Brewhouse vs. Into Boiler Efficiency

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Mr. Mojo Rising

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Hey Fellow HB'rs

I am curious what the difference is between Brewhouse Efficiency based on Total Volume and Efficiency into the Boiler is with BeerSmith? I was 83.2% into the Boiler which I interpret as I did a good job of getting my fermentables from the mash, but I was 68.4% for the Brewhouse Efficiency based on Total Volume. Can anybody make sense of this for me? I double batch sparged and scaled up my base malt to hit my recipe OG with the help of http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/sparge.html
which is based on Ken Schwartz's work.
 

Funkenjaeger

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I would presume that the difference is in the amount of wort you lose between the start of the boil, and the time it's in the fermenter - losses in any hops/cold break left in the kettle, wort left in pumps/chillers/lines, etc.

If you didn't lose ANY wort, I would think the efficiency would be the same, since boiling it down doesn't do anything to change the amount of fermentables in the liquid.
 

tbulger

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BRewhouse eff. is more important. Thats what you will be fermenting based on your volumes. So if your looking to ferment a 1.050 and 5 gallons of beer thats what you manipulate your system for.
 
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Mr. Mojo Rising

Mr. Mojo Rising

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tbulger said:
BRewhouse eff. is more important. Thats what you will be fermenting based on your volumes. So if your looking to ferment a 1.050 and 5 gallons of beer thats what you manipulate your system for.

I guess I don't understand how it is more important. What factors affect Brewhouse Eff? Mash Eff. is just purely how much gravity I should get based on the grains versus what I actually got from my mash right?
 

Bobby_M

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Brewhouse is mash extract efficiency MINUS wort loss (besides boil off). As Funken said, any wort left in the kettle or anywhere else, that doesn't make it into the fermenter is a loss of brewhouse efficiency. If every bit of sugar you got out of the MLT ultimately made it into the fermenter, both efficiency numbers would be identical.

I'm going to guess that you did lose a little in the kettle, but that large of a difference suggests a flaw in your measurements (either volume or gravity) and/or your calculations.

1. How did you measure the preboil volume?
2. Did you stir all the runnings together well before you took the preboil gravity hydry reading?
3. Did you temp correct the OG's readings?

By the way, brewhouse efficiency is more important because it is the literal economy of how much sugar ultimately made it into the fermenter (based on how much grain you commited to the batch).
 
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Mr. Mojo Rising

Mr. Mojo Rising

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Bobby_M said:
1. How did you measure the preboil volume?
2. Did you stir all the runnings together well before you took the preboil gravity hydry reading?
3. Did you temp correct the OG's readings?

Bobby, Thanks for the advice with the double sparge. I have not ever had that high of a mash efficiency. I just can't figure why my system efficiency is so low.

1. I have a single tier keggle system with graduated sightglasses so I pumped all of my runnings into the boil kettle. I ended up with 13.90 Gallons, which was .10 off from my target of 14 Gallons. I boiled down to 12 Gallons in 90 minutes and lost 1 gallon to trub and chiller. I ended up with 11 gallons of wort.

2. I absolutely stirred the all the runnings and took a sample from the top of the kettle.

3. I took my reading at 68F, but corrected with BeerSmith for the temp of 60F for my hydrometer it came to 1.052

I am not that smart so any help understanding this would be great!
 
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Mr. Mojo Rising

Mr. Mojo Rising

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Here we go:

19lbs 2-Row American Base Malt
4lbs Vienna Malt
1lbs Crystal 10

BTW - Do you like Beertools and is it more user friendly than BeerSmith in your opinion?
 

Bobby_M

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Ok, given that grain bill;

13.9 gallons at 1.052 is 86%. I don't think you mentioned if the 1.52 was pre or post boil though.

if that gravity was the 11 gallons in the fermenter, then you got 68 brewhouse.

I used Beersmith for my first 3 AG batches and then bought BTP. At first I thought it sucked but I've stuck with it and don't really remember how beersmith works. I think you just have to pick one of them and learn it inside and out. Feature wise, Beersmith is still more robust.
 
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Mr. Mojo Rising

Mr. Mojo Rising

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It was 1.052 on the pre-boil.
So what factors could account for such a difference in my efficiency? Is it just wort loss?
 

archmaker

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I followed this thread closely, because I had the same issue at almost the same time that you posted.

I thought I did a good job of doing my Hydrometer readings both time, and double checked the reading a few hours later.

It said I got a 79% into Boiler but I got 70% into Primary.

I now that is not a large percentage drop but playing around with BrewSmith here is some things that may have made a difference on my %.

If I missed my measurement into the boiler by a quart (2-3%)
If I missed read my Hydrometer by .001 (1-3%)
If I was off by 2C on Temp (1%)

Then going into the Primary.
If I missed my measurement into the primary by a quart (3-4%)
If I missed read my Hydrometer by .001 (1-3%)
If I was off by 2C on Temp (1%)

So what did I learn.
More patience on letting the temp stabilize before taking a reading.
Looking at the Hydrometer and seeing it is well past 1.050 and Close to 1.060 and calling it 1.058 is not close enough, take the time to really read it. I may take a digitial picture next time, and then analyze how I did later.
And probably most important for me, is go back and really measure where the gallon/qt marks are on my equipment.

Also I will do a better job of stirring my preboil before taking a reading (thought I did a good job, when I dumped the runnings in, but did I stir - no :( )

If everything in the above went toward the max, then the difference between the into the boiler and into the primary would be 15% (7% error in Boiler and 8% into primary).

One of my favorite quotes from a sci-fi book I read is "The perversity of the universe tends toward the maximum".

I think my problem is not really wanting to be more precise on my Hydrometer, and not knowing for sure what my real measurement marks are on my equipment.

