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91.3% efficiency?

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TommyTbar

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Just finished brewing a northern english brown and somehow managed to record 91.3% efficiency. I use beersmith and write down notes as i go. All of my water volumes were correct, i measure to the quart, hit mash temp spot on(150f) and batch sparged with 168f water, i have brewed many batches and usually record around 70-75% eff. the only mistake i made was forgetting to add 1lb of brown sugar to the boil, glad i didnt... o and i accounted for not putting the sugar in.. any explanations? estimated OG without sugar 1.036 actual OG 1.055
 

jammin

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there are certainly a few variables to account for when calculating efficiency; not to mention type of efficiency (mash, kettle, brewhouse etc). Sounds like you are adding up the bits and pieces though. Might be worth doing a double check on your numbers if you are still unsure. Post-boil volume is a biggy and sometimes tough to record due to hops and trub. Size of the beer (planned OG/amount of grain) can also skew efficiency. If you usually do 1.060+ beers and recently planned a 1.036 beer - you might see a nice jump in efficiency. Something to consider when in the planning phase.

I always like to take a pre-boil gravity sample as it foreshadows OG. I have made hop adjustments on the fly with these readings to help keep a beer balanced. Another thing to consider for your next brew.
 

Frogmanx82

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You had to have more grain than you thought. I don't believe you can get that efficiency.
 
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TommyTbar

TommyTbar

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there are certainly a few variables to account for when calculating efficiency; not to mention type of efficiency (mash, kettle, brewhouse etc). Sounds like you are adding up the bits and pieces though. Might be worth doing a double check on your numbers if you are still unsure. Post-boil volume is a biggy and sometimes tough to record due to hops and trub. Size of the beer (planned OG/amount of grain) can also skew efficiency. If you usually do 1.060+ beers and recently planned a 1.036 beer - you might see a nice jump in efficiency. Something to consider when in the planning phase.

I always like to take a pre-boil gravity sample as it foreshadows OG. I have made hop adjustments on the fly with these readings to help keep a beer balanced. Another thing to consider for your next brew.
Thats one thing i don't do is take a pre boil but the beer is in the general range of what i was shooting for with the sugar added, stoked i forgot to add it. i hit my post boil vol right on at 6 gallons, and just entered that into beersmith (it was at measured post boil of 5 gallons) and now i am up to 109.6%, had not considered mis weighing my grains and that could be it. working in a brew store tho i feel i didnt screw that up, but if i did wouldnt my water vols be off due to the excess grain and i feel my efficiency would suffer due to insufficient water

i am so stumped, this obviously isnt the biggest deal because i know the beer will be great but i am a numbers guy and this type of thing bothers me haha
 

dbsmith

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What kind of beer are you trying to make with an OG of 1.036? I make my starters around that OG. What was your recipe?
 
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TommyTbar

TommyTbar

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The beer was a northern English brown, brewed it for a comp with my brew club was orginally supposed to be a 1.046 I would like to say and if I remember correctly (on my phone at the moment)
7lbs marris otter pale
8 oz special b malt
8oz crystal 80
2 oz choc malt
1oz fuggle at 40
1.5 oz uk kent at 15
British ale wyeast 1098
60 min boil time

Might of had some Munich in there but not much maybe a 1/2 pound
6 gallon batch with pre boil vol of 7 gallons
And when I say originally 1.046 I had a pound of brown sugar that was supposed to go in but I forgot to add it, I calibrated my hydrometer reading for temp too
 

dbsmith

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I think your calculation might be off if we are talking brewhouse efficiency. When I use my efficiency(77%) and your recipe, I get an expected OG of 1.037, like you said. But even after I increase my brewhouse efficiency to 100% (impossible), the expected OG is 1.048. Even the extra half pound of munich will only increase the expected OG to 1.051. There are only 2 possibilities I can see:

1) You had more grain than you thought in your mash
2) You did not measure your gravity/volume correctly (could be the equipment's fault)
 

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I think the sugar may have made it in the wort. No way you hit that OG with those grains.

Are you sure you forgot the brown sugar?
 

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I did a BIAB-style brew and calculated 89% efficiency. I don't think it's impossible, but it's very unlikely that most brews will have that high of an efficiency.
 
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TommyTbar

TommyTbar

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So i feel like with my brown i must of been off on my measurements of grain, its the only thing that could of messed my numbers up.

