Estimating Efficiency for New System

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ChaosB

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I'm a brand new brewer, working with my first recipe, a clone of MadTree Galaxy High obtained from the brewery. I've input the recipe into Beer Smith 3 to the best of my ability. With the listed brew house efficiency of 82.35%, I expect my system will be a bit lower than that. I will describe my setup below but how should I go about estimating my efficiency for scaling?

Recipe:

Size: 5 gal
Efficiency: 82.35%
Attenuation: 92.0%
Original Gravity: 1.084
Terminal Gravity: 1.007
Color: 9.36
Alcohol: 10.21%
Bitterness: 117.6
INGREDIENTS:
10.43 lb (71.9%) 2-Row Brewers Malt - added during mash
2.23 lb (15.4%) Vienna Malt - added during mash
0.5 lb (3.4%) 2-Row Caramel Malt 40L - added during mash
0.25 lb (2.4%) 2-Row Carapils Malt - added during mash
0.5 oz (5.7%) Galena (13.1%) - added during boil, boiled 60 m
0.57 oz (6.5%) Topaz (16.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 m
0.58 oz (6.6%) Topaz (16.2%) - added during boil, boiled 30 m
0.39 oz (4.4%) Topaz (16.2%) - added during boil, boiled 15 m
0.58 oz (6.6%) Galaxy (14.8%) - added during boil, boiled 15 m
1 lb (6.8%) Corn Sugar - added during boil, boiled 10 m
0.77 oz (8.8%) Galaxy (14.8%) - added after boil, steeped 15 m
0.77 oz (8.8%) Topaz (16.2%) - added after boil, steeped 15 m
0.1 lb (17.6%) Galaxy (14.8%) - added dry to primary fermenter
0.05 lb (8.8%) Topaz (16.2%) - added dry to primary fermenter
0.1 lb (17.6%) Galaxy (14.8%) - added dry to primary fermenter
0.05 lb (8.8%) Topaz (16.2%) - added dry to primary fermenter

Equipment:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/1st-time-brewer-3-vessel-ss-brewtech-herms-system.665219/

HLT: 10 gal Megapot 1.2 kettle w/ Blichmann small HERMS coil. To be direct fired using Hellfire floor burner, manually controlled until I get a Tower of Power controller.

MLT: 15 gal SS Brewtech kettle w/ 11.5'' Titan false bottom (may need bigger false bottom).

BOIL: 15 gal SS Brewtech kettle w/ SpinCycle weldless whirlpool return. Direct fired using 2nd Blichmann Hellfire floor burner.

2 Blichmann RipTide pumps.
A Blichmann Therminator + Thrumometer for chilling.

On my test run I've noticed the pumps don't function so well once the liquid is mixed with oxygen so there will be some wort loss between moving from the MLT to Kettle and Kettle to plate chiller to carboy.

Since I'm doing a 5 gallon batch on a higher capacity system, I believe I can reasonably do a no sparge. Recirculating through the HERMS throughout the entire mash before pumping the full pre boil volume to the boil kettle. There should be some wort volume lost in the HERMS coil as well.

In Beer Smith 3, I'm having trouble with calculations. I created a new style guide to set my estimated original gravity in line with the recipe but the estimated final gravity, color, and ABV do not align with the recipe from MadTree. I assume this is due to a difference in ingredient values? I set the brewhouse efficiency to that of the recipe but I don't really expect to achieve that efficiency on my first brew day and with the dry hopping.

I have not really decided on a mash or boil temperature. I still need to clarify with the brewery what the dry hopping schedule is. I'm not sure why my Steep/WhirlPool additions say 194 F and the decoction Boil temp indicates 212 F. I don't expect the temp to immediately drop that much between flame out and starting my whirlpool? I've considered whirlpooling through my plate chiller before turning on the chill water for sanitation purposes before flame out.
 

Smellyglove

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Estimated Mash efficiency (which is the number you must know, don't bother with brewhouse efficiency) is almost 100% !

