What is your usual brewhouse efficiency?

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What is your usual brewhouse efficiency?

  • Less than 50%

  • 50-59%

  • 60-64%

  • 65-69%

  • 70%-74%

  • 75%-79%

  • 80%-84%

  • 85%-89%

  • 90%-94%

  • 95%+


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fluxcapacitor

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I have overshot my OG on my last few brews, so I have figured out that I am ending up with about 86% brewhouse efficiency, quite a bit higher than the 75% that most recipes assume. I use a 5 gal Igloo mashtun with a homemade false bottom and I haven't noticed much difference between batch sparging and fly sparging efficiency. That got me wondering what efficiency most other AG brewers experience, and by virtue of being a market researcher by day, I naturally decided to post a poll.
 

HomerJR

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I'm usually right at about 75%, but for some reason this morning I hit 81%. Not that I'm complaining.
 

sulawesi

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I had the same problem - I just started all grain, so I didn't know what my efficiency was going to be. I was trying one of the recipes in Brewing classic styles and assumed mine would be at most 80%. I batch sparged in a 5 gallon igloo with a copper manifold and got in the low 90s. OG was about 10 pts too high.

I adjusted for the higher efficiency in the next few batches and my OG was closer to where I wanted it, but I thought I was picking up some astringency. Does anyone else with 85+ efficiency bother with trying to bring it down some?
 

northernlad

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70-75 through my first four AG using a 5 gallon cooler, grain bag and batch sparging.
 

sp1365

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I am hitting between 70 and 75 consistently doing stove-top all grain. Now that I have MLT I am hoping to start dialing in my process and getting that number up.
 

Catt22

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Not to assume anyone doesn't know the meaning of Brewhouse Efficiency, but just a refresher course.

http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/10/26/brewhouse-efficiency-for-all-grain-beer-brewing/

I generally get around 72% brewhouse efficiency and 78% extract efficiency.
Yes, and to further muddy the waters, there are actually three different efficiencies to that come into play:

1. Conversion efficiency

2. Lautering efficiency

3 Brewhouse efficiency

Unless you really screw things up, the conversion efficiency should be close to 100%, but then even that number is somewhat nebulous as it can vary from malt to malt regardless of your mash procedures.

There should be a huge difference between #2 and #3 and if these are confused deliberately or otherwise, it renders comparisons useless. This happens a lot IMO.
 

RichBenn

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Yes, and to further muddy the waters, there are actually three different efficiencies to that come into play:

1. Conversion efficiency

2. Lautering efficiency

3 Brewhouse efficiency

Unless you really screw things up, the conversion efficiency should be close to 100%, but then even that number is somewhat nebulous as it can vary from malt to malt regardless of your mash procedures.

There should be a huge difference between #2 and #3 and if these are confused deliberately or otherwise, it renders comparisons useless. This happens a lot IMO.
Yeah, I personally don't like the term "brewhouse" efficiency. If one uses alot of hops in the boil, whirlfloc, and siphons the clear off of the trub, you can lose alot coming out of the boil. Then there are the losses siphoning out of the primary to the carboy, and then the carboy to the bottling bucket. Technically, these should be included in brewhouse efficiency.

So I think most people state "mash"(conversion and lautering) efficiency when you ask them for brewhouse efficiency.

For a homebrewer, conversion and lautering efficiency are good things to know. The overall, including ALL losses is probably more important to a commercial brewery....
 

Rodenlager

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I usually hit anywhere from 85-92% depending on how much grain I have in my 10 gallon Rubbermaid tun. I observed the highest efficiencies on seven to ten gallon batches using a step mash with around 17-20 lbs of grain using a modified batch sparge. And my final sparge time rarely takes more than 15 minutes with no ill effect on efficiency. I do the following and it seems to work well for me...

1) I design the volumes of my mash steps to a ratio of 1.75 qts/lb. to help ease conversion

2) I always use rice hulls.They not only eliminate channeling, but a thick layer at the bottom acts as a filter

3) I always stir the hell out the mash, rest and vorlauf before draining the tun completely between steps

4) I also always sparge in a similar manner... by filling the drained grain-bed with just enough sparge water to set the bed in suspension, then stirring the grain bed and utilizing a 5-10 minute rest to settle the bed, vorlauf, followed by fly sparging with an increased flow rate. IMO, doing it this way helps get the remaining sugars in suspension, and the faster sparge rate flushes the sugars out of the bed.


While I have only obtained 95% mash efficiency once, I repeatedly obtain 100% mash efficacy. :ban:
 

coypoo

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Everyone should be close, if not dead-on, to 100% conversion efficiency if you are mashing correctly.

