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Old 02-14-2010, 11:26 PM   #1
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Default mash efficiency & color

I cracked open an SNPA clone that I brewed about 6 weeks ago, and the color seemed a little light, and then I got to wondering about the role of mash efficiency in color. I assume 80% efficiency, but actually got more like 83%, and the original recipe was based on 75% eff. As I understand it, for two versions of the same brew (same OG but different efficiencies), lower efficiency with more grain = more color, while higher efficiency with less grain = less color, even though the OGs would be the same. Is this true?

I ran hypothetical numbers in Beer Alchemy and it seems right, but I wonder what other people's experience is. If you are getting higher efficiencies, do you adjust your grain bill to reach a certain color, or do you just go with the original recipe, adjust your base grain to reach the intended OG, and live with a lighter colored beer?

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Old 02-14-2010, 11:30 PM   #2
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In my experience, the color is the color no matter what my efficiency is. If I use a pound of chocolate, it seems like my beer is the same SRM whether I got 70% or 80% in my efficiency. I mean, if the grain bill is 7% chocolate malt, that's still the case no matter what efficiency I get.

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Old 02-15-2010, 01:50 AM   #3
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Using Morey's equation for predicting beer color (which most brewing software does), using more grain would result in a darker color.
I ran a comparison of a recipe I brewed a few weeks ago. At 75% efficiency, the predicted SRM was 8.6 At 83%, the predicted SRM was only 8.0
I don't think I could see the difference between the two, but you may be able to.

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Old 02-18-2010, 04:22 PM   #4
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(Hope this isn't a thread highjack, as my comment/question is perhaps another thread)

I recently brewed my first Stout (using a trusted recipe), but the color is looking to be more in the realm of a Brown Ale.

I had wondered about general efficiency causing the problem, but my efficiency is in the high 70s, so I doubted that was the issue.

Which made me think it could be this: my black roasted barley was last into the mash tun at dough in. And while I stirred all the grains, the black roast seems to have stayed mostly on the top of the grain bed. So, do you think that caused a poor efficiency extraction from those particular grains, thus robbing me of some SRM numbers?

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Old 02-18-2010, 04:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
In my experience, the color is the color no matter what my efficiency is. If I use a pound of chocolate, it seems like my beer is the same SRM whether I got 70% or 80% in my efficiency. I mean, if the grain bill is 7% chocolate malt, that's still the case no matter what efficiency I get.
Yeah, but efficiency is as much about lost wort as it is about conversion. If you're losing a half gallon to a false bottom each sparge, you're losing as much chocolate malt as you are losing anything else.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ChadLeBald View Post
Which made me think it could be this: my black roasted barley was last into the mash tun at dough in. And while I stirred all the grains, the black roast seems to have stayed mostly on the top of the grain bed. So, do you think that caused a poor efficiency extraction from those particular grains, thus robbing me of some SRM numbers?
I try to grind my speciatlty grains right in the middle of the batch, (Ie, I put 5lbs of base through the mill, specialties, 5 more lbs of base). I figure, specialties being off by a small amount is more likely to cause issues.

I figure, the last grain you mill is the most likely to end up stuck in the mill.
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