Author Topic: Efficiency issue  (Read 103372 times)

KernelCrush

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #60 on: April 12, 2014, 11:00:27 AM »
I reread Toms point post in the gravity readings thread. http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,9508.0.html

He indicates equal volumes, adding additional volume to the mash to account for absorption.  That's what I am doing now, about to sparge.

Gonna be hitting the forum with a lot of numbers from this one.

Offline Slurk

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #61 on: April 12, 2014, 12:21:15 PM »
Brewfun, thank you very much for sharing!!!

From the seminar I noted above, I did come away with 1 nugget to share. The concept of a 1:1 sparge ratio. This was new to me. It simply meant that the amount of sparge water used should equal the amount of total mash water. The benefit is to maintain efficiency and reduce polyphenol (tannin) and protein pickup that increases at the end of sparge.

Additionally, allowing the mash to drain at the end of the sparge increased efficiency.

I'm going to put this into practice in my own brewery and report how well the results match the expectations above. I’d appreciate reports from anyone that uses the procedure as laid out.

Based on some articles I've read in the past (and perhaps the Braukaiser site (I am not sure)) pointing at a higher mash conversion at lower grain to water ratio's, I use a mash thickness default of 2,5 L/kg for my brews.
I would like to do the calculation to understand if I am doing things right according the findings from the seminar. I will take the recipe from the brew I have planned for tomorrow. My equipment set up shows me that I will use approximately both 14L of mash water and 14L of water for the batch sparge. I use to stir to distribute the heat and at the end I use to let the mash drain (drip) in another container and collect the wort during the time I slowly heat up the main wort to 100C. The fraction I collect I poor in the main wort when this starts to boil. Due to this procedure I've had to adapt my grain absorption ratio a bit in the past resulting in rather accurate pre-boil volumes (24,0L).
Run off volume is: 24,0 - 14,0 = 10,0L  The post boil volume (hot) = 20,75L or cold 19,9L. (In line with that the volume of the runoff should be approximately 50% of the post boil volume).

Am I doing things right in my approach according the findings from the seminar?
Since I am not only brewing one type of beer, do I have to adjust the grain to water ratio accordingly to get the figures right?

I am asking this because today it was brewday and I dropped a question on this blogg regarding the use of torrified wheat in a Belgium Tripel. I had pump/filter problems due to a very thick mash and wheat sediment. It was the first time that I used torrified wheat and crunched it together with the other grains, perhaps causing this problem. I already increased the grain/water ratio in the recipe a bit on forehand knowing that wheat is a troublemaker. But during the mash I had to go to a ratio of 3,3 L/kg. That worked fine for the mash and the rest of the process. But in this case (wheat) the findings from the seminar are a real challenge, or...?

Regards,
Slurk


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Offline RiverBrewer

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #62 on: April 12, 2014, 04:04:19 PM »
If I remember correctly, the higher the water/grist ratio, the more the enzymatic action is diluted, so you have to mash longer to get the same conversions as using a lower ratio.

When I get an possible mash sticking ingredient like wheat, rye, or torrified wheat, I put 1 lb. of it in my SS gallon measuring cup, in the oven at 150 degrees, with 2 quarts of water in it. Let it saturate like it would in the mash for 20 minutes, and pour into a strainer over a pot and measure the water. Now you know how much water one pound will absorb.

I am brewing a Dortmunder Export tomorrow, maybe I will try the 1:1, since German brewers have traditionally used higher water/grist ratios. It is kind of hard to hide tannins in a Dortmunder. Just ran the number to brew 1:1 up front, My water/grist ratio would be 1.686. That doesn't scare me, I mash 90 minutes with pilsner malt anyway. It will be interesting to see where my #'s go.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 04:17:05 PM by RiverBrewer »
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Offline brewfun

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2014, 04:06:57 PM »
I reread Toms point post ...

He indicates equal volumes, adding additional volume to the mash to account for absorption.  That's what I am doing now, about to sparge.

Yup. Tom adds it up front. My version has it as a second infusion. I'm not sure there is much more difference to it than technique.

The most important part of what he said is that he has a consistent strike volume no matter what the grain weight is. Plus, that this has led to consistent efficiencies and gravities. That's a pretty good indicator about how much process can effect wort production.

The method I posted would have variable volume needs, something Tom's system avoids.

Based on some articles I've read in the past (and perhaps the Braukaiser site (I am not sure)) pointing at a higher mash conversion at lower grain to water ratio's, I use a mash thickness default of 2,5 L/kg for my brews. I would like to do the calculation to understand if I am doing things right according the findings from the seminar.

Overall, you're riding the difference between what I posted in this thread and what Tom posted in the one cited by KC. If you're following what I posted, then a ratio of 2.08 L/kg would be the first infusion. The second infusion would take you to a TOTAL ratio of 2.9 to 3.1 L/kg.

Quote
Am I doing things right in my approach according the findings from the seminar?
Since I am not only brewing one type of beer, do I have to adjust the grain to water ratio accordingly to get the figures right?

Yes, it looks correct, except you're adding all the water up front, instead of doing a double infusion. I'm not sure how much consequence this has on the conversion efficiency. Much of that will depend on pH and mineral content of your water.

