Quantcast

Last three efficiencies (same method): 77%, 88%, 56%!!!

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

petep1980

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
21
I'm pretty sure the 56% came in from a weak mill. But, good god this hobby can be frustrating at times.

I guess my Summer Saison, will be a Session Saison.
 

Pappers_

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
17,857
Reaction score
4,304
Location
Chicago
I think you're right, milling can make a huge difference in efficiency. One idea (other than milling your own) would be to keep some dry light malt extract on hand, so that you can add it to your wort, if necessary.
 

ayoungrad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
1,101
Reaction score
13
Location
Tampa
Also you could buy a refractometer to check SG on the fly. With a few calculations, you could adjust your brew to meet your desired OG by either sparging more, adding water or increasing your boiling time to compensate.
 

BrewWhat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
Location
Tennessee
Did any of those have wheat in them? Wheat doesn't do well in a single infusion mash. Other than that I would +1 to the grain crush and temps.
 

Mysticmead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,349
Reaction score
151
Location
Kingston, GA
an often overlooked factor that changes efficiency is volumes... what was the post boil volume.. what was the anticipated batch size the recipe was designed for? .5 gallons off can make the efficiency 8 points or more off. if it was designed for 5 gallons and you have 5.5 it'll be off..
 
OP
petep1980

petep1980

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
21
Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll keep the DME around for this in the future. I do have a refracto and I did consider adding time to my boil, but I didn't really feel like it.

I think in the future I'll keep around plenty of DME, my refractometer and a calculator and I'll be fine.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
79
an often overlooked factor that changes efficiency is volumes... what was the post boil volume.. what was the anticipated batch size the recipe was designed for? .5 gallons off can make the efficiency 8 points or more off. if it was designed for 5 gallons and you have 5.5 it'll be off..
The volume of the runoff has nothing at all to do with the conversion or lautering efficiency. Accurately measuring the run off volume is essential, but what that volume actually is makes no difference in the efficiency calculation. The amount of boil off will obviously affect your OG, but it won't affect your efficiency at all.
 

Bubba

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
496
Reaction score
14
Location
S.I.N.Y
I agree with Mysticmead about volumes I crush my own grain and that has helped alot with efficiency but when my volumes are off I find a wide range in mash efficiency but either way the beer I make turns out just fine.
 

Mysticmead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,349
Reaction score
151
Location
Kingston, GA
The volume of the runoff has nothing at all to do with the conversion or lautering efficiency. Accurately measuring the run off volume is essential, but what that volume actually is makes no difference in the efficiency calculation. The amount of boil off will obviously affect your OG, but it won't affect your efficiency at all.

it does affect the overall efficiency. When formulating a recipe you aren't designing it around conversion efficiency, but Brew House Efficiency.. that as I said is where the volumes make a difference and are very important. Now if the OP had said his conversion or pre-boil efficiency was off, then I would have suggested looking at the crush. since it wasn't mentioned, I stated the one thing most overlook.
 

ayoungrad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
1,101
Reaction score
13
Location
Tampa
There seems to be some misunderstanding of definitions here. Brewhouse efficiency takes into account wort losses specific to the brewhouse's specific system (such as MLT dead space) in addition to conversion efficiency. But the brewhouse volume factors SHOULD NOT VARY from batch to batch assuming the same equipment is used in the same way. Given that the OP is experiencing variability from batch to batch in the same "brewhouse", the differences between brewhouse efficiency and extraction efficiency are irrelevant.

Moreover, the final volume absolutely affects the OG but efficiency is independent of volume. Assuming the OP is calculating either extract efficiency or brewhouse efficiency correctly, both types are a measure a ratio of the amount of sugar that was obtained from a given recipe as a function of it's theoretical maximum. One utilizes the theoretical maximum for his "brewhouse" and the other the theoretical maximum from the recipe irrespective of equipment.

