Incredibly Frustrated With Poor Efficiency

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enkamania

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max deg plato: (weight of dry grist * potential) / (weight of dry grist * potential + weight of strike water). X 100
conversion efficiency: measured deg plato/max deg plato X 100

weight of dry grist should take grain moisture under account typically, 4%. So if you have 10 pounds of base malt with an 80% yield, then the weight should be 10*0.96*0.8 = 7.68

weight of water is gallons * 8.3304 lbs/gallon.

use tables online to convert from plato and SG. Note brix and plato are not exactly the same.

OP has 11lbs of malt (To be precise we should check all the potential of the various malts and average, but it's mostly golden promise speced at 81%). 8.5 gallons of water.

Max plato: 11*0.96*0.81 / (11*0.96*0.81 + 8.5*8.3304) = 10.78 deg plato
measured plato: 9.4brix ~= 9.1 deg plato

conversion efficiency: 100 X 9.1/10.78 =~ 84%
Thank you so much for the awesome explanation! I've googled in the past and it always led me to brewhouse efficiency and not conversion efficiency.
 

jdudek

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Thank you so much for the awesome explanation! I've googled in the past and it always led me to brewhouse efficiency and not conversion efficiency.
You're welcome, I will credit @doug293cz for my general education on the subject over time, throughout various posts on this forum :)

the Braukaiser article is good source material for this. Formulas are different but they boil down to the same.

I wrote this up as well, mostly for myself because I have terrible memory...
 
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Monmouth00

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Wow, this thread is chocked full of great information. Thanks everyone.

My next hill to climb is trying to figure out grain absorption, boil-off, and overall brewhouse efficiency so I can more consistently predict gravity and final batch size.

It seems to be a moving target for me to get the right amount of water to start with. I always end up with either just enough or a gallon too much. (but I never complain about having a gallon more of beer)
 

DBhomebrew

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Wow, this thread is chocked full of great information. Thanks everyone.

My next hill to climb is trying to figure out grain absorption, boil-off, and overall brewhouse efficiency so I can more consistently predict gravity and final batch size.

It seems to be a moving target for me to get the right amount of water to start with. I always end up with either just enough or a gallon too much. (but I never complain about having a gallon more of beer)
How are you currently measuring volumes?
 
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Monmouth00

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How are you currently measuring volumes?
I measure the volumes by taking a physical measurement with a metal ruler and dropping that into this calculator: Man Skirt Brewing, Hackettstown NJ

I don't get crazy about it. But I would like to dial it in a bit better. I just kegged a batch last night and hit my 5 gallon batch size right on the nose, but I'd be lying if I said I knew I would.
 

DBhomebrew

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I measure the volumes by taking a physical measurement with a metal ruler and dropping that into this calculator: Man Skirt Brewing, Hackettstown NJ

I don't get crazy about it. But I would like to dial it in a bit better. I just kegged a batch last night and hit my 5 gallon batch size right on the nose, but I'd be lying if I said I knew I would.
You're on the right track then. I use a homebuilt spreadsheet that follows my particular process. After the brew I'll try to get my recipe software of choice to match the numbers collected. That exercise will point me toward which measurements I need to improve my data collection.
 

mhgodzilla

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You can do as JD notes above. … that is a very accurate, extra detailed explaination. Is that what my friends hear when I go yeast deep or process deep?

I use the Brewers Friend app, and also double checked with some online calculators. Basically the potential sugar from the weight of the grain vs the gravity reading from the mash or boil. Use a hydrometer and some free software and it’s pretty easy to get a useful number. .
 

Tobor_8thMan

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Wow, this thread is chocked full of great information. Thanks everyone.

My next hill to climb is trying to figure out grain absorption, boil-off, and overall brewhouse efficiency so I can more consistently predict gravity and final batch size.

