Mash Efficiency?

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RickFinsta

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Alright, I am having some trouble figuring out what kind of efficiency I got in my first partial mash batch, as I was using a mix of malts that many online calculators don't have available as options.

Here is a link to the recipe I used. I mashed for 60 minutes, starting at 154*F and ending at 151*F, and when I collected my wort after sparging, I had 3 gallons at d=1.048. My final wort OG (that sounds contradictory) was right on at 1.055 as calculated on Hopville before pitching, and I used 65% there as a guess for the mash, but I'm not convinced that I actually was getting sugars from all those grains (as I think Hopville calculated). I'm already very relaxed and hombrew'd up, but I'm looking to see if I did okay or if there's room for improvement considering the low amount of 2-row I used compared to non-enzymatic grains.

Thanks in advance!
 

prrriiide

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Check out Bobby M's excellent treatise on mashing. He gives some very clear and easy to understand formulas for calculating efficiency.

When you come to the part about calculating efficiency by hand, you'll need the Potential Gravity Points Per Pound Per Gallon (PGPPPG) or just PPG for short. These are on your recipe.
 
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RickFinsta

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That is a fantastic write-up; thanks for pointing me to it. It looks like my volume calculation was off, leading me to rediculous efficiency numbers that didn't make sense (too high).

Second question: Assuming that I got around 65% efficiency here, would the number one thing to do next time be use more 2-row (at least equal to the amount of other grains) in order to get more enzymes floating around in there, or should I look elsewhere first (like technique)?

Thanks again!
 

phuff7129

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When I am doing a PM I add all of the specialty grains and then add as much two row base grains as I possibly can and still fit it in mashtun. The 2 row base grains should be the bulk of your grain bill as these grains have the diastatic power to help out with the specialty grains.

Make sure you get a good crush and make sure you stir your grains in real well and let your temperature settle and try to maintain you mash temp for the entire mash. That should help your effciency. Even 65% is not too bad. The key is consistant efficiency. It your consistant then you can plan your recipe based on your efficiency. Grain is cheap.
 
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RickFinsta

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Alright, thanks! After watching the Brewing TV episode on BIAB, I think I'll try to repeat everything but with a better grain crush to see if efficiency goes up, then move to the next variable (grain bill). It'll be nice to get this stuff squared away as I'm getting into PM/AG rather than later on after I've developed poor technique.
 

frankstoneline

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If you input your measured OG in hopville it will tell you your efficiency, it also shows expressed "PPG" values, you can calculate what 100 % eff would be with the following expression:

(summation: (lbs grain*PPG))/Final volume (post boil)
Your efficiency then is your (measured gravity/100% grav)*100

If you are partial mashing you can assume 100% eff from your extract and remove that value (lbs extract*PPG) from both the theoretical and measured value to find your mash efficiency.
 

prrriiide

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When I am doing a PM I add all of the specialty grains and then add as much two row base grains as I possibly can and still fit it in mashtun. The 2 row base grains should be the bulk of your grain bill as these grains have the diastatic power to help out with the specialty grains.

Make sure you get a good crush and make sure you stir your grains in real well and let your temperature settle and try to maintain you mash temp for the entire mash. That should help your effciency. Even 65% is not too bad. The key is consistant efficiency. It your consistant then you can plan your recipe based on your efficiency. Grain is cheap.
Agree with all of that.

If you consult the malts chart in the Wiki, It will tell you what grains must be mashed. Many specialty grains don't need to be mashed, so you can steep them without effecting your efficiency, which leaves you more room to mash the base grains that give your wort the sugars it needs. Brad Smith has some good information on this on his BeerSmith Blog. He's talking specifically about dark grains here, but it isn't necessary to mash grains that don't have to be mashed, even something as light as Crystal 10. That sounds obvious, but it's true. In looking at your recipe, the only thing you needed to mash at all was the 2-row. The others you could steep and get the same effect.

As far as the amount of 2-row, remember that you're getting essentially the same thing from your extracts. The munich extract has a PPG of 36, and the 2-row has a PPG of 37. Close enough for gubmint work and homebrewing. But I think I would look elsewhere before adding more base malt. 65% of 3 lbs as opposed to 65% of 1-1/2 lbs is still 65%. I think starting with your crush is a good place. Then I would move on to mash thickness, run-off rate, sparge process, and maybe mash pH.

But if you follow Bobby_M's write-up pretty closely, you'll get good results.
 
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RickFinsta

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Okay, I saw conflicting information on both the Honey Malt and the Special Roast as to whether or not they needed mashing, so I said RDWHAHBAMIAAALE.*

*Relax, Don't Worry, Have A Home Brew, And Mash It All As A Learning Experience
 
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