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Old 09-10-2013, 12:21 AM   #11
cwi
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Originally Posted by ODI3 View Post
JZ uses Tinseth method for hops.
I think most people use Tinseth. The guys who like to brag seem to use Rager, since it has higher IBUs compared to Tinseth. Hops and IBUs are the most nebulous aspect of brewing (at the homebrew level). Knowing which formula and what the AA% of the hops they used will get you close, but it's still a bit of a crapshoot. Really, you need to brew the recipe, and then adjust it to your own personal tastes (and chosen formula for calculated IBUs).

Even at the macro-brewer level, there are differences of 'perceived' bitterness at the same lab tested IBU levels. That is why they also use humans in tasting panels. (That sounds weird, like a soylent green tasting, but it's overly long to write it properly)
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:29 AM   #12
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(Re)Defining Brew House Eff as 'to the fermenter' is beyond stupid, in any color. How are you supposed to share recipes? (as evidenced by this very thread). How are you supposed to account for different trub levels based on the hop bill? Tying the volume in the fermenter to brewside efficiency makes absolutely no sense. The only reason for any efficiency calcs post-kettle is for penny-pinching accountants. Getting high efficiency does not make better beer, and can actually cause flavor problems.
I always did think that brewhouse eff was based on fermenter volumes, and really the only people that should be interested in brewhouse eff is accountants since that is about minimising losses (dead-space etc.)
I checked out the HBT wiki and they agree (not that any Wiki is a solid agurment to stand on )
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Originally Posted by HBT Wiki
Mash Efficiency Vs. Brewhouse Efficiency Ok, if you're still with me this far, it's time to split a few hairs.

Some people calculate their efficiency based on the volume and gravity of pre-boil runnings. This gives the efficiency of the mash and sparge alone, which I refer to as mash efficiency.

Other people calculate their efficiency based on the volume and gravity of wort that actually goes into the fermenter. This gives the overall efficiency of the entire brewing process -- the brewhouse efficiency.

What's the difference? Well, the decrease in volume which occurs during the boil actually has no effect, since the decrease in volume is accompanied by an increase in specific gravity -- i.e., the total amount of sugar remains the same. What does have an effect is the fact that some wort is typically left behind in the boiling kettle, with the hops. This means that the brewhouse efficiency will always be a few points lower than the mash efficiency, because some sugar is left behind.

Which method is the "right" one? They both are; either one will work. Just pick one method, and stick with it, so that your records are consistent. Or, if you tend to be anal on the recordkeeping side of things, just record both sets of numbers!
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Originally Posted by cwi View Post
Mash Efficiency is 2 steps better than what BS uses. Kettle/Brewhouse Eff = Mash Eff X Lauter Eff. That is how it is supposed to be defined. Knowing all of them makes tracking, while brewing and post-brew, easier. Using Kettle Eff, at a minimum, is much better than 'to the fermentor'.
Thinking about it - taking the efficency at either the beginning of the boil or end of the boil it should be the same (no sugar disappears). There would be no difference in mash/laueter eff compared to brewhouse eff if they were both measure at the kettle. I do agree (See my next point) that BS should not be using brewhouse eff and should be using M/L eff.
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Originally Posted by cwi View Post
That makes no sense. If there is a known defect, the software should be fixed, and BS is very obviously broken. Using fermentor centric efficiency provides no benefit to brewing process- chest beating about post-kettle efficiency aside.
But is it a defect in the calculation or a defect in how they explain/use it? I would argue that the calculation is correct but it should only be displayed for information. There should be a seperate (changeable) value for mash/lauter efficiency. This would make sharing recipes easier as you say since you don't have to know anything about the other persons setup apart from how effecient their MLT is and they will tell you that.
So reading that back, I actually do agree that BS should make changes to the program to make it more user freindly to share recipes
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:07 AM   #13
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I always did think that brewhouse eff was based on fermenter volumes, and really the only people that should be interested in brewhouse eff is accountants since that is about minimising losses (dead-space etc.)
I checked out the HBT wiki and they agree (not that any Wiki is a solid agurment to stand on )
If the HBT Wiki says that, it is wrong. I think I have seen that before, and didn't bother trying to get it corrected. I think it directly quotes Braukaiser, then within a couple of sentences contradicts his 'to the kettle' definition of Brewhouse Eff (which is based on century old German brewing texts).

This is a fact: Brewhouse Eff has been 'to the kettle' for centuries. BS was almost single-handedly responsible for re-defining/obfuscating the term as 'to the fermentor'. Very few brewing SW packages use 'to the fermentor' for eff. I spoke to a couple of the newer package designers that chose to blindly copy BS methods, and they both did a big self-headslap when I explained the issues with it.

Using 'to the fermentor' for batch size is another BS issue. It should also be 'in the kettle' to make sharing recipes easier. That is why Jamil always uses the '6G batch' (5.5 to the fermentor). Setting a secondary goal of what makes it to the fermentor is fine, but 'in the kettle' is the only single number that makes sharing/scaling possible.

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Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
Thinking about it - taking the efficency at either the beginning of the boil or end of the boil it should be the same (no sugar disappears). There would be no difference in mash/laueter eff compared to brewhouse eff if they were both measure at the kettle. I do agree (See my next point) that BS should not be using brewhouse eff and should be using M/L eff.
I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Mash (conversion) Eff * Lauter Eff = Brewhouse/Kettle Eff. I am not referring to the BS version of 'Brewhouse', and always try to specify the 'kettle' (proper) or 'fermentor' (idiotic) version I am talking about. This ultra-clarification is only necessary due to BS and their ridiculous redefinition of Brewhouse Eff as 'to the fermentor'.

