Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Beefing up the grain bill to account for efficiency problems

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-20-2012, 12:59 PM   #11
Mojzis
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,118
Liked 109 Times on 82 Posts
Likes Given: 77

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjackson View Post
Maybe I should switch to Beersmith?

I feel like this stuff is way too difficult in my current software.

How do you know what your brewhouse efficiency is? I'm only on my 3rd all-grain batch so have no idea what my efficiency is it floats a bit from being .025 to .005 off from what I expect it to be.
IMO I would switch to beersmith. That would make these calculations as easy as typing in the efficiency you want/expect. You can adjust the gravity with the click of another button.
__________________
Mojzis is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 01:36 PM   #12
adamjackson
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Canaan New Hampshire, NH
Posts: 735
Liked 73 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojzis View Post
IMO I would switch to beersmith. That would make these calculations as easy as typing in the efficiency you want/expect. You can adjust the gravity with the click of another button.
I just bought it. going to import all of my recipes from beer alchemy and go through the tutorials. The interface..there's a lot going on but I'll give it a shot.
__________________

I'm a bit crazy...about beer.
My Beer Blog
My Beer Photos
Untappd Profile

adamjackson is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 01:48 PM   #13
cooper
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New Baden, IL
Posts: 353
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts

Default

It definitely gets easier the more you use it. The hardest thing for me was to get the equipment set up but keep good notes over the course of a few brews and you'll have it.

__________________
cooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 05:01 PM   #14
GilSwillBasementBrews
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
GilSwillBasementBrews's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Eagleville, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,992
Liked 131 Times on 113 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjackson

I have Beer Alchemy. It's not straight forward on this sort of stuff. I spent some time trying to figure it out.
I used beer alchemy to edit the recipes for you. I just entered your recipe at 70% mash efficiency. Then added the 30% you were low by made 100%
So I looked at the OG at 100% mash efficiency then reset the mash efficiency for 70%. Then click on the target stats and slide the OG slider till it reads what the 100%OG Should have been. Then it adjusts the grain bill accordingly.
__________________

Beer Plus Science = .....Good!!!!! By: Adam Savage

GilSwillBasementBrews is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 09:30 PM   #15
adamjackson
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Canaan New Hampshire, NH
Posts: 735
Liked 73 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GilSwillBasementBrews View Post
I used beer alchemy to edit the recipes for you. I just entered your recipe at 70% mash efficiency. Then added the 30% you were low by made 100%
So I looked at the OG at 100% mash efficiency then reset the mash efficiency for 70%. Then click on the target stats and slide the OG slider till it reads what the 100%OG Should have been. Then it adjusts the grain bill accordingly.
Thanks. I'm not trying to diss Beer Alchemy, just wanted something a bit more powerful.

So, I did follow the advice and bought all of the extra grain needed today and milled it a lot finer than the last batch.

====

Of note, turns out I was getting far lower efficiency on my last batch than I realized...about 45% was my efficiency on the beer I did on Sunday. That's WAY too low.
__________________

I'm a bit crazy...about beer.
My Beer Blog
My Beer Photos
Untappd Profile

adamjackson is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 09:45 PM   #16
tre9er
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,372
Liked 232 Times on 196 Posts
Likes Given: 35

Default

You really gotta read-up and study the process. There's no good excuse for a really low efficiency. The fact that you're unsure how to scale up a recipe based on efficiency is somewhat troubling to me as well. It's simple math, but the software helps, obviously. What you want to do is just keep the proportions of each grain the same (ie. if recipe has 70% 2-row, 10% C-60 and 20% Vienna) and end up with the planned OG. If the recipe for 75% efficiency and you're getting 60%, multiply each grain weight by 1.25 (75 div by 60). BeerSmith has ways to help you with this, but I don't use it. I use a spreadsheet that doesn't have any scaling functions, just efficiency, grain bill, batch size, and OG. I tweak things until the proportions (percentages of grain bill) are the same for each ingredient, at my known efficiency, until I get to the OG the recipe calls for.

You need to get to a consistent efficiency first. I'd stop trying to make complex, big beers if you don't even know what your real, consistent efficiency is. You're going to bang your head on the wall over and over until you get that sorted. Grind the grain fine, pay close attention to every temp and volume. Take notes. If you're low on a temp, increase starting temp next time. If you're low on a volume, increase volume next time by the amount you were short. Get 2-3 batches brewed where you're pretty close on all numbers, then see what the efficiency was (just change it in beersmith until you get the actual OG you ended up with, then record the percentage you had to use to get there and use it going forward).

Understanding WHY you're getting the numbers you get is just as important, otherwise you're shooting at a moving target.

__________________

_________________________________
Skal!
Den Faaborg Bryggeri

Quote:
Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
tre9er is offline
hopsalot Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 10:01 PM   #17
adamjackson
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Canaan New Hampshire, NH
Posts: 735
Liked 73 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 162

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tre9er View Post
You really gotta read-up and study the process. There's no good excuse for a really low efficiency. The fact that you're unsure how to scale up a recipe based on efficiency is somewhat troubling to me as well. It's simple math, but the software helps, obviously. What you want to do is just keep the proportions of each grain the same (ie. if recipe has 70% 2-row, 10% C-60 and 20% Vienna) and end up with the planned OG. If the recipe for 75% efficiency and you're getting 60%, multiply each grain weight by 1.25 (75 div by 60). BeerSmith has ways to help you with this, but I don't use it. I use a spreadsheet that doesn't have any scaling functions, just efficiency, grain bill, batch size, and OG. I tweak things until the proportions (percentages of grain bill) are the same for each ingredient, at my known efficiency, until I get to the OG the recipe calls for.

