Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Post Brew Day Questions

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I brewed up AG batch #3, a dry stout from Brewing Classic Styles. New techniques included starting with and treating RO water (thanks again for all of the help in my previous post) and crushing my own grains. With a couple of exceptions, the day went very well and I saw signs of active fermentation in about 6 hours. I do, however, have a few questions on which I’d appreciate some help:

  1. My efficiency went from 70% on previous batches to 80% on this one - would this be attributable to my grinding my own grains (I used a Barley Crusher at factory settings)?

  2. I noticed at the end of the mash that the temperature had dropped from 149 to 142, the first time I have experienced this large of a drop. Can I expect adverse effects as a result?

  3. I collected higher 1st and 2nd runnings than expected, about 7.5 gallons as opposed to the expected 7 gallons. This recipe called for 1 lb of roasted barley to be crushed “almost to dust” in a food processor - would this ultra-fine crush affect/reduce the grain absorption rate? I just boiled down to 6 gallons as usual.

  4. When I added the sparge water to collect the second runnings, I somehow managed to get the mash temp up to 176* (must have overheated the sparge water). After realizing this, I just mixed and drained as usual, which took all of 7 minutes or so. Am I at risk of extracting tannins from the grains by sparging at this temperature for this time span?

Thanks for your consideration and Happy New Year!

#1 Probably. I noticed an increase in mine as well after crushing my own grain.

#2 Probably not. When my grain is mashing I sometimes cover with a heavy comforter or insulated sleeping bag, it looks weird but when I do it I only lose about 1-2 degrees over an hour.

#3 It should not really have any effect on absorbstion rate.

#4 I wouldn’t be too worried about that for that amount of time. If you overheated your water try using some of the available online calculators that are out there. They let you know what temp you should heat your water to to to get the desired mash temps.

Many thanks!

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com