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Old 05-12-2014, 12:03 AM   #1
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Default Beer Efficiency

I have recently graduated to all grain brewing. I have flash and batch sparged a few recipes but I am having trouble getting my efficiency above 55%. The beer taste fine but ferments very quickly. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 05-12-2014, 02:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
What is your crush like? Do you crush at home, or at the brew store?
+1 on this point.

I recently bought a used barley crusher and last Thursday brewed a Hop Stoopid clone. Best I ever got before was in the low 70's for mash efficiency, usually around 68%. Last Thursday attained 84% efficiency which I am attributing to both the crush and my improved fly sparging technique. I am convinced my grain after being crushed at the LHBS didn't look nearly the same as my crush last week, and the numbers I think prove it.

I don't know what flash sparge means but before I learned how to fly sparge I used to batch sparge. I'm pretty convinced you just can't get the same numbers with batch sparging as you can with fly sparging. That said you should absolutely get into the low 70s with batch sparging, maybe even higher.
I think the crush is a good place to start.

Check out the Hopvectors Beer Club website

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Old 05-12-2014, 03:29 AM   #4
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Isolate your efficiency numbers. Figure out your conversion efficiency with this chart: (Enter chart at your grist ratio)

Your SG should 90% or more of the chart SG. If it's not, then you have mash tun issues (crush, pH, temp, etc).

After sparging use this chart for lauter efficiency:

Use this chart by adding water (cold is ok) to your drained MLT using a value from the top of the chart (i.e. 1qt/lb). Take an SG reading. This reading tells you how much fermentable you left in the MLT. Subtract this percentage from your above conversion percentage and you get your Overall Conversion Efficiency.

Using this method you can determine whether your problems are with the mash or the sparge...or both.

Something is always fermenting....
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:02 AM   #5
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For me, crush made all the difference. I was getting about 70% mash efficiency when I used the LHBS crush. I bought a cheap little Cereal Killer and set it to credit card thickness gap and now I routinely get about 83% using a cooler mash tun and batch sparging.

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Old 05-26-2014, 11:01 PM   #6
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If you can provide your water volumes and grain weight I would be happy to crunch the laughtering numbers for you. Sometimes more grain can actual end up producing less sugar. see here for details:


The 2nd edition is now available: Brewing Engineering
Woodland Brewing Research Blog Applied Science for Better Beer.

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