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Old 08-04-2008, 04:53 AM   #31
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Fair enough, my words were not meant to be harsh, I am always interested in improving techniques and getting better overall efficiency. That being said, fermentation seems to be my weakness so I am currently dialing in my process so as to get a better finished product. Forums like this one can be very helpfull.

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Old 08-04-2008, 05:21 AM   #32
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Great thread. Have to do my conversion out of metric sober in the morning. I think mash efficiency is where my problem is. Our water is very hard. Doing 50/50 tap/distilled tomorrow, + 5.2

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Old 08-14-2008, 10:37 PM   #33
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Yep quickerNu mine too. Once I started correcting the water, my eff. jumped up to 78-82% brewhouse.

Here's an improvement on Kai's method that takes into account differences in the grain bill such as highly kilned malts which have a low extract potential:

- Plug your recipe into your favorite tool at 100% brewhouse efficiency. Note the target OG.
- Multiply the OG by your post-boil volume. This gives you the total extract points available in your grain bill.
- Divide the total points available by the total pounds of grain.
- Divide the result by 45 to get the extract coefficient (% of grain mass convertable to sugar).

This extract coefficient replaces the 0.8 in Kai's formula with a more accurate extract potential of your grain bill.

A quick example, I'll use Bee Cave Brewery Haus Pale Ale. For 5.5 gal after boil I get 1.068 out of the Tasty Brew recipe calculator. That's 374 extract points, or 35.6 points per pound. DME is 45 points per pound so that's a coefficient of 0.791.

Google Calculator says 10.5# is 4.76 kilos and (10.5# * 1.25 quarts/#) is 12.4 liters, which gives the equation:

FW extract in Plato = (4.76 * .791) / ((4.76 * .791) + 12.4) = 23.3* Plato ~= 1.091

Does this seem reasonable?

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Old 08-15-2008, 07:03 PM   #34
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like everything in nature, 100% efficiency is pretty much impossible.
although after reading and watching Bobby_M's stuff, 125% efficiency from him wouldn't surprise me!
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:38 PM   #35
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Last time I checked, many great beers never even approached 100% mash efficiecy,


As already answered, I used another definition of mash efficiency. But yes, I would rate fermentation as more important for the quality of the beer as the brewhouse efficiency.

The idea of this test is not to make brewing more complicated, but give brewers yet another tool to isolate problems. Whenever someone complains about efficiency problems there is a host of suggestions that are made. But isn’t it nicer if we can isolate the efficiency problem to the calculation part, mash part or the sparge part. While this requires some more measurent and diligence reduces the trial and error necessary. And for the brewer who is happy with the brewhouse efficiency it gives the nice confirmation that there is nothing he/she can improve in the efficiency of mashing and that any additional brewhouse eff improvement would have to come from the sparging process. But we all need that this is not always good for the quality of the beer.

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This extract coefficient replaces the 0.8 in Kai's formula with a more accurate extract potential of your grain bill.
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Yes, that seems about right, though the process seems complicate. The idea is that you get a weighted average of the extract potential in your girst. 0.8 or 80% is a good starting point if you have only little amounts (<5%) of crystal/roasted grains in the grist.

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Old 08-18-2008, 12:22 AM   #36
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Yes, that seems about right, though the process seems complicate. The idea is that you get a weighted average of the extract potential in your girst. 0.8 or 80% is a good starting point if you have only little amounts (<5%) of crystal/roasted grains in the grist.

Kai
Sure, 0.8 seems close for most brews, so it's a good start unless you're trying to analyze a RIS or something.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:33 AM   #37
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I just brewed a RIS and tried the FW efficiency formula Kaiser provided. I hit it dead on at 100% so I guess there's nothing wrong with my mashing process. BTW, what is the definition of a FW sample? Is it any sample taken within the first couple of quarts of runoff or what? I assume that it is as the gravity should be fairly constant for at least that duration. I'm still not clear on how the formula works exactly, but it does. I seldom achieve really high brewhouse efficiency numbers, but that doesn't bother me in the least. I do OK at something usually between 70 & 85% depending on the target OG. It's always lower for higher gravity brews and I'm OK with that so long as I know what to expect and can adjust the grain bill accordingly. Not calling anyone a liar or anything, but I just don't believe it when I hear claims of brewhouse efficiencies much above 85%.

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Old 10-14-2009, 02:20 PM   #38
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BTW, what is the definition of a FW sample? Is it any sample taken within the first couple of quarts of runoff or what?
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Anything after recirculating and before the sparge starts should be fine.

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I'm still not clear on how the formula works exactly, but it does. I seldom achieve really high brewhouse efficiency numbers, but that doesn't bother me in the least. I


It works by calculating the wort strength as % sugar (which is Plato) and then converting it to SG.

What was the efficiency into the kettle and how did you sparge?

Kai
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:58 PM   #39
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Thanks for the reply Kaiser. I have a better grip on it now. My lauter efficiency was 75% which is about what I expected for this high gravity (1.100) recipe. I fly sparge on my direct fired RIMS setup. I do a mash out and sparge slowly and I use a false bottom. I don't remember what the gravity of the runoff was when I reached my pre-boil volume, but it was still fairly high. Again, that was expected for this high gravity recipe.

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