Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Ridiculously low efficiencies, why???
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default Ridiculously low efficiencies, why???

I only have 4 all grain batches "under my belt" and thought I was doing well. By that I mean they all turned out good, tasted well. Until.....I entered all the data I had kept into Beersmith and brew365's ipod software, all my batches had efficiency ratings from 50%-60%. Yeah...I know...sad.

I use a three tier (keggle, gott, keggle). I batched sparge each one, I even added a pound or two of extra grain to each batch. I boil for 90 minutes.

What could be the cause(s) of low efficiency?


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Old 09-01-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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Just saw flyguy's thread on efficiency....., I'm guessing crush and mis-calculated sparge volume threw me out of whack.

Any other insights or tips would also be appreciated.


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Old 09-01-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beergutbrew View Post
Just saw flyguy's thread on efficiency....., I'm guessing crush and mis-calculated sparge volume threw me out of whack.

Any other insights or tips would also be appreciated.
Well, that's usually the cause of low efficiencies. Water chemistry plays a role as well, but it's not usually the main cause.

Small changes like hotter sparge water (to get the bed in the 168 range) help, too.
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:13 AM   #4
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Other things that can cause apparently low efficiency are:
Not applying temperature compensation to your hydrometer readings.
Not stirring the wort before taking the hydrometer sample.
These can make a big difference if you take a reading prior to the boil.
Also, have you calibrated your hydrometer? An inaccurate instrument can throw the readings off a bit.

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Old 09-02-2009, 04:23 AM   #5
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In Beersmith, are you looking at the brewhouse efficiency or the efficiency into the boiler? BobbyM. has a good write up on the differences at his website. I confused the two in Beersmith myself and thought I was getting efficiencies in the 60's, when I was actually in the 70's.
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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I plan on brewing this weekend so last night I checked the calibration on my thermometer and hyrdrometer. The Hyrdometer was off a bit and my thermometers were off 5 degrees. With that, and the advice, this session should be better.
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:10 PM   #7
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Also make sure you are measuring your volumes correctly. I have a 2L Erlenmeyer flask I used to calibrate everything in my brewery so I knew it was as close as I could get it, also calibrate your scale if you are weighing out grain, or weigh what you get from the HBS to make sure their scale is calibrated right.
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:19 PM   #8
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If your problem is looking at the calculations wrong, you could post a recipe and your pre-boil, post-boil, and final specific gravities and some of the smart people here can run the numbers.


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