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Old 04-30-2013, 01:24 AM   #1571
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Having some issues understanding efficiency.
I brewed my first BIAB yesterday. Wheat recipe that I created on Beer Calculus. Not knowing what my efficiency was going to be having never done one before, I put 70 percent in. Projected OG was 1.045.
Actual OG was 1.044, so pretty darn close.

When I plug numbers into this: http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/ , it's telling me 63.3 percent. I listed wort volume at 5.5 gallons because that's what I put into the fermenter. I left at least a half-gallon in the kettle, mostly trub. With that being the case, should I put 6 as the wort volume? (That would bring it up to 69.1).

If indeed I am 63.3, then why is my OG so close to what it is supposed to be when projected at 70 percent?
Am I missing something?
Any thoughts?
Remember there are 2 efficiency numbers - the first is mash efficiency, a measure of the efficiency of the mash and sparse only. Then there is brew house efficiency which takes other things into account like losses from cooling, pumping, trub etc. You can have high mash efficiency but low brew house efficiency especially ISPs the latter involves losing volume.


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Old 04-30-2013, 04:06 AM   #1572
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Originally Posted by jb1677

Remember there are 2 efficiency numbers - the first is mash efficiency, a measure of the efficiency of the mash and sparse only. Then there is brew house efficiency which takes other things into account like losses from cooling, pumping, trub etc. You can have high mash efficiency but low brew house efficiency especially ISPs the latter involves losing volume.
Right. I'm speaking purely about brew house efficiency.


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Old 04-30-2013, 04:21 AM   #1573
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Right. I'm speaking purely about brew house efficiency.
Brew house efficiency is lowered by any loss of volume, so leaving liquid behind in the kettle or losing it to testing, spill, in pump lines etc all lower brew house efficiency. Adding any of these liquid volumes back to raise the efficiency number defeats the purpose of the number. Don't dwell on the number, work to make it repeatable and be done with it. Also remember when others are sharing their efficiencies we have no idea when it was calculated, or how - makes it sort of meaningless.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:33 AM   #1574
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb1677

Brew house efficiency is lowered by any loss of volume, so leaving liquid behind in the kettle or losing it to testing, spill, in pump lines etc all lower brew house efficiency. Adding any of these liquid volumes back to raise the efficiency number defeats the purpose of the number. Don't dwell on the number, work to make it repeatable and be done with it. Also remember when others are sharing their efficiencies we have no idea when it was calculated, or how - makes it sort of meaningless.
Thanks. Yeah, that's why I'm kind of fixated on making sure I understand it - so that I can strive for the most efficient way to get the most consistent number.
I'm like going to brew this same recipe again in a few weeks - getting all of summer beers ready now, including some different fruit wheats - so that should make for a good repetition test for consistency.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:48 PM   #1575
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Also remember when others are sharing their efficiencies we have no idea when it was calculated, or how - makes it sort of meaningless.
Finally someone said it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:30 PM   #1576
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Finally someone said it.
The important thing is that people who get less than 65% freak out about it and people who get more than 80% brag about it.

FWIW, I'd much rather have a consistent system than an ever-changing, chasing-the-efficiency-dragon system.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:52 PM   #1577
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As far as calculating efficiency, isn't that as simple as taking your predicted gravity (say, 1.068) and dividing it by or into your actual gravity and taking note of the difference?
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:56 PM   #1578
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The important thing is that people who get less than 65% freak out about it and people who get more than 80% brag about it.

FWIW, I'd much rather have a consistent system than an ever-changing, chasing-the-efficiency-dragon system.
well said. Which is why I'm happy to consistently get 75-80% total brewhouse efficiency. What some people fail to realize is, you have to know your exact volumes to get an exact efficiency. being off a half gallon can throw the numbers off a few % points. I calibrated my mash rake as well as my carboys. I know within a quarter gallon how much is there. Not an exact amount which is why I said 75-80%

unless I'm trying a new recipe or trying to exactly reproduce someones recipe, I rarely even bother with efficiency. I know what my setup will produce and adjust accordingly. I'd rather brew and drink than chase that dragon
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:16 PM   #1579
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As far as calculating efficiency, isn't that as simple as taking your predicted gravity (say, 1.068) and dividing it by or into your actual gravity and taking note of the difference?
you also need to know the volume of liquid collected. for example, if you were shooting for a gravity of 1.040 and got 1.040 you'd be happy and think you got the exact efficiency you were expecting. but if you collected 6 gallons post boil instead of 5.5 gallons and had that gravity you had to extract more from the grains aka better efficiency. if you only had 4.5 gallons, then you had lower efficiency.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:50 PM   #1580
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This may be a silly question, but I am attempting my first AG BIAB today and I was wondering about sparging. Do I just suspend the basket+bag over the kettle as it drains and pour hot water through the grains to get to my pre-boil volume? Or do I keep the grains in the mash water and add more water and stir and then drain into the kettle? The second options seems more like a mashout technique, but the first seems like I wouldn't be rinsing as many sugars off the grains since they wouldn't be submerged. Theoretically I could miss a few spots in the grain bed by just pouring water through them while suspended over the BK. Thoughts?


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