So my efficiency has always been poor. I blame my technique more than anything, as people I know hit way higher efficiencies with grain from the same mill (which also happens to be a mill that a brewery uses.)
So the last two beers I made, I change my technique a bit and my efficiency jumped 11-12%. I was using my refractometer and when I checked my pre-boil gravity I was WAY up from my normal efficiency. So one of the beers was no big deal. An APA that just turned out bigger. Great.
The other was a hefe. I was shooting for close to 5% and after all was said and done I now have a 6.8% beer that's not really a hefe at all, so I am just calling it "beer". It is reasonably drinkable even though it is tart and tastes like a fruit salad.
I guess my big question is that the pre-boil gravity check worked great for an APA where I could just adjust my hops to make it bigger. What do you do with a beer where there's no bigger style? What adjustments would you make?