I’m using the lauterhexe from the shop and my efficiency is very low. Most time below the 60%. I’m not into getting to a very high efficiency but getting consistent efficiency in the top part of the 70% would be preferable.I feel like I don’t get all out of the mash tun but at the end a lot of low gravity wort ( < 1.008 ) to get to me
How you guys are using it? What you need to take care of and shouldn’t do. I try to do fly sparge with a very small triple to avoid channeling but I’m not entire sure if I avoid that. Checking the left over in the mash tun shows that I can find wort in there with a gravity of 1.015.
A low efficiency can happen because of several things. Have you checked if you crush your grains correctly? I am using a roller mill now and never looked back. Are you using a correct ratio of sparge water vs mash water? I don’t fly sparge but dump it in in two batches and stir well. Are you keeping your mash temperatures in check?
All things that effect the efficiency and most probably cause of your problem - I’ve had channeling and still ended up in the 70’s…
Palmer’s How To Brew has a very detailed section in the Appendix on manifold design for mash/lauter tuns. Based on some fluid dynamic models him and some friends created, they determined that a ring manifold (like the lauterhexe) is most efficient when the area inside and outside the manifold is equal. This roughly equates to the diameter of the manifold being approximately 0.707 times the diameter of the tun (assuming a circular tun).
I note that this doesn’t quite agree with the sizing and usage recommended in the BrewPi store. But according to the explanations of the of tun fluid dynamics in Palmer’s, the setup recommended on the BrewPi store will run into problems with whats known as “boundary effects” where by the fluids will tend to preferentially flow down the walls of a vessel rather than through the permeable material filling it. The offshoot being that the grains towards the edge of the vessel will be over-sparged and those between the pipes will be under-sparged. The over-sparged grains will result in excess tannins in your wort whereas the under-sparged grains will result in losses in efficiency.
While I’m unsure how much testing BrewPi have done with the lauterhexe to find the most efficient configuration, my reading of the explanations of the fluid dynamics of tun design in Palmer’s is that the most efficient use of the lauterhexe would be a single ring of diameter 0.707 times the diameter of the tun with equal spacing around the edges. I’d be interested to hear if Elco has had a different experience in reality.
My experience with the lauterhexe in the Mash Tun is limited but so far my efficiency is very high.
In the sessions tab of BeerSmith the Mash efficiency is in the 90-ies. (3 brews)
I use the lauterhexe according to the Elco’s formula and spread the thing in a sort of S-form.
So far I’am very happy with it.
I suggest that you look to the suggestions made by r_vandenbroek!