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Old 04-18-2012, 10:02 PM   #1
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Default efficiency's impact on taste

Say you have 2 batches of the same beer, all other things being the same lets say one was brewed with 12 lbs of 2 row and hit 70% efficiency, the other brewed with less grains but hit 85% efficiency, thus they both ended up with the same OG despite differing grain bills.
How would the flavor differ between these beers?

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Old 04-18-2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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since efficiency, does not take in account for fermentable vs non-fermentable (dextrine) sugar, and just ratio, you could end up with what looks like better eff. but really just more dextrines due to temprature variances. so at the end of primary you'll then notice what seems like two identical beers, but your process has varied between the two. hope that make sense, pretty much sci/chem at it best!!!

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Old 04-18-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampsman
Say you have 2 batches of the same beer, all other things being the same lets say one was brewed with 12 lbs of 2 row and hit 70% efficiency, the other brewed with less grains but hit 85% efficiency, thus they both ended up with the same OG despite differing grain bills.
How would the flavor differ between these beers?
Is this a "riddle me this"??

If the grain bills are identical except for scale and the Og is the same they should be the same, assuming they both finish the same as well-I believe....
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:06 AM   #4
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So the real question would be.... Are fermentable or unfermentable sugars easier to extract or do they extract at the same rate?

good question?

If unfermentables extract first/easier. than a lower eff would result in more flavor. If fermentables extract first than lower eff would result in less flavor and more alchol.

I would guess they extract at the same rate.

i don't have a clue scientifically, but I'd be interested in results from a study.

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Old 04-19-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Completely unscientific and purely personal, but after I stopped chasing efficiency my beers got better. All of my 70-75% beers always had a more satisfying mouthfeel and better flavors than my 85% and higher beers.

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Old 04-19-2012, 03:05 PM   #6
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It's possible that the more sugars you extract the higher the chance of extracting tannins. So there may be more tannins in the higher efficiency batch. but there is only one way to find out...

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Old 04-20-2012, 10:27 PM   #7
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The flavor compounds (dextrines, proteins, beta-glucans, Maillard/Caramelization byproducts etc...) seem to be easier to extract. Extract+Steep brewers get plenty of flavor from a 30-minute steep and rudimentary sparge. AG brewers might spend 2 hours mashing & sparging just to get 75% of the sugars in the grain.

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Old 04-20-2012, 10:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampsman View Post
Say you have 2 batches of the same beer, all other things being the same lets say one was brewed with 12 lbs of 2 row and hit 70% efficiency, the other brewed with less grains but hit 85% efficiency, thus they both ended up with the same OG despite differing grain bills.
How would the flavor differ between these beers?
They would be the same. If I'm doing someone else's recipe and they get 85% efficiency, I scale the recipe for my 72% efficiency.

What I mean is this- if a recipe is 90% pale malt, 5% crystal 20L and 5% 60L, and the OG is 1.073, it doesn't matter if I got it with 72% efficiency (12 pounds two row, .70 pounds each of both crystal malts) or with 85% efficiency (10.5 pounds two-row, .60 pounds of each crystal). It's the same grainbill.
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:05 AM   #9
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Higher efficiency can yield more poly-phenols but so can low efficiency if the pH is out or conversion was so low it was over sparged.

In Brewing science and practice there is a graph showing different systems. Mash tuns typically at 96-97% have 165 ppm polyphenols, Lauter tuns at 98-99% have 180 ppm and mash filters that yield 102% have 195 ppm. Obviously our MLTs are far inferior to the commercial setups.

Polyphenals can be fined, filtered or aged out.

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Old 04-24-2012, 02:51 PM   #10
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I debate the efficiency question in my head. We use the grain for two things; Simple sugars to give us alcohol, and other compounds that contribute to the flavor and body. Efficiency is largely just a measure of the starch conversion, and I don't think it relates much to the extraction of flavor compounds (unless the efficiency is way low). I always wonder that if one gets too efficient, then you use less grain to keep the alcohol content down. But then do you get less flavor compounds as a result of using less base malt?

I don't have a good answer. I made some changes and my efficiency is now routinely 90%. I can't say that I've noticed any decrease in the flavors of my beers. Most of my beer recipes are probably at least 85% base malts, in fact many are all base malts (pils, munich, vienna and wheat)

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