Figuring out efficiency?

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99blackgt

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I made a few batches last night. Very new to all grain.

I made the first, with about 15.5# of grain. Got about 4.5 gallons of wort out of it, and ended up boiling to 4 gallons, then added water and got a SG of 1.052.

Thought that was normal (used to partial mash with some extracts)

Then i made one last night. used about 17.5# of grain. Pulled about 5.5 gallons off of it, and decided to take the gravity of the last of the runoff. 1.035? wow. I remember reading that you can use the wort comming off untill you hit 1.01 or so. So i pulled about another 2 gallons off of the grain, (sparaging) and got 1.03 at the end of that. At this point i've got two burners (6gal) filled up to my normal point (about 4 gal). I was supprised i could get that much wort out of this grain!

To make a long story short. I boiled for a long time, got it down to 6 gallons, at that time i was tired, and just threw it in my carboy (almost to the top) SG on this was 1.065.

Now the grain bill wasn't THAT much different from the first to the second, so now i'm wondering if i just did it wrong the first few times. Are you really suppoesed to pull 8+ gallons off that grain and try to boil it down to 5 gallons to make a good gravity beer? Or am i just using too much grain?

Thanks in advance guys
 
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I made a few batches last night. Very new to all grain.

I made the first, with about 15.5# of grain. Got about 4.5 gallons of wort out of it, and ended up boiling to 4 gallons, then added water and got a SG of 1.052.

Thought that was normal (used to partial mash with some extracts)

Then i made one last night. used about 17.5# of grain. Pulled about 5.5 gallons off of it, and decided to take the gravity of the last of the runoff. 1.035? wow. I remember reading that you can use the wort comming off untill you hit 1.01 or so. So i pulled about another 2 gallons off of the grain, (sparaging) and got 1.03 at the end of that. At this point i've got two burners (6gal) filled up to my normal point (about 4 gal). I was supprised i could get that much wort out of this grain!

To make a long story short. I boiled for a long time, got it down to 6 gallons, at that time i was tired, and just threw it in my carboy (almost to the top) SG on this was 1.065.

Now the grain bill wasn't THAT much different from the first to the second, so now i'm wondering if i just did it wrong the first few times. Are you really suppoesed to pull 8+ gallons off that grain and try to boil it down to 5 gallons to make a good gravity beer? Or am i just using too much grain?

Thanks in advance guys
17.5 lbs of grain is an awful lot for a typical 5 gallon batch (esp with a G of 1.065).

what type of beer were you making; recipe; and expected OG?

A lot of folks typically boil 6.5-7 gallons to get down to 5.5 into the fermenter...
 
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99blackgt

99blackgt

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no recipie, just kinda lookin around at some other stuff and threw it together, i read about 10 recipi's and figured 13-15# was normal for that. I assume my efficiency is pretty low at this point. I really don't have a very good idea of what i was going for. the 65 grav beer was supposed to be a dopplebock, i was hoping for a grav closer to 1.075 - 1.080 but i obviously fell short. Not sure if it really follows suit with that style of beer after seeing the grav anyways. It's got the color, but it's not as heavy as it should be
 

Bobby_M

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Well, don't just make stuff up at least for now. A lot of efficiency problems are in sparge techniques. First, pick something with a mid gravity like 1.055. It will help you create a baseline in your process. Grab the all grain primer in my sig.

Brew Ed's Haus Pale, BM's Centennial Blonde, or pick anything out of Brewing Classic Styles.
 

ChemE

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I made the first, with about 15.5# of grain. Got about 4.5 gallons of wort out of it, and ended up boiling to 4 gallons, then added water and got a SG of 1.052.

Thought that was normal (used to partial mash with some extracts)
Assuming you used 15.5# of 2-row and added water to get back to 5.0 gallons, this gives you an efficiency of:

eff = 5(52)/15.5(36) = 46.6% which is pretty poor by any standards.

Then i made one last night. used about 17.5# of grain. Pulled about 5.5 gallons off of it, and decided to take the gravity of the last of the runoff. 1.035? wow. I remember reading that you can use the wort comming off untill you hit 1.01 or so. So i pulled about another 2 gallons off of the grain, (sparaging) and got 1.03 at the end of that. At this point i've got two burners (6gal) filled up to my normal point (about 4 gal). I was supprised i could get that much wort out of this grain!

To make a long story short. I boiled for a long time, got it down to 6 gallons, at that time i was tired, and just threw it in my carboy (almost to the top) SG on this was 1.065.
Same assumption as above, since we don't have the recipe I'll assume the whole batch was 2-row:

eff = 6(65)/17.5(36) = 61.9% which again is still fairly poor efficiency.

Now the grain bill wasn't THAT much different from the first to the second, so now i'm wondering if i just did it wrong the first few times. Are you really suppoesed to pull 8+ gallons off that grain and try to boil it down to 5 gallons to make a good gravity beer? Or am i just using too much grain?

Thanks in advance guys
In general it is wasteful to pull off such a large volume of runnings and boil it down to fit in the fermenter. Your final runnings having a specific gravity of 1.030 tells us that you left a lot of sugar in the grain bed and thus lost a lot of efficiency.

If you are batch sparging make sure you let each batch of sparge water rest for 10 minutes before you run off. If you are fly sparging you need to slow down your run off significantly.
 
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99blackgt

99blackgt

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i'll have to read up.... fwiw, i know my sparage technique is lacking. The smaller recipie was only 12# two row then roasted non malt and c80, and the other was 12.5# two row, then chocolate malts and c80... so i guess that would help out my numbers a little, but probably not much

I'm going to have to work on this a lot i see
 

ajf

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FWIW it's a lot easier to batch sparge a small grain bill effectively than a large grain bill.

I'd try a few grain bills with about 10# grain which should give you an OG of approximately 1.050 at 70% efficiency. When you reach something approaching that efficiency, you could try increasing the grain bill if you want to.

-a.
 
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99blackgt

99blackgt

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cool, thanks for the support, i'll have to read up on my water ammounts and try to get more efficient. My crushing is also pretty poor, so i'm going to have to get a real mill and see how much that helps
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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While your dialling in your efficiency you may want to have a pound to three of DME in case you need to bump up your SG during the boil.
Depending on the style, a major drop in the OG can really throw off the hops bitterness etc.
Best of luck, it took me a while to get used to my equipment and get my EFF to a point that I was not ashamed to mention it to other all grain brewers. Now I'm at just around 76% consistently and I can live with that.
Welcome to all grain and this forum.
 
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