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Old 10-31-2009, 04:56 PM   #1
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Default 70% eff...

So Yesterday i made anouther 10 gal batch of beer.
I have been hitting 60% eff. since day one...Been trying differnt things here and there if i remember but never made a huge effort till yesterday.

I mashed at 150 degrees for 75min. Stired every 15 min. Usally i do a mash for only 60min.

For sparge water it was 160degree's..Had to add 4 gal. Waiting 5min max and drained off.

Boiled for 90min...usally do 60min boil

Chill took 15min...Normal

took OG and nailed it right on the nose for 70%.


My first guess, Is the extra mashing, stiring every 15 min attributes to the higher % of covert rate.

To boil, I know has some effect.. But i usally boil off the same amount no matter if it is a 60 or 90min boil...Reason for the 90 was i needed the extra time for bittering.

Oh and yes my grain is milled perfectly....Couldnt ask for better.


Any idea's?
80% out of reach?

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:07 PM   #2
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No, 80% is not out of reach at all. Your question will likely reignite the endless debates and dick waving on this subject. IMO, 70% is perfectly OK. The improvement was likely due to a combination of all the changes you mentioned. How finely you mill the malt has the largest influence on efficiency. It is good to know what to expect for efficiency so you can put together a recipe and hit your target OG +/- a few points. The quality of the finished beer is what's important, not saving a buck or two on grain. I would bet that the majority of home brewers are running between 70-80%. I'm about as impressed with high efficiency boasting as I am with low golf scores and big fish stories. I used to have a bachelor friend that liked to brag about how much he was getting laid. You know how that goes. He's usually the one not getting any at all. Don't stress over efficiencies; it's much more productive to focus on making good beer.

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:22 PM   #3
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An additional 10% effeciency on a 5 gallon beer...

1# grain. For me (bulk), that is about 70 cents.

Way more important to have consistent efficiency, then you can dial in your recipes. Cat, above, pretty much sums up my feelings.

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:33 PM   #4
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My efficiency hit 80% when I got my Barley Crusher. The difference between my crush and my local homebrew store was drastic.

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Old 10-31-2009, 08:38 PM   #5
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70-80% is great, and consistency is even better.

It's possible that the high efficiencies that warrant "dick waving" are also detrimental. Extracting (or attempting to extract) every last molecule of sugar from the mash may result in astringency or other flavor issues due to over-sparging.

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:16 PM   #6
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Look at it this way.

If you are converting 80% of your sugars and getting 90% lauter eff, you will be at about 70% eff. in the process. That is okay.

If you are converting 95% of your sugars, sparge less, and get about 80% lauter eff. you will be creating better quality wort than you are now at 70% and will have about 80% eff in the process. You can actually INCREASE your eff. and BETTER your wort quality. Most people, dont get this... but it is true.

The myth is pretty rampant that lower eff. creates better wort. Hardly a hard and fast rule. Poor conversion eff. will lead you to sparge more and have much lower quality wort therefore.

You need to determine your conversion and lauter eff.

Convert 70% of your sugars and sparge the hell out of it (90% lauter eff) and you will get 63% eff?

Convert 98% of your sugars and sparge much less (70% lauter eff) and you will get 70% eff?


Id rather be the guy getting 70% eff. because my wort will be of higher quality than the guy getting 63% eff.

Get it? People will tell you not to concentrate on eff, concentrate on making good beer. Do you see now that eff. really does play a role in making good beer? You need great conversion eff., that way you can sparge less. Eff. numbers are very important to you as a brewer... if you do now know how eff. your processes are, then you have no idea what you are actually doing in the mash and lauter. Anyone can make oatmeal (water and grain), a brewer knows what is going on in there and makes beer.

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:38 PM   #7
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My post above is making reference to a recent thread where another brewer was getting about 60% eff. Again, people want to jump on the "eff. isnt something to chase" because that seems to be the cool thing here on HBT when someone brings up eff.

As Kai determined, the poor fellow was only converting 66% of his sugars and sparging the hell out of his grain bed to get 60% eff. His process is horrible for making quality wort and for producing wort eff. There is nothing good in his case about low (even if it is consistent) efficiency.

I think that we should spend more time encouraging people to determine thier conversion and lauter eff. so that they can both produce better wort AND be more efficient while doing so. I dont know why all of these threads about eff. take the turn that they do, but it isnt cool.

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
I think that we should spend more time encouraging people to determine thier conversion and lauter eff. so that they can both produce better wort AND be more efficient while doing so. I dont know why all of these threads about eff. take the turn that they do, but it isnt cool.
It's a fine point you make Pol. I get it. You are right.

However, there is a similar thread to this one at least once a week. I think we (HBT) spend way too much time going over this again and again. mash temp. grist water ratio. pH. grind. batch/fly. It is false to state that these topics haven't been covered adequately, and repeatedly, here before.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:58 PM   #9
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All we do on HBT is go over the same things over and over 90% of the time. I mean, that is what we do. There isnt that much NEW material to cover, really.

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Old 10-31-2009, 11:40 PM   #10
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Mashing avocados to make a mexican IPA hasn't been covered yet.

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