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Super High Efficiency 91%

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StankAle

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I am sure no one will believe this as I had to check three times to make sure I wasn't crazy. According to ProMash my efficiency on my last brew was a shocking 91%!!!
I collected 7 gallons of wort in my kettle with a SG of 1.062. The recipe I brewed can be found here:
Three Floyds Alpha King
I used 10 gallons of spring water and 5.2 Mash Stabilizer. I hit my mash temp of 154 for the entire mash.
I doubt I will ever get these efficiency numbers again. I had to adust my hop additions to compensate for the higher alcohol content.
Just wanted to share,
Dustin
 

jdoiv

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I got 91% yesterday. It's the third or fourth time I've done it. I'm usually around 87%. If your next batch turns in another high efficiency number, you should adjust your recipes. I set mine at 85%. Highest I got was 97%, but I'm pretty sure there was an extra couple of pounds in the grist that I didn't account for. Battery on my scale was going bad.
 

Beerthoven

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[thread=52867]I got in the 90's on my last AG brew, too[/thread]. I set my brewhouse efficiency at 85% in BeerSmith when I design recipes now.

I'm thinking about opening the spacing on my Barley Crusher to lower my efficiency. Both Jamil Z. and Brewpastor have expressed concerns about super high efficiencies - what else are you getting out?

On the other hand, its nice to be able to brew a 1.090 beer with only 15# of grain.
 

Cookiebaggs

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I brewed up a batch of EW's HA on Saturday and I too hit 91%.

I'm glad to see that others have set their brewhouse efficiency at 85%. That's what I plan on doing too.
 

Kaiser

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Beerthoven said:
Both Jamil Z. and Brewpastor have expressed concerns about super high efficiencies
What were these concerns? I have a few in mind, but just want to double check what else is there.

Kai
 

Beerthoven

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Kaiser said:
What were these concerns? I have a few in mind, but just want to double check what else is there.

Kai
I don't know the specifics. In one of his shows, Jamil Z says he shoots for 70% efficiency. He said he doesn't want to go much higher than this because he was concerned about what else besides sugar he'd pull out of the grain but he didn't elaborate. Brewpastor has said much the same thing in one of his posts.

What do you think about these high efficiency levels?
 

Evan!

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I make great beer routinely hittin 80%+. Whatever Jamil is phobic of, I don't seem to have a problem with it.

What I STILL don't get about promash is that I take my OG readings FROM THE CARBOY once it's cooled and strained in but before pitching. But in promash, under the efficiency section of the session report, if I set the option to "measurement taken from carboy", which is where my measurements ARE taken, it always tells me I'm getting 96, 97, 98%...sometimes over 100%. I know there's no way.

Supposedly the difference has to do with the wort loss between the kettle and the carboy...maybe I've just set that too high. It's really difficult to tell, but what I do know is that once I have 5.5 gals in the carboy, I take my reading. So all I've been doing is using the "measurement taken from kettle" setting, because it makes more sense.
 

Beerthoven

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Evan! said:
I make great beer routinely hittin 80%+. Whatever Jamil is phobic of, I don't seem to have a problem with it.

What I STILL don't get about promash is that I take my OG readings FROM THE CARBOY once it's cooled and strained in but before pitching. But in promash, under the efficiency section of the session report, if I set the option to "measurement taken from carboy", which is where my measurements ARE taken, it always tells me I'm getting 96, 97, 98%...sometimes over 100%. I know there's no way.

Supposedly the difference has to do with the wort loss between the kettle and the carboy...maybe I've just set that too high. It's really difficult to tell, but what I do know is that once I have 5.5 gals in the carboy, I take my reading. So all I've been doing is using the "measurement taken from kettle" setting, because it makes more sense.
I don't know what the concern is with high efficiencies, which is why I'd like someone who is more in touch with the science than I am to tell me. I suspect there are a dozen other factors that have a bigger impact on the finished beer, but I'd still like to know out of curiosity.

BeerSmith gives three different efficiencies. The one I normally look at is efficiency into the boiler, which is basically pure extract efficiency out of the MLT. The other two take into account kettle losses, etc. Can't help ya with Promash.
 

menschmaschine

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I'm interested in this because I routinely get 90%+ efficiency. I think my beers taste just fine, but I'm always open to improvement. I think most of the pros are getting high efficiency too. I'm going to keep getting that until someone can tell me scientifically why I shouldn't.
 

Kaiser

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Beerthoven said:
I don't know the specifics. In one of his shows, Jamil Z says he shoots for 70% efficiency. He said he doesn't want to go much higher than this because he was concerned about what else besides sugar he'd pull out of the grain but he didn't elaborate. Brewpastor has said much the same thing in one of his posts.
What do you think about these high efficiency levels?