I never talked about pre-boil vs. post-boil Kettle eff, for the reasons you cited (they are the same); however, your use of MLT Eff needs to be clarified. Mash eff is the same as 'conversion' eff, and Lauter eff is how much of the converted sugar is transferred (lautered?) 'to the kettle'. Mash Eff * Lauter Eff = Brewhouse/Kettle Eff. Knowing the component parts of traditional Brewhouse/Kettle Eff makes real-time and post-mortem tracking of brewhouse issues easier. You can check your mash eff before lautering to see how things are progressing, or to find out where things went wrong.

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Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
But is it a defect in the calculation or a defect in how they explain/use it? I would argue that the calculation is correct but it should only be displayed for information.
The bastardization of the terminology by BS is what is undoubtedly incorrect- historically, Brewhouse efficiency has had nothing to do with anything post-kettle, for good reason. The BS design decision to use 'to the fermentor' as a brew-side metric was simply an ill-conceived choice. I believe the BS designers now know this, but there is no easy way to switch metrics without upsetting a lot of clueless users.

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Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
There should be a seperate (changeable) value for mash/lauter efficiency.
Now you are opening up a whole can of worms. You can't specify both a kettle (or further downstream) based efficiency, and specify an adjustable mash and/or lauter eff. They are inter-related. This is the crux of the issue with BS using 'to the fermentor'. If you change your trub value, your mash efficiency is auto-recalc'd. This is because you also need to change your 'to the fermentor' efficiency since you changed the volume going 'to the fermentor'.

I ridiculed the fanboys on the BS forum when they defended 'to the fermentor' as a perfectly valid method. I pointed out how BS's marketing schtick is 'Why do the calc's yourself', yet the one number BS makes you supply has to be hand calc'd if you simply change your trub value. This is due to the poor design choice to use 'to the fermentor' for eff. Magically, a few days later a new calc tool appeared on the BS website as a workaround. No real explanation or announcement about why/how to use it, though. A hack job if you ask me.

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Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
This would make sharing recipes easier as you say since you don't have to know anything about the other persons setup apart from how effecient their MLT is and they will tell you that.
So reading that back, I actually do agree that BS should make changes to the program to make it more user freindly to share recipes
Combined MLT eff = Brewhouse/Kettle Eff, as I stated earlier, which I think you see the benefits of now. You probably now also see the uselessness of 'to the fermentor' efficiency for anything related to actually brewing. It is a number for the bean counters in the business office only.

To burst your bubble even further, since I see you BIAB, BS is completely worthless when it comes to BIAB and batch sparging. The numbers are garbage, unless you supply with the exact Brewhouse efficiency for that particular recipe. BIAB (and batch sparge) are a fixed game, and should be based on conversion efficiency, and lauter eff (true grain absorption only for BIAB). The SW should tell you what your Brewhouse eff is for these lauter styles, not the other way around.

There is a workaround for doing BIAB/batch sparge in BS, but I find it easier to use the Aussie BIAB-calc, and BIABacus spreadsheets.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:29 AM   #14
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...Combined MLT eff = Brewhouse/Kettle Eff, as I stated earlier, which I think you see the benefits of now. You probably now also see the uselessness of 'to the fermentor' efficiency for anything related to actually brewing. It is a number for the bean counters in the business office only.

To burst your bubble even further, since I see you BIAB, BS is completely worthless when it comes to BIAB and batch sparging. The numbers are garbage, unless you supply with the exact Brewhouse efficiency for that particular recipe. BIAB (and batch sparge) are a fixed game, and should be based on conversion efficiency, and lauter eff (true grain absorption only for BIAB). The SW should tell you what your Brewhouse eff is for these lauter styles, not the other way around.

There is a workaround for doing BIAB/batch sparge in BS, but I find it easier to use the Aussie BIAB-calc, and BIABacus spreadsheets.
I agree that (as you have said) real problem is BS has redifined the meaning of brewhouse eff (not just in their program but in the wider homebrewing community). I had a quick check of google before I posted and everything said brewhouse = "to the fermenter", but also every link was for homebrewing. Looking into if further and seeing the use of mash eff* laueter eff made me realise that you are correct and what commercial breweries consider brewhouse eff is that.

I agree that "to the fermenter" eff is useless during brewing, with the only potential use is to (as you said) beat your chest on how awesome you are.
My point on having 2 eff in BS was to suggest a easier way for BS to implement changing which eff is inputed by the user without causing to much confusion.
If BS locked the "to the fermenter" eff that users currently input so it is only a displayed value, then add a new eff for M/L eff that users can now input - most people woould either just stick their eff in here or ask what to do which can be easily explained (with why they did it too) on BS's FAQ page.
They can then phase out the "to the fermenter" eff (displayed only) out over the next few versions.

By the way I don't use BS, and am really considering just setting up and excel spreadsheet with all my info needed as every single (free, because I'm cheap) Android brewing app never is 100% complete with what I want it to offer. And no longer do BIAB.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:00 AM   #15
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By the way I don't use BS, and am really considering just setting up and excel spreadsheet with all my info needed as every single (free, because I'm cheap) Android brewing app never is 100% complete with what I want it to offer. And no longer do BIAB.
BIAB ~= batch sparge. For that class of sparge styles, the free Aussie spreadsheets I mentioned previously are the best thing going for scaling/converting recipes, and better than you will be able build yourself (without at least a man-year of work). You could always use them as a starting point for custom mods as well.

If you are fly sparging (so you can beat your chest even harder about (erratic) high efficiency), then you really need a tool that can do on-the-fly adjustment calcs to deal with the inherently unreliable lauter efficiency/volumes. Personally, I don't see the hassle/time of fly sparging being worth it over batch sparging for homebrew scale batches, or even for 75 liter batches. I would rather hit numbers predictably with minimal fuss vs. saving $1 of grain/20L and spending an extra hour futzing with a fly sparge.
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