But tonight i brewed an ipa projected to have an OG of 1.067 this time measured my grain out twice heres the recipe

Batch Size: 6 Gallon
14lbs Pale Marris Otter
4.0oz Brown Malt
4.0oz 20L
4.0oz 60L
2oz Pacific Jade 14.2% 60 min
1oz Green Bullet 12.5% 30min
1oz Motueka 7.5% 15 min
Washed Pacman yeast
will be dry hopping, don't know what with yet

75 min mash @ 150
Mashed in with 4.6 Gallons and hit mash a little high 153 so left the lid off for 5 -10 min and hit temp then started timer. Collected 2.9 gallon first runnings
Batch sparged with equal amount at 168 collected 4 gallons sparge for a pre boil of 7 gallons.
Boil
Standard boil lost a bit more to evaporation dude to the dry weather
So ended up with 5.75 Gallons
Hit an OG of 1.082
88.3% efficiency
so i might of been off on the weights for my brown but not by too much considering how this batch ran, was very meticulous on measurements this time round. So looks like I have my system down has anyone else got this type of efficiency out of an 10 gallon igloo batch sparge system?
 

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there are certainly a few variables to account for when calculating efficiency; not to mention type of efficiency (mash, kettle, brewhouse etc). Sounds like you are adding up the bits and pieces though. Might be worth doing a double check on your numbers if you are still unsure. Post-boil volume is a biggy and sometimes tough to record due to hops and trub. Size of the beer (planned OG/amount of grain) can also skew efficiency. If you usually do 1.060+ beers and recently planned a 1.036 beer - you might see a nice jump in efficiency. Something to consider when in the planning phase.

I always like to take a pre-boil gravity sample as it foreshadows OG. I have made hop adjustments on the fly with these readings to help keep a beer balanced. Another thing to consider for your next brew.
Hops and trub don't affect the gravity.

Also, pre-boil efficiency should give you the same number as post boil efficiency assuming you are using accurate volume and gravity data. There is the same amount of sugar in solution pre boil as there is post boil. The only difference is the wort volume and the corresponding gravity. Assuming all data measured is accurate, the efficiency will be the same pre or post boil.

Personally, I calculate efficiency pre boil as that is how I setup my brewing calculator spreadsheet. I like to know what my efficiency is the moment I'm done sparging as opposed to waiting until after the boil. If something goes drastically wrong, with respect to gravity/efficiency, I can correct the problem easier and sooner.

OP-how accurate are your wort volume measurements? Is your kettle marked? Sight tube? Something else?
 

pdxal

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I get an 84% efficiency with that grain bill for the IPA and OG on the recipator. 100% efficiency on the Brown gets 1.050. Still gotta think volumes, weights, temp are off to get your higher efficiency if your numbers are right. Also, I'm not super confident in your math/your LHBS's here if you are getting 91.3% efficiency on the IPA and >100% on the NE Brown.
 
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TommyTbar

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I get an 84% efficiency with that grain bill for the IPA and OG on the recipator. 100% efficiency on the Brown gets 1.050. Still gotta think volumes, weights, temp are off to get your higher efficiency if your numbers are right. Also, I'm not super confident in your math/your LHBS's here if you are getting 91.3% efficiency on the IPA and >100% on the NE Brown.
i have run just run through beersmith again to double check equipment and all water vols put in are correct, i dont see were you got 84% from and i am not getting 91.3% from the IPA i got 88.3%, I feel on the brown i weighed my grains wrong, I work at the LHBS i get my supplies from and made sure to pay close attention when measuring my grains this time around
 
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TommyTbar

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OP-how accurate are your wort volume measurements? Is your kettle marked? Sight tube? Something else?
I measured this batch with a 1 1/2 gallon hdpe plastic pitcher, due to the brown being so far off i wanted to be thorough on measurements for the IPA, my kettle has a valve so i collected a gallon and poured it into my fermentor and so on an so forth

I feel 88.3 % isn't too far out to say its impossible to reach

also for this batch as i said i ended up with 5.75 gallons instead of 6 so i saw a little jump in efficiency there
 

d_striker

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I measured this batch with a 1 1/2 gallon hdpe plastic pitcher, due to the brown being so far off i wanted to be thorough on measurements for the IPA, my kettle has a valve so i collected a gallon and poured it into my fermentor and so on an so forth

I feel 88.3 % isn't too far out to say its impossible to reach
You poured everything, trub and hops, into your fermemter?
 
