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  1. sprucetip

    sprucetip Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2007 Alaska

    Good evening gentlemen. If anyone is feeling geeky and wants to read this and give some feedback, I'd be grateful.

    I've made some extract with grains brews that have pleased me greatly, but only 1 batch all grain previously, and I had a tutor for the mash/sparge, so I didn't really "do" the hard part.

    Today I went solo and here is what I did aiming for a DIPA with a post boil OG of 1.080 or so:

    15# 2 row
    1# munich
    .85# crystal 60
    .5# carapils
    (1# of cane sugar to the boil)

    I was aiming for about 152 degrees, and a 1.3 quarts per # of grain. I ended up putting 3 more cups of cold water in as I topped off the mash because it was warmer than I wanted. I had 3 thermometers that would not agree, so I don't know for sure what the mash temp was, but I'm guessing that I started (after the cold water was added) around 153 and ended about 151. It varied within the cooler and depending on which thermometer I used. Kinda pisses me off a bit about the thermometers, as all were new and bought from homebrew supply stores. But I digress...

    It was about 1.25 hours into the mash before I had my sparge water at the right temp. After clarifying, it took right at an hour to collect about 7.5 gallons, rinsing with 170 degree water. I kept about an inch of water on top of the grain bed. I put a couple of quarts of boiling water onto the grain before I started the sparge, to help get the grain bed a bit warmer (on advice of my local commercial brewer).

    I got a 1.060 pre-boil gravity at about 60 degrees.

    Bittering hops @60: 2oz columbus, 1 oz calypso, .5oz centennial
    flavor hops @ 20 1oz calyspo, 1 oz citra, .5 oz centennial
    finishing @5 3oz citra, 1oz centennial, 1 oz calypso
    I will dry hop it generously with some combo of citra and others

    I forgot the irish moss but don't know that it matters much?

    I was stoked to get a 1.080 post boil gravity, and I collected upwards of 6 gallons in the fermenter. I pitched 2 packs of US-05.

    When I got the high gravity I was aiming for, I thought I did really well on the mash/sparge. But I plugged the ingredients into a calculator and it said my efficiency was 71%. I guess that isn't really bad, but not awesome either?

    Any input? Thanks in advance.
  2. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (165) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    Sounds like you did perfectly fine to me, and there's nothing wrong with 70+% efficiency, especially on a big beer. I mean you hit your target gravity right, so what more could you want? A lot of homebrewers seem to want to wear their effiiency on their sleeve like a badge of honor, but this total nonsense, and some very knowledgeable brewers would even tell you that having high efficiency is actually detrimental to the quality of your beer. I've heard Jamil Z. say for example that of your efficiency is much above 65% that you should actually work to DECREASE your efficiency, not increase it.
  3. sprucetip

    sprucetip Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2007 Alaska

    Thanks for the input. Very interesting what you've relayed from Jamil...
  4. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (386) May 2, 2006 Utah

    A homebrewer with two thermometers has no idea what his/her temperature is. A homebrewer with three thermometers has three sets of two thermometers.
  5. cmac1705

    cmac1705 Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2010 Florida

    +1. There's nothing really to critique here. Now you're challenge is to get some repeatability on your system and learn what it takes to hit your target temps and volumes.
  6. kjyost

    kjyost Meyvn (1,202) May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Also, thermometers (and all other tools used to precision such as hydrometers) should be calibrated. They are notoriously unreliable.

    Put it in ice water and see if it reads 32F, Put it in boiling water and see if it gives 212 F (adjusted to your altitude).

    Put your hydrometer into distilled water (or if you have soft water, tap water) at 60F and see what it reads.
  7. sprucetip

    sprucetip Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2007 Alaska

    Thanks guys.
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