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Batch sparge - Too high efficiency

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.

You’re right on the money, Dean. My efficiency is between 83-88% and I’ve never noticed anything wrong with the beer because of it. If the OP is having trouble with certain styles of beer, I’d look at water first.

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.[/quote]See? No mention of “off flavors” which was started by another poster. He goes on to mention in a later post that he’s missing “maltiness” so that’s presumably the unwanted effect that he’s looking to correct.

This is now in the official Beating A Dead Horse category, so I’ll shut up unless the OP wants to clarify. :wink:

jeez fine “unwanted effects”

[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]

Found it, thanks…

Reading my first post again I see I have expressed myself wrongly. I dont really try I get rid of off flavors. I wonder if I can make better beer by lowering efficiency. That was the the guy in hte BYO article said no sparge brewing did for him…
I guess will try add batch sparge water as normal but only partially drain the last batch sparge on my next brew…

It is dependent on many factors. Here is a link of a podcast on efficiency.

http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrew ... ciency.mp3

He explains that the more you sparge, the more you can increase your efficiency, but the more you sparge the more Tannin and proteins you introduce to the wort, this may cause off flavors, and also can reduce shelf life. So it depends on what “better beer” is to you.

[quote=“Viktste”]I guess will try add batch sparge water as normal but only partially drain the last batch sparge on my next brew…[/quote]Doing it like this, you will have to increase the sparge volume or end up with less wort in the kettle, which means you’ll be draining weak wort from the sparge, defeating the purpose. You would get better results, assuming that lowered efficiency does give better results, by increasing your mash volume and decreasing the sparge volume. You will need to add more grain to the mash, maybe 5%, to get the same gravity as the original recipe.

The fear is tannins. It’s not not form high efficiency but poor mash parameters, mostly high pH. I’d think it’s more likely to get them from a mash that had poor efficiency. You could probably fly sparge down to zero without problems if you keep the mash in check. I think it’s all myth.

I tried lowering mine by using less water and topping off. I could not taste any noticeable improvement. Some of my favorite brews were over 90% and some of those were just pilsner malt.

Just make sure your mash ph is in bounds (>5.6), you don’t sparge with water hotter than 170 F and don’t collect wort of less than 1.01 gravity. As long as you aren’t gaining efficiency by mashing with too much or overheated water, you should be fine. Unless you want to spend more on your beer.

That “don’t collect less than so so” rule dosen’t make senses to me. I amuse it’s for fly spargers because it would be difficult to reach it with one or two batch sparges. The thing is if you are fly sparging the top of the grain bed will get to zero fairly quickly–long before the runoff gets that low. What difference does it make if the bottom does too? Denny said Sierra Nevada can get 100% extract. Obviously they are sparging down to zero (or using mash filters.)

[quote=“Conroe”]That “don’t collect less than so so” rule dosen’t make senses to me. I amuse it’s for fly spargers because it would be difficult to reach it with one or two batch sparges.[/quote]Correct, it’s only applicable to fly-sparging.

I’m going to assume it’s myth for now. I’m tempted to go back to fly sparging and test it for myself.

[quote=“Conroe”]I’m going to assume it’s myth for now. I’m tempted to go back to fly sparging and test it for myself.[/quote]Why would you want to go back to an inferior method of producing wort? :shock:

I’d try a 20 minute mash.

It’s not inferior. It should be more effective. I think it is too difficult to implement on a homebrew scale. There is not enough grain to make the appropriate size grain bed.

I read the same article on BYO as the OP and it left me scratching my head. The commercial micro breweries as well as the local ones are all shooting usually for higher efficiencies so as to lower the cost of a batch. We here that all grain brew are doing so for the same reason, (economics). I agree with denny that water is important along with adjusting it’s profile if nessessary to acomodate a particular style you might be brewing. Adding a malt like Munich to the grain bill will certianly add more malt character to any style you are trying to brew that you would want to be more malty. Adjusting the mash temp upwards to give more body due to the larger unfermentable sugars will add a fuller character of the beer as well. I will stick with my 80-88% efficiency and adjust my water, grain bill and mash temp to brew great tasting beer for the least cost per batch as possible. The BYO article, (Nov 2011 by Dave Louw), lowering my efficiency to 70% by no sparge lautering, to me did not and still does not make sense. I will continue to batch sparge and make great beer doing so.

[quote=“Birdstop”]The BYO article, (Nov 2011 by Dave Louw), lowering my efficiency to 70% by no sparge lautering, to me did not and still does not make sense.[/quote]Ask yourself if you’d be willing to spend $1-$2 more per fermenter to potentially make better beer.

I think its more the opposite, I dont see many homebrewers trying to replicate commercial breweries in terms of efficiency.
Like shade tree mentioned a buck or two to adjust your gravity to whatever process you are using is not a huge deal. I think more homebrewers want consistency from batch to batch depending on the process than getting every last bit of sugar out (and if your buying in bulk you are probably taking pennies)

I should have stated that I moved to AG to put the exact product into my beer that I wanted in it and that the lower cost was an added bonus to AG brewing. My mill is gap is set to a good crush with no stuck mash when lautering. With that, depending on the ingredients in whatever style, I just end up between 80-88% with my brewery. Some styles should be more malty than others and I just develop that flavor in the grain bill. When I brew one of my recipes I want to have consistency in the finished product from batch to batch. I just don’t want to change my system of brewing when I can tweak my grain bill and mash temp to hit a certain taste profile is all. I guess we can either agree to disagree or agree that there may be more than one way to achieve an attribute in a beer.

[quote=“Birdstop”]I guess we can either agree to disagree or agree that there may be more than one way to achieve an attribute in a beer.[/quote]If I didn’t agree I would still be fly-sparging 5-gal batches. I’m always looking for new ways to make better beer - in fact, I think I like the brewing process (formulating recipes, organizing bulk buys, modifying and building equipment, tinkering with the spreadsheet, brew day, working in the brewery) better than drinking the product! Maybe not, but I’m rarely satisfied with what I’m currently doing - have a new 26-gallon kettle to mess with next.

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