Avarage efficiency of a 1.070 og batch

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beervoid

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Hey all,

Been struggling to get over 62% brewhouse efficiency of a 1.070 og batch.
What are your brew house efficiencies for such a higher gravity batch?

EDIT: I'm using a 50L grainfather/robobrew like system.
 
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RM-MN

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Brewhouse efficiency is made up of 3 parts, the mash efficiency, lauter efficiency, and finally brewhouse efficiency. You need to account for each one to know where you are losing the efficiency.

Crush of the grain is the most important part of mash efficiency. If you can't get the starch gelatiinized because of the large grain particles, you don't get conversion and mash efficiency is low.

Once the starch is converted you need to get the sugars into the boil pot. Are you sure you are doing a good job here? Leaving any wort behind costs efficiency as does a poor job of sparging.

When the boil is over, does all the wort get to the fermenter or do you leave some behind as in a whirlpool or in a plate chiller or pumps and hoses.
 

RM-MN

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To answer your question directly, my first attempt at all grain I milled the grain really fine with my Corona mill and did a BIAB mash with a recipe that should have given me an OG of about 1.050 but instead hit 1.072 with no sparge putting me in the 80% range.
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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To answer your question directly, my first attempt at all grain I milled the grain really fine with my Corona mill and did a BIAB mash with a recipe that should have given me an OG of about 1.050 but instead hit 1.072 with no sparge putting me in the 80% range.
I've gotten a Feeler Gauge to be sure I've got the right crush. (0.35")
I've fiddled around with smaller and greater crush. More and no adjuncts (wheat, oat)
Large sparge vs low sparge.
I keep track of my PH.

I've tried taking my first running and collecting them separately, adding the sparge water and stirring again while all the grains where in the mash tun.
I tried a lot of stirring throughout vs just a bit of stirring.

I just can't seem to hit more then 62% efficiency. I only hit 68% 1 time in all my 50+ brews and i'm running out of options.

My volume's are on par as beersmith predicts. I weigh my water.

I'm using a 50L grainfather/robobrew like system
 

CascadesBrewer

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I wonder if it is your actual efficiency that is 62% or you are just measuring wrong. Are you taking measurements of gravity pre-boil and post-boil? Are you able to accurately measure volumes pre-boil, post-boil, into fermenter, and into bottle/keg? Looks like you use BeerSmith. Is your Batch Volume set to the amount going into your fermenter?

For years I had a simple fly sparge setup (where my lauter tun was a bucket with false bottom and I scooped sparge water into a strainer sitting on top). Plugging in 75% meant I would hit my final gravity, but I did not really pay too much attention to details. Grain milled with a Barley Crusher at factory setting.

I recently moved to BIAB and my first batch (a 5 gal 1.058 Porter) came in at 85% measured efficiency. Today I just did a 2.5 gal batch of 1.104 Russian Imperial Stout with a no-sparge BIAB process and got around 72% efficiency. I have been crushing my grains for BIAB at 0.025". I have started taking more accurate measurements of my process to try and tune BeerSmith.
So while I understand my process, it is very basic. I don't do any water treatments other than half a Campden (my tap water is fairly soft with a neutral pH).

I have never brewed with grainfather/robobrew type systems, but based on my understanding of how they work, it sure seems like at least 75% would be an easy target...though it would be best to check with users of those systems. Does your system have any big areas where you lose volume (dead spaces, hoses, chiller, etc.)?
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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There is a lauter tun deadspace of 6.5 liter. But I adjust this up and down to get some more sparge. I read reports of other people having the same problems but they seem to have fixed it with some tricks.
I put final meassured water nrs in beersmith to get my efficiency. I meassure by weighing.
I meassure everything with refractometer.

One thing I never understood is my boil off and pre and post boil gravities.
I usually hit the calculated pre boil and in some cases I am even higher but the prediction is usually 8 points or so below my FG.
Even though my volume boils off to what beersmith calculated my gravity only rises at most 2 to 3 points.

To remedy this I tried a noboil beer, a 30min boil to have less boil off but it didnt help. Ive also changed my boil off rate up and down.

For example my last batch had a predicted preboil of 1.061 and fg of 1.068. This is for a 30min boil.
I meassured 1.062 pre boil and 1.064 fg.

My boil off is already very small. 1.80liter per hour so if anything I would expect more gravity rise as predicted.
Meassured volume into the fermenter this time was spot on, maybe even a tiny bit less.
 
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CascadesBrewer

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I usually hit the calculated pre boil and in some cases I am even higher but the prediction is usually 8 points or so below my FG.
Even though my volume boils off to what beersmith calculated my gravity only rises at most 2 to 3 points.
For example my last batch had a predicted preboil of 1.061 and fg of 1.068. This is for a 30min boil.
I meassured 1.062 pre boil and 1.064 fg.
My boil off is already very small. 1.80liter per hour so if anything I would expect more gravity rise as predicted.
hmmm...on my propane burner, if I play with the vigor of the boil, I get between 1 gal (3.7L) per hour and 1.5 gal (5.6L) per hour. For a standard beer that usually translates into about 10 points between pre-boil and post-boil (say 1.060 to 1.070). My gas stove top boils off around 0.7 gal per hour (2.6L).

