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Old 04-25-2010, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default Efficiency Calculation Mistake?

I did my first AG batch this evening and everything went very smoothly - far better than my PM mini-debacle the other night. I downloaded BeerSmith and plugged all my recipe information in - BTW I brewed John Palmer's Amber Ale, the only difference being that I used 8.75 lbs of UK Pale Ale malt (he calls for 8). I overshot the weight at the LHBS but decided to keep it.

Anyhow, he says my OG for 5 gallons should be 1.055. BeerSmith has it at 1.060 for the 5 gallons. My actuals were 1.062 @ 5.5 gallons. My volumes were spot on according to what the program was calling for, except I had that extra half gallon that didn't boil off. When I plugged in my numbers, it calculated a 77.5% efficiency and I felt great, thought I earned an A+! But the "Efficiency as calculated from actual volume" is at 85.3% Palmer's book has max % yield for pale ale malt at 81%. Something is wrong, but I can't figure it out. Any ideas?

PS: The only deviation was with the mash - BeerSmith wanted a 154° mash, but I was at ~158°.

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Old 04-25-2010, 03:40 AM   #2
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Sounds like you did your job correctly to me. 2 points either way really won't make a big difference. Sound all good.

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Old 04-25-2010, 03:10 PM   #3
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You are comparing apples to oranges.
Palmer's 81% is the maximum yield that pale malt would give assuming 100% efficiency.
Beersmith's efficiency is what you actually got expressed as a percentage of what you could have got assuming 100%, so what you actually ended up with was 85% of 81%.

-a.

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Old 04-25-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
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so what you actually ended up with was 85% of 81%.

-a.
Thank you, that's what I was wondering about. So a 68.9% efficiency is what I can take away from this - makes much more sense.
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:42 PM   #5
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No, you are putting yourself down, and I didn't explain myself properly.
You got 85% efficiency, i.e. 85% of what is theoretically possible.
That is a high efficiency, but not by any means impossible. The real question is can you repeat this for your next brew, and the one after that etc. If you can do this consistently, then you can adjust your grain bills to get the gravity you want.

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Old 04-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #6
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Great. The fermenter is bubbling away, happy as can be right now.

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