Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

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Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby maiko » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:38 pm

Hi all,

So, I'm still fighting with poor efficiency with my BM50.

I'm milling 11kg of Simpsons Pale Ale at 1mm, see the grind here.

55 liters of brewing water, pH 5.5. 60 minutes mashing at 66C. 5 liters of sparge water.

I'm ending up at 11.6 Plato, which is according to my calculation only 70% efficiency.

More pictures.

What am I doing wrong? :(
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby aziztan » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:18 am

If the grains are too fine, the flour created will dough up which causes channelling in your mash (in extreme cases it's call a 'wort fountain'). Water PH and sparge process can also affect your efficiency. Also keep in mind it's a diminishing return as you shoot for higher gravity.



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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby mashy » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:50 am

You might want to try milling courser.
To avoid confusion the bac disk will not improve efficiency. Only the volume of grain you can hold.
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby IPA » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:01 am

1 mm is too fine. You are almost certainly getting dough balls in the grist. Which result in decreased efficiency. I have found that the optimum setting is 1.2 mm. Also remember that roller speed alters the crush. I set at 500 rpm. Another important point is to thoroughly mash ( mix ) the grain and liquor so that every grain is wet. What is the ph of the mash after five minutes
Do not confuse liquor ( water ) ph with mash ph they are not the same thing. Another point is the gravity/ volume ratio. If you are aiming for a set volume do not adjust the volume by adding liquor after the boil. Instead increase the pre boil volume by sparging and take into account boil loss. That is to say end up with your desired volume after the boil in the FV. One last thing is to taste the spent grain after removal. There should be no sweetness in the taste and to monitor the last runnings at the end of the sparge to reveal that you have extracted all of the fermentable sugars. Using this proceedure I get 85% efficiency.
You could also perform an iodine test at the end of the mash to check extraction if the sample remains blue/black continue until it turns straw coloured.
Good luck
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby Sladek789 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:02 am

mashy wrote:To avoid confusion the bac disk will not improve efficiency. Only the volume of grain you can hold.

Yes, very clear and good summary. Just gives more space, but potentially increasing (a bit) the efficiency when using 13kg (BM50 communicated max capacity) versus using the regular BM disk.

IPA wrote:1...Using this proceedure I get 85% efficiency....

Being curious, what is the "normal" amount of malt you mash with, having this efficiency?
I have the BM50 with mash disk (I also sparge) and I average a 72-75% efficency with my usual 12.5kg malt bill. It is fairly stable over the past 15-20 brews, only going down to 60-65% with I start brewing beers with a OG more than 15 Plato (1.060). I just bought from BAC both top and bottom 1,5x1,5mm mesh filters (compared to the classic BM 0,9x0,9mm mesh filter) hoping that the wider mesh gap will ease the flow with big malt bill. Let's see.
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby mashy » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:53 am

Sladek789 wrote: I just bought from BAC both top and bottom 1.5 x 1.5mm mesh filters (compared to the classic BM 0,9x0,9mm mesh filter) hoping that the wider mesh gap will ease the flow with big malt bill. Let's see.


Keep us posted - I think they will be good, but am squeezing a few more brews out of my originals....
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby IPA » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:07 am

Sladek789 wrote:
mashy wrote:To avoid confusion the bac disk will not improve efficiency. Only the volume of grain you can hold.

Yes, very clear and good summary. Just gives more space, but potentially increasing (a bit) the efficiency when using 13kg (BM50 communicated max capacity) versus using the regular BM disk.

IPA wrote:1...Using this proceedure I get 85% efficiency....

Being curious, what is the "normal" amount of malt you mash with, having this efficiency?
I have the BM50 with mash disk (I also sparge) and I average a 72-75% efficency with my usual 12.5kg malt bill. It is fairly stable over the past 15-20 brews, only going down to 60-65% with I start brewing beers with a OG more than 15 Plato (1.060). I just bought from BAC both top and bottom 1,5x1,5mm mesh filters (compared to the classic BM 0,9x0,9mm mesh filter) hoping that the wider mesh gap will ease the flow with big malt bill. Let's see.


