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Is it my grist? Low efficiency question.

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  • Is it my grist? Low efficiency question.

    Been trying to wrap my head around this since we've upgraded to to a RMS 2 roller mill and a 2017 ABE 10 BBL from a punk rock 3BBl.

    My mash efficiency so far has been lacking around 75% with some of our basic no nonsense recipe's. I was assuming we'd easily be in the 80's as my old system was there all day.

    Checked mill and grist using the ASBC Method malt 4. I'm about 68% coarse . With our RMS 2 roller mill.
    I acidify the mash water with phosphoric acid per bill and current water profile in our area.
    Grain in via hydrator usually about 1.5 qt.\lbs
    Rake moderately, and bust out the mash paddle to break up stubborn areas
    run vorlauf for a bit to redistribute dead space water any any acid or mineral additions that my have fallen beneath the false bottom
    Check my mash temp via a 2 foot probe since the one in the tun sucks.
    running a 60 min mash +15 min vorlauf
    restrict my running's (grant less system) 60 min runoff usually ,gravity feed, only pump the last 25 to 30%

    trying to get my numbers up, you guys have any wisdom?

  • #2
    Try slowing down a little bit. Aim for 90-120 min lauter time. Is your current process pulling off the MLT wall or creating a divot in the mash bed? Also, do you have manometers on the MLT?
    _
    JEREMY KING
    Brewery Design Consultant, Experienced Commercial Brewer
    jeremy.king@craftkettle.com​ | d 504.930.4462 (schedule a call)

    CRAFT KETTLE BREWING EQUIPMENT
    1600 Tchoupitoulas St New Orleans, LA 70130​ | p 855.953.8853
    www.craftkettle.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by craftkettlebrew View Post
      Try slowing down a little bit. Aim for 90-120 min lauter time. Is your current process pulling off the MLT wall or creating a divot in the mash bed? Also, do you have manometers on the MLT?
      _
      JEREMY KING
      Brewery Design Consultant, Experienced Commercial Brewer
      jeremy.king@craftkettle.com​ | d 504.930.4462 (schedule a call)

      CRAFT KETTLE BREWING EQUIPMENT
      1600 Tchoupitoulas St New Orleans, LA 70130​ | p 855.953.8853
      www.craftkettle.com
      No manometers. Its a pretty basic single infusion MLT. I understand your concern about runoff speed. I actually had a additional valve welded in so I could restrict the flow (its a pneumatic system, the valve to kettle just opens all the way with no restriction lol). I'll try adding an additional 30 min to the runoff next time. Honestly at 68% coarse the #14 sieve grist looks not broken up enough in my opinion. I'm not noticing any real issues with with channeling visually but that's not to say its not actually happening.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Benzesp View Post

        No manometers. Its a pretty basic single infusion MLT. I understand your concern about runoff speed. I actually had a additional valve welded in so I could restrict the flow (its a pneumatic system, the valve to kettle just opens all the way with no restriction lol). I'll try adding an additional 30 min to the runoff next time. Honestly at 68% coarse the #14 sieve grist looks not broken up enough in my opinion. I'm not noticing any real issues with with channeling visually but that's not to say its not actually happening.
        So, this may be creating a sudden, albeit momentary, drop in pressure which may be compressing the mash bed a little bit. Do you have a wort grant or is this a direct pathway from MLT to pump to kettle?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by craftkettlebrew View Post

          So, this may be creating a sudden, albeit momentary, drop in pressure which may be compressing the mash bed a little bit. Do you have a wort grant or is this a direct pathway from MLT to pump to kettle?
          No grant. I welded a manual valve in after the pneumatic valve because there was no control during runoff. 2 clicks in is pretty slow, runoff will usually take an hour or more. I open the pneumatic valve from the control panel then dial in the butterfly.

          Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            Slow the runoff down. Shoot for a runoff time like stated above of 90-120 minutes.

            Jim Lieb

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            • #7
              Agree with the 90min target time. Extraction, not conversion, is likely your issue. You could do an iodine starch test to confirm conversion.

              Sieving grist is great to get you in a ballpark, but I have always adjusted the mill to match my brewhouse capability myself. If it looks too coarse, it probably is. You can run Congress mash, but I’d start crushing it further.

              If you were collapsing your bed it is VERY unlikely you would be able to run off in 60mins. The high speed indicates you are likely too coarse.

              Good to know ABE has no practical experience in designing a mash/lauter interface. This is the worst possible way to valve. There should ALWAYS be a manual valve in between regardless of the level of automation in the system. It is just too easy to compact a bed by pressing the wrong button. Had you asked first, I would have suggested a micro-adjust butterfly valve from someone like cellar supply in place of your blue butterfly. This gives you fine tuning of the runoff.

              Cutting the bed is a technique that can help compensate for poor design and sometimes for finicky mash compositions. You can rake extremely slow after about 1/3 runoff to prevent channeling and improve extraction. Turn the rakes 1-3 times and then resume standard runoff.

              Let us know what you see once you tighten up the mill and slow down the runoff.

              Comment


              • Benzesp
                Benzesp commented
                Editing a comment
                thanks all. Im going to slow down and let it trickle in, target 65% in the # 14 next time.

            • #8
              I have to disagree with everyone. I have a 7bbl ABE system (2019). Same mill and same setup as you except I have a wort grant. I mash in for 30 min, 10 min vorlauf, and runoff in 1 hour and get around 85% efficiency. I would try crushing your grain a bit more. If you aren't getting a stuck runoff you won't have a problem with a little finer crush. Not sure if it correlates to your system, but my mill is set on "10" for both the left and the right roller.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by drbenj1 View Post
                I have to disagree with everyone. I have a 7bbl ABE system (2019). Same mill and same setup as you except I have a wort grant. I mash in for 30 min, 10 min vorlauf, and runoff in 1 hour and get around 85% efficiency. I would try crushing your grain a bit more. If you aren't getting a stuck runoff you won't have a problem with a little finer crush. Not sure if it correlates to your system, but my mill is set on "10" for both the left and the right roller.
                You probably have the same mill as I do. At that setting that would be .030" gap. Did RMS or ABE advise this setting? I'm gonna mill some at this setting and sieve a little to see how it shakes out.

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                • #10
                  The ABE guys set it up that way when they commissioned the brewhouse. I did the sieve test and got about 68% in the first pan if I remember correctly. Haven't really needed to ever change it.

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                  • #11
                    Set it to .036". 67.9% # 14 pan. My opinion visually it looks too large but I know that means nothing. Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20210120_132707_resized_20210120_012759759.jpg Views:	0 Size:	71.3 KB ID:	305066
                    Last edited by Benzesp; 01-20-2021, 12:47 PM.

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                    • #12
                      Looks large to me as well, hard to tell just by looking at it though. I would close the gap a little more.

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                      • #13
                        Just a follow up, I'm finally in the low 80's. I ended up milling a lot finer than I'm used to. was initially worried that I'd get stuck mashes but the way the RMS mill crushes and the false bottom design allows for this to be ok. I was double batching a Hefe, and forgot the rice hulls on the second batch, it ran off fine lol. I might be able to push it even more but I'm really waiting to get more brews under my belt with this system. On to the next issue, over attenuation.

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