It seems to be a moving target for me to get the right amount of water to start with. I always end up with either just enough or a gallon too much. (but I never complain about having a gallon more of beer)
You will learn by doing. This is known as "dialing in your equipment". Keep notes.
 

jdudek

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Here us an example of an efficiency calculator.
Brewhouse Efficiency Calculator - Brewer's Friend
for conversion efficiency, their calculator is quite a bit off. They do not take grain moisture under consideration and they use water volume instead of wort volume.

did some experiments here:

take 12lbs of pils into 8 gallons of water. assume 4% moisture, 80% yield. If you do the plato calculation above, you'll get:

100*(12*0.96*0.8)/)(12*0.96*0.8 + 8*8.3304) = 12.15 deg plato = 1.049.

plug the same numbers into the BF calculator and you'll get 1.056. Consequently they'll report 100% conversion efficiency as 88%. Pretty disappointing to get 88% when you really got 100%.

they ignore grain moisture and assume 1 gallon of water = 1 gallon of wort. if you adjust the grain weight to dry weight and adjust the volume of water to volume of wort, you'll get the correct 1.049 from their calculator.
 

Tobor_8thMan

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Please realize the software estimates are just that, estimates. Malting specs change. Unless, we are constantly doing research on the malt we use, updating the brewing software, etc we using generalities in regard to the malt specs.

As homebrewers, as long as we get close, this is fine.
 

doug293cz

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Please realize the software estimates are just that, estimates. Malting specs change. Unless, we are constantly doing research on the malt we use, updating the brewing software, etc we using generalities in regard to the malt specs.

As homebrewers, as long as we get close, this is fine.
True, the output of a prediction is no better than the input data that is used to calculate the output.

However, if grain moisture (for example) has a range of 3% - 5% across multiple lots, you are better off assuming a 4% moisture content (in the absence of more accurate data) than you are ignoring moisture effects in your predictions.

Brew on :mug:
 

Tobor_8thMan

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True, the output of a prediction is no better than the input data that is used to calculate the output.

However, if grain moisture (for example) has a range of 3% - 5% across multiple lots, you are better off assuming a 4% moisture content (in the absence of more accurate data) than you are ignoring moisture effects in your predictions.

Brew on :mug:
Talking an average (4%) of the 3 to 5 range. Similar to what I encounter when trying to "fix" my brewing water :)
 

VikeMan

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for conversion efficiency, their calculator is quite a bit off. They do not take grain moisture under consideration and they use water volume instead of wort volume.
Conversion Efficiency should use water volume (not wort volume). It's measures the percentage of total possible starches that were converted to sugars/dextrins, regardless of how much makes it (or not) to the boil kettle.

Wort volume (in the kettle) is used to measure Mash Efficiency.
 

doug293cz

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Conversion Efficiency should use water volume (not wort volume). It's measures the percentage of total possible starches that were converted to sugars/dextrins, regardless of how much makes it (or not) to the boil kettle.

Wort volume (in the kettle) is used to measure Mash Efficiency.
Yes, the correct formula for conversion efficiency uses water volume (actually water weight,) but you cannot use water volume and points per gallon to calculate conversion efficiency. If you want to use points, you must do it with wort volume, not water volume. The only way to determine wort volume at the end of mash is to go thru the correct formula that starts with grain weight, grain potential, strike water weight, and end of wort SG in °Plato. Most of the incorrect conversion efficiency calculators try to use strike water volume and points, which gives you a lower efficiency than actual. Ignoring the moisture content of grain makes your conversion efficiency look even worse.

Brew on :mug:
 

jdudek

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Yes, the correct formula for conversion efficiency uses water volume (actually water weight,) but you cannot use water volume and points per gallon to calculate conversion efficiency. If you want to use points, you must do it with wort volume, not water volume. The only way to determine wort volume at the end of mash is to go thru the correct formula that starts with grain weight, grain potential, strike water weight, and end of wort SG in °Plato. Most of the incorrect conversion efficiency calculators try to use strike water volume and points, which gives you a lower efficiency than actual. Ignoring the moisture content of grain makes your conversion efficiency look even worse.

Brew on :mug:
thanks, that's what I meant. my comment about wort volume was ambiguous.
 

charlesbrewer

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could it be you been feeding beer smith wrong data? reading through the thread does not seem this has been fully put to rest.

I partial brew with half volume and getting 85% without much effort. And I make sure my grains turns into flour before mashing.
 
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