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You poured everything, trub and hops, into your fermemter?
no i installed my valve in a little high and account for trub lost

have meet a bunch of brewers who dont care about dumping trub and hops in with primary but something about nasty sediment at the bottom of a kettle weirds me out haha
 

d_striker

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The beer was a northern English brown, brewed it for a comp with my brew club was orginally supposed to be a 1.046 I would like to say and if I remember correctly (on my phone at the moment)
7lbs marris otter pale
8 oz special b malt
8oz crystal 80
2 oz choc malt
1oz fuggle at 40
1.5 oz uk kent at 15
British ale wyeast 1098
60 min boil time

Might of had some Munich in there but not much maybe a 1/2 pound
6 gallon batch with pre boil vol of 7 gallons
And when I say originally 1.046 I had a pound of brown sugar that was supposed to go in but I forgot to add it, I calibrated my hydrometer reading for temp too
I'm on my iPhone but just from eyeballing this grainbill for a 6 gal batch with 7 gal pre boil wort volume, it would only have an extract potential of somewhere in the low 40's.
 
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TommyTbar

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How do you account for the trub lost? Volume into the fermentor is volume, isn't it?
your right volume in the fermentor was 5.75 but before i transferred the remaining cooled wort from the kettle there was about 6 gallons but lost .25 to trub and i measured that amount that was left in the kettle with my pitcher , you have to account for trub to achieve the desired fermenting volume, if you dump the trub in the fermentor you'll end up losing the same amount to it when racking so why not do it beforehand
 
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I'm on my iPhone but just from eyeballing this grainbill for a 6 gal batch with 7 gal pre boil wort volume, it would only have an extract potential of somewhere in the low 40's.
yes i was on my iphone at the time too. it had an OG of 1.036 not 46 sorry about that
 

d_striker

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i have run just run through beersmith again to double check equipment and all water vols put in are correct, i dont see were you got 84% from and i am not getting 91.3% from the IPA i got 88.3%, I feel on the brown i weighed my grains wrong, I work at the LHBS i get my supplies from and made sure to pay close attention when measuring my grains this time around
I got 84% efficiency also.
 

d_striker

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also for this batch as i said i ended up with 5.75 gallons instead of 6 so i saw a little jump in efficiency there
That's not how efficiency works. Your efficiency is the same regardless of how much you boil it down. Efficiency is solely the measure of how much sugar you've extracted from the grains. Once you're done sparging, you're done. Efficiency doesn't improve from boiling further.
 
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TommyTbar

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I got 84% efficiency also.
hmm i am not sure how you guys got this i shoot for a 6 gallon batch, for this particular beer i had a pre boil vol of 6.9 gallon and with a measured fermenting vol of 5.75 and an OG of 1.082 i get 88.3%
 
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TommyTbar

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That's not how efficiency works. Your efficiency is the same regardless of how much you boil it down. Efficiency is solely the measure of how much sugar you've extracted from the grains. Once you're done sparging, you're done. Efficiency doesn't improve from boiling further.
right on that makes sense i was thinking the solution became more concentrated if you boiled more liquid off, but yeah i see what your saying
 

d_striker

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hmm i am not sure how you guys got this i shoot for a 6 gallon batch, for this particular beer i had a pre boil vol of 6.9 gallon and with a measured fermenting vol of 5.75 and an OG of 1.082 i get 88.3%
You're not doing it right.
 

d_striker

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right on that makes sense i was thinking the solution became more concentrated if you boiled more liquid off, but yeah i see what your saying
The wort does become more concentrated the longer you boil but that has nothing to do with efficiency.

Efficiency tells us how much sugar was acually extracted vs the grain bill's full potential. Once you extract x amount of sugar in your pre boil volume, you are not increasing the amount of sugar through boiling. Boiling decreases the amount of water which concentrates the wort but you still have the same amout of sugar as you had pre boil.

Just because your gravity increases from boiling does not mean your efficiency has increased.
 
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TommyTbar

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d_striker said:
The wort does become more concentrated the longer you boil but that has nothing to do with efficiency.
O right on then my thoughts were right, wrong use of wording then, I saw a few gravity point jumps from less ending vol, but I see how that dosent effect efficiency( has nothing to do with extracting sugars)
 

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With that low of an OG, a 90% efficiency would be reasonable with a couple of batch sparges, but over 95% would indicate that there is something wrong with your math, measurements, or assumptions.
 

d_striker

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You calculated 88% instead of 84% with that grain bill.

I can't tell you exactly where you're going wrong as I am not familiar with BeerSmith.

I can tell you that it is absolutely impossible to obtain efficiency greater than 100% though.
 
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TommyTbar

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d_striker said:
You calculated 88% instead of 84% with that grain bill.

I can't tell you exactly where you're going wrong as I am not familiar with BeerSmith.

