efficiency calculation - Home Brew Forums

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03-21-2013, 12:39 PM   #1
krenshaw

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Dec 2010
Lancaster, PA
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how does one easily calculate your efficiency? i use beersmith and i remember when i first set it up that it had a bunch of questions involving what you brew with, tun space, yadayada.. i believe all of my recipes have 70% at the top of the file for efficiency, but i was wondering if there is a simple way to figure out what my actual results are.. thanks!
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03-21-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
RmikeVT
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Apr 2012
Baltimore, MD
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by krenshaw how does one easily calculate your efficiency? i use beersmith and i remember when i first set it up that it had a bunch of questions involving what you brew with, tun space, yadayada.. i believe all of my recipes have 70% at the top of the file for efficiency, but i was wondering if there is a simple way to figure out what my actual results are.. thanks!
So, you need to take accurate measurements of Volumes and Specific Gravity and enter them into the software and it will calculate BrewHouse Effeciency and Extraction Effeciency.

First, I would start with weighing your grain and building your recipe. Then when you mash, measure the amount of water in and out (I use a gallon pitcher from wal-mart that marks off at Quarts and Liters), then measure the wort into the kettle. The difference between Mash Water and Water to Kettle is your Grain Absorption.

Next, Measure the Amount of Sparge water going in and then out. The difference is your Mash Tun Dead Space.

Then, Add the Mash Volume to Kettle plus the Sparge Water to Kettle and then you will no your total volume to kettle. Mix up the Wort and take a gravity reading (adjust for temps if you need to). This should give you a point of reference for extraction efficiency. Plug in Pre-Boil Volume and Pre-Boil Specific Gravity into Beersmith and it should give you an efficiency value.

Next, brew you beer. Measure Original Gravity and you should have roughly the same efficiency as pre-boil. Then measure how much volume goes to the fermenter and now you have OG and Volume to fermenter which indicates your Brew House Efficiency. You plug all these measurements and values into BeerSmith it will calculate your efficiency and you will have a reference for you next brew.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but after a few brews I finally took the time to measure absolutely everything and it took a couple times, as boil off volume was the hardest thing for me to dial in, because it was difficult for me to measure the volume coming out of the kettle into the fermentor. But now I got it all working and I haven't missed my targets in a while.

UPDATE: I don't really trust the graduations on the side of the Buckets or my ketting, I know they are wrong, just FWIW

03-21-2013, 04:10 PM   #3
GrogNerd
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Oct 2012
Sterling, VA
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by RmikeVT The difference between Mash Water and Water to Kettle is your Grain Absorption. Next, Measure the Amount of Sparge water going in and then out. The difference is your Mash Tun Dead Space.
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03-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #4
eric19312

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Dec 2012
, NY
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by RmikeVT Next, brew you beer. Measure FG and you should have roughly the same efficiency as pre-boil. Then measure how much volume goes to the fermentor and now you have FG and Volume to fermentor which indicates your Brew House Efficiency. You plug all these measurements and values into BeerSmith it will calculate your efficiency and you will have a reference for you next brew.

You need original gravity OG not final gravity...FG. OG is gravity of the wort right before you pitch the yeast. All you need to calculate efficiency is the weight of the grains and sugars that went in, the volume of the wort before pitching, and the OG. Beersmith should do the rest.

03-22-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
RmikeVT
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Apr 2012
Baltimore, MD
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Quote:
While, technically, I think you are correct, BeerSmith gives you an option to add deadspace to strike or sparge water. I just choose sparge. But, you are right!

03-22-2013, 01:35 PM   #6
GrogNerd
mean old man

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Oct 2012
Sterling, VA
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by RmikeVT While, technically, I think you are correct, BeerSmith gives you an option to add deadspace to strike or sparge water. I just choose sparge. But, you are right!
i add it to sparge too
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"Beer. Good." - Words of House Grog

drinking: Otto M. Gourd Pumpkin Barleywine, Jewel Thieves Apple Wine, Fresh Squee Zed IPA - bottle conditioning: LoCo Foot Barleywine, Basque cider - lagering : Schwarzbier - fermenting: apple wine, Skeeter Pee - on deck: Grodziskie

03-22-2013, 03:55 PM   #7
RmikeVT
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Apr 2012
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 870
Liked 141 Times on 121 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by eric19312 You need original gravity OG not final gravity...FG. OG is gravity of the wort right before you pitch the yeast. All you need to calculate efficiency is the weight of the grains and sugars that went in, the volume of the wort before pitching, and the OG. Beersmith should do the rest.
I fixed my post.