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Old 11-06-2010, 06:11 PM   #1
DirtyPolock
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Default 75% efficiency where can I improve?

So I am in the process of doing my 5th batch of all grain as I type (I am waiting for it come boil) and I am consistently obtaining a 75% efficiency. Don't get me wrong I am definitely not complaining about this number but I am hoping to see if there are any suggestions out there on how I can squeak out a few more points.

Here is my system:

- I'm crushing my own grain with a barley crusher

- Using the homemade cheap and easy MLT (and getting great temp results)

- I do batch sparging and break it up into two different batches...as a word of note I have not been doing a mash out until this batch and I got the same 75%

- The estimation of my pre-boil batch size in my kettle is from the sight glass from a Blichmann 10 gal boilermaker

I think that these are all the variables that matter in my efficiency, if there is anything else in my setup that matters let me know and I'll describe it.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 11-06-2010, 06:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DirtyPolock View Post
So I am in the process of doing my 5th batch of all grain as I type (I am waiting for it come boil) and I am consistently obtaining a 75% efficiency. Don't get me wrong I am definitely not complaining about this number but I am hoping to see if there are any suggestions out there on how I can squeak out a few more points.

Here is my system:

- I'm crushing my own grain with a barley crusher

- Using the homemade cheap and easy MLT (and getting great temp results)

- I do batch sparging and break it up into two different batches...as a word of note I have not been doing a mash out until this batch and I got the same 75%

- The estimation of my pre-boil batch size in my kettle is from the sight glass from a Blichmann 10 gal boilermaker

I think that these are all the variables that matter in my efficiency, if there is anything else in my setup that matters let me know and I'll describe it.

Thanks for the help!
If you're consistent at 75%, I wouldn't change a thing.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:33 PM   #3
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That's about where I am, as well, with the same sort of factors (grinding own, double batch sparge). However, I do get higher efficiency on a small grain bill, and slightly lower on a huge grain bill, which is to be expected. I'm happy with 75%, as it's pretty consistent for a given recipe.

Water chemistry, specifically "where is my mash pH" can have an effect on efficiency. Some change their water additives depending upon how light or dark the beer is, in order to get the right pH.

Rich

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Old 11-06-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
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I agree with AZ_IPA, but if you really want to get some more out of it here are the things that improved my efficiency.

-Using 5.2 Stabilizer,YMMV depending on your water chemistry & the style your making
-Crushing my own grain which you already do, but you could tighten the gap on your BC a little. This would probably benefit you the most
-Sparging slower, I also double batch sparge, this really helped on large grainbills
-Sprage with hotter water around 195* on the first sparge and 170*ish on the second, but be careful that your grainbed doesn't exceed 170*

I get around 82-84% on a regular basis for average size beers and get 78-79% on big beers(RIS,Barleywine,DIPA)

Hope that helps

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Old 11-06-2010, 07:50 PM   #5
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I wouldn't worry much and personally I would avoid tightening up the gap on your crusher as coarser crushes help minimize things like tannin extraction...at the cost of efficiency, but there are reasons why many folks intentionally seek lower efficiencies.

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Old 11-06-2010, 08:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AZ_IPA View Post
If you're consistent at 75%, I wouldn't change a thing.
+1 If it ain't broke don't fix it. Really I would not change a thing!
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:17 PM   #7
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If you're consistent at 75%, I wouldn't change a thing.
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Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
+1 If it ain't broke don't fix it. Really I would not change a thing!
Sounds good. I was fairly sure that a 75% eff. was a pretty good number to have especially if everybody is telling me to not change a thing.

Now I'm just trying to adjust my water numbers in ProMash so I can get a better post-boil gravity as compared to my estimated gravity, that number is not as consistent as my 75% eff.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:21 PM   #8
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The 75% is very good. The consistency is pure gold!

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Old 11-06-2010, 09:27 PM   #9
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I get 82% on a regular basis, but if it was 75% I would be happy. If your numbers are solid you can make easy corrections via recipe formulation. It's when you have efficiency numbers all over the place that causes worry. Use a brewing program, add more malt to get your wanted numbers, and be very happy you are so consistent (as many of us aren't)!

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Old 11-07-2010, 01:39 AM   #10
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75% is probably right where you want to be. It seems that most of the recipes you find are for 75% efficiency so you should be right on. If you can get better then good for you, but factor that into your recipes. The key is consistently hitting right around the same efficiency.

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