Author Topic: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil  (Read 9890 times)

Offline WingedWheel329

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Brewed my second all-grain batch on Sunday and got 43.25% efficiency. I ended up approximately a gallon over target volume at end of boil. I've attached the recipe and my equipment and mash profiles. Can anyone help me with where to start trying to fix my efficiency?




Offline grathan

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2014, 06:04:32 AM »
The only thing that stands out to me is the 1.8 gallons lost to trub, seems high in addition to 1.7 gallon boil-off. Your target was 5.25 gallons for the fermenter with 1.8 gallons left for trub/chiller and you ended up with 6.25 gallons + 1.8 trub/chiller?

Also the .pdf file has more mash in water than the mash profile for some reason.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 06:06:25 AM by grathan »

Offline WingedWheel329

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2014, 06:30:26 AM »
The only thing that stands out to me is the 1.8 gallons lost to trub, seems high in addition to 1.7 gallon boil-off. Your target was 5.25 gallons for the fermenter with 1.8 gallons left for trub/chiller and you ended up with 6.25 gallons + 1.8 trub/chiller?

Also the .pdf file has more mash in water than the mash profile for some reason.
Because of the design of the pickup tube in my kettle, I leave 1.88 gallons behind after it's drained. As far as the boil-off, I measured that by filling the kettle with water to a known volume, boiled for 60 minutes and measured the remaining volume. That measured 1.54 gals over 60 minutes. Is there a better way to measure this?

Can you think of a reason for the discrepancy between the mash profile and the recipe? The only thing I changed about that profile for this recipe was the temperature. I changed it to 151.

Offline ihikeut

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2014, 06:49:55 AM »
Your mash eff is terrible. You need to double check temp, grain crush. I test gravity of the wort threw out the mashing period and continue to mash until I get 66% of my OG. Tom Hampton has excellent post on this process.

Offline WingedWheel329

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2014, 09:23:14 AM »
Your mash eff is terrible. You need to double check temp, grain crush. I test gravity of the wort threw out the mashing period and continue to mash until I get 66% of my OG. Tom Hampton has excellent post on this process.
Any chance you could link me? I'm having trouble locating that post.

Offline WingedWheel329

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2014, 01:58:40 PM »
So this is embarrassing to admit, but I mis-measured the deadspace in my boil kettle. I don't know how, but I did. It's only 1 gallon. The extra .88 gallon probably really screwed my mash efficiency and total efficiency, but it may not be all of my problem.

So I've updated my equipment profile, but I've also already updated my equipment profile with the 43.25% brewhouse efficiency from the last batch. What would be a good place to start for my next batch? Bump it all the way back up to 72%, or split the difference somewhere around 57%?

Offline brewfun

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2014, 05:24:24 PM »
With the updated equipment profile in place and all of your actual measurements entered, go with the "Measured Efficiency" number from the fermentation page.

What was your pre-boil gravity & volume? What was post boil OG?
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline WingedWheel329

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 06:08:37 PM »
With the updated equipment profile in place and all of your actual measurements entered, go with the "Measured Efficiency" number from the fermentation page.
On the recipe that's already been brewed?

What was your pre-boil gravity & volume? What was post boil OG?
Pre-boil: 8.95 gallons, 1.028
Post-boil: 1.045

Offline brewfun

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2014, 10:48:45 PM »
I ran this recipe and your reported numbers, including the updated loss to trub. You had an overall brewhouse efficiency of 61.5%. Try that in your next recipe.

There seems to be something off about what you're reporting for pre-boil numbers. You should have gotten about 1.035 for gravity. Perhaps the wort was too warm, when you measured it?  It doesn't really matter, except that it points to other possible measurement errors.  BeerSmith is calculating a potential mash efficiency of 71%,which is respectable.

So, if this recipe had been at the correct volume, your numbers should approximate:

Pre Boil: 8 gal, 1.042
Loss to Trub: 1 gal
In fermenter: 5.25 gal, 1.054
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline WingedWheel329

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2014, 04:17:14 AM »
I ran this recipe and your reported numbers, including the updated loss to trub. You had an overall brewhouse efficiency of 61.5%. Try that in your next recipe.

