Author Topic: 1gal efficiency issues  (Read 5001 times)

Offline bjcox00

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 3
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
1gal efficiency issues
« on: January 06, 2016, 06:53:44 AM »
New homebrewer. Just got refractometer. Did 3, 1 gallon test brews. All between 43% - 47%
Why am I so low? Is this typical for 1 gal brew batches?

Process:
BIAB
2 qt/lb mash ratio
Approx 162deg strike water
Mash approx 155deg for 60 mim
Store and temp check every 15 min
Wrap kettle with towel for heat retention
Sparge for top off water pre-boil
Dump and strain all wort into carboy
Top up if needed
Take og reading

Simple Grain build:
1 lb pilsner
1 lb wheat
Could grain quantity or ratios cause the low efficiency?

Offline Oginme

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 3123
  • Goats, guitars, and a home brew; Life is good!
    • Longvu LaManchas
Re: 1gal efficiency issues
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 10:05:03 AM »
First, are you using wheat or wheat malt.  If you are using flaked wheat, you may be on the borderline for concentration of converting enzymes.

Other thoughts:

If you can fit it into your pot, I would try a full volume BIAB to see where your efficiency comes in.

Most often a low efficiency can be traced back to the crush of the grains.  Doing BIAB, you can crush finer than normally recommended for a mash/tun arrangement.

During my first few brews trying BIAB, I tried doing a pour through sparge and had very inconsistent efficiencies.  I suspect it was due to channeling of the sparge water through and around the grains as they rested in the bag in a colander.

Broke down and bought a pot that would fit my full volume plus grains and have been very consistent since then.
Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline bjcox00

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 3
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: 1gal efficiency issues
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 10:31:38 AM »
I guess I don't know for sure. I didn't ask for flaked wheat, but that doesn't mean the brew store didn't give it to me.  That's a good idea/point that I didn't think about.

My pot isn't big enough for full mash. So I really only sparge just cuz I have to add water anyways, so Why not pour it through my grains.

For my next brew I thought about doing a double grind (i don't have my own mill to adjust settings, ill just grind it twice at the store)
Also thought about doing a 90min mash. But other posts don't give me any confidence that longer time helps any/much. (at least not 15-20 pts)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 10:36:59 AM by bjcox00 »

Offline jtoots

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 471
Re: 1gal efficiency issues
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 11:15:48 AM »
For my next brew I thought about doing a double grind (i don't have my own mill to adjust settings, ill just grind it twice at the store)

yeah, try that.

Also thought about doing a 90min mash. But other posts don't give me any confidence that longer time helps any/much. (at least not 15-20 pts)

meh, i wouldn't bother for now.

Offline Oginme

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 3123
  • Goats, guitars, and a home brew; Life is good!
    • Longvu LaManchas
Re: 1gal efficiency issues
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 11:40:18 AM »
If you don't have a pot large enough for the full volume mash, do you have a mixing bowl capable of holding the sparge water and bag of grains?  If so, you could heat the sparge water up, remove the grains from the mash pit and place then into the bowl.  Pour the sparge water over the bowl and allow it to steep for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove and squeeze as much wort out of the bag, then add the contents of the bowl to your boil kettle.  The idea is to maximize the contact with the sparge water and give some time for the sugars to be leached out of the grain particles into the water.

I agree with trying the double grind.

jtoots' comment on the longer mash time matches my own experiences.
Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

 

modification