BM and efficiency

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pduk
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Re: BM and efficiency

Post by pduk » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:57 pm

I'm another fairly recent convert to full volume mashing. I do let the malt pipe drain out into a vessel for half an hour though and that does collect a fair mount of extra wort. I haven't noticed anything wrong with efficiency though I'm not one for calculating everything to the nth degree. My OG normally matches or exceeds recipes (e.g. in the GW book).

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Rad
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Re: BM and efficiency

Post by Rad » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:15 pm

Jocky wrote:Are you talking about mash efficiency or brew house efficiency?
I'm with Jocky on that. Mash is how much you got from grains, brew house is how much made it to the bottles/kegs. If you're using BeerSmith, it's actually a bit confusing how it calculates it. Brew house is calculated from OG and volume in the fermenter, while mash comes from preboil volume and SG.

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Re: BM and efficiency

Post by IPA » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:05 pm

Danwix said


Does anyone do anything different or have any tips on improving sparging?[/quote]

Lift the malt tube onto the stirrup. LEAVE THE TWO TOP FILTERS IN PLACE and then very slowly pour your sparge liquor evenly over the filters ( 6 litres ). When you have finished the sparge DO NOT remove the malt tube leave it in place to drain while you start the boil phase. This enables the grain bed to completely drain. Remove the malt tube just before boiling point is reached.
This way you will achieve ground 88% efficiency
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Re: BM and efficiency

Post by Normski » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:36 pm

vacant wrote:
Jim wrote:All I can say is that I've witnessed an efficiency of 90%+ on Normski's BM with my own eyes. It's all in how thoroughly you sparge.
But Normski's motto is "If it's wet, it's wort". Wouldn't surprise me if he sucked mouthfulls of grain dry and spat it out into the boil :wink:
Absolutely. Just swig a drop of rum first an yer good too go.
The Doghouse Brewery (UK)

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Re: BM and efficiency

Post by Waffty » Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:34 pm

I've just bought one of these to compliment the two screens I bought pre Christmas.

http://www.bacbrewing.com/epages/990497 ... B.BM50.003

Logic does suggest it should make some difference. I only tend to brew 25L batches with my 50L version for the time being and on one of the stronger brews, I did try turning the top screen upside down which was a total failure, as the only thing stoping the top screen floating away is the top clamp and with the clamp in place, there's sufficient gap to allow the grain to escape, in hindsight I should have used to some kind of small spacer to press the top screen down just enough to help seal it. So in that respect, that's where this product works, well in my mind at least.

I already have the revised screens from BacBrew, so the idea is, you fit the bottom one as standard, fit the top one as standard but then fit the supplied washer to hold it in place and then fit it upside down, this gives additional space in the malt tube. Then top it off with this kit, which comes with it's own over sized small filter and a thick heavy larger holed filter plate. This is then clamped into place as normal.

The idea is then, the top filter can move up and down higher than previously and if something does escape through the gaps, it will get blocked by the new top filters. The next question is, do I really need the floating filter? Or would I be better off with just the top one?

Not had time to try this yet but as with all things from BacBrew, it's nicely made, one thing, the top filer appears to be 'standard' mesh and not the same stuff used for the other filters they sell.

Fingers crossed, I may be able to get a brew day this weekend, were I should be able to try it out.
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Kev888
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Re: BM and efficiency

Post by Kev888 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:27 am

It seems like the oversized filter is mainly designed to allow more grain to be fitted in, rather than to improve efficiency, but probably the end result (more gravity points) is what you're after so thats okay. I suspect efficiency would remain about the same, possibly a very slight gain by having more room around the grain in the malt pipe, but offset to a similarly tiny amount by the extra grain resulting in a marginally thicker grain/liquor ratio.

I'm assuming you'd only use the new filters for large grain bills, in which case I don't see why one would need or want two sets of top filters (unless the new ones are inferior in some way). Possibly if you crudely sparged it may distribute the liquor less nicely than a filter sitting directly on the drained grain bed, but thats just a guess, as something to look at when you try it out.

EDIT: That said the manufacturer's pictures do seem to show two sets of top filter, so maybe theres some mechanical/fitting reason, or something I've overlooked (very likely!). I can't read italian which perhaps doesn't help.
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Re: BM and efficiency

Post by Waffty » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:49 pm

Agreed. This 'kit' is indeed designed to get more grain into the malt tube, by basically making more space.

So my logic is, my liquid to malt ratio isn't going to change BUT if I can give the grain more 'room' to move within the malt tube, then I can potentially reduce channelling and potentially any dry spots. The stock top filter is quite heavy and whilst the pump (2 in the 50L) has the ability to raise the wort through the filters and up over the top of the malt tube, to be recirculated over and over, I'm not sure there is enough force to raise the top place, assuming the top plate has the ability to rise up and down on the centre shaft (when in situation). In addition, on my last brew, the top plate was quiet tight against the grain bed, when it was clamped down, hence why I tried to turn the top plate upside down, to gain around 30mm of additional space.

