Return to TheElectricBrewery.com
  [ Shop ]   [ Building ]   [ Using ]   [ Recipes ]   [ Testimonials ]   [ Gallery ]   [ FAQ ]   [ About Us ]   [ Contact Us ]   [ Newsletter ]

Log inLog in   RegisterRegister   User Control PanelUser Control Panel   Private MessagesPrivate Messages   MembershipClub Memberships   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   Photo AlbumsPhoto Albums   Forum FAQForum FAQ

Low efficiency issues

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer-friendly view    TheElectricBrewery.com Forum Index -> Using Your Brewery
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Tonto_ale_works



Joined: 21 Oct 2018
Posts: 11



PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:20 am    Post subject: Low efficiency issues Reply with quote


        Register to remove this ad. It's free!
So five brews in and been having low efficiency issues (mash average of 80%. Brewhouse ~75%. Not sure what the issue is. I have been noticing that my grain bed seems to "float" when I start to sparge. Floating has happened on all but 1 brew. I think this is causing the sparge water to channel as the water kind of pools to one side because the grain is floating and blovking even flow around the bed?

Also I'm not using my own mill. LHBS has their mill set to ~.029 . I know my gap setting needs to be highe (.045). Anyone else use a lower gap setting and how does it affect efficiency?

I think I need to figure out why my grain bed is floating and what I can do to prevent it.

Using Keggles and chugger pumps but everything else is the same.

Water PH levels 5.2 mash. 6.8 sparge. Sparge length ~60 minutes which I would like to extend but the chugger pumps are touchy when fully necked down.
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10136
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

80% mash efficiency isn't bad, especially if you're using keggles with a false bottom that may result in side-wall shunting since there's by definition no step for the false bottom to sit on to avoid it. Milling really tight like you mentioned will only exasperate this as the fluid will follow the path of least resistance around the outside.

Consider (in order):

1) Crush
2) Speed of sparge
3) Mash tun geometry and configuration
4) pH

My guess is a combo of tight crush (1) with sub-optimal mash tun geometry (3).
Want a really good mash tun and false bottom? To this day I have not seen something as efficient and easy to use as: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/kettles-overview?page=2

Lots of discussion around efficiency on this forum in the past if you want to search. It's a topic that's come up dozens of times.

Good luck!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0


Last edited by kal on Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 658
Location: Midwest

Drinking: Black Sheep NEIPA, Rye Not Today, Kick of the Irish

Working on: RIS Barrel Aged


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

80% on keggles is actually pretty good IMO.
_________________
Visit dp Brewing Company
Hangovers hurt....but good memories last forever!
Back to top
View user's photo album (3 photos)
itsnotrequired



Joined: 15 Sep 2015
Posts: 169
Location: central wi


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i get the 'floating mash' phenomenon every once in a while. i freaked out the first time i saw it but a gentle stir wit the paddle only a couple inches into the liquid broke up the floaters. after a few minutes, these had settled and sparge went well. it wasn't the whole bed floating, only a little bit at the top. it wasn't noticeable during recirc, it wasn't until i stopped the pump to setup the sparge did i see the floating. have you confirmed it is the whole bed and not just the top amount?

i set my efficiency at 80% in beersmith and my brews only require a few ounces of additional grains for any of kal's recipes. the efficiency is calculated based on false bottom dead space, hose loss, trub loss, etc. and depending on how those values are entered, the efficiency can jump around. i'm happy to hit my numbers within a couple points and only have a growler or so of liquid leftover after filling two 5 gal kegs.
Back to top
Tonto_ale_works



Joined: 21 Oct 2018
Posts: 11



PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies fellas. Guess I'll start saving the pennies to get a grain mill.

I was wrong on the 80%, its more about 75% which after some research is still pretty good for keggles apparently. Brewhouse efficiency (beersmith definition) is 70%.

Spent the day really figuring out volume loss in hoses, bottom of kettles, trub loss etc. in order to really nail down the process (lots of time with the Gov. Shutdown).

I'll check the floating issue next time. And yes, it happens after I turn the pump off to reconfigure for sparking. It sure seems like the while damn bed is floating but I guess looks can be deceiving. I'll give it a stir next time.

Side note. Anyone know a good number for wort loss to hop additions? I feel like in 10 gallon batches that wort the wort loss is much more noticeable. The 15 gallon keggle really gets pushed to the limits!
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10136
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

75% is definitely still reasonable.

I don't do any calculations for wort hop additions. If it's a hoppy beer I plan for 12 gallons post boil (at 68F) in order to get 10 gallons into kegs, as I know I'll lose a good 1 to 2 gallons between the boil kettle hop absorption and dry hopping. If it's a non-hoppy beer (simple lager, Kolsch, etc) I'll instead aim for 11 gallons post boil (at 68F).

If I have to dump 1/2 gallon when kegging because I have too much, that's fine. I'd rather dump a bit than have kegs that are only 80-90% full.

Cheers!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer-friendly view    TheElectricBrewery.com Forum Index -> Using Your Brewery All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Support our site by purchasing through this link. We thank you!

Forum powered by phpBB © phpBB Group