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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 19, 2003 * How efficient are you? < Previous Next >

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mark taylor (209.240.205.63)
Posted on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 07:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I currently do 10 gal. AG batches using a single infusion mash. My efficiency is typically between 80%-85%. Is this normal, or should I be doing better? My normal mash temp is 150 degree f. and after 60 or 90 min. I will turn on the burner and circulate 6-8qts. By then the mash temp is 160f. I sparge with 170f.water by running the water over the top of a perforated pizza pan that rest atop the grain bed.
Any suggestions?
mark
 

gregory gettman (67.75.99.205)
Posted on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 09:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If it aint broke, don't try to fix it. 80-85% is very respectable. I get 75-80% on overnight single steps, but just 75% on 60-90min mashes.

The best I have done yet was a decocted step mash which put me at the 95% mark. Not bad but too much work to do everytime.

I'd say your doing quite well in your present set up.
 

craig white (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Friday, November 28, 2003 - 01:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i usually get between 75 to 80%, but i filter my tap water and use brewing salts. before i was getting about 65%
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Friday, November 28, 2003 - 01:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Im usually around 75%

Walt
 

Patrick C. (63.250.179.198)
Posted on Friday, November 28, 2003 - 09:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

80-85% is great, especially if it's repeatable.
 

David Woods (67.242.13.58)
Posted on Friday, November 28, 2003 - 04:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Man, I only get about 70%!!
And I was told by a professional brewer that 70% was pretty high for a homebrewer.

What do the big breweries get?

David
 

Joe Sandlin (66.207.81.26)
Posted on Friday, November 28, 2003 - 07:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

82% here, with my HERMS. It's never varied a point from the first batch. I haven't gone very high on OG yet, though. My brews are 1.045 to 1.055.
 

Bill Cain, Jr. (209.132.170.28)
Posted on Friday, November 28, 2003 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I routinely get between 75-80%, with most of my brews lately coming in between 78-80%. I usually don't treat my water except for boiling it to remove any chlorine. I also batch sparge.
 

Kyle Gendron (66.30.197.234)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 12:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm typically 72-75%.

My take is that its not how high your efficiency is, but how consistant it is.

Having an efficiency that fluctuates from 60-85 on any given brew day isn't good.

Consistancy is the name of the game when it comes to efficiency. If you always get 80-85 then don't change a thing.
 

Malbec (205.242.56.60)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 03:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Usually around 90% on my system, though last week I managed 99.5% on a porter.
 

Hophead (172.211.39.110)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 04:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But of course you did...
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 06:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

99.5%

heh
Walt
 

Bill Moore (67.32.190.197)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 03:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

According to most references, 70-75% is considered a typical efficiency for home brewing.
The recipe book I'm using is based on 70%
As stated in other posts, once you know the efficiency you're getting you can adjust the grain bill to compensate.
 

Malbec (205.242.56.60)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

oops, your right I was off a little. It was actually 99.1% Hmmmmm I must have done something wrong......according to Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide page 300:

14 lbs. pale malt- 490
1½ lbs. flaked Barley-45
1½ lbs. crystal 60l-36
1½ lbs. chocolate-36(assuming)
1 lb. biscuit-24
1 lb. special B-24

=655/11 gals.=59.5 potential S.G.

I got 1.059

59/59.5=.991

so technically 99.1%

I'm not sittin on a fence crowing here.
Could be I have no idea what I'm taking about. I'm open to criticism. I realize that these figures in Miller's book are based on what is close to the maximum obtainable from homebrewing equiptment, so quoted by Miller. What else to go by??I haven't bothered as of yet to look it up on any of the maltsters sites. Perhaps I should.
 

Hophead (172.157.41.45)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 05:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You're calculations are correct.

Might I suggest an error in hydrometer readings, extra grain, or less than 11 gallons total yield?

Hey, anything over 85% is pretty kick •••, sounds like you're doing extremely well, I just have doubts on 95%+ efficiencies being practically obtainable...

