1st AG = 86% Efficiency --- Am I right? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:57 PM   #1
Aug 2008
Roanoke, VA
Posts: 347
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My first AG was not perfect. I missed temps pretty bad on the mash with the target temp being 152 for 60 minutes but ended up dropping to around 145. Other than the temp issues, which I hope to get worked out on my next run, everything else ran smoothly.

I mash in a 50qt Coleman Cooler and boil in a 7.5 gal kettle and batch sparged.

Keep in mind I'm not even sure if I have the right formula to figure efficiency but here's my calculations:

10.5lbs of Grain
8lbs Pale 2 row - 38ppg
2lbs Vienna - 35ppg
8oz Crystal 10 - 35ppg

Pre-Boil Wort OG - 1.051
Wort collected - 6.5 gallons

8lbs x 38ppg = 296
2lbs x 35ppg = 70
.5lbs x 37 = 17.5
383.5/ 6.5 = 59

51/59 = 86%

What am I missing here? There's now way I got that high of efficiency
Primary 1: Winter Tropics Pale Ale
Primary 2: Appy IPA
Primary 3: Truly Triple Hopped IPA

Secondary 1: Air
Secondary 2: Air

Bottled: Edworts IPA, Nierra Sevada, Stork Blue Celebration Ale
On Deck: Maroon Effect Amber, Blonde, IPA, APA

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Old 03-30-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
Jun 2008
Nashville, TN
Posts: 8,511
Liked 27 Times on 26 Posts

Temp issues are the worst. Either you hit your target temps or you don't.

However, as long as you stay between 139-159 for an hour, you'll get fermentables. That high efficiency is not abnormal for a first shot.

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Old 03-30-2010, 08:48 PM   #3
2bluewagons's Avatar
Jan 2009
Taichung, TW / Portland, OR
Posts: 356
Liked 27 Times on 19 Posts

Your math is correct, although I thought 2-row was usually 36 ppg.

I have a very similar setup to you and normally get around 75% eff. But on one recent batch I got closer to 85%. I got the grain on that batch from a different shop, so I attribute it to the crush (it was pretty fine) and/or maybe he gave me a little more grain than I asked for.

Try a few more batches and you should be able to zero in on the average efficiency of your system. Make sure to take a hydro reading of the first runnings, which can tell you mash efficiency versus sparge efficiency.

Nice job though, nice to not have one more "1st AG nightmare..." thread.

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Old 03-30-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
Jan 2010
Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1,343
Liked 21 Times on 21 Posts

Originally Posted by StarCityBrewMaster View Post

What am I missing here? There's now way I got that high of efficiency
Why not? You only used 10.5 pounds of grain. Usually, the fewer grains you use, the better the efficiency you will get. I used something like 16 pounds of grains on my first AG and got ~79%.

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Old 03-30-2010, 09:28 PM   #5
Jun 2008
Nashville, TN
Posts: 8,511
Liked 27 Times on 26 Posts

Actually, missing your temp by that much may mean you had too much grain, as 2bluewagons has said, which would also indicate why you had such a high efficiency.

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Old 03-31-2010, 11:33 AM   #6
May 2008
Posts: 2,274
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As far as the temp goes, did you preheat your mash tun?
I usually add around a gallon of hot tap water first. (120F or so), and then around 2 qt of boiling water and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to preheat the mash tun.
After that, the only temperature loss I see is when I open up the mash tun to stir.
In Primary: Belgium Chimay clones.
In Secondary: Braggot, pale ale, end of the world white.
Conditioning: Mead, Cider, braggot, Belgium Wheat.
On Tap: Clones, Chimay Blue, Red, Porter, malted cider.
Bottles: Far, far, too many to list.

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