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-   -   Efficiency, dead space, temp questions! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/efficiency-dead-space-temp-questions-381954/)

dkziemann 01-16-2013 03:34 PM

Efficiency, dead space, temp questions!
Hey everyone,

I'm hoping to have this answered before I go to the LHBS today!

I'm having a little bit of trouble understanding efficiency in terms of how you use it to help your recipes. I've been hitting upper 60's/low 70's consistently for my efficiency, but now that I know I miss my target gravity by 2-6 points, how can I adjust my grain bill to make up for any potential gravity points lost? I'm using beersmith, and was wondering if there's a way to automatically adjust based on brewhouse efficiency.

Second question-- I use a 10 gallon home depot cooler, with a false bottom that goes up to the 1 gallon line. When I use BS to calculate strike temp, I always add 1 gallon to the dead space box along with checking "adjust for equip temp". My strike water always gets heated to 170 and then put in the cooler with the lid on to get it heated. Then I add the grain when it hits the strike temp as determined by BS. Is this correct though? I'm not necessarily pre-heating the mash tun, so should I still have the temp adjustment clicked?

Am I calculating the dead space correctly as well? Don't I just vorlauf with most of the water underneath the false bottom?

Thanks very much!

dkziemann 01-17-2013 02:03 PM

Bump! Brewing in an hour!

ApothecaryBrewing 01-17-2013 02:13 PM


I am just curious as I recently started AG and got BS. Confused about all the dead space, temp adjust stuff.

phoenixs4r 01-17-2013 02:58 PM

I add base malts to up efficiency in beersmith, or if you want you can click on the original gravity slider on the bottom and enter what OG you want, and it will scale the entire recipe up. If your only a few points off, this method will lead to annoying '1.02 pounds of specialty.' And that's annoying.

Beersmith works well for the round cooler. If you are checking the box that says adjust strike water for equipment, then don't pre heat your mash tun.

To measure your dead space, fill the tun with water, drain it via your valve, and measure what's left inside by tipping it into a marked container.

erikpete18 01-17-2013 10:04 PM

Yeah, for visiting the LHBS, just add more base grain if you want it to be a few points higher, or have some dry extract laying around to toss in. Since it sounds like your values are fairly consistent though, you can change the efficiency in BS when you're creating your recipes (labeled Tot Efficiency, middle of top of the Design tab in mine). Set that to 70% and you should be able to get pretty close to your results.

The way you're doing your strike water, you only really need to worry about the strike temp. At the time that you mash in, your equip is already at the same temp as your water (since you add it hot and let it cool down), so you don't want to have that one checked. In my case, I don't preheat (even though I know I'm supposed to), so I make sure its checked. The first few times I mashed in I made careful note of the temps and slightly adjusted the Mash Tun Specific Heat until it gave me what I was seeing, so I don't bother preheating now and get close enough for me.

Again, with the deadspace, phoenix has got it right. The best way is to fill it up, then see what you have left as a result. Anything that's left in the mash tun, BK, chiller, etc., can all be entered in as deadspace. Personally, I went the trial and error way and just made sure to carefully measure the water I put in on the first batch, and how much I got out, then changed my deadspace values to match up with what I was seeing. I got a little bit higher gravity since I had to boil down a little longer, but I was ok with that for that first batch. Everything since then has been pretty close.

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