"Efficiency" Calculations Using Beersmith - Home Brew Forums

 Home Brew Forums > "Efficiency" Calculations Using Beersmith

07-10-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
Skipper74
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Apr 2011
Franklin, MA
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When people refer to their "efficiency," are they referring to what Beersmith calculates as total brewhouse efficiency or mash efficiency?

07-10-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
LandoLincoln

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Feb 2011
Joliet, IL
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Unless specifically stated, mash efficiency. Or at least they should be, since efficiency numbers usually come up when talking about mashing.

07-10-2012, 06:05 PM   #3
TyTanium
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Nov 2011
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I would think brewhouse efficiency, or "into the kettle" efficiency.

Mash efficiency is just how much you convert, which is largely irrelevant if you can't get it out of the mash tun. I'd suspect that the largest losses for most people lie with lauter efficiency.

07-10-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
alestateyall

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Jun 2011
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Two responses two different answers. I think when people quote efficiency numbers you should ignore the number because it is meaningless because there are so many definitions for efficiency and it all gets confusing fast.

I think the real question is which of those numbers do you use as an inout to calculate your next recipe's original gravity.

07-10-2012, 06:59 PM   #5
Skipper74
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Franklin, MA
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by kehaar I think the real question is which of those numbers do you use as an inout to calculate your next recipe's original gravity.
I am pretty new to AG, but I guess I will use brewhouse efficiency going forward. My first batch of Centennial Blonde, which I brewed using BIAB and squeezing the hell out of the grains, resulted in an OG of 1.05, which (according to Beersmith) translates to a brewhouse efficiency in the high eighties (I am at work and don't have the exact numbers) and a mash efficiency of over 100 percent. I was confused by this, as an efficiency of more than 100 percent doesn't make sense, and I have never seen anyone claim an "efficiency" that high.

07-10-2012, 07:02 PM   #6
cmybeer
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Mar 2012
minneapolis, mn
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Yeah, it really doesn't matter to me all that much whether you talk about mash vs. brewhouse vs. whatever efficiency. I know that when I plug my recipes into beersmith at 72% brewhouse efficiency I can come out within a point or two of what I was expecting.

07-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #7
TyTanium
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Nov 2011
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Skipper74 ...a mash efficiency of over 100 percent. I was confused by this, as an efficiency of more than 100 percent doesn't make sense, and I have never seen anyone claim an "efficiency" that high.
Possible, just means more sugar converted for you than the maximum level measured in the lab. Measurement error is more likely. You were probably close to 100% though, not uncommon.

IMO, brewhouse efficiency is what matters for recipe formulation. "x pounds of grain = y gravity points in fermenter." The rest is just diagnostics & troubleshooting.

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07-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
jwalker1140
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Sep 2011
Glendale, CA
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Is brewhouse efficiency the same as "Tot Efficiency" in BeerSmith? The filed that's just below the "Batch Size" field of a recipe ?

07-13-2012, 10:31 PM   #9
erikpete18
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Apr 2009
Seattle, WA
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by jwalker1140 Is brewhouse efficiency the same as "Tot Efficiency" in BeerSmith? The filed that's just below the "Batch Size" field of a recipe ?
Yup. Actually, if you hover your cursor over the field box, it pops up with something along the lines of "gross brewhouse efficiency from mash to fermenter".

02-10-2013, 08:23 PM   #10
cwi
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Austin
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by TyTanium IMO, brewhouse efficiency is what matters for recipe formulation. "x pounds of grain = y gravity points in fermenter." The rest is just diagnostics & troubleshooting.
Not meaning to resurrect an old thread, but that statement, other than it being you opinion, is completely wrong- especially for sharing recipes, but also for building your own recipes.

Effeciency 'to the fermenter' means nothing, except to an accountant wanting to know cost per beer. The numbers that are important for recipe formulation are 'in the kettle efficiency', and 'in the kettle volume'. Including lauter volume losses would be even better. From there, you can estimate an 'in the fermenter volume' based on projected kettle-fermenter transfer losses (trub, hops, deadspace, etc.).

Using 'to the fermenter' as 'Brewhouse efficiency' specifically prevents scaling a recipe and adjusting 'trub loss' for the new recipe size/ingredients, at least not without iteratively increasing/decreasing 'in the fermenter' efficiency and resultant effects to other variable in order to home in on the correct 'in the fermenter' efficiency.

Setting 'trub/chiller loss' to ZERO, is the easiest method for using BeerSmith, which effectively changes 'brewhouse eff' to 'in the kettle' or 'lauter' eff. If you want, you can use 'fermenter loss' as a place to log 'trub loss' without BeerSmith using it to mess up your numbers.

By the way, if you are using BIAB, BeerSmith doesn't calc correctly for that, or for batch sparging. There is an Aussie spreadsheet that you can use once you have the recipe close, that will tell you what you how to adjust for BIAB. As long as you don't have to scale the grain bill by more than a few percent, you can call it good. If not, you need to scale it in BeerSmith, then go back to the spreadsheet. The only times the re-scaling in BeerSmith is really needed is when the recipe has heavily colored grains.

It shouldn't be too long before there is a brewing SW package that does BIAB/batch sparge correctly. The hard work has been done in the spreadsheet, it just needs to be incorporated into the logic.