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Help--Poor Efficiency

Hi all,
I’m sure there have been a lot of threads about this, and I’ll do some research, but I am choosing to be lazy and start my own thread. I’ve been all grain brewing for a few years now. I only batch sparge. I’ve typically had luck with getting a decent efficiency but lately it’s been poor. I just brewed a batch that was estimated to have an OG of 1.070 and I hit 1.050. I know the crush has a big impact, but I only crush my grains at the store so I don’t know how fine it is and I don’t have control of that. I’ve played around with my water/grist ratio, but haven’t seen much difference. Today I used a 1.50 quarts/pound ratio. Is there something else I can do to get the best efficiency from my grains? Just for fun, here’s my recipe for today. If you look at it and see that 1.070 that hopville.com estimated is high, then maybe I wasn’t so far off.

6# American 2-Row
4# Red Wheat Malt
2# White Wheat Malt
1# Light Munich Malt
1# Flaked Wheat
1# Rice Hulls

Oh, and I ended up with closer to 5.5 gallons.

Thoughts? I’d love to start bumping up my efficiency.

Mike

First, ask your shop to run the grain through the mill twice and see if that helps next time. Have all the batches with low efficiency contained this much wheat? Wheat kernels are smaller than barley kernels and usually need a tighter mill gap to crush them properly.

Thanks. The last few have used wheat. Maybe that has something to do with it. I’ll also try running it through twice and see how that is. Is there any reason that the difference in water/grist ratio in the mash for batch sparging should have a big impact? For now, I’ll work on the crush. Thanks!

What was the efficiency assumption for 1.070? If it assumed 85% and you got 1.05, that’s not bad. Pretty hard to tell without knowing what the recipe assumption is. Also, the higher the gravity, the lower your efficiency will be. You’re rinsing more grain with the same amount of water. It only makes sense.

Shouldn’t have as big an impact as what you saw. About a year ago I went from about 1.25 qt./lb. to 1.75 (on average). My efficiency went up about 3-5 points.

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