I think once I fix those items for myself, I will get closer, to having them match. If not, I will be back on here to try to find the answer.
 

Bobby_M

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Ok, so you did get 86% mash extract efficiency.

Then you boiled down about 2 gallons to 12 gallons (no sugar loss here) so that wort should have read about 1.060.

Now you run that wort out into the fermenter but you left 1 gallon behind. Here's how the brewhouse efficiency is affected:

Starting with 12 gallons of 1.060 you have (12gal x 60 points) =720 (I'll call this an arbitrary measurement of total sugar because I can't think of a better term).
Now take what made it to the fermenter, (11 x 60) = 660.

Given the grain only has a certain quantity of sugar to give up, we lose some in two places. First, there's the sugar that never quite gets sparged out and stays either in the grain bed or in MLT deadspace (in your batch you left 14% behind)
Then there's the sugar that makes it to the kettle, but not into the fermenter.

By the way, 11 gallons of 1.060 into the fermenter is 79% Brewhouse efficiency so you ultimately lost only 7% of the sugar to trub/hops. This isn't really all that bad. You didn't mention your chilling method but I lose about 2-3% eff due to wort left in my hoses, pump and 25' CFC. I've recently had a revelation and decided to keep a quart of cold water in a sanitized container. When the wort in the kettle gets just about to the point where the diptube will suck air, I'll dump the water in. It will keep the pump primed long enough to get at least another quart of wort through.

Now, was I right that you got 1.060 into the fermenter?
 
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Mr. Mojo Rising

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No. I was 1.054 into the fermenter. So I must have taken the Pre-Boil Gravity wrong since I went from 1.052 to 1.054 from 13.90 gal to 12 gal in the boil if I am starting to understand this whole thing.
 

bmason1623

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I just started brewing a couple of months ago and have graduated to both AG and Beersmith. I've read a few threads on efficiencies and am somewhat confused...actually very confused. Please let me know if my math is incorrect. I measured my pre-boil wort gravity and it was at 1.030 @ 84F = 1.033 corrected (Bx=7.8 actual reading). My post boil wort gravity was at 1.034 @ 98F = 1.043 corrected (Bx=9.2 actual reading). I've calibrated my refractometer using both readings and the difference is like 1% so I'm not worried about that.

What I don't understand is should the two above measurements be plugged into Beersmith's "Brewhouse Efficiency Details box"? If so, does the pre-boil gravity reading go into "brewhouse efficiency based on target" and the post-boil gravity into "efficiency into boiler"? If yes, then why is my pre-boil efficiency low against my post-boil efficiency? Can someone bring this down to my level and explain this to me? By the way, below is my recipe (Centenial Blonde). TIA

Centenial Blonde
Brew Type: All Grain Date: 11/7/2010
Style: American Pale Ale Brewer: Bill
Batch Size: 5.50 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 7.00 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %

Brewing Steps Check Time Step
11/7/2010 Clean and prepare equipment.
-- Measure ingredients, crush grains.
-- Prepare 8.30 gal water for brewing
-- Prepare Ingredients for Mash
Amount Item Type
7.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain
0.75 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain
0.50 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain

2 min Mash Ingredients
Mash In: Add 10.94 qt of water at 166.1 F
60 min - Hold mash at 150.0 F for 60 min
-- Batch Sparge Round 1: Sparge with 1.94 gal of 168.0 F water.
-- Batch Sparge Round 2: Sparge with 3.63 gal of 168.0 F water.
-- Add water to achieve boil volume of 7.00 gal
-- Estimated Pre-boil Gravity is: 1.037 SG with all grains/extracts added
Boil for 60 min Boil Ingredients
Boil Amount Item Type
55 min 0.25 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (55 min) Hops
35 min 0.25 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (35 min) Hops
20 min 0.25 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (20 min) Hops
5 min 0.25 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (5 min) Hops

-- Cool wort to fermentation temperature
-- Add water (as needed) to achieve volume of 5.50 gal
-- Siphon wort to primary fermenter and aerate wort.
-- Add Ingredients to Fermenter
Amount Item Type
1 Pkgs SafAle American Ale (DCL Yeast #S-05) Yeast-Ale

11/7/2010 Measure Original Gravity: ________ (Estimate: 1.043 SG)
11/7/2010 Measure Batch Volume: ________ (Estimate: 5.50 gal)
4 days Ferment in primary for 4 days at 68.0 F
11/11/2010 Transfer to Secondary Fermenter
5 days Ferment in secondary for 5 days at 68.0 F
11/16/2010 Measure Final Gravity: ________ (Estimate: 1.012 SG)
-- Keg beer at 42.0 F at a pressure of 13.3 PSI
2.0 Weeks Age for 2.0 Weeks at 52.0 F
11/30/2010 Sample and enjoy!
 

SamuraiSquirrel

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Brewhouse efficiency is kind of a useless measurement. As bobby says above its dependent on trub loss. Trub loss is going to vary from batch to batch depending on amount of hops you use. If you brew beers that are relatively low in hop quantities it works fine.

However I brew a lot of pale ales and IPA's where the hops used can range from a couple ounces to twleve ounces. As a result my trub loss is going to range from half a gallon to two gallons or sometimes more.

As a result, if i used brewhouse efficiency in recipe planning I would be all over the place. To counteract this I simply use my mash extract efficiency (efficiency in the boiler as beer smith calls it) in recipe planning and adjust my batch size for anticipated trub loss. So for example I get 80% on the nose into the boil for every batch. If I'm brewing a lowly hopped pale I'll plan my recipe for 80% and set batch size at 5.5 gallons (anticipating leaving a half gallon in the pot). If I'm brewing a highly hopped IPA i'll plan the recipe at 80% for a 6.5 gallon batch (anticipating leaving 1.5 gallons behind in the pot).
 
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