If I am misunderstanding something here, please let me know. But I really think these are the facts.
 

ayoungrad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
1,101
Reaction score
13
Location
Tampa
If you look into efficiency calculations, the inclusion of OG and volumes are utilized to convert to amounts of sugar (gravity units or weight). And the amount of sugar is independent of volume.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
79
it does affect the overall efficiency. When formulating a recipe you aren't designing it around conversion efficiency, but Brew House Efficiency.. that as I said is where the volumes make a difference and are very important. Now if the OP had said his conversion or pre-boil efficiency was off, then I would have suggested looking at the crush. since it wasn't mentioned, I stated the one thing most overlook.
Nonsense. The OP stated that his efficiency were all over the place and suspected it might be his crush. You posted that the boil volume would affect efficiency. It doesn't. The total amount of sugar extracted will be very nearly the same whether you run off 5 or 5.5 gallons. We are talking conversion and lautering efficiency here. Conversion efficiency should be near 99% unless you are seriously screwing up. Conversion efficiency would be the very last thing I would look at. I have never had a batch fail to convert.

Brewhouse efficiency is an entirely different subject and involves accounting for all of the wort losses along the journey to the fermenter. If you want to know your lautering efficiency, measure it pre-boil. You must measure the volume accurately to do so, but it matters little if its 5 gallons or 6 that you are measuring. The total amount of sugar in solution will be very close to the same for both.
 
OP
petep1980

petep1980

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
21
There seems to be some misunderstanding of definitions here. Brewhouse efficiency takes into account wort losses specific to the brewhouse's specific system (such as MLT dead space) in addition to conversion efficiency. But the brewhouse volume factors SHOULD NOT VARY from batch to batch assuming the same equipment is used in the same way. Given that the OP is experiencing variability from batch to batch in the same "brewhouse", the differences between brewhouse efficiency and extraction efficiency are irrelevant.

Moreover, the final volume absolutely affects the OG but efficiency is independent of volume. Assuming the OP is calculating either extract efficiency or brewhouse efficiency correctly, both types are a measure a ratio of the amount of sugar that was obtained from a given recipe as a function of it's theoretical maximum. One utilizes the theoretical maximum for his "brewhouse" and the other the theoretical maximum from the recipe irrespective of equipment.

If I am misunderstanding something here, please let me know. But I really think these are the facts.
I am doing actual yield / theoretical yield of my extraction efficiency using the final volume. I should probably use run off volume.

It's weird if you look at final, because you can perceivably improve "efficiency", by boiling longer and getting less beer. Intuition tells me that is not efficient.

Your point about brewhouse efficiency is interesting though. I never even thought about it, but it does make sense. Say I have 1 gallon deadspace and someone has 1 qt, and all other things are equal I could get a higher brewhouse efficiency, yet a lower OG?
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
79
There seems to be some misunderstanding of definitions here. Brewhouse efficiency takes into account wort losses specific to the brewhouse's specific system (such as MLT dead space) in addition to conversion efficiency. But the brewhouse volume factors SHOULD NOT VARY from batch to batch assuming the same equipment is used in the same way. Given that the OP is experiencing variability from batch to batch in the same "brewhouse", the differences between brewhouse efficiency and extraction efficiency are irrelevant.

Moreover, the final volume absolutely affects the OG but efficiency is independent of volume. Assuming the OP is calculating either extract efficiency or brewhouse efficiency correctly, both types are a measure a ratio of the amount of sugar that was obtained from a given recipe as a function of it's theoretical maximum. One utilizes the theoretical maximum for his "brewhouse" and the other the theoretical maximum from the recipe irrespective of equipment.

If I am misunderstanding something here, please let me know. But I really think these are the facts.
+1 You have it right and you did a better job of explaining it than I did. Good work!
 

