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Old 05-03-2010, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default Can too high of efficiency be a problem?

I have heard that if your efficiency is too high you'll pull out tannins and that you never want to hit 100% efficiency. Is that true?

I have a series of questions and if they have all been answered before I apologize in advance.

First the set up: This is my third all grain brew. The first two had very low efficiencies 50's and 60's. I came to the conclusion that my crush was off so this time I cranked the grain mill way down. To add to that the recipe I was brewing called for a 90 min mash. I mashed a little higher than the target (154 degrees instead of 152). When I went to go batch sparge I got a phone call during my second sparge and I was tied up for about 20 minutes. So the second sparge sat at about 152 degrees for about 20 minutes.

I pulled 14 gallons. Split them into two kettles and boiled them down t 12 gallons.

The efficiency going in the boiler was 95%. The efficiency going into my fermentor was 99%.

My math may be a little off because I used flaked maize and minute rice and I am not 100% that I used the correct numbers for the minute rice.

Am I in trouble for getting off flavors? Should I worry? Which efficiency matters into boiler or into fermentor?

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:37 PM   #2
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There was likely a compounding series of measurement errors there because your efficiency never goes UP from "into the boiler" to "into the fermenter". It has to be either equal or less.

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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I think conventional wisdom states that tannin extraction is due to high temperature and high pH. Although hotly debated, it appears that a fine crush does not lead to tannin extraction. It may lead to a stuck sparge however.

That being said, I'm guessing your numbers are way off here. Although maybe not....people have reported 95% efficiencies in the past.

Another hotly debated topic is intentionally lowering your efficiency (mostly by altering the sparge schedule) to obtain a richer, more concentrated wort.

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:53 PM   #4
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The main reason I can think of where a too high efficiency could be a problem would be if your recipe was not adjusted for it. If you formulated a recipe at 70%, and ended up with 90% efficiency, it could through the recipe out of balance - BU:GU ratio (bittering unit to gravity unit).

If your recipe is formulated for 90%, and you hit 90%, than no problems

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:57 PM   #5
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I'll be honest. I wouldn't be all that suprised if my second number is off because i lost the gravity reading when cleaning up. The gravity into the boiler should be accurate. My question on the numbers would be for the max potential gravity for the minute rice. I went off of flaked rice at 1.032. Any idea what the potential of minute rice is?

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Old 05-03-2010, 02:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
The main reason I can think of where a too high efficiency could be a problem would be if your recipe was not adjusted for it. If you formulated a recipe at 70%, and ended up with 90% efficiency, it could through the recipe out of balance - BU:GU ratio (bittering unit to gravity unit).

If your recipe is formulated for 90%, and you hit 90%, than no problems
Oh it definetly is going to whack out my recipe. I only set it up for 60% efficiency. I overshot the gravity by a ton. I was figuring I would maybe bump up the efficiency by 10% on 20%+
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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I just brewed a pale ale yesterday using the 2 cooler fly sparge method for the first time and hit 91% efficiency per-boil, while my recipe was set for 73%. Doing batch sparging, I was getting 55-60%, so did not know what to expect this time. Original gravity gave me a brewhouse efficiency of 84.5%.

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:27 PM   #8
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Its impossible to a small homebrewer to get 100 %. Even the big brewery dosent achieved this. Maybe you miscalculated something or your final volume is way lower than espected?

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerbuck View Post
Its impossible to a small homebrewer to get 100 %. Even the big brewery dosent achieved this. Maybe you miscalculated something or your final volume is way lower than espected?
I can't find a link but there is a company which does hammer milling under water that claims greater than 100%. Percent is based on doing a mini-mash under 'ideal' conditions. This usually involves a different crushing procedure.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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I would check your pre-boil and post-boil volumes and compare to your calculated volumes, even a 1/4 gallon off can throw off your numbers.

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