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Old 07-14-2010, 01:29 PM   #191
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Scratch that. I just looked it up, You measure the pre boil gravity for you efficiency. In that case, I was at %68.7. Still ok?
Pre boil vs post boil shouldn't matter right? Cause it is relative to the volume of wort you are using? Preboil you will have a lower gravity, but more wort. Post Boil you will have a higher gravity, but less wort. These numbers should contain the same amount of sugars, just relative to the wort level.

Brewhouse efficiency is calculating how many sugars you can get out of those grains.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:14 PM   #192
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I really enjoy tinkering as well. Thanks for the tip. I will try and finger out my points more accurate next time, that way I can calculate my true efficiency.

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Old 07-14-2010, 08:06 PM   #193
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I just bought beersmith and am trying to get everything ready for my first AG batch on Friday. A couple things are giving me problems though so please give me some feedback so I can figure out the best thing to do. I am doing a 10 gallon all grain IPA and my confusion is on the mashout and sparge volumes that beersmith is giving me. In one case when I select a medium bodied single infusion it is telling me to mash with 37.5 qts at 165.2 F (cooler pre-heated) and then mash out with 21 qts at around 195. Then it says to drain all of that and then sparge with around 3 gallons. I feel like this isn't right because sparging with only 3 gallons doesn't seem like it is going to do much. The least amount of mashout volume it will allow me is 14.1 qts at boiling in order to get me to 168 F. This is still only leaving me 4.3 gallons of sparge. Should I just skip the mashout? I mean I have a 75 qt mashtun so I have the room to do the large mashout to bring it up to temp but is my efficiency going to suffer from such a small sparge? I feel like adding 5 gallons or less of sparge to 30 lbs of grain isn't going to do much but I have never done all grain so that is why I am asking. Any input or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-14-2010, 08:23 PM   #194
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I just bought beersmith and am trying to get everything ready for my first AG batch on Friday. A couple things are giving me problems though so please give me some feedback so I can figure out the best thing to do. I am doing a 10 gallon all grain IPA and my confusion is on the mashout and sparge volumes that beersmith is giving me. In one case when I select a medium bodied single infusion it is telling me to mash with 37.5 qts at 165.2 F (cooler pre-heated) and then mash out with 21 qts at around 195. Then it says to drain all of that and then sparge with around 3 gallons. I feel like this isn't right because sparging with only 3 gallons doesn't seem like it is going to do much. The least amount of mashout volume it will allow me is 14.1 qts at boiling in order to get me to 168 F. This is still only leaving me 4.3 gallons of sparge. Should I just skip the mashout? I mean I have a 75 qt mashtun so I have the room to do the large mashout to bring it up to temp but is my efficiency going to suffer from such a small sparge? I feel like adding 5 gallons or less of sparge to 30 lbs of grain isn't going to do much but I have never done all grain so that is why I am asking. Any input or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
What are you brewing thats 30 lbs? Miine says for 30lb of grain 37.5 qt first mash, then a 21 qt. mash out .43 sparge. I don't do mash out though. I'd go with single infusion, no mash out. That will give you what you're looking for most likely.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:26 PM   #195
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What are you brewing thats 30 lbs? Miine says for 30lb of grain 37.5 qt first mash, then a 21 qt. mash out .43 sparge. I don't do mash out though. I'd go with single infusion, no mash out. That will give you what you're looking for most likely.
I am doing a 10 gallon dogfish 60 min clone. It only calls for like 27 pounds of grain but since its my first time I figured I would have bad efficiency and should add some extra. Yours said .43 sparge? What does that mean .43 Gallons? So if I do no mash out then it is telling me to do like 7.8 gallons of sparge at 168 F. Should I do a higher temp than that though?
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:50 PM   #196
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I am doing a 10 gallon dogfish 60 min clone. It only calls for like 27 pounds of grain but since its my first time I figured I would have bad efficiency and should add some extra. Yours said .43 sparge? What does that mean .43 Gallons? So if I do no mash out then it is telling me to do like 7.8 gallons of sparge at 168 F. Should I do a higher temp than that though?
I normally do my mash at whatever temp i want it to be at then sparge with about 165-170 degree water.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:32 PM   #197
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I finally have the equipment to make the jump to AG, and this thread has been extremely beneficial.

