Originally Posted by Clonefan94
Volumes are a big deal and until I did this, I found I was always, off, even using water calculators I always had more water left in the tun than I wanted. The two things that seemed to have helped my efficiency the most were correct water volume and my own mill to crush to my preference.
As others have said though, once you get to the 70-75% range, you are doing OK. At that point, rather than chasing the numbers, just enjoy the consistency. I think bein consistant is better for making good beer than getting higher efficiencies, but being of by 5% + or - every time.
Yeah, that's my plan after this discussion.
First, I'm going to make a calibrated dowel for my boil kettle. I'm going to be using it for hot wort as well as water, and I've watched my buddy's stick need remarking, so I'm buying a set of letter and number punches so I can actually stamp the numbers and lines into the wood. I may make more for my other pots, but boil kettle is first.
Second, I'm going to get familiar with my refractometer and use it at each stage: first runnings, post-sparge/preboil, etc. along with a calculator like Kai's to be sure of my numbers and allow adjustments early.
And consistency is indeed my goal. I'm using someone else's crush and batch sparging, so I don't expect anything over 70-75% brewhouse efficiency, But I do want to hit conversion and volume numbers within narrow bands each time.