You need to get to a consistent efficiency first. I'd stop trying to make complex, big beers if you don't even know what your real, consistent efficiency is. You're going to bang your head on the wall over and over until you get that sorted. Grind the grain fine, pay close attention to every temp and volume. Take notes. If you're low on a temp, increase starting temp next time. If you're low on a volume, increase volume next time by the amount you were short. Get 2-3 batches brewed where you're pretty close on all numbers, then see what the efficiency was (just change it in beersmith until you get the actual OG you ended up with, then record the percentage you had to use to get there and use it going forward).

Understanding WHY you're getting the numbers you get is just as important, otherwise you're shooting at a moving target.
I get your point and it makes sense so then I'm just a ****ty brewer. I've done nothing but study brewing, get decent enough equipment and do fine mills of grain. I've done dozens of batches each paying careful attention to the process. I know dozens isn't a lot around here but I only started in May so I've spent a lot of time and effort basically living and breathing beer since January and am doing the best I can short of just breaking down and buying a completely automated electric setup where the efficiencies are ultra high.

I've never made a bad beer but I almost always miss my OG on every batch.

If I'm just a crappy brewer, then fine. But it's not for a lack of trying.
__________________

I'm a bit crazy...about beer.
My Beer Blog
My Beer Photos
Untappd Profile

adamjackson is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 10:12 PM   #18
tre9er
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,372
Liked 232 Times on 196 Posts
Likes Given: 35

Default

Didn't mean to offend, just saying that every single phase is crucial. Once you fully understand them and you're getting consistency, it requires far less attention. For me it's simple:

  • Recipe scaled to match my batch size and efficiency.
  • Volume of strike and sparge water
  • Strike temp (aim high, stir down, then close tun when you're there)
  • hop schedule - again, scaled. Each addition should carry it's IBU numbers. That's how you properly scale them up.
  • boil, add hops, chill, rack, pitch starter, wait.

Check each volume for accuracy. Your software should not only tell you how much strike water to use, but how much wort you'll run-off after the mash, before the sparge water goes in. Check that, if it's low, sparge with more, if high, sparge with less. Be exact in how much more or less you use, based on the measurement of first runnings.

Same with preboil volume. If it's low, sparge with enough to get there, use cold water if you have to, it won't make a huge difference. If it's high, don't start teh boil timer until it comes down to your desired volume, then start hop schedule.

Crush is important, should be fine enough that there isn't a single uncrushed grain. All you need is SOME husks in there to create a filter bed. Most don't crush fine enough at first. Don't be afraid. Use rice hulls if you are.

Stir the crap out of the mash when you dough-in, and add the grain ever-so-slowly. I use a wire whisk=zero dough-balls. Then don't bother stirring again until the mash is done, and after the sparge water goes in.

At that point your efficiency is done, so long as your volume is right.
__________________

_________________________________
Skal!
Den Faaborg Bryggeri

Quote:
Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
tre9er is offline
hopsalot Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 10:32 PM   #19
oakbarn
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
oakbarn's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Argyle, Texas
Posts: 723
Liked 47 Times on 36 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

I suspect that you are having some problems with the batch and maybe even creating channels in the grain bed. We finally switched to HERMS and that drastically improved our grain use. I was adding and extra 0.5 pounds of two row (an everything else also adjusted up) for a five gallon batch. That helped quite a bit when we were just starting all grain. We are so much better now that I have to adjust now after I fill the BK. I normally have to add addition water to LOWER to correct OG. That means I have to adjust hops for the volume. We always adjust the batch for the correct OG. If we are shy, add a little corn sugar if that was part of the original recipe, or DME is it was light or just boil to reduce volume. Have not had to do that once we started to HERMS.

__________________
oakbarn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 11:15 PM   #20
tre9er
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,372
Liked 232 Times on 196 Posts
Likes Given: 35

Default

i dont think a HERMS system is the best idea until you understand everything and can be consistent with even a basic setup. i just feel like you need to know whats going on with everything first. But hey, its just my opinion

__________________

_________________________________
Skal!
Den Faaborg Bryggeri

Quote:
Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
tre9er is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Grain bill/efficiency brewstaedt Brew Science 4 10-28-2012 05:29 PM
Larger Grain Bill & Problems hitting mash temp. Jukas All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 09-09-2012 02:34 AM
Beersmith 2.1 - How to Add Grain To Account for Lower Efficiency? chays99 Brewing Software 3 07-13-2012 11:53 PM
Adjusting grain bill for efficiency Mongo64 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 12-17-2009 05:52 PM
efficiency and grain bill, should I cut back? Seawolf Recipes/Ingredients 2 08-14-2008 11:57 AM