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Old 07-27-2009, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default Is greater than 100% efficiency possible?

My first reaction: no, of course not!
Then I found this on specialtymalts.com:

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What does the lab do to get 100% extract yield? A professional brewer mentioned that one place he worked got better than 100% by separating the starch and husks, then grinding the starch very finely and mashing in a shallow, large diameter tun. What other techniques are practical (or not) for production brewing?
Posed by Don Obenauer, Atlanta GA USA on May 12, 1999
In essence, the lab uses just the endosperm portion of the kernel. You could expect material losses in this seperation process to be very high and also very time consuming.

Extract is determined by the specific density of extracted solution. This density is compared to a similar sugar solution. With this definition, the amount of sugar extracted could very well be above 100% if the specific gravity were high enough.
Anyone have more info on this? It sounds like it's possible under extreme conditions (read: not worthwhile except in a theoretical sense).
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:04 PM   #2
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I know I always give a 110%, at least that's what I say in the press conferences.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:06 PM   #3
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Over 100% would be pulling more starch/sugars out of the grain than exists...

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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I'll settle for my 85% unless I'm on the football field. In that case, I'll give 110%

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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I'm pretty sure it is possible to exceed 100%. I don't have it with me but I remember a line from "Brewing Science and Practice" saying that newer brewing systems may be exceding the 100% mark. I think that better methods or equipment have allowed brewers to pass the old benchmark.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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By definition, you cannot have more than 100% of a thing.

Most likely, the 100% extraction number is defined as the most that a lab can produce from a given malt given a specific efficient process. If you somehow get more sugars than a professional lab can, then you aren't really getting more than 100% of potential sugars, just more than the lab got.

-Steve

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:20 PM   #7
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Right, the whole deal with extract efficiency calculations is that we use baseline numbers for potential extract for different types of grain. These extract potentials are going to vary based on a lot of factors including age of grain, where it was grown, when it was grown, the weather, how it was transported, etc.

So just the basic assumptions that go into calculating extract efficiency have a lot of variation that is not usually considered.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:22 PM   #8
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My guitar amp goes up to 11.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:30 PM   #9
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That's nothing, my mash tun goes to 11. That's how I get 117% efficiency.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SavageSteve View Post
By definition, you cannot have more than 100% of a thing.

Most likely, the 100% extraction number is defined as the most that a lab can produce from a given malt given a specific efficient process. If you somehow get more sugars than a professional lab can, then you aren't really getting more than 100% of potential sugars, just more than the lab got.

-Steve
Let's rephrase the question, then. Is it possible, in a homebrew setting, to get better efficiency than the testing lab?
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