There seems to be something off about what you're reporting for pre-boil numbers. You should have gotten about 1.035 for gravity. Perhaps the wort was too warm, when you measured it?  It doesn't really matter, except that it points to other possible measurement errors.  BeerSmith is calculating a potential mash efficiency of 71%,which is respectable.

So, if this recipe had been at the correct volume, your numbers should approximate:

Pre Boil: 8 gal, 1.042
Loss to Trub: 1 gal
In fermenter: 5.25 gal, 1.054
Thank you very much for your help, brewfun. It's entirely possible that I took the gravity reading too warm. I did measure the warm sample, but adjusted for temperature. I recently read (after brewing this batch), that that doesn't work above 90. I will let the sample cool in the future.

I'm going to try your number with my next batch and go from there. Thanks again for your help, I'm on the right track now.

Offline ihikeut

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2014, 07:00:29 AM »
Sounds like you and brewfun have it figured out. Here is Tom's link.
 
http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,9508.msg39762.html#msg39762

Offline WingedWheel329

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2014, 07:57:59 PM »
brewfun, I hope you're still around because I need your help again.

I Haven't brewed in awhile, but I did try to use my downtime to get my system dialed-in. Anyway, I brewed yesterday using the efficiency you calculated at 61.5%. I mashed 1 degree low for an hour at 151 instead of 152. Batch sparged, first runnings were at 1.078. My pre-boil gravity came in low at 1.032 (BS2 estimated it at 1.040). Post-boil volume was approximately .75 gals high at 6 gals instead of the planned 5.25. Post-boil OG 15 points low at 1.041 instead of the estimated 1.056. BS2 indicates an efficiency of 50.7%

Over the summer, I fixed my keggle deadspace measurement and measured my boiloff at 1.58 gal/hr. or 19.6%/hr. These values have been updated in my equipment profile.

Any suggestions? Starting to get frustrated with what is supposed to be a relaxing hobby.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2014, 08:42:00 PM »
Did you only boil the wort for 60 minutes, and the recipe is set for 90? That would account for the extra 0.75 gallons of boil off.

How much contact time does the batch sparge water have with the grain? Do you measure mash pH? If so, what is it?

Are you milling your grain? It's sounding like it might be too coarse.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline WingedWheel329

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2014, 07:13:22 AM »
Did you only boil the wort for 60 minutes, and the recipe is set for 90? That would account for the extra 0.75 gallons of boil off.

How much contact time does the batch sparge water have with the grain? Do you measure mash pH? If so, what is it?

Are you milling your grain? It's sounding like it might be too coarse.
I set the recipe up for 90 mins and boiled for 90 mins. The sparge water was in there for a few minutes, 5-10. I do not measure mash pH, but I do use 5.2 pH stabilizer in the mash water.

I mill my grain, but I do it at the LHBS. That's one thing I don't know much about, whether or not I'm getting a good crush.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Having efficiency issues, ending up with too much volume at end of boil
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2014, 02:27:43 PM »
It sounds like your boil off rate is significantly less than you think it is. The gain of 0.75 gallons means that your 90 minute total was 1.58 gallons of boil off, or 1.1 gallons per hour.

Your gravity of 1.041 in 6 gallons becomes 246 gravity points (41 x6 = 246). When that's divided by the pre-boil gravity, you had to have started with ~7.68 gallons (246 / 32 = 7.69). The difference is 1.58 gallons, which you said was your hourly rate.

I'm completely discounting trub loss, because that is only a factor for efficiency. Add that amount to my totals and the math will still work.

I'm not a big fan of the 5.2 product. It's tailored for a particular level of minerals and if they're exceeded, then all bets are off. I think you're better off with a little acidulated malt if you're working blind. I'm not going to suggest a full water report and water spreadsheet out of respect for your "relaxing hobby" thought.

In this case, I'm wondering if you got full conversion before sparging. A pretty standard 1.25:1 liquor ratio should get you about 1.096 first runnings when you have full conversion. The 1.078 first runnings your reporting are full conversion for a mash ratio of 1.6:1. This is one easy place to measure and gauge whether you're getting the most from the grain.

It's common for LHBS mills to be set wide. Simply, 75% of their business is new, extract brewers and a fine crush is more problematic for them. Since they want people to enjoy the hobby and buy more kits, that's what the mill is set for. Most often, just asking them to mill the grain twice is sufficient.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

 

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