Hehe! You need to go over this at least one more time. Try just hitting 75% mash efficiency. That's sort of in the middle of everything.

Edit, i saw your profile says "no sparge", so try more like 72%. Unless it's a very big beer, then I'd go like 60-65%.

Manipulate your brewhouse efficiency to mash efficiency hits 72-75% ish. Then, click the OG (green) slider to bump it up to target OG, then the ingredient list will change to how much grain etc you must use to hit the disired gravity/bitterness etc.

But have you dialed in deadspace, is it recovarable etc? I see your equipment profile seems "generic".
 
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ChaosB

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What is the difference between:

Est Pre-Boil Vol 8.25 gal
Boil Vol Basis 10.18 gal
Mash Volume Needed 11.17 gal

How much strike water should I be heating to do a no sparge / full boil mash? 10.18 gal ?

Mash volume needed is the water and the grain? I should be g2g with a 15 gal MLT. I can always heat more water in the boil kettle to replenish the HLT for the HERMS recirculation.

I want to boil 8.25 gal to get to 5 gal batch size into the fermenter? Then it's giving me 4.25 gal to bottle/keg after dry hop / trub loss?

recipe4.jpg
 
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ChaosB

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Estimated Mash efficiency (which is the number you must know, don't bother with brewhouse efficiency) is almost 100% !

Hehe! You need to go over this at least one more time. Try just hitting 75% mash efficiency. That's sort of in the middle of everything.

Edit, i saw your profile says "no sparge", so try more like 72%. Unless it's a very big beer, then I'd go like 60-65%.

Manipulate your brewhouse efficiency to mash efficiency hits 72-75% ish. Then, click the OG (green) slider to bump it up to target OG, then the ingredient list will change to how much grain etc you must use to hit the disired gravity/bitterness etc.

But have you dialed in deadspace, is it recovarable etc? I see your equipment profile seems "generic".
Thanks. My equipment profile is very generic because I have never brewed before. I thought that the generic profile might be the best way to predict my efficiency unless someone knows how I can measure it before my first brew day.

I don't think I even set my mash efficiency. I won't know it until I brew so I think I left it to whatever the program set it at. I pride myself on being IT savvy but this program is definitely getting the better of me.
 

Smellyglove

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Thanks. My equipment profile is very generic because I have never brewed before. I thought that the generic profile might be the best way to predict my efficiency unless someone knows how I can measure it before my first brew day.

I don't think I even set my mash efficiency. I won't know it until I brew so I think I left it to whatever the program set it at. I pride myself on being IT savvy but this program is definitely getting the better of me.
It's a steep learning curve. But you need to brew to get any good numbers when it comes to efficiency.

But, don't look at the brewhouse efficiency. Look at your mash efficiency, it's easier and more direct regarding what SG wort you get.

If you have deadspace, you can measure it. And if it's "recovarable" you can tick that in BS so it doesn't think that wort is lost. By "deadspace" do also include if you leave any volume of wort in hoses /HEX etc. I always empty all my hoses and HEX and add that to the boil.

When it comes to boiloff, you just have to measure, you can do it with water first to get a ballpark. But it will be slightly different than with wort, and also ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure varies from day to day, but you'll get close and good enough by measuring 2-3-4 times preboil and postboil (before chilling).

But do the procedure I wrote last in my previous post.
 

Oginme

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Thanks. My equipment profile is very generic because I have never brewed before. I thought that the generic profile might be the best way to predict my efficiency unless someone knows how I can measure it before my first brew day.

I don't think I even set my mash efficiency. I won't know it until I brew so I think I left it to whatever the program set it at. I pride myself on being IT savvy but this program is definitely getting the better of me.
I would recommend starting my doing a 'dry run' on your equipment to get the figures you need for the equipment profile. In BeerSmith, this controls everything from your volumes to your extraction of sugars and if you are not close to your actual equipment values will cause you no end of chasing all the variables to get it correct.

