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Old 03-01-2010, 11:40 PM   #1
smuth10
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Default Question about effeciency

Somewhat new to all grain and I just finished my HERMS system based on The Pols setup. For my first brew in this system I have decided to do a simple Kolsch and would like to make sure I am calculating efficiency correctly.

Here is what I have for the recipe.

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: WLP029
Yeast Starter: 1000mL
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.005
IBU: 30.4
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 4.5

Amount Item Type % or IBU
9.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 87.8 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 9.8 %
0.25 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 2.4 %
2.00 oz Tettnang [3.50%] (60 min) Hops 28.5 IBU
0.50 oz Tettnang [3.50%] (15 min) Hops 1.9 IBU

The person who put the recipe together says he is at 70% efficiency, but this system will likely be much higher. I am not sure how much wort I am going to start the boil with so I am not sure how to calculate the efficiency I should have before the boil.
Here is my guess. (6 gallons to start in the BK???)

Pale 38x 9/ 6 = 57
Munich 35x1/ 6 = 5.8
Wheat 37x.25 / 6 = 1.5

Total = 64.3 ppg

So I should theoretically have an OG of 1.064 if I was at 100% efficiency, correct? The part I am not sure on is how to calculate the initial boil volume to figure this out. I guess I need help figuring out how much initial strike water and sparge water to start with and then how much initial wort I should have collected for the boil.

I believe this person adjusted their grain bill to reflect the 70% eff as well. Does this mean that if I purchased the same amount of grain and my eff is higher, my brew is going to be off?

Confused, Scott...

Scott...

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Old 03-02-2010, 02:15 PM   #2
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There's alot of questions here...

As far as pre-boil amount - if you want 5.5 gal in the fermentor, you probably need to start with somewhere between 7.5 and 8 gallons to allow for boil-off amount, trub absorption, equipment loss, etc.

At 100%, I calulated your OG at 1.067. Is the system going to achieve 100% eff? Is that what you're looking for?

As far as the grain bill, if you are holding all other variables constant, then yes, your beer will be different.

I would suggest investing in some brewing software (ProMash is my choice)

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Old 03-02-2010, 04:14 PM   #3
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Id get ProMash, put the recipe in there, you can lock the variables. Build the recipe at 70%, lock the variables then bump the eff. to about 75% or so, and use those amounts of malt.

If he was getting 80% eff., this doesn't mean that you WILL on your first few brews. Id plan it at maybe 75% (good middle ground) and go from there in the future.

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Old 03-02-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I guess that was the part I was having a problem with is the amount of water to start with considering I do not know the eff of my system. The Pol said he was getting 97-98% in his videos, but I figured 75-80 if I was lucky.

As far as calculating eff goes, I need to use the amount of wort I collected before the boil to calculate, correct?

I was playing around with the trial version of beersmith, but you guys say you prefer Promash. Why is that?

Thanks again, Scott...

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Old 03-02-2010, 06:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by smuth10 View Post
Thanks guys. I guess that was the part I was having a problem with is the amount of water to start with considering I do not know the eff of my system. The Pol said he was getting 97-98% in his videos, but I figured 75-80 if I was lucky.

As far as calculating eff goes, I need to use the amount of wort I collected before the boil to calculate, correct?

I was playing around with the trial version of beersmith, but you guys say you prefer Promash. Why is that?

Thanks again, Scott...
He did not say he was getting 97-98% eff.

You are confusing conversion eff. with mash eff. which is a composite of conversion and lauter eff.

I dont think he ever claims anything over like 80-82% mash eff.

I just prefer how ProMash is configured, it is a personal choice
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:12 PM   #6
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Ok, thank you. Guess I have some additional reading to do.

The FNG

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Old 03-02-2010, 10:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by smuth10 View Post
The Pol said he was getting 97-98% in his videos, but I figured 75-80 if I was lucky.

As far as calculating eff goes, I need to use the amount of wort I collected before the boil to calculate, correct?

I was playing around with the trial version of beersmith, but you guys say you prefer Promash. Why is that?
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Ok, thank you. Guess I have some additional reading to do.

The FNG
Remember super-high eff is not always best unless your are monitoring pH and a number of other variables. And, from the above post, maybe that's not what Pol was saying exactly.

You can use the wort before or after the boil. If you're referring to mash eff, it's not going to change. Think in terms of gravity points (GU's) and you can calculate the eff at almost any point, but... you need to take accurate volume, temperature and gravity readings.

ProMash is probably one of the ugliest programs out there - there's actually some excel spreadsheet calculators that look better! And, it kind of pisses me off that there is no current support for it that I know of...

But, it was designed by a brewer who understood how many variables can go into your system and wanted the user to be able to adjust accordingly. It just does so much stuff!!! I would love to see the interface more streamlined and enhanced aesthetically, but it works, you know. I would (and I did a year or two ago) try a couple of programs and see which one you like. Just remember - the complicated ones may have a longer/steeper learning curve.

As far as reading... don't we all. And sometimes, it's good to get away from these interwebs and read something by someone with initials before their name or credentials behind them.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:00 AM   #8
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Like WillyNilly said, I think I misunderstood what he was saying.

I guess I never thought about the efficiency that way, but it makes sense. If you use the before volumes they are larger with lower OG and after the boil you have less volume, but a higher OG because of the boil off. I guess I just had a problem figuring out how much water to start with or what to put in Beersmith for the boil #'s to get started. I guess that is just part of the learning curve.

I downloaded Pro-mash and thought the same thing. Beermsith is a little overwhelming because I am pretty new to this, but after I figured most of it out it wasn't too bad. I really like the recipe printout after you get all of your numbers in there. Very cool. Helps me figure out how much water to start with.

Thanks for your detailed response!!!

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Old 03-03-2010, 01:39 AM   #9
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I guess I never thought about the efficiency that way, but it makes sense.
Don't forget... you also have brewhouse efficiency!

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Originally Posted by smuth10 View Post
If you use the before volumes they are larger with lower OG and after the boil you have less volume, but a higher OG because of the boil off.
That's exactly it.

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Originally Posted by smuth10 View Post
Thanks for your detailed response!!!
Glad we could help.

Cheers
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