I can tell you that it is absolutely impossible to obtain efficiency greater than 100% though.
Right on, I agree with my brown there was something fishy with my numbers, but was meticulous with the ipa I believe my numbers are correct according to beersmith at 88% unless beersmith as faulty calculations I can't see where I went wrong, I will be brewing again tomorrow or Friday so I will post my findings then

Thanks for all the help everyone!
 

d_striker

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Right on, I agree with my brown there was something fishy with my numbers, but was meticulous with the ipa I believe my numbers are correct according to beersmith at 88% unless beersmith as faulty calculations I can't see where I went wrong, I will be brewing again tomorrow or Friday so I will post my findings then

Thanks for all the help everyone!
Now that I've thought about this during normal waking hours, Beersmith's 88% estimate may be correct. Efficiency calcuations are dependent on the potential SG value for each malt. These values vary depending on the source and are general averages.

For instance, the table that I use in my own brewing spreadsheet lists Maris Otter having a potential of 1.038. I'm guessing Beersmith is using 1.036 for Maris Otter which would decrease the total extract potential value, thus calculating a higher efficiency rating.

According to this online calculator, your efficiency was 84.54% for the grainbill and volume you listed for your IPA. http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/

According to my own brewing spreadsheet, your efficiency was 84.6% which jives with the calculator above which means that they are probably using 1.038 as the potential SG for Maris Otter also. However, if I change Maris Otter's potential SG to 1.036, efficiency jumps to 89%.

It is possible that your efficiency is that high which would concern me personally. Especially if you're not controlling the pH of your water.

How are you crushing your grain? How many batch sparges are you doing?

Regarding your English Brown referenced in your original post, something is definitely wrong with your efficiency calculation AND/OR your grain bill amounts AND/OR your measured wort volumes.

Your listed grainbill, assuming 6 gallons of post boil wort, has a maximum extract potential gravity of 1.045 when using 1.036 as the value for Maris Otter's potential SG. With your claimed OG of 1.055, this would mean you had 122% efficiency.

Using 1.038 as Maris Otter's potential SG, the grain bill has a max extract potential of 1.047 which means 116% efficiency.

As I said earlier, it is impossible to have efficiency over 100%.
 
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TommyTbar

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Now that I've thought about this during normal waking hours, Beersmith's 88% estimate may be correct. Efficiency calcuations are dependent on the potential SG value for each malt. These values vary depending on the source and are general averages.

For instance, the table that I use in my own brewing spreadsheet lists Maris Otter having a potential of 1.038. I'm guessing Beersmith is using 1.036 for Maris Otter which would decrease the total extract potential value, thus calculating a higher efficiency rating.

According to this online calculator, your efficiency was 84.54% for the grainbill and volume you listed for your IPA. http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/

According to my own brewing spreadsheet, your efficiency was 84.6% which jives with the calculator above which means that they are probably using 1.038 as the potential SG for Maris Otter also. However, if I change Maris Otter's potential SG to 1.036, efficiency jumps to 89%.

It is possible that your efficiency is that high which would concern me personally. Especially if you're not controlling the pH of your water.

How are you crushing your grain? How many batch sparges are you doing?

Regarding your English Brown referenced in your original post, something is definitely wrong with your efficiency calculation AND/OR your grain bill amounts AND/OR your measured wort volumes.

Your listed grainbill, assuming 6 gallons of post boil wort, has a maximum extract potential gravity of 1.045 when using 1.036 as the value for Maris Otter's potential SG. With your claimed OG of 1.055, this would mean you had 122% efficiency.

Using 1.038 as Maris Otter's potential SG, the grain bill has a max extract potential of 1.047 which means 116% efficiency.

As I said earlier, it is impossible to have efficiency over 100%.
After a couple of brews now i still average around 83% to 88% efficiency my last batch was an IPA with a grain bill of...

14lbs Maris Otter
4oz Brown Malt
4oz 20L
4oz 60L

ended up with just over 6 gallons was shooting for an OG of 1.077 Hit 1.080,
heres my process, i crush my grains with a barley crusher mill set to .039, heat up strike usually shoot for a degree or two higher than what beersmith says, mash in, for this batch mash PH was 5.5, steep for 60-75 mins, usually start vorlofing around 60.. after collecting first runnings i then batch sparge once with 168 degree water... then of course boil... so my efficiency for this batch was 86.3%... Pretty interesting that when i brew a darker beer my efficiency is on the low end of the spectrum but a lighter beer is on the high end also seems that my mash PH is a little high with the darker malts does anyone experience this??? still kind of in awe that i hit these numbers constantly, especially with a hopslam clone i did recently with an OG of 1.098 at 86.5% efficiency!! from what i have found i feel like my numbers must have to do with my water quality and knowing my equipment but any insight would be appreciated for others to benefit from :mug:
 
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