just to get a feel of my rig as I've brewed this one Stovetop BIAB a few times over with palatable results.

Small PS: I'm not gloating, I'm really getting annoyed with over extraction. I was planning to chuck this one in a cube to ferment and doa saison next weekend into the 30L fermenter. Now I'll have to put this in the drum fermenter and do the saison in the cube, PITA. Not to mention stuffing all my hop additions up.
Another small PS: Spiral burners rock! This is my 6th brew from the same bottle, roaring boils, including from strike through boil BIAB in keggle batches and direct heated MT batches, from 30 to 100 boil ramps etc. Its a really damn good burner!
I have inputted your recipe into Brewmate......
Tony__s_LCPA.png

if you are using Brewmate to generate your recipe why are you not also following the brewday procedure ?
To get a batch size of 20 litres why are you sparging to get 40 ish litres of wort ?
Unless you are boiling off at the rate of 50% per hour you should only be using a preboil volume of around 26.5 litres.
The notion of efficiency is like a pissing contest ! The thing you should be aiming for is to brew to a recipe and achieve the OG - FG - IBU's for the style that you are brewing.
Bragging rights begin and end here.
 

pk.sax

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yea, that is the thing! I don't really care about efficiency except for getting volume/gravity right. Like I said, even at end of sparge, there was still so much sugar in there! All I want is to be able to plug that back into the software and calculate the right sparge etc... Not experienced enough to figure that out myself really. I did up it from 70% to 75% this time, but I'm getting higher, calculated volume ~3-3.5L extra. Suppose, I'll just up that into the software for the next one.

My question was how much change does recirculating a mash make to extraction. I need to somehow figure that in.
 

spudfarmerboy

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I'm confused.
Same here.
It sounds like he has continued sparging until the gravity was down to around 1.010, irrespective of the volume he had in the kettle.
When I fly sparge, I stop when I get to my pre boil volume, the gravity of the runnings are still around 1.025 or so.
 

kelbygreen

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not sure how you got almost double preboil gravity! But as you say a extended boil may help. once you reach your preboil SG (calculated by the software) I would add the bittering. Then the rest to follow (assuming your boil off is calculated correctly)

I mean I miss volumes by 1-4 lts but never have doubled the volume :S maybe you read software wrong? IE BS says double batch sparge with 21lts but that means you will split that into 2 lots so you batch sparge with 10.5lts each. I have linux and this was the case for me anyway,But I ignored that as my mash out was my first sparge and the rest was the batch sparge.

Its not a matter of how much recirc contributes its a matter of working out your system to what you want!!! and then work out your efficiency from that! So you have to work out where you went wrong and fix that first. Your first thing you want to work out is your gravities, if you go over or under you should be able to work out the efficiency off that then use it as a guide. You measure every step from strike water to infusions to sparge water then if you where accurate in the water additions the wort left in your kettle (less absorption) you should be able to work out your losses to the MT. Now you record this and then boil for 60 mins and measure the volume again (this might have to be adjusted as to the mash run off to heat expansion if your anal. but its usually 4% at boiling so 4lts in 100lts) then you have kettle losses (whats left in the kettle) so this has to be added onto the boil volume as its a loss aswell.

You may have to do a few brews I winged it for ages and always undershoot. Last brew I monitored everything and this brew I was -.5lts of final volume into cubes and 1 point off the gravity. To me thats bloody close in a 42lts into cubes :p
 

nala

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yea, that is the thing! I don't really care about efficiency except for getting volume/gravity right. Like I said, even at end of sparge, there was still so much sugar in there! All I want is to be able to plug that back into the software and calculate the right sparge etc... Not experienced enough to figure that out myself really. I did up it from 70% to 75% this time, but I'm getting higher, calculated volume ~3-3.5L extra. Suppose, I'll just up that into the software for the next one.

My question was how much change does recirculating a mash make to extraction. I need to somehow figure that in.
I don't want to be disrespectful to you or your question but......what the hell are you doing recirculating wort when you don't know what volumes you are working with ?
I have recirculated, BIAB'd and 3Vd and have not got the ability to brew to a level where I can say with certainty that I have accurate information to compare one with the other.
Why don't you start by calibrating your equipment.....find the volume of your vessels,
determine the dead space in each vessel, boil a quantity of water for an hour to determine your boil-off rate.
Use a simple recipe using a single grain and take your measurements from this.
Brewing to a decent standard is not particularly difficult but you have to know how to use the tools. I think that your problem is that you are trying to achieve high conversion rates and calling this efficiency. When you can brew a recipe and repeat it consistantly then I think you can then start to compare what you do versus the recirculation procedure.
 

bignath

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Same here.
It sounds like he has continued sparging until the gravity was down to around 1.010, irrespective of the volume he had in the kettle.
When I fly sparge, I stop when I get to my pre boil volume, the gravity of the runnings are still around 1.025 or so.
that's how i'm reading it too.