With this kit, there's the potential to use the 'standard' top filter without the need to try and seal it to the malt tube (there are loads of threads on the net about adding seals etc to the top filter plate to reduce grain leaks but in doing so it pretty much locks the top filter plate in place) and if it does move up and down with the pump cycle, then potentially it will remove the need to stop the mash step to give the grain a stir. Likewise, there's nothing stopping you removing the top filter plate completely and using the new kit to seal the grain. In this example the grain would be free to move freely, with the risk of any grain leaks being minimal, if none at all, given that the two oversized filters will stop pretty much anything. I guess the risks with not having the top plate fitted, could be that the grain bed would be too free to move, therefore potentially you would effect the clarity of the runnings, as the grain bed won't be compacted, as it would do normal.

As my 25L batches are pretty close to capacity (with the short malt tube) and my last efficiency wasn't great last time around, I'm pretty sure the additional 'space' should give me at least some efficiency increase. Failing that it should allow to up my gravity points for some of my stronger brews, by the same token, It could turn out to be a very expensive paper weight :oops:
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Re: BM and efficiency

Post by Kev888 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:25 pm

I see what you mean. TBH I'm a tiny bit pessimistic about the efficiency gains likely, but yes if the malt tube is too cramped to allow a reasonable and even recirculation then the extra room and alleviation of the floating top-filter's weight could help slightly. Either way it seems unlikely to hurt (with larger grain bills) and if it doesn't improve efficiency it will still win in a sense, by letting you get more grain in.

IMO these systems require a slightly different way of thinking, as there are (in a sense) two different ratios. There is the total grain-to-liquor ratio, and there is the grain-to-liquor ratio within the malt tube itself, which is lower due to the wort used in covering the elements. The former is related to the overall rinsing effect (some call it a passive sparge) of the recirculation, the latter is related to looseness/compaction of the grain bed.

I'm not entirely sure what the optimum is for compaction, which is what this 'kit' could reduce.. loose would seem to offer more efficiency to a degree, except go too far and I've heard it can aid channelling and geysers around the edges of the top filter if too loose, so maybe theres an optimum middle ground. I'll be interested to hear how it works out.
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Re: BM and efficiency

Post by Waffty » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:58 pm

So managed to get another brew under my belt, with some of my new additions and other than cocking up some of my measurements (my cock-up), everything worked well.

Here is the new higher yield kit, which to be honest, I was more interested in upping my efficiency and not losing any grain out of the malt tube.

Image

This is the top plate in place.

Image

and with the clamp in place (I'm using a 50L Braumeister, with the 25L Malt tube fitted, hence the spacer)

Image

Have to say, the 'new' top plate and screen worked very well, there was no escaped grain to be seen anywhere. When I removed the clamp and removed the 'new' top plate and screen to lift the malt tube, the 'original' top plate had moved right to the top of the malt tube (remember the 'old' top plate is fitted upside down and has a clear silicon washer supplied in the kit to keep the screen in place) and there was some grain that had escaped but not made it past the 'new' top plate and screen. When I lifted the malt tube up and held it on the stand, the 'original' top plate slipped down a good few inches. Which proved that the 'original' top plate and therefore the grain in the tube had more space to move around. In addition, my concerns about the clarity of the wort was unfounded as if anything, it was as clear as I've ever seen before.

My efficiency was up a few points but I didn't follow full test conditions as I cocked up my initial water requirements and hence put too much water in and I didn't use 100% Malt Miller grain, as I had 1Kg left over from BrewUK, so used that, which I know for a fact gives slightly less favourable results.

Oww and my new extractor 'Carlos Fandango' racing ram pipe worked a dream extracting my steam.

Image

And

Image

All in all, a good day in the brew kitchen, my new purchase worked as I expected and I suspect with a change in grain and some correct calculations, I won't be a million miles away from my target of 80%+ in addition, the fact the top screen and filter plate stopped anything from getting out of the malt tube, whilst still allowing the top plate to move up and down was a real bonus, as was the clarity of the wort afterwards and the stream hood and pipe worked like a dream, as before, the silicon hose was connected directly to the dome hood, which kinked the pipe into a tighter angle and condensation would collect in the pipe some of which I'm convinced found it's way back into the boiler. The new pipe gives a full 4" bore and a smooth enough arc to for a cleaner air flow, as lets face it, that's exactly what it was designed for, given it's basically an air pipe for a performance cars induction system, when flow is key to performance. In addition, there's no pooling of condensation, given the incline now imposed on the silicon tube. The hose clips are belt and braces, as the fittings are nice and tight as is. The short silicon coupling hose (used to join the metal pipe to the top of the dome hood) also helps with filling the malt tube, as the dome can be used as filling funnel, when turned up side down, with the hose pushing into the actual liquid, I have had grain escape when previously filling without the silicon tube.

So a win win from my perspective.
Fermenting - Nothing
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