You can estimate your losses by adding in a known volume of water and then draining your HERMS system to see how much of that water you can recover. Likewise, adding a known volume of water and bringing it to a boil for 15 minutes and measuring what you have left will give you an estimate of boil off rate (multiply by 4 to get the volume for an hour).

I agree with Smelllyglove that you should set your brew house efficiency down for the first batch to around 65% to 70%. Once you have brewed and enter into BeerSmith all the measured volumes and gravity readings, the program will give you an actual Brewhouse and Mash efficiency values versus your initial estimates. You can update your profile from that to get it closer. Additionally, the volume readings will help with making sure your original measurements are correct.
 

Smellyglove

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What is the difference between:

Est Pre-Boil Vol 8.25 gal
Boil Vol Basis 10.18 gal
Mash Volume Needed 11.17 gal

How much strike water should I be heating to do a no sparge / full boil mash? 10.18 gal ?

Mash volume needed is the water and the grain? I should be g2g with a 15 gal MLT. I can always heat more water in the boil kettle to replenish the HLT for the HERMS recirculation.

I want to boil 8.25 gal to get to 5 gal batch size into the fermenter? Then it's giving me 4.25 gal to bottle/keg after dry hop / trub loss?

View attachment 625762
It depends on the grain absorption number you can edit in options -> advanced. This number depends on the grist size, and how fast you drain your mash tun. Since you ask I wouldn't touch that number, and BS should give you a correct number in the mash window (or volumes window). But also when losses (deadspace) and boiloff, and trub numbers are correct. There's four parameters to get strike water volumes correct.

Yes mash volume is total volume needed by mash. Take note that this is "after a while". If you get 10g as mash volume, and dough in, you'll exceed this number until the grains are properly hydrated and somewhat converted to sugar.
 
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ChaosB

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Estimated Mash efficiency (which is the number you must know, don't bother with brewhouse efficiency) is almost 100% !

Hehe! You need to go over this at least one more time. Try just hitting 75% mash efficiency. That's sort of in the middle of everything.

Edit, i saw your profile says "no sparge", so try more like 72%. Unless it's a very big beer, then I'd go like 60-65%.

Manipulate your brewhouse efficiency to mash efficiency hits 72-75% ish. Then, click the OG (green) slider to bump it up to target OG, then the ingredient list will change to how much grain etc you must use to hit the disired gravity/bitterness etc.

But have you dialed in deadspace, is it recovarable etc? I see your equipment profile seems "generic".
Okay, I will play with it, so I can't change the mash efficiency directly? I have to manipulate the BH efficiency to get there?

I do have the ability to do a fly sparge, I just thought a no sparge would be easier since I have the extra space. I would consider this a big hoppy beer at 10.21% and 117 IBU. I already ordered my ingredients and I didn't account for anything extra so if I change to a lower efficiency, I'll need more grain?
 

Smellyglove

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You can estimate your losses by adding in a known volume of water and then draining your HERMS system to see how much of that water you can recover. Likewise, adding a known volume of water and bringing it to a boil for 15 minutes and measuring what you have left will give you an estimate of boil off rate (multiply by 4 to get the volume for an hour).
I feel I'd want to add to this that this doesn't work as good as boiling for 30/60 minutes (60 minutes is the best). Reason is that there's some oxygen in the water you add, and it will be more vigorous until this air is expelled, (I think that's the reason for the vigor), so you'll end up with a higher boil off number that what will be after 60 minutes of boiling.
 

Smellyglove

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Okay, I will play with it, so I can't change the mash efficiency directly? I have to manipulate the BH efficiency to get there?

I do have the ability to do a fly sparge, I just thought a no sparge would be easier since I have the extra space. I would consider this a big hoppy beer at 10.21% and 117 IBU. I already ordered my ingredients and I didn't account for anything extra so if I change to a lower efficiency, I'll need more grain?
Yes, that's correct. Beersmith calculates everything from end to start. Meaning, trub in fermenter, trub in boil kettle, boil off, deadspace etc.