That's basically what I had in mind as well. Generally we get high efficicies from a finer crush and/or over sparging. The finer crush can lead to an excessive shredding of the husks (if this is not counteracted with conditionioning or wet milling) and to much flour. If the husks are shredded to dust, they have a much greater surface area vulnerable to extraction. They are also more likely to end up in the boil kettle if you don't recirculate long enough. Flour is similar. Just yesterday I read something about excessive flour in the mash, so I'll jave to check tonight. The concern was that because of the flour you may get more particular matter into the boil kettle.

Oversparging is already known to be bad and the longer boil-times required to compensate for the added water aren't good either.

For my big beers I generally try to get into the upper 80 %s by using an aggressive crush (as low as 16 mil) and 2 sparges. This is the only way I can make a 18+ *P all grain beer with my 5 gal cooler. Lautering these bad boys can take up to 2 hrs. But for the more delicate lighter beers I may want to back-off with the crush to reduce the flour that is produces. I can easily be happy with the low 80 %s if it improves the quality of the beer.

Some breweries in Germany may even go to the extreme to seperate endosperm and husks. The husks are added later in the process to make sure that they are available during lautering, but aren't in the mash to long to minimize tannin extraction.

Kai
 
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StankAle

StankAle

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Im glad to see that I am not the only one hitting the high numbers. I have to attribute it to the 5.2 stabilizer; it is the only thing I have done differently in my brewing process.
I might have to change my recipes in the future to account for the high efficiency indeed. At least it will allow me to save some cash on grains!!
 

denimglen

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I get an extract eff of around 94%, BH eff of about 80%. Can't comment on my beers because I'm still pretty new.

One thing that I can't stop thinking about is flavour extraction vs sugar extraction.

I'm not very good at explaining what I mean but I'll give it a shot.

Like lets say in one piece of grain there are 100 parts of flavour compounds and 100 parts of starch compounds that can convert to sugar. Is it possible that someone with 50% extract efficiency extracts 100 parts of flavour compounds and 50 parts of converted starch? Where someone with 95% ex.eff. extracts 100 flavour compounds and 95 converted starch? So the first person has more flavour per gravity and the second has less.

I guess there're a lot of variables and if it did work like that everyone would be asking why their high eff brews are flavourless.
 

jdoiv

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Evan! said:
I make great beer routinely hittin 80%+. Whatever Jamil is phobic of, I don't seem to have a problem with it.

What I STILL don't get about promash is that I take my OG readings FROM THE CARBOY once it's cooled and strained in but before pitching. But in promash, under the efficiency section of the session report, if I set the option to "measurement taken from carboy", which is where my measurements ARE taken, it always tells me I'm getting 96, 97, 98%...sometimes over 100%. I know there's no way.

Supposedly the difference has to do with the wort loss between the kettle and the carboy...maybe I've just set that too high. It's really difficult to tell, but what I do know is that once I have 5.5 gals in the carboy, I take my reading. So all I've been doing is using the "measurement taken from kettle" setting, because it makes more sense.
I had issues with this for a while and it came down to refining my measurements of water and wort. I have very little loss in sparge deadspace, hoses etc. I'm also starting to suspect that my new mill does such a nice job of separating the husks and endosperm, that I'm getting less loss in the grain absorption than normal. I'm ending up with more wort in the kettle than I should and it is almost the exact amount ProMash tells me should be absorbed in the grain. My first reading of my last batch made it look like I had 97% efficiency. After taking a closer look at the quantity in the bucket, I decided there was less in there than the markings on the bucket made it seem.
 

ken croucher

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Interesting, this, because I've just registered here and this is the first forum I've seen. I've had a lot of discussion on the same subject on another forum.

I routinely get mash efficiencies well into the 90s. The highest I recorded was 99%but typically I get 93-96%. I've come to the conclusion that ultra high efficiency may not be ideal because the result will include some unwanted stuff - haze-making proteins and astringent tannins for starters. So in future I'll happily settle for anything between 91% and 95%.

If you want to get high efficiencies the starting point, I think, is to do three things correctly:
1) give the mash optimum conditions - fairly concentrated (say 2 water to 1 grain by weight), no dry bits
2) extract the maximum by thorough sparging - multiple washes with small volumes of sparge liquor
3) don't waste any of the extract - drain the sparge bed and the hop bed thoroughly.
 

Kaiser

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ken croucher said:
I routinely get mash efficiencies well into the 90s. The highest I recorded was 99%but typically I get 93-96%.
Welcome.

What's your sparging method? batch sparging or fly sparging.

Kai
 
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