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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through August 10, 2006 * How do you.... < Previous Next >

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Gary Muehe
Member
Username: Garymuehe

Post Number: 156
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 75.31.233.230
Posted on Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 04:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

figure your efficiency? In the boil kettle, fermentor or total brew house efficiency?
 

Rob Beck
Intermediate Member
Username: Robbeck

Post Number: 260
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 66.140.87.151
Posted on Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 05:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I figure my efficiency after the mash tun. I measure the gravity of the sweet wort in the boil kettle before the boil has begun. At that point, I can make adjustments to the boil to attempt to hit my target starting gravity. Also, if I have to lengthen or shorten the boil at that point, I can make whatever changes in hop addition times to attempt to hit my target IBU levels.
I don't really try to increase my efficiency or maximize it, like the pros do. I feel that knowing my efficiency helps me to formulate recipes in terms of hitting my starting gravities, by knowing how much grain to use.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3157
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 06:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I calculate my efficiency in the fermenter. When I set out to make a beer, I want "X" amount of beer with "Y" gravity. I use these numbers and my system's efficiency history to determine how many pounds of grain I will need to get these goals.

As an example my big system gets 30 points per pound per gallon very consistantly. Say I wanted two barrels ( 62 gallons) of 1.050 gravity wort. I would need 62 * 50 / 30 =103 pounds of grist. I just divide that 103 pounds up by percentages of different malts in the recipe, round to sane figures and go from there.

I try to avoid using percentage efficiency figures because people take their data at so many different places that it is difficult to know what you are talking about. So many gallons at this gravity made from this many pounds of grist in the fermenter gives a much better basis for comparison.

I suppose someone could take a shot at this by saying that I should use a bright tank figure or post bottling figure. Maybe that would be right, but it would seem to me to be clumsey at this point.

Dan

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Wayne Faris
Junior Member
Username: Wayne

Post Number: 91
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 68.113.180.185
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 02:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I figure my efficiency preboil. I am actually just checking the preboil gravity so I can make adjustments like Rob does. But since I use ProMash to to the calculations, it only takes a few seconds to get the efficiency too. The efficiency is also a quick way for me to see if I screwed up the mash process in some way since I already know what my efficiency normally is at various gravity levels.

Wayne
Bugeater Brewing Company
http://www.lincolnlagers.com/
 

Tim Wi
Advanced Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 513
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 170.141.68.2
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I usually hit my target gravity within a point or two. So I measure in the fermentor.

T
 

Rob Farrell
Intermediate Member
Username: Robf

Post Number: 320
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 69.138.242.154
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 12:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Those of you that measure pre-boil. How much do you stir to overcome stratification, or is it not an issue. I fly sparge, and with the liquor gravity ranging from 1.080 to 1.010 going into the kettle, I never thought I would get a reliable reading.
 

Tom Burk
Member
Username: Tomburk

Post Number: 115
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 66.231.36.177
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 02:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Rob, I measure in my kettle for efficiency and I do stir and then run a quart +/- and pour it back to make sure I'm not just drawing off first runnings. I do it most often now on higher gravity worts to see how much I need to alter my settings.

This is only on recipes that vary from my normal routine as most of the time I hit my numbers pretty close to the promash spec.
 

Bob Wall
Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 129
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 24.99.80.253
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 06:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good question for me. I have changed my system and my techniques pretty dramatically over the last few months.

I used to take a gravity reading at knockout, before adding yeast, but I may stare getting a little more geeky and take more readings at different times as my rig has become a little more automated (i.e.pump).

I use Promash to calculate my efficency and have noticed a 5% drop in my last 2 batches. I fly sparge, but have been considering taking the plunge into the batch-sparge world. I think I can get more "squeezins" that way. The reason I feel that way is that after I mash out, I always have extra runnings left in the grains (sometimes 2 or more gallons worth) and I feel like those sugars should be in my beer, not down the drain.

When I do take the plunge, I will make it a high gravity type beer so if I over shoot my gravity, it won't matter.

My guess is that batch sparging in my system will increase my efficiency by 10%

We'll see.
Give a man a beer and he'll waste and hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3173
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bob, if you believe that batch sparging will increase your efficiency, and it might, but it would be because of a defect in your fly sparging method, not because of any advantage batch sparging offers. Consider that batch sparging will retain a pint of wort per pound of grain at exactly the same gravity of your last sparge. Most likely this gravity will be higher than the gravity of your last fly sparge runnings.

I run my sparge until the gravity of the runnings falls to 1.000 UNCORRECTED. Then I just shut off the sparge water and let the tun drain. The gravity of the wort retained in the mash is very low and few points are missed.

Dan

P.S. Why can't we get the spell check to recognize "sparge,"wort" and "runnings?"

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Paul Erbe
Advanced Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 653
Registered: 05-2001
Posted From: 12.27.22.67
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 01:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan - I made a request for brewing terms in the dictionary a long time ago. I expect Pat does not have the time to build the list. maybe he could give access to someone willing to build the brewing term into the file.