Help with my partial mash technique

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Help with my partial mash technique

Postby kevponce » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:19 am

I posted this in another area in response to dancingbear in case you have seen this already.

Trying to develop my own techniques for partial mash and here is what I have so far after 3 partial mashes regarding efficiency.

I have an igloo cooler tun, 2 gal with a 1/4" copper manifold. Works great. I have done three batches so far. 1st one, didn't really know about efficiency calculations.
2nd one I read Palmer's book and used his calculations to determine efficiency.
1. Measure the gravity of your collected partial mash wort. Drop the 1.0
2. multiply times gallons of collected partial mash wort
3. Divide that by lbs grain used
Palmer says this number should be better than 25.
4. Divide that by maximum yield spec for specific grain for efficency percent

2nd batch was like this using palmer numbers
collected wort was 1.038 or 38
times 2.5 gallons = 95
divided by 5 lbs of grain (4 weyerman pils, 1 wheat) = 19 (compared to 25 is quite low)
divide by 37 which is weyerman pils gives me 51% efficiency

so I realized that I was getting crappy efficiency, but I read chris colby's article on stove-top partial mash and he says partial mash's won't garner as high an efficiency. But I still thought it was way low. Makes me think Promash 30% is more correct but 30% why bother wasting the grain.

so I read a little about raking the grain and slower sparging and here was my third batch brewing an alt

Grain used was 4 lbs Weyerman Pils 3.75 lb
Light Munich 1 lb
Belgian aromatic .25 lb
Carafa III .15 lb
total 5.15 lb

collected 2.53 gallons wort times BG (boiling gravity althogh it wasn't boiling, wonder if this matters) 1.052 = 130
divided by 5.15 lbs grain = 25.24
divided by 37 (max yield of weyerman) = 68% efficiency

I can live with these numbers.

I guess my point was that I need to do this a couple of more times to get a feel for how my own system works.

My next step in understanding is getting the mash pH correct. I read a paper by Ken Scwartz on Coverting all-grain recipes to Partial-mash
Really interesting. In that paper he says that the easiest way to get mash pH correct is simply use distilled water and 1 tablespoon of DME per gallon of water. It worked great on my 2nd mash as shown above, mash was 5.3 right in line. But when i did my alt the pH was 4.9 alittle low so I was scrambling to raise it using calcium carbonate. I hated this part because I felt so unorganized. I wasn't sure how much to add in and futzing with the tun dropped my temp. i am assuming that the darker grains (Carafa III) dropped the pH. Does that sound right? How about some advice?
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Postby axis714 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:40 pm

My brewing friend-
You have everything perfectly understood. Your technique is skillful and well planned, and I see no need for my input at all..LOL Its just a matter of useing that system until it becomes just as natural to you as anything else you routinely do. Id almost bet money that next time youll hit your target mash temp and sparge temp the ph will be perfect and your efficiency will be 75%---and then youll go DOH! I forgot to make a starter..LOL seriously :|
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Postby kevponce » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:25 pm

Thanks for the vote of confidence
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