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Old 12-07-2008, 12:43 AM   #1
stevea1210
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Default Unusually high efficiency. is 104% into boiler even possible?

Let me start by saying that I double checked every one of my readings, and am extremely confident that the readings are not a mistake. That being said, what went on today with my efficiancy?

I brewed Jamils dark mild, set with my normal brewhouse efficiancy of 71%. I checked my "efficiancy into boiler" in beersmith, and it was 104%!! WTF. I ended up with 8.25 gal of wort at 1.031. Like I said I double checked all of the measurements and data entries, and it came up the same. At the end of the brew, my OG was 1.043 (expected 1.033), with a brewhouse efficiancy of 87.5%. That is the highest efficiancy I have ever had.

Some things worth noting:
crush shouldn't be an issue, as I bought three batches the same day, at the same place, using the same mill and the efficiancy on the other 2 were 69% and 71% (which is my avg).

equipment was definitely different on this batch. I followed flyguy's tutorial for cooler conversion on my 5 gal igloo. I didn't want to use my 10 gal since it was such a small grain bill (6.75 lbs). It is using a stainless braid.

I got a new 15 gal brew pot, and today was the inagural run. Having the bigger kettle did allow me to collect more wort, which should have helped my efficiancy some, but I didn't think that much.

So is 104% even acheivable? Logic tells me the only ways were if the gravity reading was wrong, the volume reading was wrong, or the grain bill was larger than entered into beersmith. I anticipated an improvement in efficiancy with the ability to collect more wort, but brewhouse from 71% to 87%? And the 104% into boiler is driving me crazy. I'm happy that my efficiancy improved, but that was one hell of a jump.

Do you guys have any ideas on this?

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Old 12-07-2008, 01:20 AM   #2
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1. Recipe may have been entered wrong
2. 104% is impossible
3. If you mean you hit 87% efficiency, sure! NP. Great job! If the 104% was a "post boil", you just cooked out more water. I use Beersmith, but am not familiar with the efficiency to boiler section.

I think something was entered wrong in Beersmith. May want to post in the software section of the forum.

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Old 12-07-2008, 01:22 AM   #3
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Na there was a error somewhere.

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Old 12-07-2008, 01:24 AM   #4
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Yeah, 104% is impossible. You cannot extract more sugars than the grain has potential to provide. Something is wrong, but who knows what?

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Old 12-07-2008, 01:34 AM   #5
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What was the temperature of the pre-boil wort? I'm guessing somewhere around 175F if you fly sparged. 1 gallon of 175F water is actually only 0.973 gallons at 60F which is where your hydrometer is likely calibrated.

Your 8.25 gallons of pre-boil wort would only be 8.03 gallons at 60F which would drop your efficiency into your boiler down to 99.7%.

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Old 12-07-2008, 01:57 AM   #6
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The 87% was post boil, the 104% pre boil. Yeah I am stoked if I can maintain an efficiency like that.

I agree that you can't get more than there is to give. I didn't think more than 100% would work.

@cheme
learn something new everyday. The temp would have been in that range, probably a little less than that. I double batch sparge with 180f water. Even taking that into account 99.7% is still out of this world.

for those of you that have gotten high 80's for efficiency before, what does your pre boil efficiency average?

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Old 12-07-2008, 02:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevea1210 View Post
The 87% was post boil, the 104% pre boil. Yeah I am stoked if I can maintain an efficiency like that.

I agree that you can't get more than there is to give. I didn't think more than 100% would work.

@cheme
learn something new everyday. The temp would have been in that range, probably a little less than that. I double batch sparge with 180f water. Even taking that into account 99.7% is still out of this world.

for those of you that have gotten high 80's for efficiency before, what does your pre boil efficiency average?
Did you discard any trub/wort going from the boiler to the fermenter? I'm assuming so but if not it calls into question your pre-boil measurements.

My pre-boil efficiency is usually around 93% and my brewhouse clocks in at 92%.
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:31 AM   #8
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I typically leave a bit of wort in my lines/chiller so mine is usually 91% m/l and 88% brewhouse.

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Old 12-07-2008, 03:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemE View Post
Did you discard any trub/wort going from the boiler to the fermenter? I'm assuming so but if not it calls into question your pre-boil measurements.
Usually I do leave some behind, but today wasn't 'usual'. I didn't originally intend on collecting that much wort. I had to boil longer than normal to get it down to volume (looking for 5.25 gal).

Well Just as I was getting ready to throw the IC in to the brewpot I came across a slight issue. My hose was frozen solid. I hooked it up to my sink with hot water, and thawed it out. That extra time, and I ended up with 5 gal in the fermenter using everything from the kettle.

How does that call into question my measurements? I don't follow.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:28 AM   #10
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Disclaimer:
As others have mentioned repeatedly on other threads, BeerSmith's efficiency calculations are oddly named and just generally confusing, so I'll go through everything by hand in an effort to maintain clarity.

Theoretically Available Sugar
According to the recipe you have the following sugar available:

5# Pale British Malt (assume MO) = 5(38 ppg) = 190 ppg
0.5# Chocolate = 0.5(28) = 14 ppg
0.75# Crystal 60 = 0.75(34) = 25.5 ppg
0.5# Crystal 120 = 0.5(33) = 16.5
6.75# Total grain = 190 + 14 + 17 + 24.75 = 246 ppg

Mash/Lauter Efficiency
We already determined that you collected 8.03 gallons (volume corrected to 60F) of 1.031 into your boiler so your mash/lauter efficiency is:

8.03(31)/246 = 101.2%*
* This differs from my above post because I had previously assumed 6.75# of MO for a quick calculation.

Brewhouse Efficiency
This is why I mentioned that 100% transfer of wort into your fermenter calls into question you pre-boil measurements. Since you didn't discard any trub/wort, you maintained a closed system and there is nowhere for the sugar to have gone. 100% of the sugar which made it into the boiler should have been transferred to the fermenter. You mentioned you collected 5.0 gallons of 1.043 into the fermenter which give a brewhouse efficiency of:

5(43)/246 = 87.4%

Analysis
Somehow you lost quite a bit of sugar between the boiler and the fermenter yet you say you didn't discard/waste any wort. If you had kept all the sugar measured into the boiler, you would have produced 5 gallons of 1.051 wort. So unless you did waste a significant amount of wort, one of your sets of measurements is off. My bet would be on the pre-boil measurements since they produce a result which is extremely unlikely.
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My Super Efficient 5-Gallon Mash Lauter TunGraduating CarboysLeaf Hop Absorption Measured
Primary - Bemused Bitter, Munich Saaz SMaSH
Secondary - Air
Bottled - Oatmeal Stout 2011, Apfelwein, Withdrawn Wheat, Bourbon Barrel Barleywine SMaSH, Christmas Ale 2010, Perplexed Pale Ale

Last edited by ChemE; 12-12-2008 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Accidentally switched the Crsytal 120 and Crystal 60 in Jamil's recipie
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