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Converted Keg - Deadspace or Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller?

Rep

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Hi

I am not happy with brewhouse efficiencies I am getting and was wondering if my equipment settings may be a part of the problem.

To define my losses I added water to my empty tun and drained it. I then measured the water left in the tun after the drain.

For my converted keg I did the same thing.  The, "deadspace" below my valve is 1.75 gallons.  That is what I input for me equipments, "Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller".  I do not have to tip the boil kettle to top off my fermentor to 5.5 gallons but that is always an option for me.  I do brew in Wisconsin's cold dry climate and can lose a lot of water to evaporation.  Thus, I set my evaporation rate to 15%.

My batch volume is set at 5.5 gallons.

Any thoughts on this?  (I do have a barley crusher and am satisfied witht he crush.)
 

BeerSmith

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Hi,
  Well if you are losing 1.75 gallons in a 5 gallon batch you probably will not have great efficiencies since some wort will be trapped below the valve.  Evaporation has less effect since the sugars don't boil off.

  I don't have any strong feelings on why else you might have low efficiency as long as your sparging technique is good (keep it nice and slow when sparging).

  I did write an article or two on improving efficiency on the blog - so you might want to check that to see if it targets something you may not have thought of.

Cheers,
Brad
 

Rep

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BeerSmith said:
Hi,
  Well if you are losing 1.75 gallons in a 5 gallon batch you probably will not have great efficiencies since some wort will be trapped below the valve.  Evaporation has less effect since the sugars don't boil off.

  I don't have any strong feelings on why else you might have low efficiency as long as your sparging technique is good (keep it nice and slow when sparging).

  I did write an article or two on improving efficiency on the blog - so you might want to check that to see if it targets something you may not have thought of.

Cheers,
Brad

TY Brad
I again read your blog articles.  I have incorporated the suggestions into my process.  I do two equal batch sparges as well.

I do though wonder if I would increase my efficiency by being willing to tip my boil kettle to drain more out of that 1.75gallon deadspace.

I could then recalculate the actual deadspace and reenter that smaller number into my equipment profile at, "Lost to Boil Trub and Chiller".

Would that work?
 

Henway

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I also have a converted keggle.

You may want to make a copper arm to go within 1/8" from the bottom of the keg about 3 inches from the side of the keg.  Because the keg is rounded there will still be wort and trub down there.  I use a Jamil chiller setup (immersion cooler with a pump recirculating the hot wort in a whirlpool) and my losses are only about 1 quart.  Granted, I use a pump and angle the keggle towards the end of transfer, but even without the pump I'd get most of this by maintaining the angle towards the end of the wort transfer.  When you get near the end, the millisecond you start sucking air on the inside it will stop transferring.

Using foam control I've had 13G in there boiling.  But I'm going to keep it below 12G in the future...

My $.02
 
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