Second question: No, the ratio stays constant and can be used as a mash profile across all batches. The water volume will vary according to grain weight.
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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2014, 05:46:59 PM »
I am brewing a Dortmunder Export tomorrow, maybe I will try the 1:1, since German brewers have traditionally used higher water/grist ratios. It is kind of hard to hide tannins in a Dortmunder. Just ran the number to brew 1:1 up front, My water/grist ratio would be 1.686. That doesn't scare me, I mash 90 minutes with pilsner malt anyway. It will be interesting to see where my #'s go.

Exiting water/grist ratio RiverBrewer!
Today brewing this Belgium Tripel (including wheat) I had the biggest problems between 50-60C. The mash was very thick. It seems to me that at temperatures over 62C the mash "behaves" thinner. Good luck with the Dortmunder Export! Could you give us a Small report tomorrow?
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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #65 on: April 12, 2014, 05:50:45 PM »
Brewfun thanks!
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #66 on: April 12, 2014, 11:13:16 PM »
I spent a year doing this.  I was having issues with variable efficiency from brew to brew. One would be 85 and the next 65.  At that time I mashed at 1.25 qt/lb. Then drain the mlt, and batch sparge with 3 batches for a total kettle volume of 7.5 gallons.

I began a year of experiments to resolve the variability.  My first change was to switch to a larger mlt, so that I could try a thinner mash.  This allowed me to mash at 1.25 and then add additional water @ 30 minutes to bring it to 1.65 qt/lb.  I continued to do 3 batch sparges.  After several batches, the consistency was much better.

Next I decided to try 2 sparges. This helped stabilize my kettle volume. I don't know why or where the water went, but when I did the a triple batch sparge it always seemed that one set of runnings would come up short.  Next I decided to equalize my runnings between the first and second batch. 

This necessitates abandoning a fixed water / grist ratio. This further stabilized my extraction.  Both conversion and extraction were all but dead predictable. 

At this point I was following the gist of your procedure.  Mash thick, add water later and wait for conversion to complete, drain runnings and batch sparge with the same quantity of sparge water as runnings.

Next I changed to a 90 minute boil for all brews. I used to only do 90 for pilsner malt brews and 60 for pale malt brews. The extra half gallon of preboil volume seemed to again make it more consistent. However, by this point a point or two of variation is kinda in the noise. So, it's hard to tell.

I spent a year brewing this way.

Finally, I just switched to mashing thin to start. I did this just to simplify the brewday.

Today, my procedure looks like this:

Preboil volume = 8.08 gallons @ 170f (8ish at room temp)   
Mash water = grain absorption + 4.04 gallons
Sparge water = 4.04 gallons.

As above I mash until the wort gravity matches the chart for the thickness of the day.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 11:21:08 PM by tom_hampton »
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Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #67 on: April 12, 2014, 11:38:58 PM »
Ps:  I didn't see any difference between mashing thick+late addition and mashing thin.  Since it made life a little simpler I stuck with the thin mash approach.

I also didn't see any significant difference in how long it took for conversion to reach saturation.
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Offline Slurk

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #68 on: April 13, 2014, 02:40:37 AM »
Next I changed to a 90 minute boil for all brews. I used to only do 90 for pilsner malt brews and 60 for pale malt brews. The extra half gallon of preboil volume seemed to again make it more consistent. However, by this point a point or two of variation is kinda in the noise. So, it's hard to tell.

As above I mash until the wort gravity matches the chart for the thickness of the day.


I changed from 60 min to 90 min boils for 1.5 years ago (due to some clarity/haze issues) and have the same experience: more consistent boil volume.

Tom, I don't understand "I mash until the wort gravity matches the chart for the thickness of the day." Could you explain/do you have an example?
Thanks! Slurk
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KernelCrush

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #69 on: April 13, 2014, 05:21:02 AM »
Slurk, I think what Tom is saying is by using a fixed mash volume every time, the water:grist ratio will vary depending only on the grain weight for that particular brew session.  Using Kai first wort gravity chart tells you where you should be for that particular ratio.

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #70 on: April 13, 2014, 06:06:48 AM »
Yes, kc is correct.

Read the "mash sg correction"  in my post, here:
http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,9508.15.html




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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #71 on: April 13, 2014, 09:22:58 AM »
Slurk, I think what Tom is saying is by using a fixed mash volume every time, the water:grist ratio will vary depending only on the grain weight for that particular brew session.  Using Kai first wort gravity chart tells you where you should be for that particular ratio.

Thanks KC!
Are you refering to this (link)? 
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Effects_of_mash_parameters_on_fermentability_and_efficiency_in_single_infusion_mashing

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Offline Slurk

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #72 on: April 13, 2014, 09:27:46 AM »
Read the "mash sg correction"  in my post, here:
http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,9508.15.html

Thanks Tom!
One of my favorite links, excellent work:)
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KernelCrush

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #73 on: April 13, 2014, 10:29:07 AM »
Slurk,  I didn't see it in that link.  Tom introduced it in reply 41 and earlier.
http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=File:First_wort_gravity.gif
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 10:40:13 AM by KernelCrush »

KernelCrush

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #74 on: April 13, 2014, 10:43:47 AM »
Quote
• Add water to achieve 1.4:1 to 1.5:1 ratio.

 I missed this on the first read.

 

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