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12-01-2011, 09:09 PM   #1
natewv
Recipes

Jan 2011
baltimore, md
Posts: 201
Liked 5 Times on 3 Posts

So my next brew will be my 10th not counting a couple of batches of basic cider. Ive moved onto AG with BIAB on my last 2 batches. I basically used clone recipes I found on here. I've read through all of Palmer's book online a few times, and a countless number of threads on here and the wiki. Hell, if my company blocked this site in the past 12 months, they might have seen a good week to two weeks, literally, of more productive work out of me this year...but I digress.

What is efficiency?
How do I calculate it?
What are the variables in my grinding, mashing, sparging, and boiling process that I can manipulate and what are the corresponding changes in the amount of consumables or heat that I can vary to make the changes, observe them, and get better at brewing?

I'm sure someone will say 'do whatever is right for you', and while I understand the sentiment, I am trying to better understand why something is right for me before saying or accepting that is is right for me. Also if it's relevant, right now I'm using brewtarget, just not very well since I really don't understand what I am actually using it for. Hell I don't even know if I'm asking you guys the right question here...

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12-01-2011, 09:17 PM   #2
GilaMinumBeer
Half-fast Prattlarian

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Jan 2008
Posts: 59,777
Liked 7907 Times on 6417 Posts

There are;

Mash Efficiency - Which is a quantification of how effective your grind, conversion, and lauter have been in reference to a batch maximum possible.

For example, Malsters perform a batch analysis on the grain they produce and publish data on the maximum yield the batch can provide on a points per pound basis.

Brewhouse Efficiency - Is mash efficiency combined with how well you have hit your target numbers (gravity and volume) through the boil and into the fermenter.

12-02-2011, 12:31 AM   #3
wolverinebrewer

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Jan 2011
Oxford, MI
Posts: 599
Liked 13 Times on 9 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer There are; Mash Efficiency - Which is a quantification of how effective your grind, conversion, and lauter have been in reference to a batch maximum possible. For example, Malsters perform a batch analysis on the grain they produce and publish data on the maximum yield the batch can provide on a points per pound basis. Brewhouse Efficiency - Is mash efficiency combined with how well you have hit your target numbers (gravity and volume) through the boil and into the fermenter.
This gets you started but this is a big subject. A general answer would be that efficiency is referred to in % and it is the quantity of fermentable sugars obtained (mashed) from the potential quantity of fermentables contained in each kernal of grain. A good mash eff. is 70-80%
This might help better.
Brewhouse Efficiency for All Grain Beer Brewing | Home Brewing Beer Blog by BeerSmith

IMO, you really need to read Ray Daniel's "Designing Great Beers". It should be a part of a brewers library. Chapter 5 and 6 explain this and helps to put together your own recipe.
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12-02-2011, 01:02 AM   #4
Dan

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Oct 2010
Makakilo, Hawaii
Posts: 7,250
Liked 2245 Times on 1400 Posts

There's a caclulator on the website Brewer's Friend, home brewing resources (If that opens up to a page that says wrong website or something like that, scroll about halfway down the page until you see >> Click Here To Proceed To Link Destination << and click on it. If all fails just type www.brewersfriend dot com into your brouser and find the Brewhouse efficiency calculator

Fill in your numbers and it will tell you your "brewhouse efficiency" But that term, to me is a bit misleading because it does not take into account the wort you lost due to physical losses, ie., the amount of wort left in the mash tun or boil kettle due to undrainable (is that a word?), wort that was lost because of space in the vessels that don't allow the wort to be siphoned. "Dead space"

I average an 80% mash efficiency, ie most all of the my grain bill converts, the water to grist ratio was effective and I drew off the correct amount of wort from my mash tun as I planned to.
But I personally believe brewhouse efficiency takes into account how well the mash came out plus all the other losses. My brewhouse effeciency as far as BeerSmith is concerned is some where around 68% because lost wort caused by deadspace in my mash tun, boil kettle and if I use a counterflow chiller I'll lose a few a bit more there.

12-02-2011, 01:27 AM   #5
yorkbrew

Recipes

Sep 2007
Bellingham, WA
Posts: 114

Quote:
 Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer There are; Mash Efficiency - Which is a quantification of how effective your grind, conversion, and lauter have been in reference to a batch maximum possible. For example, Malsters perform a batch analysis on the grain they produce and publish data on the maximum yield the batch can provide on a points per pound basis. Brewhouse Efficiency - Is mash efficiency combined with how well you have hit your target numbers (gravity and volume) through the boil and into the fermenter.
Conversion efficiency can be isolated from mash efficiency. It's useful to determine weather your crush is good. If you look up brewKaiser's site you can find it on there. It helped me out a lot when I first went AG and was pulling my hair out over low efficiency.

12-02-2011, 05:08 AM   #6
stux
Recipes

Sep 2011
Sydney, NSW
Posts: 94
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Efficiency is most accurately defined as the percentage of potential extract, present

Conversion Efficiency = How much of the potential extract was converted in the mash. This should be somewhere between 99 and 100% if all your mash parameters are close to optimal. 100% means you achieved the same as the Laboratory Fine Grind Dry Basis (FGDB) potential extract figure. 99% is more normal for a course grind, which is closer to what homebrewers use.

Lautering Efficiency is how efficiently you harvest the converted sugars from your mash into your boil kettle, and this includes sparging.

Mash Efficiency, Into Boil, Efficiency Into Kettle, End of Boil Efficiency, should all be roughly the same, and are dependant on the liquor to grain ratio in the mash, absorption and sparging, as well as the original conversion efficiency, and any equipment losses.

Brewhouse, or Into Fermenter Efficiency is how much of the original potential extract ends up in your fermenter. This is basically the extract that was available in your kettle, less losses to trub and deadspace and cooling equipment on the way to your fermenter.

The most important efficiency number for recipe conversion is actually the Mash Efficiency/Into Kettle Efficiency number as that has the most to do with the recipe and the hopbill, since Brewhouse efficiency can be vastly affected by kettle loss, but kettle loss does not affect the recipe.

If you had 5KG of grain, with 80% potential, you could expect up to about 4KG of extract in your mash. If you then ended up with 80% mash efficiency, you would have 80% of 4KG in your kettle, ie 3.2KG.

If you then had 70% Brewhouse efficiency, you would have 70% of the original 4KG in your fermenter, ie 2.8KG in your fermenter.

Which shows that you lost 0.4KG of extract between your kettle and fermenter, or 10% of your total efficiency.
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