My efficiency into the boil kettle is usually 73% for most beers, but can dip to ~65% with 1090+ beers
 

Catt22

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I usually hit anywhere from 85-92% depending on how much grain I have in my 10 gallon Rubbermaid tun. I observed the highest efficiencies on seven to ten gallon batches using a step mash with around 17-20 lbs of grain using a modified batch sparge. And my final sparge time rarely takes more than 15 minutes with no ill effect on efficiency. I do the following and it seems to work well for me...

1) I design the volumes of my mash steps to a ratio of 1.75 qts/lb. to help ease conversion

2) I always use rice hulls.They not only eliminate channeling, but a thick layer at the bottom acts as a filter

3) I always stir the hell out the mash, rest and vorlauf before draining the tun completely between steps

4) I also always sparge in a similar manner... by filling the drained grain-bed with just enough sparge water to set the bed in suspension, then stirring the grain bed and utilizing a 5-10 minute rest to settle the bed, vorlauf, followed by fly sparging with an increased flow rate. IMO, doing it this way helps get the remaining sugars in suspension, and the faster sparge rate flushes the sugars out of the bed.


While I have only obtained 95% mash efficiency once, I repeatedly obtain 100% mash efficacy. :ban:
Regarding No. 2 above. IMO, rice hulls may help reduce channeling, but it's unlikely that they will eliminate it entirely. There will always be some degree of channeling no matter what we do. Also, it's always been my understanding that the rice hulls shold be mixed into the grist and not layered on the bottom of the mash tun. The idea is that they help prevent grain bed compaction when mixed in. I once thought that it you were supposed to layer the rice hulls on the bottom of the MT, until I read differently. I only rarely use rice hulls anymore.

IMO, stirring often and thoroughly is one of the best things you can do to improve your lautering efficiency. It's fairly difficult to screw up the conversion efficiency. So much so that I seldom bother checking it.
 

Rodenlager

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Also, it's always been my understanding that the rice hulls shold be mixed into the grist and not layered on the bottom of the mash tun. The idea is that they help prevent grain bed compaction when mixed in.
I do mix the rice hulls into the grain bed, as well as use a layer on the bottom to act as a filter.

FWIW. I believe that the layer of rice hulls I use under the grain bed helps distribute even bed pressure, and promote a level foundation for the grainbed. IMO it also helps negate the tendency of a grainbed to channel in the center. An unfortunate incident brought about by the convex design of most mashtun false bottoms.

Also, even though I have admittedly sometimes foregone incorporating rice hulls directly into the mash, the layer of hulls in the bottom of the tun is eventually integrated into the lower layer of the grainbed by agitation when stirred. And the lower part of the grainbed is usually the only part of the bed subject to compaction, and the channeling brought about thereby.

I do completely agree that channeling will never be eliminated, in fact, I hope that my practices help promote many, many, many thousands of little channels which my wort will efficiently flow out of.
 

Catt22

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I do mix the rice hulls into the grain bed, as well as use a layer on the bottom to act as a filter.

FWIW. I believe that the layer of rice hulls I use under the grain bed helps distribute even bed pressure, and promote a level foundation for the grainbed. IMO it also helps negate the tendency of a grainbed to channel in the center. An unfortunate incident brought about by the convex design of most mashtun false bottoms.
That seems like it would work well. I would think that a convex or domed false bottom would tend to channel the wort towards the walls of the MT due to the increased depth in that region. I use a flat, full width FB in my MT, so I can't speak from experience on that issue. I was in the habit of always using rice hulls in the not so distant past, but more recently I have found that it isn't necessary. I will still use them when brewing anything with a high percentage of wheat or other gummy adjunct. Rice hulls are certainly cheap enough and a little goes a long way, so I see no downside at all to using them.
 

kal

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95% consistently.

I attribute it to:

- Proper milling
- The excellent Blichmann false bottom
- Mashing for at least 90 mins
- Mashing out to 168F
- Slow fly sparging (60-90 mins for 10 gallon batch)
- Sparging with 168F sparge water
- Keeping mash pH in the proper range, keeping sparge water pH below 6.

Kal
 

andylsun

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Last four were 58%, 57%, 59%, 52%. (Brewhouse efficiency)

In looking at my process, I think I'm fly sparging too quickly. Today's brew was 30 minutes to sparge (13lb of grain in a 10 gal cooler with false bottom).

Will slow it down and see what that does to my efficiency.
 

pfgonzo

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Did my first all grain with a Blichmann 10ga and FB this weekend. Made BM's Centennial Blonde and hit 79% from a LHBS crush (MoreBeer... just up the street from me). Was quite surprised my numbers were so high, to be honest. Super stoked if I can expect this going forward.

Did a mashout at about 168, and sparged with 170-175 water.

I ended up doing a weird hybrid between fly-sparging and batch-sparging where I fly-sparged about 2/3rds to 3/4 of my boil volume for about 20 minutes, and then just drained the mashtun empty to get the rest. I wonder if the efficiency would increase or decrease if I fly-sparged the entire time, or just did two quick batch-sparges.
 
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