Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Calculating Efficiency???

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-26-2006, 03:06 PM   #1
sonvolt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 902
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

Default Calculating Efficiency???

I just recently did my first AG brew - a simple pale ale, which I will bottle later this week. Its turning out great.

When I brewed it, I didn't worry too much - I relaxed, had a lot of homebrews, etc. I used about 9 lbs of 2-row with some added Crystal, etc. Since my gravity reading fell a little below where I was aiming, I added a bit of DME (3 cups or so) to the boil to make it a little bit stronger. Now, as I am preparing for my second ag brew, I have some questions about ensuring that I get the most sugar out of my grain as possible so that i don't have to supplement with DME.

How can I calculate efficiency of my mash? How do I know how well I am doing in terms of getting the fermentables out of the malted grains?

Thanks . . . btw, I've been lurking on this board for a few weeks . . . this is my first post!

__________________
sonvolt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2006, 04:00 PM   #2
boo boo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,171
Liked 30 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I just look at my starting gravity and compare it to the amount of grain I use. I don't worry about my efficiency just yet. I do starch testing with iodine during the mash to see how the mash is going.

__________________
boo boo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2006, 06:29 PM   #3
Sir Sudster
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Sir Sudster's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Buda, Tx
Posts: 1,034
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonvolt
I just recently did my first AG brew - a simple pale ale, which I will bottle later this week. Its turning out great.

When I brewed it, I didn't worry too much - I relaxed, had a lot of homebrews, etc. I used about 9 lbs of 2-row with some added Crystal, etc. Since my gravity reading fell a little below where I was aiming, I added a bit of DME (3 cups or so) to the boil to make it a little bit stronger. Now, as I am preparing for my second ag brew, I have some questions about ensuring that I get the most sugar out of my grain as possible so that i don't have to supplement with DME.

How can I calculate efficiency of my mash? How do I know how well I am doing in terms of getting the fermentables out of the malted grains?

Thanks . . . btw, I've been lurking on this board for a few weeks . . . this is my first post!
What type of mash schedule did you use? And, how long did you sparge?
__________________
Sir Sudster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2006, 07:14 PM   #4
sonvolt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 902
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

Default

Single Infusion mash . . . just over 1 hour. I missed the 150 temperature by two degrees, so I added some hot water to get it over 150. It was definitely at or slightly above 150 for one hour.

Tell me more about doing a starch test. Does this amount to mixing some iodine and some wort on a plate and judging conversion by a certain reaction (I am assuming a color change)?

__________________
sonvolt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2006, 08:12 PM   #5
Janx
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Janx's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 1,688
Liked 12 Times on 8 Posts

Default

Starch test is totally unnecessary. If you're using American 2-row, it *always* converts, and it aint too picky about temperature range. Anywhere 140-160 will basically get the job done. And in about 15 minutes. If you let it sit the customary hour, you are all set.

The iodine test for starch works by taking some of your mash liquid out and dropping a bit of iodine in it. If it turns dark purple, there are starches. But, trust me, that's not where your efficiency loss is. Conversion happens easily with the quality grains we get these days.

You really improve your efficiency by sparging properly...slowly, warmly, and slowly. Did I mention slowly?

As far as calculating efficiency, use ProMash or other software.

Cheers

__________________
Oh don't give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
No, don't you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
For my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die
Won't you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit
Janx is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2006, 08:40 PM   #6
Dude
Will work for beer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Dude's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Knob Noster, Missouri
Posts: 8,843
Liked 36 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Starch test is totally unnecessary. If you're using American 2-row, it *always* converts, and it aint too picky about temperature range. Anywhere 140-160 will basically get the job done. And in about 15 minutes. If you let it sit the customary hour, you are all set.

The iodine test for starch works by taking some of your mash liquid out and dropping a bit of iodine in it. If it turns dark purple, there are starches. But, trust me, that's not where your efficiency loss is. Conversion happens easily with the quality grains we get these days.

You really improve your efficiency by sparging properly...slowly, warmly, and slowly. Did I mention slowly?

As far as calculating efficiency, use ProMash or other software.

Cheers
What do you get for efficiency Janx? I assume by the way you say slowly, that you fly sparge. What do you use? A Listermann whirlygig?
__________________
On Tap: Lake Walk Pale Ale -- Eternity (Raspberry Stout) -- Nutrocker -- Donnybrook Dark
Primary: Lake Walk Pale Ale
Secondary: Summit IPA
Up Next: Smoked Porter -- Pub Ale -- Watermelon Wheat
Planning:
Gone But Not Forgotten:

www.IronOrrBrewery.com
Dude is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2006, 09:18 PM   #7
boo boo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,171
Liked 30 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I batch sparge and I just let er rip after recircilating to clear the wort going into my kettle. I haven't had any trouble getting my target gravity.

__________________
boo boo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2006, 11:18 PM   #8
ajf
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ajf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Long Island
Posts: 4,643
Liked 99 Times on 93 Posts
Likes Given: 39

Default

As Janx said, mashing is easy (although it takes a few tries to learn how to get the right temperature).

As he also said, the temperature isn't critical, but you can get pretty accurate after a few brews, and accuracy equates to consistency.

He also gave great advice on sparging.

However, I don't agree with relying on Promash for efficiency ratings. I have been using Promash for about 1 month, and it has always given my efficiency as greater than 100%
I knew that this was wrong, and made some adjustments today, and my efficiency for the last few brews has dropped to 83 - 92% ( The 83% was with a stuck sparge caused by my own stupidity).
Although I know I get better efficiency than many people, I don't think that it is as high as Promash reports. I also don't believe that the error is caused by Promash calculating incorrectly. I think I've set something up wrong, but haven;t found it yet.

-a.

__________________
ajf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2006, 03:06 AM   #9
sonvolt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 902
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

Default

Thanks for all the great advice! I think that I sparged too quickly. Since I didn't (at that time) have the proper equipment, I sparged by using a kettle on the stove and literally poured the water over my grain bed using a Pyrex measuring cup

The sparge only took about 35-40 minutes . . . and I think I did it at a much lower temperature than I should have. All of these mistakes, and I still came out fairly close to my target gravity.

I'm ordering supplies today for my second ag brew . . . and I will sparge slowly!!

__________________

Last edited by sonvolt; 02-27-2006 at 03:32 AM.
sonvolt 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
calculating efficiency? BullF-16 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 09-15-2008 02:07 PM
Calculating Efficiency CEMaine General Techniques 2 05-06-2008 12:26 PM
Calculating efficiency in boiler maltMonkey General Techniques 4 03-19-2008 02:53 PM
Calculating Efficiency hialtitude General Techniques 6 09-10-2007 05:52 PM
Calculating efficiency? fa1321tx All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 05-08-2007 07:44 PM