I get 80% batch sparging, or less if I start consuming homebrew too early in the process...
 

mark taylor (209.240.205.63)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 07:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My typical efficiency when I first started doing AG was 70%. What I changed that I think contributed to the better eff. was grinding my grain finer. I was a little concerned about a stuck mash but as of yet, no problems. Anyway, based on the messages here I will consider anything over 80% good. Also, the 80%-85% is very consistant. thanks for the input. mark
 

Jared Cook (24.1.247.22)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 09:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Being able to accurately measure the final yield is the most overlooked part of figuring efficiency. Many people over sparge and think their efficiency is low, and lots of people undersparge/overboil and think their efficiency is really high.
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Saturday, November 29, 2003 - 10:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I *was* getting 80+ w/batch sparging. I suddenly have been getting 70-75. The only thing I changed was to reduce my mill gap. Anyone out there buy the theory that when you mill too finely too much sugar gets trapped in the 'paste' which actually lowers your efficiency (unless you're willing to wait 2 hours to run it off)?
 

Malbec (205.242.56.60)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 02:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>Might I suggest an error in hydrometer readings, extra grain, or less than 11 gallons total yield?

Hey Hophead...no, there wasn't an error in the hydrometer reading, no extra grain... it was measured carefully and I did in fact have 5½ gallons per fermenter. I guess I can just be grateful that things are working well.
 

Chuck Denofrio (64.135.203.48)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 03:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>Anyone out there buy the theory
that when you mill too finely too much sugar gets trapped in the 'paste' which
actually lowers your efficiency (unless you're willing to wait 2 hours to run it off)? <

Brandon, its very likely. There has to be an optimum grain size to allow the water to flow and absorb the sugar. Sugar that is in the "paste" is trapped so to speak. The paste is not easily soluble, so any sugar is trapped. If you use a high RPM stir motor with a whisk it would not be as much a problem.:}.
 

Hophead (172.169.26.250)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 04:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okee dokee.
.
.
.
What do you call a prostitute with a runny nose?
 

Jared Cook (24.1.247.22)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 04:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Perhaps this "paste theory" explains why I have seen lower efficiency with weizen beers. I usually see efficiency in the 70's and the past two wheat beers I have done ended up in the 60's.
 

David Woods (67.242.69.187)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 06:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

WAHOO!!!! I just brewed "yeasterday" and I achieved 73%!!!! A personal record. Of course, it took an extra 15 minutes of sparging, but 73% kicks a$$ for me!!!

OK, I'll relax now. Drinkin beer and watching your new fermenter bubblin away is a great pastime! (I've gotta get cable, ;^P)

David
 

Dave Witt (172.128.125.152)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 04:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Malbec, I plugged your grain bill into ProMash and came up with 91% efficiency for an 11 gal batch. Some of the numbers for ppppg you give in your post above don't jive w/ProMash.

Hey, even 91% is damn good though.
 

mark taylor (209.240.205.63)
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 10:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think that the length of time of the sparge has an effect. My last 10 gal. batch was about 23lbs. and it took about 35-40min to reach the 12.5gal. to begin my boil. I also started the sparge very slow and gradually sped up. At around 25min into the sparge I had the valve on my MT wide open.
 

Malbec (205.242.56.60)
Posted on Monday, December 01, 2003 - 02:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

what's ppppg?

I know Promash is supposed to be really slick, just haven't gotten around to getting it. I like to sit down with pen, paper and calculator and figure everything out. Stubborn I suppose. I would like to know what the exact figures are for extraction. If Miller's figures don't quite hit the mark, or they vary year to year due to how the crops are, I guess as I mentioned above I should check with the Maltsters. I rarely adjust my grain bill to compensate for inefficiency as I'm always trying for 100% and my S.G is generally in an acceptable range. I realize that consistency is more important that efficiency, but I'm aiming for both.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Monday, December 01, 2003 - 08:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

<Okee dokee.
<.
<.
<.
<What do you call a prostitute with a runny nose?


Full.


PTA
 

Dave Witt (172.170.51.161)
Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 12:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Malbec,

Points per pound per gallon. Extract potential.

The numbers by the specialty malts are lower than they should be. eg, Special B is 1.030 and Biscuit is 1.035. Dave Miller's book I guess has those listed at 1.028 or 28 ppppg, according to what you had on your post above.

I don't have DM's book, but I've heard a lot of other guys say that his recipes over estimate the efficiency of the average homebrewer's system.
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 12:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Somehow I knew you'd be the one to get that...
 

Malbec (205.242.56.60)
Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 03:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ok I get the 4pg. Miller just has a small table in his book which doesn't include Special B or Biscuit or Chocolate IIRC. I just guessed. I only followed one recipe from his book and wasn't happy with the turn-out...I generally formulate my own although I would expect many here would recognize the grain bill above....certainly cannot take credit for that one, it goes to Bill. At any rate I appreciate the info. Sooo if I'm getting 91%, I only have 9% to go. Heh.

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