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Getting a horrible efficiency with my Electric Brewery setup
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Love2brew wrote:
I definitely agree, something had to change, I must be missing it! I'm going back through my notes, the sparge was 60 minutes as opposed to 90

That could make the difference, though the drop was bigger than I'd expect.

Quote:
and thinking about it again, there was about 30 minutes where I wasn't watching the water level and it was a few inches above the grain.


Quote:
Also worth noting, towards the end of the sparge, i emptied the HLT completely and let it sit on top of the mash. I usually have about 2-3 gallons left in the HLT. I ended up with about 5-6 gallons of water (shown on the site glass) in the mash tun. Not sure if that matters but maybe too much water got through and not enough wort???

Nope. Doesn't matter. You are using the water to rinse the grain and slowly push the sugary wort out. Doesn't matter if there's 1 gallon or 1000 gallons still waiting to get through on top of the grain bed the moment you stop sparging. It's just a lineup of water that never made it through.

We say "keep an inch or so of water above the grain bed" only because we want to keep a minimum amount of water over the grain bed to ensure all sugars are rinsed, but no more than an inch or so because if someone has a poorly performing false bottom (not your case) too much water can compact the grain bed causing a stuck flow. I've sometimes been in a hurry to empty the HLT because I want to turn off the water pump and leave the room and have increased the water pump flow such that I dump the rest of the HLT on top of the mash and get half a foot of water over the grain bed. No difference in efficiency or anything else.

Quote:
Grasping at straws, does darker grain, like chocolate, need to be milled separately from the other grains, like the 2-row?

No. Some will mill separately and it to the mash right before sparging just get a smoother taste. I rarely do (my recipes will mention when I do).

Kal

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wscottcross



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 219
Location: CT

Drinking: Launch IPA, Double Sunshine clone, Maple Coffee breakfast stout

Working on: expanding my beer horizons (and my beltline)


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is your sight glass allowing channeling? If your liquid level is above the top sight glass port, you could be channeling through it instead of through the mash.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wscottcross wrote:
Is your sight glass allowing channeling? If your liquid level is above the top sight glass port, you could be channeling through it instead of through the mash.

He uses a 15 gallon Blichmann kettle for the MLT so the top of the sight glass is at the very top of the kettle (more or less). He wouldn't have the liquid level that high.

Kal

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Love2brew



Joined: 01 Aug 2016
Posts: 25
Location: California


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys! Very frustrating when you can't pinpoint the problem. As much as I don't think I did, I must have missed a grain measurement. I'm going to add a step and weigh the full bucket before I mill. That will give me a double check of my grain weight. Any measured step I can add will help remove problems like this in the future.

Oh well, guess I'll have 2 batches of brown, there's worse things that could happen Wink

On a side note, do you ever move the hose while sparging to try and eliminate a water channel, or is this not necessary because the weight of the water on the grain rinses it well enough? I haven't done this but have thought about it, just not sure if it would even make a difference.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love2brew wrote:
On a side note, do you ever move the hose while sparging to try and eliminate a water channel

No. Don't move the hose. You'll disturb the grain bed. If you have channeling issues (you shouldn't with your Blichmann false bottom) moving the hose would only make the channel appear elsewhere almost immediately.

Kal

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