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What Efficiency Are You Getting

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Drewgong

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Gday fellas just after some advice to raise my efficiency I've only done 3 all grain brews. BIAB using a home made keggle
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I didn't measure the first cook. My second batch worked out at 54% efficiency after talking to my lhbs I sparged my second batch which got me up to 61%. mashing in the keggle with two yoga mats wrapped around it would drop 4-5 degrees over the hour. I made s mash tun today
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Is there any other common reasons for poor efficiency? My two brews were both ales heated water to 71 after mixing grain it was 68 after an hour it was 64.
hope this all makes sense I've had a few :)
 

MHB

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Most common are
Your Crush - If the grain is too coarse the water cant get in and the sugars cant get out (very roughly). When you have finished mashing, have a look through the grist, look for uncracked grains (pearls - pretty easy to spot) shouldn't be more than 1-2 in a large handful of grist. Look for dry lumps (dough balls), a sign of poor mixing and often too fine a crack, being dry means the water cant get in and do the job.
Temperature - If you aren't at the right temperature you will kill some enzymes if too hot and not activate some if too cool.
68oC is a pretty hot mash 65-67oC is more common at 68 you are likely to be harming your Beta Amylase.

Those dial thermometers really cant be trusted, I would recommend all brewers have one good glass lab thermometer you can trust, do go for a cheap piece of crap, spend the $15-20 for a good one.

If your crush and temperature are good, there are a few other things we could look at.
Don't know what batch size you are doing but if its single batches in a keggle and you put all the water in at the start, you should be getting around 75% or more efficiency. A few more details about your recipe and process would help.
Mark
 

Drewgong

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Cheers mate , Single batch the one that was 54% I added 32 liters of water into the keggle held the bag open with clips slowly added 5kg of red x grain 500g dark crystal 500g of carapils stirring constantly as I was adding it . As I said before water was 71 when I started adding grain it was 68 when I tightened draw string on bag put lid on and wrapped it in yoga mats. as for the size of cracked grain I have no idea I bought it pre cracked from country brewer east maitland.
og was 1049 pitched two packets of safale us05 straight into the fermenter at 19 degrees final gravity was 1014
 

Drewgong

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My next brew was 4kg Maris otter 500g victory 500g torrified added 20 litres of water got to 71 added grain one hour later sparged 9 litres of water at 70 slowly through the bag og was 1041 pitched one bag us05 at 19 degrees final gravity came to 1012
 

MHB

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Cheers mate , Single batch the one that was 54% I added 32 liters of water into the keggle held the bag open with clips slowly added 5kg of red x grain 500g dark crystal 500g of carapils stirring constantly as I was adding it . As I said before water was 71 when I started adding grain it was 68 when I tightened draw string on bag put lid on and wrapped it in yoga mats. as for the size of cracked grain I have no idea I bought it pre cracked from country brewer east maitland.
og was 1049 pitched two packets of safale us05 straight into the fermenter at 19 degrees final gravity was 1014
Try Brewman he is our local, has better prices and a way better mill, you can choose your crush (select fine for BIAB) and there are hundreds of recipes on BrewBuilder.
You will need to register, but at least your malt will be fresh, properly cracked and packed in a barrier bag.
Mark
 

Drewgong

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yeah I signed up for brewman I'm gunna go out and see him soon
 

MHB

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Just remember he's mostly an online store, if you want to see him give him a call make sure he knows your coming.
Mark
 

Drewgong

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Just remember he's mostly an online store, if you want to see him give him a call make sure he knows your coming.
Mark
yeah I've been talking to him via PM
 

Dark Maiden

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I have the same problem with my BIAB setup that I can only get 55% Brewing Efficiency. I have changed the grain crush, and that had little affect for my system. I am at a loss on how to increase it now. Looks like we have a similar keggle setup though. So keen to see how you go.
 

mr_wibble

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Please elaborate on how you are calculating efficiency.

Crossing the Is and dotting the Ts.
Assuming all the above is correct, you could try stirring the mash a lot. Many modern malts will convert in less than 15 minutes, don't worry too much about losing heat.

FWIW recipes in magazines like "Brew Your Own" are calibrated to 65% efficiency. So don't be too hung-up about it.
 
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Danscraftbeer

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I never get less than 76% BHE. At most 86% for a dry pale. Esky mash, simple infusion style. Multiple batch sparging gets a larger pre boil so a longer boil. ~90 minutes etc.
You have your esky mash tun. Use a false bottom or a bazooka screen on the outflow instead of BIAB. I know people swear by BIAB but its common to get lower efficiencies. I recommend the esky mash technique as a much better way to go. Look up Vorlauf technique to get clear wort run off.
$0.02
 

Drewgong

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I have the same problem with my BIAB setup that I can only get 55% Brewing Efficiency. I have changed the grain crush, and that had little affect for my system. I am at a loss on how to increase it now. Looks like we have a similar keggle setup though. So keen to see how you go.
Yeah mate I've just finished my 5th all grain cook and got 69% I'm happy there 70% was my goal all along . To reach this I had to get a mash tun
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With this tun I only drop 1/2 a degree over the hour after I drain it I fill it back up with sparge water 3 degrees hotter than mash temp hold for ten mins then into the kettle
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