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Old 03-04-2006, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Mash Efficiency

I just downloaded ProMash last night and just got done with my HEFE.......It tells me that I should be around 75% efficiency, but I only got to about 67% efficiency and that was running almost 9 gallons of water through 11lbs of grain. Thoughts? Also, is there anywhere on the ProMash software that tells you what temps you should be mashing and sparging with? Since I am new to it, I can't seem to find it just yet. Like say is there anywhere that tells you that if you use different grains the temps that should be used so you don't get off flavors and bad efficiencies and so forth? Like next week I am going to do a Scotish Ale, I know my mash and sparge temps should be different for that to get the most out of the grains correct? But yet, not too hot or cool to not convert enough sugars......Any help would be great!!!

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Old 03-04-2006, 07:44 PM   #2
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Promash doesn't tell you what your efficiency should be, it calculates (reverse engineers) what it actually is.

I believe the software is set to a default of 75%. Once you have been brewing for a while and know your average efficiency , go back and change the default value to reflect what your system and your methods actually yields.

The only gripe I have is that it assumes you get the same % with all types of brews and grains. It would be nice to set a different efficiency depending on what the base malt is.

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Old 03-04-2006, 07:59 PM   #3
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Hmmm.....Okay!! Thanks Mikey......so how do I know then what temps I need to mash in at, sparge at and do sac rests at depending on the grains I am using? Where do I find this info?

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Old 03-04-2006, 09:42 PM   #4
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It's part experience and part following established recipes. If you've downloaded sample recipes for Promash, open one of them and click on the 'mash schedule' button. This will contain the style of mash and the temperatues and quantities.

The brewer should have completed this panel before saving and publishing his recipe.

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Old 03-04-2006, 11:45 PM   #5
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If you have just downloaded Promash, you probably need to take a quick tour through the tutorials, and visit the "water needed" and "boil off" calculators.
The default Promash settings are not necessarily correct for you. I used Promash to record a couple of brews without setting my own parameters, and it reported efficiency of over 100% in both cases.

I think it will take several brews to get Promash adjusted to your (or my) brewing style.

-a.

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Old 03-06-2006, 01:12 PM   #6
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Very interesting stuff here. So if I am understanding this correctly, it's called trial and error with the temps on whatever grains you are using and hope we don't get any tannins or off flavors if we mash at too high a temp......?

Then also, if they have in ProMash the efficiency set as a default of 75%, what should we strive to get or what should we set our default as? I would like to strive for 75-80%, is that realistic or not with homebrewing?

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Old 03-06-2006, 02:08 PM   #7
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It should not be trial and error on your strike temps with Promash. At least for me it is extremely accurate on calculating what the strike temp of your mash water should be for a given grist.

75-80% are certainly achievable numbers with a good process, some people get more. I'm certainly happy in that 75-80% range, and 70-75% doesn't bother me too much.

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Old 03-06-2006, 03:01 PM   #8
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Thanks BeeGee......I guess my question is this? Aren't there different strike temps needed for different grains used? For instance if I am making say just a plain old ale with 11lbs of grist, then say a pilsner with 11lbs of grist, are my strike temps going to be the same even though the grains are totally different? I guess what I am really asking is are grains different in their conversions based on water temps?

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Old 03-06-2006, 03:13 PM   #9
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As far as I understand it (which may not be far), the enzymes which operate on the grains are the same regardless of the grain itself. So the enzymes always function in a similar way at a certain temperature regardless of the grain.

As far as what temperature to go for your recipe should tell you. If you are formulating your own recipe, you have to think about what you are trying to accomplish. A lower mash temperature (149-150) will generally result in a more fermentable wort which leads to a dry beer with a lower FG. A higher mash temperature (157-158) will lead to less fermentables and a sweeter beer with more body and a higher FG.

It can actually get a lot more complicated than that if you start delving into step mashing and the enzymes that are active at other temperatures, but it's best to KISS in the beginning and get a grip on the alpha amylase enzyme (149-158F) which is the 'workhorse' enzyme as I see it.

Most beer related stuff is filtered here at work, but you'll find a ton or reading if you google 'mash enzyme range' or some such.

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Old 03-06-2006, 03:22 PM   #10
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If you open a Brewing Session and click on the Mash Schedule button you will see Calc Dough in Temperature. Click this button and it opens a window where you can enter the desired mash temperature and the temp of the grains. It will automatically calculate the temp of your strike water. The one thing I haven't figured out is the Mash Tun thermal mass. I always make my strike water hotter than the calculated temp. and let it cool. When it reaches the target temp I stir in the grains. This seems to work pretty good. I just leave the thermal mass at 0.

Hope this helps.

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