Brew-Boss Efficiency

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Rock_Toy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
173
Reaction score
40
Location
San Francisco
So I just brewed my third batch in my Brew-Boss and my gravity readings are coming in consistently low and I can't figure out why. I am starting to think that the settings in my BeerSmith are off and feeding me the wrong estimates.

Anyhow, here is the latest recipe (its a big one). Beersmith has my estimated pre-boil gravity at 1.104SG and post-boil gravity at 1.123.

20 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 81.6 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.1 %
3.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 3 75.0 IBUs
2.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 58.4 IBUs
1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 5 -
3 lbs Corn Sugar (Dextrose) [Boil for 15 min](0.0 SRM) Sugar 6 12.2 %
5.00 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 27.8 IBUs
3.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 10.0 IBUs
2.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 8.7 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 10 -
0.60 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 11 -
2.00 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs

Started with 9 Gallons in the pot. Brought it up to 152*. Added my grains and mashed for 60 minutes at 152*. Then mashed out at 168*. (1.065 SG according to my refractometer) Removed grains and increased to a boil. Then 90 minute boil with hop additions as prescribed. At "flame"-out, I whirlpooled for about 15 minutes while cooling down to around 90* and then switched the whirlpool attachment to the fermenting bucket and filled it up. Final temp was 75* and the SG measured at 1.100. Ended up with around 5 gallons in the bucket so topped off with one more to get me to 6.

Pitched a pretty large starter last night and this morning, it was just about ready to blow it top so I switched to a blow-off tube. So its fermenting well.

Any thoughts? I know that there is no shortage of opinions here so I would love to know what you guys think. Personally, I am about ready to upgrade to the COFI filter and see if that helps.
 

tmendick

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Messages
850
Reaction score
280
Location
Omaha
So I just brewed my third batch in my Brew-Boss and my gravity readings are coming in consistently low and I can't figure out why. I am starting to think that the settings in my BeerSmith are off and feeding me the wrong estimates.

Anyhow, here is the latest recipe (its a big one). Beersmith has my estimated pre-boil gravity at 1.104SG and post-boil gravity at 1.123.

Started with 9 Gallons in the pot. Brought it up to 152*. Added my grains and mashed for 60 minutes at 152*. Then mashed out at 168*. (1.065 SG according to my refractometer) Removed grains and increased to a boil. Then 90 minute boil with hop additions as prescribed. At "flame"-out, I whirlpooled for about 15 minutes while cooling down to around 90* and then switched the whirlpool attachment to the fermenting bucket and filled it up. Final temp was 75* and the SG measured at 1.100. Ended up with around 5 gallons in the bucket so topped off with one more to get me to 6.

Pitched a pretty large starter last night and this morning, it was just about ready to blow it top so I switched to a blow-off tube. So its fermenting well.

Any thoughts? I know that there is no shortage of opinions here so I would love to know what you guys think. Personally, I am about ready to upgrade to the COFI filter and see if that helps.

What have your gravities been on the other batches? That high of gravity is tough to get good efficiency on BIAB.
What's your crush like?
Are you squeezing the grain bag at all?
 
OP
OP
Rock_Toy

Rock_Toy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
173
Reaction score
40
Location
San Francisco
What have your gravities been on the other batches? That high of gravity is tough to get good efficiency on BIAB.
What's your crush like?
Are you squeezing the grain bag at all?

Single crush from the local beer supplies store.
And I am squeezing the grain bag a little. Not much.
 

MerlinWerks

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
464
Reaction score
106
Location
Western PA
With my BB system I generally hit the expected gravity on beers < 1.060, this was the case with my previous BIAB setup as well. Bigger than that I have been anywhere from 5 -10 points short.

For bigger beers read this:

http://beerandwinejournal.com/efficiency-gravity/#more-4006

I'm brewing DC's Wrye Smile this weekend (1.074) and intend to use more mash liquor and boil longer. We'll see how it goes...
 
OP
OP
Rock_Toy

Rock_Toy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
173
Reaction score
40
Location
San Francisco
Good read. Which made me realize that maybe I'm not collecting enough liquid from the brew bag after I remove it. I am sure that there must be a ton of sugar in there that I am missing out on.

Does anyone that is using a COFI filter have any feedback on this? The system should theoretically be more efficient than that bag. Especially with its "squeeze" at the end of the mash.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
619
Reaction score
139
Location
Stanton
Not at all. And it wasn't an issue when I was brewing partial recipes. Always hit my gravities right on.


At least try checking your ph. I was cashing a rabbit down a hole trying to find why my efficiency was in the 60% range, biggest factor were crush and mash ph. With my BB system I have had to scale back the amount of grains, I'm hitting the 80% range consistently. My grain mill is set at a .30 gap.
 

MerlinWerks

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
464
Reaction score
106
Location
Western PA
Good read. Which made me realize that maybe I'm not collecting enough liquid from the brew bag after I remove it. I am sure that there must be a ton of sugar in there that I am missing out on.

Does anyone that is using a COFI filter have any feedback on this? The system should theoretically be more efficient than that bag. Especially with its "squeeze" at the end of the mash.


Keep in mind on the bigger beers that squeezing the bag more will most likely not get the majority of the missing sugars out. You need to use more mash liquor and boil longer.

For the beer I'm doing this weekend I'm going to do a 100 minute boil which adds a gallon of starting volume for the mash compared to my normal 60 or 75 minute boils on smaller beers.
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,742
Reaction score
5,486
Location
Edgewater
I see two issues here. It seems a common problem getting high gravity recipes to meet expected OG in general with BIAB, so it is not necessarily a problem with the Brew Boss.
The other is the crush. LHBSs usually set their mill so that the average all grain brewer will not get a stuck sparge. This is usually more coarse than ideal for BIAB.

Make sure you are setting your Total Efficiency in Beersmith to what you expect to get. If you have it set to something like 90% but your rig only gets 70% you will always be short. Beersmith in this case would give you less grain than you need.
 

Schumed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
1,111
Reaction score
92
Location
Kansas City
Biggest batch I've done with my brew boss / cofi is 1.084...about 22lbs of grain.....efficency was 83%...my batches have always been right on....I would check your crush...
 

segallis

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
56
Reaction score
3
Location
melbounre
I am curious about the OP's numbers. I did double batch with 39 lbs grist (and only 31 lbs was base malt). I hit 85% conversion efficiency with an SG after mash of 1.074. My O.G after boil was 1.092. I did my own crush at 0.025, and mashed using the COFI. My efficiency was much higher than in the past using my homebrew store mill and non-RIMS. Based on your recipe, it seems your 1.065 is not that far off.
 

ehall

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
3,076
Reaction score
1,333
Location
Phoenix
same here, my efficiency was way off when I started using BB (with a COFI basket) I adjusted my crush to about 0.025 and pretty spot on all the time now.
 

segallis

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
56
Reaction score
3
Location
melbounre
I'm going to use a bag inside the COFI basket next time to improve the clarity next time. 0.025 crush with a 800 micron mesh let way to much through compared to all my cooler mash tun prior batches.
 
Top