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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Efficiency problem?
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:12 AM   #1
MikeScott
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Default Efficiency problem?

So I've done 3 batches now all grain, and I've looked at the formulas to calculate efficiency, and they seem to put me in the 50% range, which is obviously bad. I think one problem is that I need another manifold arm at the bottom of my MLT.

However, I still seem to be hitting my target OG, and that's what confuses me. This last batch was a Northern Brewer recipe kit, and I came in .056 higher than the target. I don't know what they use for their batch size, but I collected 5.25 Gallons of Wort.

I did BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde, and came in right at target, and he was assuming 70% brewhouse efficiency.

My question is, I've been getting a good deal of material in the wort. I would assume that is going to throw off my gravity readings, correct?

Thanks for any help!

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Old 10-20-2009, 03:35 AM   #2
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Here is a very good artical that helped me redesign my mash tun. I was using a Bazooka T screen, but I went back to the false bottom.

http://www.brewingtechniques.com/lib....4/palmer.html

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Old 10-20-2009, 03:37 AM   #3
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If you're hitting the same numbers, using the same amount of ingredients, and boiling the same amount... your efficiency should be right on target with the original recipe. What formula are you using to calculate your efficiency?

50% is bad, but not for your first few brews. I was barely hitting 60% ten AG brews in. After you get the feel for your system, and you learn all the variables, you should be fine. I'm still only hitting around 75% on my system, but I'm happy with that for now. Grain crush has a big impact on your gravity too, so if you're crushing at the LHBS, double or triple crush your grains.

Also, how did you manage to brew a beer .056 higher than the recipe? That's huge!

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Old 10-20-2009, 04:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaker
Here is a very good artical that helped me redesign my mash tun. I was using a Bazooka T screen, but I went back to the false bottom.
Thanks for the link, I actually spent way too much time looking at that already :-)

When I first put the CPVC manifold together, it looked pretty good, but after a couple of re-assembles, I think either I have the pieces mixed up, or I was off to start with. There's two arms now, and a big space in the middle. I made sure to keep the arms the suggested distance from the edges of the MLT, but I want to put another arm in the middle.

I've given thoughts to the false bottom, but it's a rectangular shaped bottom, and I was concerned with channeling. I think I'm going to put the additional arm in, and try to see where my efficiency is.

BTW, I followed the link in your signature for www.cornelsbrewing.com, and all of the picture links are broken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
If you're hitting the same numbers, using the same amount of ingredients, and boiling the same amount... your efficiency should be right on target with the original recipe. What formula are you using to calculate your efficiency?

50% is bad, but not for your first few brews. I was barely hitting 60% ten AG brews in. After you get the feel for your system, and you learn all the variables, you should be fine. I'm still only hitting around 75% on my system, but I'm happy with that for now. Grain crush has a big impact on your gravity too, so if you're crushing at the LHBS, double or triple crush your grains.

Also, how did you manage to brew a beer .056 higher than the recipe? That's huge!
Ha! Sorry, that's a typo. I was .006 higher. Man, that would be huge!

The way I'm calculating it is by figuring out the max available gravity points from this chart: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Malts_Chart

Calculating each grain's points by the number of pounds, then adding that up, and dividing the total by the number of gallons I collected. That should be giving me the max gravity.

Then I take my gravity reading, and divide it by the max gravity.

I am crushing the grain at the LHBS, and I will definitely have to try double or triple crushing it next time.

Thanks for the help guys!
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