The more water you boil off, the more you concentrate the wort so the more gravity change you will have. 1.8L per hour seems low, but boil rate does not affect your efficiency; it is just the difference between more volume of a weaker beer vs less volume of a stronger beer. It seems odd that if your boil rate is set correct in BeerSmith and matches your actual values, that the pre and post boil gravities would not also match.

That 6.5L of later tun dead space seems like a lot, but maybe just part of your system. My bucket later tun had less than a Liter of deadspace (around 16oz).
 

dmtaylor

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Hey all,

Been struggling to get over 62% brewhouse efficiency of a 1.070 og batch.
What are your brew house efficiencies for such a higher gravity batch?

EDIT: I'm using a 50L grainfather/robobrew like system.
62% isn't bad. I average about 70% in a 1.070 beer. I find that gravity units (the last two digits of OG or the 70 in 1.070) plus efficiency (70) is approximately a constant (140). So then if I want to brew a 1.080 beer, I know my efficiency will fall to about 60% unless I plan to do something special like sparge more and boil longer. Your "constant" is just a little lower than mine at about 132, which is fine.
 
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beervoid

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62% isn't bad. I average about 70% in a 1.070 beer. I find that gravity units (the last two digits of OG or the 70 in 1.070) plus efficiency (70) is approximately a constant (140). So then if I want to brew a 1.080 beer, I know my efficiency will fall to about 60% unless I plan to do something special like sparge more and boil longer. Your "constant" is just a little lower than mine at about 132, which is fine.
Im starting to think that this is as good as it gets, I still did get a 68% efficiency one time though and others seem to have no problems getting above 70%
 

Soulshine2

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What are your grain to water ratio, mash temps and mash times, rests?
do you sparge ,fly or batch?
why are you boiling for only 30 minutes ? why not 60 minutes?
Your pre-boil volume vs post boil , you're not boiling off enough water to make OG. I also check pre vs post boil gravities . are you using a hydrometer (is it calibrated and are you checking at 60*F? )or using a refractometer?
How vigorous is your boil? Rolling violent or a gentle boil?
why are you weighing your water? water weighs the same ,8.34 lbs/gal.
BUT once you weigh your wort it will weigh more because of sugars ,proteins,yeast ,hops ,trub, etc.

I guess at this point I should ask if I'm the only one who does this ...I do multiple batch spargings, not just 2.
Do any of you taste your wort (out of the tun) towards your final sparge runnings ?
If i still taste any significant sweetness or my fingers feel sticky , I sparge a little more because theres still fermentable sugars in there. Don't leave it in the mash...If I have more than the expected post boil volume , I'll boil it a bit longer or harder until my gravity comes in to the expected number.
 
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schmurf

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I'm struggling with low effiency as well, but I'm using a Speidel Braumeister. For me it's the conversion effiency that bring things down and I suspect it's due to the fact that the malt pipe, as Speidel names it, restricts the amount of grain one can put in the kettle, and thus also restriction in higher gravity beers. When water/grist ratio approaches 2:1 it's difficult to get a good circulation in the system, and I think one option is to stop the system and stir a couple of times during the mash. I have no idea if that's your problem, or even an option, in your system but thought I should add it for you to think about.
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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I'm struggling with low effiency as well, but I'm using a Speidel Braumeister. For me it's the conversion effiency that bring things down and I suspect it's due to the fact that the malt pipe, as Speidel names it, restricts the amount of grain one can put in the kettle, and thus also restriction in higher gravity beers. When water/grist ratio approaches 2:1 it's difficult to get a good circulation in the system, and I think one option is to stop the system and stir a couple of times during the mash. I have no idea if that's your problem, or even an option, in your system but thought I should add it for you to think about.
Yes the malt pipe is quiet small, I tried everything including stirring as much as possible.
 

schmurf

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Yes the malt pipe is quiet small, I tried everything including stirring as much as possible.
Do you stir at any time other than mash in, i.e. during the mash? On my Braumeister I need to stop/pause the mash process one or two times to re-stir the grain bed. The default Braumeister instruction for my machine (the smallest one, which is 10L final "product" = beer) tells me to start with 12 litre water for the mash, which in practice equals to 5 litre of water in the malt pipe. This makes putting any more than 2.5 kg of grain in the pipe a very thick mash to start with. If I let the machine work for some time though it will losen the malt some and makes it easier to stir and get rid of some possible dough balls.
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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Do you stir at any time other than mash in, i.e. during the mash? On my Braumeister I need to stop/pause the mash process one or two times to re-stir the grain bed. The default Braumeister instruction for my machine (the smallest one, which is 10L final "product" = beer) tells me to start with 12 litre water for the mash, which in practice equals to 5 litre of water in the malt pipe. This makes putting any more than 2.5 kg of grain in the pipe a very thick mash to start with. If I let the machine work for some time though it will losen the malt some and makes it easier to stir and get rid of some possible dough balls.
I stir throughout the mash, say every 10min. Extended the mash to 90min.
Then on advice from another member drained about the same volume as my sparging water adding my sparging water and then stirring everything again before I lift out the grain bed.
 

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