My grain bills are anything between eight to twelve kilos. Mash time ninety minutes. Sparge twelve litres. The most important thing is to make sure the grain and liquor are thoroughly mixed with a long handled paddle. Don't just dump the grain in add it a bit at time and mix each addition as you proceed. Standard mash temperature is 66° C for English style beers. Mash in at 60 raise to 66 and mash for 90 minutes. For some European beers it's. Mash in at 50° hold for 30 minutes raise to 66° hold for 60 minutes. With both I raise temperature to 76 and hold for 10 minutes.
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby maiko » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:34 am

Well, I don't know what I am doing wrong.

Adjusted the mill to 1.2mm.

11 kg simpsons pale ale, 60 minutes at 66C, sparged with 5L, pH 5,4.

Resulting in 10 plato of 45 liters, which is about 50% efficiency. The mash flow
was nice and I mixed the grain really well.

Please help :(
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby IPA » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:23 pm

maiko wrote:Well, I don't know what I am doing wrong.

Adjusted the mill to 1.2mm.

11 kg simpsons pale ale, 60 minutes at 66C, sparged with 5L, pH 5,4.

Resulting in 10 plato of 45 liters, which is about 50% efficiency. The mash flow
was nice and I mixed the grain really well.

Please help :(


Try following the mash schedule that I advised
Mash in at 60°
90 minutes at 66°
10 minutes at 76°
Sparge with 12 litres at 76°
This is for 50 litres
Try an iodine test after the 90 minutes to check conversion of starch.
Please post the result
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby maiko » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:11 pm

IPA wrote:Try following the mash schedule that I advised
Mash in at 60°
90 minutes at 66°
10 minutes at 76°
Sparge with 12 litres at 76°
This is for 50 litres
Try an iodine test after the 90 minutes to check conversion of starch.
Please post the result


Thank you, I'm going to try this tomorrow and post results.
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby maiko » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:57 am

maiko wrote:
IPA wrote:Try following the mash schedule that I advised
Mash in at 60°
90 minutes at 66°
10 minutes at 76°
Sparge with 12 litres at 76°
This is for 50 litres
Try an iodine test after the 90 minutes to check conversion of starch.
Please post the result


Thank you, I'm going to try this tomorrow and post results.


Interesting, I think the amount of sparge water did it. With sparging with 12 liters of water
I got a 88% efficiency! The iodine test was done after 25 minutes, so I did not mash for only 60 minutes.

This is interesting, as I read some people do not sparge at all with BM?
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby mashy » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:31 am

I don't think so...but always open to learn something new. Was your initial water volume the same for both brews?
Last edited by mashy on Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby IPA » Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:57 pm

maiko wrote:
maiko wrote:
IPA wrote:Try following the mash schedule that I advised
Mash in at 60°
90 minutes at 66°
10 minutes at 76°
Sparge with 12 litres at 76°
This is for 50 litres
Try an iodine test after the 90 minutes to check conversion of starch.
Please post the result


Thank you, I'm going to try this tomorrow and post results.


Interesting, I think the amount of sparge water did it. With sparging with 12 liters of water
I got a 88% efficiency! The iodine test was done after 25 minutes, so I did not mash for only 60 minutes.


This is interesting, as I read some people do not sparge at all with BM?


Pleased to be of help. Glad it worked for you. :beer:
With regard to the no sparge approach my thoughts are why throw away fermentable liquor with the spent grain ? I have been using BM's for over eight years and I have just about mastered the art.
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby mashy » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:19 am

There is no one way.
I think the extra sparge brought this brew back into balance, so the efficiency recovered.

Can we draw from this that if you mill the grain finer then you NEED to sparge?
Equally if you mill courser, sparge becomes unnecessary, because the grain bed formation is better?


Thoughts?
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Re: Low efficiency even with the BAC brewing disk

Unread postby ccasaballe » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:26 am

maiko wrote:
maiko wrote:
IPA wrote:Try following the mash schedule that I advised
Mash in at 60°
90 minutes at 66°
10 minutes at 76°
Sparge with 12 litres at 76°
This is for 50 litres
Try an iodine test after the 90 minutes to check conversion of starch.
Please post the result


Thank you, I'm going to try this tomorrow and post results.


Interesting, I think the amount of sparge water did it. With sparging with 12 liters of water
I got a 88% efficiency! The iodine test was done after 25 minutes, so I did not mash for only 60 minutes.

This is interesting, as I read some people do not sparge at all with BM?



Interesting topic you have here. Can you please confirm what's your initial water volume? Are you beginning with 55lts?
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