Should I care about efficiency?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Craigerrr, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    1,536
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    The advantages of small batch size BIAB.
     
    Craigerrr and J A like this.
  2. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2018
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Occupation:
    Nurse
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
    For pure simplicity sake I dunk sparge in a gallon or 2 of room temp water (70-80 deg depending on the day). I did try heating the water up to 160-170 for one brew day but it didn't end up making any difference in my conversion so I haven't done it since. Side benefit - it cools down the grain bag making it much easier to squeeze :)
     
  3. dfj

    dfj Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    NH
    im 74 to 76 % using brewers edge system - kinda a biab type electric. i could improve it by modification of the kettle to recirculate but im good with 75%. system is easy to run. no need to worry . consistency is more important and finding the right settings and grain milling process.
     
    Craigerrr and Trialben like this.
  4. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    4,002
    Likes Received:
    3,251
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    If I'm doing a 5 gallon batch I no sparge because I don't care about efficiency, my mash tun isn't big enough to no sparge a 10 gallon batch.
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    5,112
    Likes Received:
    7,603
    Trophy Points:
    113
    First of all, to all responders, thank you for all of the thoughtfull input. The strainer over the kettle for sparging is definitely a PITA, so changing my sparge method to the holy bucket is more to do with improving my process as opposed to improving efficiency. Also, my kettle is not big enough for a full volume mash.

    So, conflicting ideas above on the temperature, 72F vs 168F.
    I understand that there are many ways to skin a cat (I don't care for cats, but for the record I have never skinned one)

    I really like the bucket with holes inside another bucket for sparging.
    I really like the idea that the room temperature sparge will reduce the tempearture of the grains for squeezing.
    I really like the idea of approximating a 168F fly sparge with using those same buckets.
    Thoughts, pros/cons?

    Also one other question.

    How important is it to heat the wort in the kettle up to 168/170F after removing the grains to these sparge buckets.
    This s something that I ALWAYS forget to do.

    Thanks again,
    Craigerr
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,733
    Likes Received:
    7,073
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    If you're heating it through 168-170, vital, because you can't get to a boil without doing so. Otherwise, since the enzymes have already done most of their work, not very.
     
  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,741
    Likes Received:
    10,123
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    My theory for sparging hot 75c is makes the sugars caught up in the grains easier to rinse off. I've not tried a cold sparge but. I use gloves for the sparge part then you can squeeze like hell for as long as you want. Hey and between you and me I dont even squeeze I use another pot pressed down onto of the grain bag work a treat:).
    More than one way to kill a cane toad:eek::cool::eek:!
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,733
    Likes Received:
    7,073
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I sparge at/around 170 degrees for the same reasons - hot extraction of sugars - but I'm not doing BIAB, squeezing a hot bag of grain isn't a problem I have. It's rather like the fly sparge vs. batch sparge question going on in another thread: You may lose a point or two of gravity by sparging cold but you gain by being able to squeeze a grain bag. Again, we're upping the grain bill by a few ounces/hundred grams to overcome another problem.... It's all about the trade-offs.
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,741
    Likes Received:
    10,123
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    Yes and another trade off is higher sparge temp also doesnt drop kettle wort temp so quicker time to boil. Just a tiny bit though I do notice if I dont mash out it feels like forever until the hot break!
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,733
    Likes Received:
    7,073
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    And I never do a mash-out so nothing to compare! Again, trade offs, the tiny bit of change to my wort during the sparge (I batch sparge so I'm raising the temperature of the malt quite a bit, into the mid-160's) doesn't matter to me, so no mash out.
     
  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,741
    Likes Received:
    10,123
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    Yeah I've been just hitting my second mash step then sparging hot now not raising whole kettle temp to 75. The enzymes are soon to be killed anyway once the wort is heated to boil.

    It's a prolonged conversion thing the big boys contend with in the mega breweries I hear?
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,733
    Likes Received:
    7,073
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    More like once they get the wort to specifications, they want to hold it there. Their big engineering problem is repeatability.
     
  13. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    5,112
    Likes Received:
    7,603
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Great thanks guys.
    Sorry if I was beating a dead horse like a red headed step child, but I am learning as I go.
    Appreciate all of the input.
    I think I will go with the 168/170F sparge water (which is already part of my routine), with the perforated bucket within a bucket, and give it a good squeeze after a slow sparge.
    Hope to get another brew day in around Nov 23 or 24.
    Cheers all!
     
    J A likes this.
  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,533
    Likes Received:
    2,745
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    My mash out is an infusion which not only changes the temperature but thins the mash as well. After a couple of steps my conversion mash thickness gets up to 1.6 qt/lb or so and adding for mash-out puts me at or over 2 qts/lb. That offers the advantage of diluting sugars so that osmotic(?) forces can allow sugar molecules "trapped" in the grain bed to migrate into solution. I'm not sure of the exact advantage of stopping conversion except that, for me, it stops the dextrin conversion so I'm not loading up on non-fermentables. Truth is that after an extended mash, enzymatic action has dwindled anyway, so the denaturing part is sort of moot, I'm sure.
     
    Trialben likes this.
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,733
    Likes Received:
    7,073
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    In that case, if you really wanted to raise the temperature, you could do a single, thin decoction. But that, too, is not for the beginners' area. And there's no osmotic force or anything of that nature, sugar just dissolves better in hotter water.
     
    J A likes this.
  16. KC

    KC Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    179
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    NY Capital
    Sugar is more soluble at higher water temperatures, and that's the idea behind 168-170.

    I usually forgot to heat up the sparge water and ended up with a lot of unintended 65°F cold dunk sparges. They both work. The sugar is already dissolved; you're simply washing it off the grain bed. Cool grains drain easier, too.
     
    White Haus Brews likes this.
  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    4,002
    Likes Received:
    3,251
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    I tried cold sparges a couple times but decided a hot sparge keeps my boil kettle warmer and requires less reheating. Not enough that I put a lot of effort into it either way though.
     
    Trialben likes this.
  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    5,112
    Likes Received:
    7,603
    Trophy Points:
    113
    So, getting back to efficiency. I have been brewing allgrain my last four batches. I had BIAB dialled in real good, hitting temperatures, gravities, volumes etc. Efficiencies were high 60's, but always within a percent or two. My first batch using the coleman cooler mash tun, efficiency shot up to 74, second 78, third 74, and last night efficiency worked out to 66:confused:, not that I am uber concerned about efficiency, but with everything based on 75% efficiency, I had to make some adjustments to get the beer where it was supposed to be. PBG was 9 points low. It is what it is I added what DME I had on hand, less than a pound, thanks to Chico for the real time advice. Then I extended the boli to get to target gravity.

    Recipe
    Coffee's for Closers
    5.5 gallon fermenter
    PBG 1053
    OG 1063
    FG 1016
    With close to a 90 minute mash at 155F, and 5.11 pH, conversion, and a 10 minute batch sparge adding the 170F sparge water (pre-measured from total water volume), and giving it a 10 minute rest before collecting the second runnings. Conversion in brew session registered 66%, with PBG coming in at 1044.

    I feel like my process is good....but I have just switched from BIAB to allgrain, and trying to dial it in, but the conversion seemed to be my issue with this batch for some reason.

    Is the low pH to blame?
    Should I mash longer?

    Hep me brothas and sistas!
     
  19. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    Messages:
    908
    Likes Received:
    912
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Healthcare IT Manager
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    How much grain in that recipe?
     
  20. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    5,112
    Likes Received:
    7,603
    Trophy Points:
    113

Share This Page

arrow_white