It appears that efficiency is really the perspective of the beerholder. For those who aren't worrying about max efficiency - they seem to want to adjust their sparge amounts to get to a fixed preboil volume. For those who are, they get to a larger pre-boil volume, but with max efficiency, and boil down to the desired volume before actually starting the boil.

I'm not sure if it's been asked, but what would be the estimated efficiency percentage difference between these two processes?

I guess this is weighing on my mind a bit because I'm considering doing an Oatmeal Stout for my first AG, and it calls for a 12.5 lb grain bill. To obtain max efficiency, my mash water volume would be around 15.5 quarts (or 3.9 gallons) and my sparge water would be 7.75 gallons - with an ultimate preboil volume of just over 11.5 gallons for a 5.5 gallon batch.

That does sound like overkill and a lot of propane to use. I guess my question would be to see what the difference in efficiency percentage would be given both situations. If it's somewhere in the range of 10-20%, I'm wondering if that'd be worth my time spent boiling off nearly half of the preboil volume as well as the cost associated with using the propane to do so.

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Old 09-09-2010, 09:32 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasslands View Post
I finally have the equipment to make the jump to AG, and this thread has been extremely beneficial.

It appears that efficiency is really the perspective of the beerholder. For those who aren't worrying about max efficiency - they seem to want to adjust their sparge amounts to get to a fixed preboil volume. For those who are, they get to a larger pre-boil volume, but with max efficiency, and boil down to the desired volume before actually starting the boil.

I'm not sure if it's been asked, but what would be the estimated efficiency percentage difference between these two processes?

I guess this is weighing on my mind a bit because I'm considering doing an Oatmeal Stout for my first AG, and it calls for a 12.5 lb grain bill. To obtain max efficiency, my mash water volume would be around 15.5 quarts (or 3.9 gallons) and my sparge water would be 7.75 gallons - with an ultimate preboil volume of just over 11.5 gallons for a 5.5 gallon batch.

That does sound like overkill and a lot of propane to use. I guess my question would be to see what the difference in efficiency percentage would be given both situations. If it's somewhere in the range of 10-20%, I'm wondering if that'd be worth my time spent boiling off nearly half of the preboil volume as well as the cost associated with using the propane to do so.
Judging by your first sentence, you have yet to brew all grain with your setup, correct? If thats the case you should probably just make a beer and see what kinda efficiency you get. I was pleasantly surprised that my system lends to about an 80% efficiency on average. I am really pleased with that. Sure more would be nice, but not at the expense of propane/TIME its just not worth it. I have yet to try and use a finer crush to achieve better efficiency, but I probably could. I used Bobby_M's all grain guide when I started and I beleive he said he gets 88%-92% with his crush. Thats pretty darn good!

You don't want your runnings to go below 1010, I have been lackadaisical with my procedure and don't check my final runnings gravity, just go to whatever my preboil volume should be, but i really don't think its below that ( i will check this weekend when i brew!). To boil off 6 gallons of wort is just not efficient in itself. The only time you may consider something like this is with a barleywine.

I guess in my opinion, your hypothetical case of boiling down 6 gallons is not a good decision. If you purchase or own your own mill, trying a finer crush to improve efficiency is a great way to do it. But you won't know until you try your system. To answer the percentage difference question that has many variables. But basically you'd have to know your boil off rate and the cost of an hours worth of propane and compare that to your normal efficiency and the amount of extra grain you would have to use to get the gravity you would have gotten from the 6 hour boil off. Then you can factor in your personal time of waiting X hours to continue your brew. Ultimately the decision is yours, but I think the general consensus is better crush and standard boil times and you get what you get. Long post, let me know if i completely missed your question!
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:45 PM   #199
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Efficiency is overrated. I wouldn't obsess about it. I just try to hit my OG or as close as I can.

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Old 10-12-2010, 12:42 AM   #200
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I apologize if this question was already covered, as I didn't get through all 20 pages.

But, my false bottom hold two gallons of water under it. So, if I stick to 1-1.25 quarts per pound of grain, then the top of my mash will not be submerged in water. How much will my efficiency be hurt if I use too much mash water? Also, is it really a big problem if I just boil longer to remove the excess water? (that is, assuming I am not brewing a very pale pils for which I do not want excessive caramelized sugars)?

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