Thursday, 30 June 2011

Accidental Efficency Jump

Over the last few Brew Day's the brew house efficiency has been a bit lower than I'd have liked, with numbers coming in around 70% or even a little less.  How the grain is crushed is probably the most important part of achieving decent efficiency.  In the past the procedure I had been using involved conditioning the malt (adding a small amount of water and mixing it well, just before milling) with the theory that this should result in less damaged husks but still produce a fine crush.  The crush has always looked good and I've never had a problem with sparging:
When crushing grain for the Vienna yesterday, I managed to bump the mill, knock the hopper over and spill about half the grain over the ground.  By weighing what had already been crushed I was able to compensate for the lost graind and measured out and crushed some more.  However the new grain was not conditioned with water first, but at the end of the Brew Day the numbers told me that I was looking at an increase in efficiency of a bit more than 5%.

It would appear that the combination of the mill roller gap setting and conditioning the malt before crushing it was decreasing and not increasing the extract efficiency.  Next Brew Day I'll run the grain through the mill without conditioning it first and hopefully  notice a similar efficiency increase.

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