I've never fly'ed, but when i didn't quite have my system dialled in, and i was batch sparging, i'd overshoot the sparge water required, but stop transferring when i achieved my volume needed. No idea what my final runnings gravity was as i never measured it. Alright i may have measured it once to make sure it was above the magical 1010 number, but the was fucken years ago....

Nowadays if im using my 3v rig, i have it dialled in that the sparge water i've prepared for the recipe is correct for my preboil volume collection, and my efficiency seems to take of the rest.
 

pk.sax

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Same here.
It sounds like he has continued sparging until the gravity was down to around 1.010, irrespective of the volume he had in the kettle.
When I fly sparge, I stop when I get to my pre boil volume, the gravity of the runnings are still around 1.025 or so.
That helps... OK, so at least I know now that fly sparging the last running will still be pretty high, didn't know that, always thought the sparge calculators were programmed to just get it all out, within reason. Hmnnn. OK, will work from there and pay more attention at that point, next step, graduate the kettle or get a ruler to measure. Just didn't click in the middle of it, I kept sparging until I saw that drop to 1012 unadjusted. So it wasn't as big a jump as I thought, more like maybe an extra 5%.

anyone know how much things changed in their system on just recirculating or recircing with hex?

PS: OK, sorry about the rest of it, not trying to be difficult, I was reading up a few weeks ago about how recirculating helps get the starches out and the whole draining process works better too because of a good filter setup with the husks n all if the draining speed is right. I'm kind of forced to use a pump as I don't have a brew stand per se. Have had had 2 stuck mashes so was quite interested in figuring out how fast to drain to keep it from getting stuck. Eventual aim is to get it all to run as fast as possible so I can brew 2 batches in a brew day, just don't get the time to brew often enough. I do end up trying too many things at the same time though.
 

bignath

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That helps... OK, so at least I know now that fly sparging the last running will still be pretty high. Hmnnn. OK, will work from there and pay more attention at that point, next step, graduate the kettle or get a ruler to measure. Just didn't click in the middle of it, I kept sparging until I saw that drop to 1012 unadjusted. So it wasn't as big a jump as I thought, more like maybe an extra 5%.

anyone know how much things changed in their system on just recirculating or recircing with hex?
bugger all difference with either of my rigs, recirculating biab vs non recirculating 3v. I do give the mash a good stir with the 3v whilst transferring sparge water(s). Then let it settle, quick lauter, then open tap. Repeat for each sparge as required.

typically 80-83% efficiency at the end of the day into the fermenter.
 

kelbygreen

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ok practical with fly sparging it goes like this! you sprage till the volume is reached or you reach 1.010 in the run off which ever comes first. As you realised if you sparge to 1.010 then you may have double the volume. Mine is usually 1.020 or higher when fly sparging I worried about the 1.010 rule for ages but realised I never get close to it anyway (as I infuse my mash) if you have herms or rims with 2.5lt/kg then you may reach the 1.010 SG and stop then and top the kettle upto pre boil volume. Otherwise you stop at your volume and work from there.
 

Muscovy_333

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That helps... OK, so at least I know now that fly sparging the last running will still be pretty high. Hmnnn. OK, will work from there and pay more attention at that point, next step, graduate the kettle or get a ruler to measure. Just didn't click in the middle of it, I kept sparging until I saw that drop to 1012 unadjusted. So it wasn't as big a jump as I thought, more like maybe an extra 5%.

anyone know how much things changed in their system on just recirculating or recircing with hex?

My efficiency dropped slightly,
But i am producing better quality and far brighter beer without the use of finings.

I have calibrated my mash paddle to keep a handle on volumes. I calibrated it with boiling water before i ran my system so that i had an idea.

It is a bit rough around the gills but works a treat.

Go with your software recomendations for sparge water based on your grain bill, check your final volume and gravity after sparging before you make any more decisions to add more water, despite what your equipment tells you.

Efficiency smifiency.
 

nala

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That helps... OK, so at least I know now that fly sparging the last running will still be pretty high. Hmnnn. OK, will work from there and pay more attention at that point, next step, graduate the kettle or get a ruler to measure. Just didn't click in the middle of it, I kept sparging until I saw that drop to 1012 unadjusted. So it wasn't as big a jump as I thought, more like maybe an extra 5%.

anyone know how much things changed in their system on just recirculating or recircing with hex?
Are you reading the replies to your question......or taking the piss.
If someone gave you an answer to recirculating how will this help you ?
You are so far away from achieving anything measurable no answer is going to help you.
You have not described your brewing method, you have not described how you are recirculating the wort. I have come to the conclusion that you are describing sparging and not recirculating !
To get 40 litres of wort is not an achievement, a quarter of this will be water !
 

pk.sax

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Thanks, would be watching that instead of what I was.

Kind of why I try to do 20L into fermenter so I can kind of watch the volume in kettle at the halfway line... Well, I guess I'm having a very hoppy bright ale this time, lol. At least I chilled it instead of no-chill :p

Appreciate the pointers, and apologies again for the long winded OP.
 

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