Since this is a big beer (with only 7% sugars) You'll be looking at a lower mash efficiency than a "normal" beer, that's "just" how it works. There's lots of techniques to remedy this, but it's kind of hard when this is your first beer on a new system, without any previous numbers. But sparging will help bring those numbers up comparing to no-sparge. Then you can manipulate it further by using more sparge water and boiling longer etc..

Yes if you change to a lower efficiency you'd need more grains.

It will not be 10%, but I wouldn't worry about it, it's the first beer on the system. Just brew it, take good notes, and drink and enjoy :)
 
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ChaosB

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I would recommend starting my doing a 'dry run' on your equipment to get the figures you need for the equipment profile. In BeerSmith, this controls everything from your volumes to your extraction of sugars and if you are not close to your actual equipment values will cause you no end of chasing all the variables to get it correct.

You can estimate your losses by adding in a known volume of water and then draining your HERMS system to see how much of that water you can recover. Likewise, adding a known volume of water and bringing it to a boil for 15 minutes and measuring what you have left will give you an estimate of boil off rate (multiply by 4 to get the volume for an hour).

I agree with Smelllyglove that you should set your brew house efficiency down for the first batch to around 65% to 70%. Once you have brewed and enter into BeerSmith all the measured volumes and gravity readings, the program will give you an actual Brewhouse and Mash efficiency values versus your initial estimates. You can update your profile from that to get it closer. Additionally, the volume readings will help with making sure your original measurements are correct.
I will do another dry run beyond making sure my plumbing is working and take measurements this time.

I guess I need to spend more time in Beer Smith and identify how changing values affects other variables. I see that there are already values included for some of my measured variables, I'm not certain if I did this or if the program plugged these in. May need to start over on the recipe. Should I have created a new style guide for the recipe or is that meant to be generic? When I do finally enter measured values for this recipe, does that only impact one recipe or any recipe that I thereafter brew using the same equipment profile?
 

Smellyglove

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I will do another dry run beyond making sure my plumbing is working and take measurements this time.

I guess I need to spend more time in Beer Smith and identify how changing values affects other variables. I see that there are already values included for some of my measured variables, I'm not certain if I did this or if the program plugged these in. May need to start over on the recipe. Should I have created a new style guide for the recipe or is that meant to be generic? When I do finally enter measured values for this recipe, does that only impact one recipe or any recipe that I thereafter brew using the same equipment profile?
When you enter measured numbers into the "measured"-boxes it does nothing, it just calculates IRL efficiency, and it's sort of just a notebook. You need to create your own equipment profile and enter measured parameters into that.

Some boxes which are "pre-filled" are because you chose a "generic" equipment profile which already has these "generic numbers" filled in for you. You need to populate all these boxes with your own numbers which you get from brewing and measuring:)
 

kevin58

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The first thing you should do before you brew using Beersmith is set up an accurate equipment profile. Until you do this software will frustrate you and you will end up cursing it. Set it up correctly and it will be your best friend.

Here are two tutorials to walk you through setting up an equipment profile. They were made before BS3 but the concept is the same.


 
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ChaosB

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I have created an equipment profile, I will continue to dial it in, thanks for the tips. I boiled off just about a gallon in one hour.

I still cannot get the recipe to line up exactly with grain percentages, OG, IBU, Color, ABV, and FG. If I change one, it throws off something else. I'm guessing the ingredient values are a bit different than what they have.

To be honest, I'm not sure if what I put in Beer Smith will completely align with the ingredients I bought from Austin Home Brew. The names of the grains are the same but there were no stats provided.

I think at this point I will stop worrying so much about recipe values and just brew a beer so I can drink it. I don't have a Galaxy High on hand to compare anyway. As long as it takes like a hoppy IPA, I should be satisfied.

however part of me is thinking grain percentages do matter. For some reason beer Smith does not keep the same percentages when adjusting grain amount (adding more) to account for no Sparge lower efficiency. I understand why it would change the percentages when adjusting color but not OG. when I change my OG, it changes grain ratio as well.
 
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