Mash Efficiency- what is it? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash Efficiency- what is it?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-23-2013, 10:48 PM   #1
catdaddy66
 
catdaddy66's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2011
Lugoff, SC
Posts: 1,830
Liked 288 Times on 235 Posts



After deciding to work towards an all grain set up I have read many posts and articles that state it is desireable to achieve 70% or greater 'mash efficiency'. At first I thought this referred to the percentage of available starches converted to useable, fermentable sugars by the enzyme action during mashing. But now I am a bit confused... Further reading gave indications that efficiency was related to the amount of wort collected from the mash tun.

I am sure it's one or the other. Anyone? Thanks!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
VonRunkel
Recipes 
 
Jul 2011
Menands, NY
Posts: 203
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts


From my understanding, the efficiency is how many fermentables you pull out compared to the maximum theoretical amount.

It does have to do with how much wort pulled from the tun in that the more water you use to sparge with the more sugars you will pull out. There is a point where you can balance the maximum sugar extraction via sparge with a certain amount of sparge water. i have been told the magical amount is between 4 and 7 gallons of sparge water, depending on the recipe. I know I have not sparged enough and was rewarded with a low efficiency.

All that said, I have yet to find my magical balance, so feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2013, 11:47 PM   #3
cluckk
 
cluckk's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2005
San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,599
Liked 361 Times on 230 Posts


Everything you put in has an amount of sugar it should contribute to the gravity. Efficiency is a measure of how many of those sugars you were able to pull out. For example: if the combined sugar available could have given you a gravity of 1.040, 100% efficiency would give you 1.040 original gravity. A 65% efficiency would give you a gravity of 1.026.

A low efficiency can be a problem requiring you to use more grain to hit your target.

For example my efficiency runs between 73 and 78%. If I want a wort of 1.050 then I need to use enough grain to provide around 1.068.
__________________
"So you say you just brewed your first batch of beer. Welcome to the obsession." --me, to every first time brewer I ever meet.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 12:38 AM   #4
DerrangedPOJO
Recipes 
 
Feb 2013
Everett, PA
Posts: 272
Liked 18 Times on 11 Posts


Is this reading before the boil? And if so I assume u need to adjust the reading due to high temp? Or do u let a bit cool down n test cylinder?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 01:30 AM   #5
cluckk
 
cluckk's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2005
San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,599
Liked 361 Times on 230 Posts


The reading is taken after the mash and before the boil. However, at that point the sugar stays the same and you just boil off water, unless you add some other sugar in the kettle--like Candi Sugar.

This pre-boil reading is to check your efficiency.

From it you can calculate what your post-boil gravity will be. If you pull 7.5 gallons of 1.040 wort and boil it down to 5 gallons, you have only lost water so the new gravity will be 1.060. It is this reading that you use to calculate alcohol with the final, post fermentation gravity.
__________________
"So you say you just brewed your first batch of beer. Welcome to the obsession." --me, to every first time brewer I ever meet.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 01:32 AM   #6
cluckk
 
cluckk's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2005
San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,599
Liked 361 Times on 230 Posts


As for the temperature, let it cool down or you have to use a calculation to adjust for temperature. I use a refractometer with automatic temperature compensation. This lets me check my gravity at any point I want with only a few drops of wort and don't need to cool it.
__________________
"So you say you just brewed your first batch of beer. Welcome to the obsession." --me, to every first time brewer I ever meet.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 01:35 AM   #7
pabloj13
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Durham, NC
Posts: 1,553
Liked 92 Times on 80 Posts


Keep in mind that there are a couple efficiencies. Brewhouse and mash (and probably some more). Mash measures conversion of starch to sugar. But honestly the important one IMO for a homebrewer is brewhouse. It takes into account mash efficiency as well as any volume losses in your system (i.e. mash tun dead space, etc.)
__________________

Kegged Two Hearted, Dragonmead Final Absolution
Bottled Robust porter, Founder's Breakfast Stout, Ommegawd Hellepin, Ed Wort's Apfelwein
RIP Snake Dog IPA, Biermuncher's OktoberFAST, Falconer's Flight IPA, Two-Hearted clone (Culturing Bell's Yeast), Noberon wheat, Skeeter Pee using dry yeast, Smooth Oatmeal Stout


Simple and easy wort aeration - Harvest yeast from your blowoff - Homebrew Spicy Mustard

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 01:36 AM   #8
catdaddy66
 
catdaddy66's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2011
Lugoff, SC
Posts: 1,830
Liked 288 Times on 235 Posts


Thanks, Cluckk!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 01:56 AM   #9
cluckk
 
cluckk's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2005
San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,599
Liked 361 Times on 230 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by pabloj13
Keep in mind that there are a couple efficiencies. Brewhouse and mash (and probably some more). Mash measures conversion of starch to sugar. But honestly the important one IMO for a homebrewer is brewhouse. It takes into account mash efficiency as well as any volume losses in your system (i.e. mash tun dead space, etc.)
Brewhouse efficiency is important. However you can't improve what comes out of the end until you have good efficiency coming in the front.

One point though "mash efficiency" is a measure of sugars extracted. It takes into account conversion. You can have low efficiency because of a bad conversion or because you failed to extract everything that you did convert. PH and temperature impacts one, sparging method, speed and temperature impact the other.
__________________
"So you say you just brewed your first batch of beer. Welcome to the obsession." --me, to every first time brewer I ever meet.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2013, 02:00 AM   #10
pabloj13
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Durham, NC
Posts: 1,553
Liked 92 Times on 80 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by cluckk View Post
Brewhouse efficiency is important. However you can't improve what comes out of the end until you have good efficiency coming in the front.

One point though "mash efficiency" is a measure of sugars extracted. It takes into account conversion. You can have low efficiency because of a bad conversion or because you failed to extract everything that you did convert. PH and temperature impacts one, sparging method, speed and temperature impact the other.
Oh, I agree. When troubleshooting, starting with mash efficiency is the way to go. But in the end BH efficiency is where it's at.
__________________

Kegged Two Hearted, Dragonmead Final Absolution
Bottled Robust porter, Founder's Breakfast Stout, Ommegawd Hellepin, Ed Wort's Apfelwein
RIP Snake Dog IPA, Biermuncher's OktoberFAST, Falconer's Flight IPA, Two-Hearted clone (Culturing Bell's Yeast), Noberon wheat, Skeeter Pee using dry yeast, Smooth Oatmeal Stout


Simple and easy wort aeration - Harvest yeast from your blowoff - Homebrew Spicy Mustard

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do people report mash efficiency or brewhouse efficiency? thisoneguy All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 66 07-25-2012 05:37 AM
Mash Efficiency vs Brewhouse Efficiency exe Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 22 12-22-2011 07:09 PM
Mash efficiency vs Post boil efficiency RootDownBrewing Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 08-21-2011 12:33 PM
Low Mash Efficiency has got me down :( patrck17 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 37 10-27-2008 08:28 PM
Partial Mash/Mini Mash Efficiency uwmgdman All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 06-21-2006 01:09 AM


Forum Jump