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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Calculating Efficiency
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
CEMaine
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Default Calculating Efficiency

Hi All
Although I have been brewing for some time, I still have not grasped the efficiency calculation thing. SWMBO tells me I am slow to pick things up and I think she is right.
Anyhow, I racked a extract version of my High Head Honey Blonde last night and am now trying to crack this thing.

Ingredients
Amount Item
3 lbs Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM)
3 lbs 4.8 oz Pale Liquid Extract (15 min)
1.00 oz Cascade (60 min)
1.00 oz Mt. Hood (60 min)
0.50 oz Saaz (10 min)
0.75 oz Saaz (5 min)
0.30 tsp Irish Moss (10.0 min)
8.0 oz Honey
6.00 gal Poland Spring Water
1 Pkgs SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33)



The Estimated OG should have been (according to Beersmith) 1.044
My measured OG was 1.040
So, what would my efficiency be on this?

BTW.. The estimated FG was 1.012
My FG was 1.012!!

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Old 05-06-2008, 12:39 PM   #2
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Well, your efficiency doesn't come into play. All of those malt/grain ingredients are extracts. You aren't extracting any gravity points from grain at all (which is what efficiency measures). When the sugars are already extracted, they can't just disappear, so they are in your wort.

When you make beer out of grain, though, you are mashing with hot water to convert the starch into those sugars and that's when efficiency comes into play. For extract, that's been done for you.

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Old 05-06-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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Since you are brewing with extract, I would bet that your OG was a bit off from your overall volume measurement. You probably had a bit more water in your fermenter (or kettle) than the recipe in beersmith was counting on, giving you a slightly lower OG.

The other thing that can happen is that the brewing programs (beersmith, promash, etc.) can sometimes have default gravity potentials (PPG) for ingredients - extract or grain - that are higher or lower than what the ingredient actually delivers. By gravity potential I mean the number of possible gravity points per pound of the ingredient per gallon of water - PPG. For extracts, you automatically get 100% of the potential gravity points. For grain, you get a percentage of the potential which is your system efficiency. These default values in the software can be off a bit - even for extracts. According to Promash, values for LME range from 35 to 38 PPG depending on the brand. This can definitely affect your OG.

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