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Old 02-08-2010, 05:14 AM   #1
brewmasterpa
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Default Is 105% brewhouse efficiency possible?

Let's start by saying that I have been brewing for about 1.5 years and I consider myself to be still in the very early learning stage. Today I brewed an american pilsner and my efficiency ended up being 105% Is that possible???
It was a 10 gallon batch, used 16.75 lbs of grain (16 lbs pilsner malt, .75 lbs cara pils) mashed at 156 F for 90 minutes and sparged with 8 gallons of water at 175 F. My mash thickness was 1.5/1. My last few brews, I have crushed my own grains and seen my efficiency numbers higher than they had been when the brew supply shop crushed my grains, but not like this. I'm wondering if I made a mistake. I have checked and rechecked my numbers. I checked to make sure my hydrometer is accurate, and I doubled checked my original gravity (1.059). Does anybody have any ideas? I think I included all the information needed to make a proper evaluation. My problem is that I was trying to brew a light, easy drinking beer for the spring/summer, and now I have a 7.3% abv monster and I don't want to duplicate this next time, and I also don't want to take a chance adjusting it and having it turn out that I made a mistake and now I have 10 gallons of fizzy yellow water. HELP!!

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Old 02-08-2010, 05:19 AM   #2
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Most likely, you've got a measuring error somewhere. Either you had more than 16.75lbs of grain, or you've got less than 10g of wort.

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Old 02-08-2010, 05:21 AM   #3
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i had the same exact mystery 105 efficiency once. I posted a thread but the conclusion seemed to be that I made a mistake when weighing my grain. could that be the source of your problem?

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Old 02-08-2010, 05:22 AM   #4
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I thought that 100% of anything is the max . That seems like a very high original gravity for that little grain on a 10 gallon batch. Something must be wrong somewhere because it doesn't make sense.

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Old 02-08-2010, 05:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffdeezy View Post
I thought that 100% of anything is the max .
It's based on the theoretical maximum gravity points achieved in a lab (pulverized grain, optimal temperature, etc.). But, it is possible to surpass 100% efficiency since grain extract yield varies somewhat. Is it likely? Absolutely not. Not unless you're conducting your own optimal lab experiments with no real world wort losses.

OP, recheck your measurements....Something is amiss.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:35 AM   #6
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The only think that it may be is high grain bill. Possibly 18.75 lbs. I have a digital scale that only allows me to weigh about 2 lbs at a time, so I had to count 2, 4, 6, 8..... while I filled it, and my daughter distracted me. I was almost certain I had it right though because I counted it multiple times in my head. Any other thoughts? I guess that's probably the problem but I wanted to see if there was anything I missed or perhaps I wasn't understanding the efficiency numbers properly. I guess the only thing I can do is brew it again the same way and see what happens, except don't make any mistakes. What if everything is right and no mistakes get made and I still get 105% Is that possible in any dimension? I guess what I'm asking is, is there anything I might be missing or misunderstanding?

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:38 PM   #7
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I would expect a max of 96% brewhouse in the real world. The 100% number is based on the exact run of grain you received. I'm sure your calculations are based on an average yield of that style of grain which could be lower than your actual grain. If you get a malt analysis for the lot number on the sack, you can get more accurate numbers.

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