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Old 10-14-2012, 06:53 AM   #1
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Default 98% efficiency. Is this possible?

So I'm wondering if I did my math wrong, but I've double checked by hand, and by online calculators. I somehow got 98% efficiency with my system and I'm wondering if this is even possible, or if anyone has had a similar experience. Don't get me wrong, if it's right then that's fantastic but I'd prefer to be consistent around my normal 80-85% so I know what to expect. Check it out.

Grainbill
Maris Otter- 6lb
Crystal 60L- 1lb 10oz
Munich 10L- 1lb 10oz
Pale chocolate- 9oz
Black Patent- 6oz
Chocolate- 4oz

Total grainbill- 10lb 7oz

Mashed with 14qts, sparged with 24 qts to collect 7.2 gallons wort at a corrected gravity of 1.051. Boiled till I had 5.75 gallons at which the gravity was 1.065. (65x5.75 = 373points) and the 100% potential is 1.069 for 5.5 gal or (69x5.5 = 379).... 373/379=0.98 or 98%

Am I wrong or is this real or is this some kind of fluke? Input?

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Old 10-14-2012, 07:05 AM   #2
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Well seeing how maximum potential is tested in lab environments then yes it is possible. You can always go over procedures to make sure you read the right number (calibrate your hydro, read the bottom of the miniscus, correct for temperature, etc). I'd imagine though you'd have to have a very fine crush to get those numbers but many people regularly get in the 90s

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Old 10-14-2012, 07:17 AM   #3
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There are many possible reasons, but the most likely answer is that there is a measurement error somewhere along the way.

Did you personally measure all your grain before milling it? How sure are you about those numbers? That is the mostly likely source of error, assuming your gravity readings are correct.

The other likely candidate is the volume measurement. Maybe you took your volume reading when the wort was still hot, and thus it would read a bit higher due to thermal expansion.

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Old 10-14-2012, 07:18 AM   #4
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Yea I corrected for temps and all that good stuff. Read from the meniscus and what not. I guess I'm just blown away by the 98%. My last three brews were 76, 83, 80 and then a 98 from nowhere.

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Old 10-14-2012, 07:21 AM   #5
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I have had unusually high OGs too. I've also had unusually low ones. I guess anything can happen if you brew enough beer...

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Old 10-14-2012, 07:44 AM   #6
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Also yea I measure my own grain at the lhbs and mill it myself at home. Like I said, I've over this a billion times and I can't find an error.

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Old 10-14-2012, 02:39 PM   #7
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I'm much more inclined to believe there's an error somewhere. Have you checked and made sure your hydrometer is still accurate, that the paper hasn't slipped? Was the wort cooled to pitching temp before you took the hydro reading?


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Old 10-14-2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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Hydrometer is still accurate. Reads zero with water. I always correct my readings too. Pretty much always have my thermometer on hand which I know is accurate as well.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:06 PM   #9
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I just hit an ungodly number too and know in my bones I've got an error somewhere.

9lbs 2-row
1-lb Munich
1-lb Crystal-60L

6 gallons with an OG of 1.06 would give me an efficiency of 111%, which of course would mean I've broken the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

I've either discovered a technology that will save the world, or the brew store slipped me a little extra in the grain bill. Still, I've struggled with my BIAB setup to get to 70%, and my post-mash grain weight was only 12.5lbs so regardless of the free 2-row my results remain anomalous.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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How did you mill the grain? Do you use a flour mill? I use a Champion set very close to the course setting. By changing it towards fine the efficiency goes up along with the astringency so I shoot for about 80%.

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