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Batch sparge - Too high efficiency

Hi. I am batch sparging and my efficiency is around 80% on normal gravity beers (1.040-1.050). I’m starting to suspect this is a little high, and that it causes some unwanted effects on the finished beer.
I’m using a plastic cooler with a manifold to drain. Typical mash temperature around 150-152 degrees.

Stupid question maybe, but how can I lower the efficiency? I would like to try to be around 70%. I have a MM3 set at max opening. I don’t have a refractometer. I don’t have mash tun space to do a no sparge. Suggestions?

80% won’t lead to off flavors.
If you really want to lower it predictably, the easiest way would be to
add an extra 1/2 gallon to your sparge water but stop draining when you get your preboil volume, leaving that 1/2 gallon in the tun.

You could move towards a no-sparge by mashing with more water and reducing the sparge.

The less water that goes through the mash the less efficiency you will have (In General). Here is a good webpage that will answer all of your questions, and maybe more…

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Efficiency

From the page above 78-80% is a good stopping point to keep from (normally) unwanted tannins and other proteins that can change flavor and reduce shelf life.

But remember that homebrewing is about what you like, and not about what other people like. Build something you like, and adjust for the flavors and aromas that you want to see in the end product.

You will not be extracting anything negative with normal batch sparging, so if you can get a true 80% efficiency by happy about it and calculate your recipes to that number.

Commenting that you are getting too high of an efficiency on a batch sparge is like complaining that your company pays you too much :slight_smile:

[quote=“Viktste”]Hi. I am batch sparging and my efficiency is around 80% on normal gravity beers (1.040-1.050). I’m starting to suspect this is a little high, and that it causes some unwanted effects on the finished beer.
I’m using a plastic cooler with a manifold to drain. Typical mash temperature around 150-152 degrees.

Stupid question maybe, but how can I lower the efficiency? I would like to try to be around 70%. I have a MM3 set at max opening. I don’t have a refractometer. I don’t have mash tun space to do a no sparge. Suggestions?[/quote]

why? efficiency has nothing to do with unwanted effects in your beer.
Why couldnt you do a no sparge? You can do that with any size mashtun, just different ways to get your boil volume

Thanks for the replies folks… I’m not saying I mind a good efficiency, but I think it may affect flavors. Some say it will, some say it wont. So I figure the best way is to try it out… I’ll read Braukaisers - thanks for the link.

its not effecting flavor, how do you think it would effect flavor?

[quote=“grainbelt”]its not effecting flavor, how do you think it would effect flavor?[/quote]The theory is that by sparging less and deliberately lowering efficiency, and thus using more grain to get the same gravity, you create a wort with more flavor. It particularly impacts the specialty malts.

How does your beer taste?

Generally I’m happy about the taste of my beers. But malty beers like brown ale and bock are maybe missing som “maltyness”. It was an article in BYO about no sparge brewing that got me thinking about this…

By the way… Where is the Quote button hiding, I cant find it…

When I started AG my efficiency was up and down for a while and saw no change in beers

Being able to extract bad flavors in a batch sparge is theoretically against the chemistry that is present. Talking about the chemistry would be a long discussion and it is debated endlessly all the time. Because the water is added all at once to rinse the sugars, you are never at the point where the solution gives the ability to extract the nasties. That’s only my early morning thoughts, not an absolute fact but I’m sure Denny wold love to hop in because I’m sure he’s been endlessly pounded on things like that.

[quote=“grainbelt”]When I started AG my efficiency was up and down for a while and saw no change in beers[/quote]Inconsistent efficiency caused by process problems is not the same thing as taking a known recipe and deliberately lowering the efficiency and adding more grain to compensate. Take a recipe you know well, increase the grain by 15%, and do a no-sparge (it will be difficult to resist the temptation to not “waste” all the sugar in the grain, so if you must sparge, use the wort to make a small batch of something else).

true but the question was adding off flavors. AG I was doing were playing with different manifolds, water amounts etc. different efficiencies same beers, not much difference.

[quote=“grainbelt”]true but the question was adding off flavors. AG I was doing were playing with different manifolds, water amounts etc. different efficiencies same beers, not much difference.[/quote]The question I was answering is “how do I lower my efficiency?” :wink: But what you’re describing is just variation within a recipe so I wouldn’t expect the differences to be dramatic, just slightly more or less ABV unless you were changing mash temps.

yes but he was lowering because of off flavors?

[quote=“Viktste”]

By the way… Where is the Quote button hiding, I cant find it…[/quote]

It disappeared for me too a while back. I found it was actually still there, but invisible and located in the bottom right corner of the message I was looking at quoting. If you mouse over that area you can still access it.

To fix it, I went to the “user control panel” (link is located above all of the posts, under the “Northern Brewer” logo) and selected the “board preferences” tab. In there you can choose a different layout where is says “My Board Style”. By changing it to “pro silver” it now shows the quote button and a few others that were hidden using the “CA Gen2” layout.

[quote=“cramer”][quote=“Viktste”]

By the way… Where is the Quote button hiding, I cant find it…[/quote]

It disappeared for me too a while back. I found it was actually still there, but invisible and located in the bottom right corner of the message I was looking at quoting. If you mouse over that area you can still access it.

To fix it, I went to the “user control panel” (link is located above all of the posts, under the “Northern Brewer” logo) and selected the “board preferences” tab. In there you can choose a different layout where is says “My Board Style”. By changing it to “pro silver” it now shows the quote button and a few others that were hidden using the “CA Gen2” layout.[/quote]

Tricky, I was typing it in manually. Maybe it is so that there is no spider posts like this one!

[quote=“grainbelt”]yes but he was lowering because of off flavors?[/quote]Picking nits, but the OP never mentions “off flavors” related to efficiency, only that he has heard that too high an efficiency will affect flavor and that he’s missing “maltiness” in some beers. I find that lowering efficiency has a positive effect on flavor and maltiness, so maybe that’s what he needs to do.

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