Mysticmead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,349
Reaction score
151
Location
Kingston, GA
You posted that the boil volume would affect efficiency. It doesn't. The total amount of sugar extracted will be very nearly the same whether you run off 5 or 5.5 gallons.
read it again.. I said POST boil volume. if you have a recipe planned for 5 gallons and end up with 5.5 gallon (you didn't boil off as much as expected due to any number of variables) you will have a lower OG than anticipated. a lot of people then calculate their efficiency using the lower OG thinking they still had a 5 gallon batch of beer. by simply adjusting to the correct volume the efficiency will change as well. in order to accurately calculate efficiency you must know exact volumes pre-boil and post boil. yes his crush will be a big factor in his efficiency jumping all over the place, I simply included the need to know exact post boil volumes as well.
 

Mysticmead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,349
Reaction score
151
Location
Kingston, GA
I am doing actual yield / theoretical yield of my extraction efficiency using the final volume. I should probably use run off volume.

It's weird if you look at final, because you can perceivably improve "efficiency", by boiling longer and getting less beer. Intuition tells me that is not efficient.

Your point about brewhouse efficiency is interesting though. I never even thought about it, but it does make sense. Say I have 1 gallon deadspace and someone has 1 qt, and all other things are equal I could get a higher brewhouse efficiency, yet a lower OG?
using the final volume is fine.. you just need to know the exact amount post boil. as you noted, boil off more and the OG goes up. it also goes down if you don't boil off as much as expected. about 8% per .5 gallons

now, here's what I concern myself with more than anything. does the beer taste good? if you're happy with it.. that's all that really matters
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
79
I am doing actual yield / theoretical yield of my extraction efficiency using the final volume. I should probably use run off volume.

It's weird if you look at final, because you can perceivably improve "efficiency", by boiling longer and getting less beer. Intuition tells me that is not efficient.

Your point about brewhouse efficiency is interesting though. I never even thought about it, but it does make sense. Say I have 1 gallon deadspace and someone has 1 qt, and all other things are equal I could get a higher brewhouse efficiency, yet a lower OG?
You can measure the lautering efficiency post-boil if you do it in the boil kettle. You will inevitably have losses from hop absorption, dead space in MT or BK, losses to the chiller and hoses etc on the way to the fermenter. If, and it's a huge IF, you could measure all of these losses accurately, you could calculate your lautering efficiency. Problem is that most of those factors are moving targes and the best you can hope for is a reasonable estimate. Experience will tell you how to compensate for the losses on your system. If you are concerned about LAUTERING efficiency, the it's much better to do it pre-boil where you are dealing with far fewer variables. I know from experience that if I brew 12 gallons of beer, I can count on being able to fill two corny's to the brim with a full five gallons. I sometimes have a liter or two excess. I bottle that in 2 liter PET bottles, force carb and drink it the same day.
 
OP
petep1980

petep1980

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
21
using the final volume is fine.. you just need to know the exact amount post boil. as you noted, boil off more and the OG goes up. it also goes down if you don't boil off as much as expected. about 8% per .5 gallons

now, here's what I concern myself with more than anything. does the beer taste good? if you're happy with it.. that's all that really matters
That's a good point. I want to really hone in my AG system, but if the beer tastes good, why should I care if the OG was correct?
 

Mysticmead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,349
Reaction score
151
Location
Kingston, GA
That's a good point. I want to really hone in my AG system, but if the beer tastes good, why should I care if the OG was correct?
the only reason to care is to learn your system and being able to reproduce the beer with consistency. once you learn how much you boil off, and how fine or course to crush your grain (having your own mill is a must to really tune your system). other than that, if you just want to make great beer, then don't worry about it.
 

stageseven

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
407
Reaction score
29
Location
Delaware
That's a good point. I want to really hone in my AG system, but if the beer tastes good, why should I care if the OG was correct?
So that the next time you want to make the same beer, it will actually taste the same? Should you care that your OG was "correct" on paper? Not really... but you should care if your OG is wildly different every time you make the same batch.
 
Top