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Old 01-28-2010, 01:37 PM   #1
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Default Scaling Recipes for Effiency

I recently finished my single-tier system and after brewing one batch on it, my efficiency has gone up almost 10 points.

So, to scale a recipe for a higher efficiency than it was originally designed, would you:

A. Just decrease the amount of base malt you use to hit your target gravity?

or

B. Would you scale back everything including specialty grains proportionally?

Would there be significant difference in the finished beer depending on which method you used?

I use Beersmith and have played with the scale recipe function. But after scaling the recipe for example, 1 lb of chocolate malt gets scaled to .88 lbs and I don't really want to get that specific. Just wondering what others do.



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Old 01-28-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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I only scale the base malt. The exception is when I have a large percentage of another self-mashing malt: Munich, Rye, Wheat, etc. Grains that are there for flavor and color need to be present in the same concentrations or you'll change the beer's flavor.



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Old 01-28-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
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I actually asked the same question a few months ago and the consensus seemed to be scale everything. Which makes sense, given that a good recipe is all about balance and proportion. Kind of like cooking - if you want to increase or decrease the amount a recipe will make, you increase or decrease everything.

That said, for simpler beers, it does seem easier to only scale the base malt. I made Ed Wort's Pale a few months ago, only scaled the 2-row, and it still came out awesome.

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Old 01-28-2010, 05:04 PM   #4
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Scale everything.

A beer with 10 lbs 2-Row and 1lb of roasted barley (@70%) is going to be a very different beer than 7lbs of 2-row and 1lb(@100%) of roasted barley.

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Old 01-29-2010, 01:48 PM   #5
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Hmmm, for grains that you only need to steep to get the character, like crystal malts, if I was to scale those based on efficiency (which is a measure of your base malt's and system's ability to get it's own sugars out) wouldn't I be getting less or more crystal character than otherwise?

If my original efficiency is 50% and my recipe called for 1 lb crystal, why when my efficiency is now 100%, would I add 0.5lb? That's half as much crystal in the same batch size. My belief, and I can be swayed, is that you scale our specialty grains (those that can be steeped) according to batch size. No? Or, is either method, scaling everything or just the base malt, changing the recipe ever so slightly with the same ingredients that we just won't notice the difference?

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Old 01-29-2010, 02:04 PM   #6
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I used to scale everything until I thought about it a little more. Flavor doesn't need to extract at the same efficiency as sugar. So as long as you are only changing the efficiency and not the volumes then I say just the base malt. When scaling up volumes you need to adjust it all.

I apply this same logic to hops when adjusting for different AA - scale early hops in a recipe by AA to reach proper IBUs but late hops by weight because you are only looking for aroma and flavor which won't extract exactly the same as Alpha Acids.

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Old 01-29-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synovia View Post
Scale everything.

A beer with 10 lbs 2-Row and 1lb of roasted barley (@70%) is going to be a very different beer than 7lbs of 2-row and 1lb(@100%) of roasted barley.
I'm curious as to why this would be. Assuming you end up with the same batch size and same gravity, I would think it would be impossible to tell the difference between the 2 beers above.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:25 PM   #8
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I'm sensing an experiment coming on...

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Old 01-29-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjp36 View Post
I'm curious as to why this would be. Assuming you end up with the same batch size and same gravity, I would think it would be impossible to tell the difference between the 2 beers above.
Try it.


The beer with less base malt will be much more roasty. Sugar isn't the only think you're extracting in a mash.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:27 PM   #10
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I have done both. For me it depends on the recipe and the efficiency gap to determine if I will scale everything up just bump of the base malt by a half pound to get the right O.G.

If I was going from 70-85% I would probably scale everything.

70-75% i usually just adjust base malt.



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