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Old 10-11-2007, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default Simple Way to Check Efficiency?

I just checked Wiki, and to tell the truth, I am more comfused about Efficiency then I was to begin with. I also have checked a few of my books, and I am still lost. So, how do I check for efficiency?

My last batch was a Mini Mash. I collected 3 1/2 Gallons of Wort from 5 1/2 lbs of Grain. I Batch Sparged. My first Sparge had a Hydrometer reading of 1048 and I got 1 1/2 gallons of wort from that. My second sparge had a hydrometer reading of 1.030 and I got 2 gallons from that Sparge. Total collection was 3 1/2 Gallons. So my efficiency would beeeeeeee???

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Old 10-11-2007, 11:43 PM   #2
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You have to use some sort of software that can calculate what your SG should be with a pre-set efficiency number, I use 75%. Then, take your actual SG reading and adjust the efficiency percentage until it matches your SG.... then you have your efficiency

beersmith is what I use, but they all work. They are cheap too, so you should get one.

NOTE: Don't worry about your sparge and first runnings gravity, it's all about the gravity of what's about to go into your fermenter.

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Old 10-11-2007, 11:48 PM   #3
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Oh, and if you tell me your exact recipe I'll tell you your efficiency.

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Old 10-11-2007, 11:53 PM   #4
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Here ya go...

4 lbs British 2 Row

8 oz Caramel Wheat Malt

8 oz. Biscuit Malt

4 oz 10L Malt

2 oz Chocolate Wheat Malt

2 oz Dehusked Carafa III Malt

3.3 lbs Munich Malt Liquid Syrup

1.1 lbs Wheat Dried Malt Extract

The SG of the Wort before it I poured the yeast in (After I added Water to bring the Batch up to 5 1/8th Gallons) was 1.051.

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Old 10-12-2007, 12:04 AM   #5
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I got 45% efficiency for that. I didn't have munich malt extract though, I had to use pale malt extract. Do you know the potential SG of the munich liquid extract?

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Old 10-12-2007, 12:08 AM   #6
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So I don't. Still, thank you for doing that. Looks like I have quite a ways to go as far as efficiency.

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Old 10-12-2007, 12:15 AM   #7
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What's your process right now? Lots of folks can help point out potential problems. Are you crushing your own grain?

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Old 10-12-2007, 12:16 AM   #8
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FYI, 75% efficiency would've got you 1.061.

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Old 10-12-2007, 02:33 AM   #9
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I'll teach you how to fish...

The math is easy, Beersmith is probably great, but unnecessary.

First, make sure you know the approximate extract amount for each of your grains (points per pound per gallon, p/p/g). This is available in many texts. Go to the books, my man! Ok, for your English 2-row, the extract is 36.

To calculate the gravity contribution of the 2-row, multiply the extract by the weight of the 2-row: 36 X 4 = 144.

Now divide that by your volume of water: 144/5.125 = 28.1.

What that means is that if you extract ALL of the sugar from your 2-row, you will get 28.1 points, or an OG of 1.0281. Got it?

Now do that for all of your grains. Add the values for the points together. That's the points for the entire batch. Use Excel, build your own little spreadsheet with fancy macros and all that jazz.

But, now what do you do about that efficiency? Just add that into the math I showed above:
Points = EFFICIENCY X extract X weight / volume
OG = (Points/1000) + 1
***you would use a decimal percentage...i.e. 0.75 for 75%

So in your case, you got about 45% efficiency. For the 2-row:
Points = .45 X 36 X 4 / 5.125 = 12.6
OG = (12.6/1000) + 1 = 1.0126

But yes, in the end, build this spreadsheet in a way that you will predict your OG based upon an estimated efficiency...then plink around with the efficiency value once you know the actual OG to correct for the error. Eventuall you'll settle on an efficiency that's pretty close.

If that makes sense to you, you're on your way to becoming a brewer. If that made no sense, probably time for the Beersmith.

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Old 10-12-2007, 04:37 PM   #10
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One thing that confuses people is that some calculate their mash efficiency - ie how much sugar extracted after sparging where what you want is your "brewhouse" efficiency ie how much sugar ends up in your fermentor. The latter takes into account both your mash efficiency and then how much you lose to your system and process.

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