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October Release Is Live – Plato, Efficiency, and Batch Size Upgrades

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

The October release at Brewer’s Friend is live!  This release targets serious brewers who want accuracy, ease of use, and more rigor in the definition of their recipes and brewing process. We hope you will enjoy tapping into Plato support on the recipe editor, four types of efficiency available in the brew session, and the ability to designate an all grain batch size as ‘to the fermentor’, or ‘to the kettle’.

Brewing in Plato:

Plato is a sugar extract scale commonly used by pro brewers. It also happens to fit very well with metric brewing.  Many breweries choose to list degrees Plato on their beers instead of specific gravity. Now you can work in Plato too!  Look for the option under the More… button on the recipe editor.

Brewer's Friend October release plato

By toggling the Sugar Scale option, the recipe automatically converts OG and FG between SG and °P. Specific gravity is still the default, but it can be changed under your brewing profile.  Brew log entries may also be entered in Plato.

See more in the FAQ about Plato support.


When someone says they got 85% efficiency, that doesn’t mean much to me.  What kind of efficiency and is it reliable?  There are actually four types of efficiency, and Brewer’s Friend calculates each of them:

  • Conversion Efficiency – what percentage of sugar was extracted from the grain in the mash.
  • Pre-Boil Efficiency – what percentage of sugar made it into the kettle.
  • Ending Kettle Efficiency – what percentage of sugar was present at the end of the boil.
  • Brew House Efficiency – what percentage of sugar made it into the fermentor.

This release adds new Brew Log event types for tracking each of these inside a Brew Session.

Brewer's Friend October release efficiency example

We have lot more to say about efficiency, but it is too much for this post. Please check our FAQs:

Batch Size:

Like the term efficiency, ‘batch size’ is also ambiguous. Up until this release, batch size meant how much wort is going into the fermentor for all recipe types.  That still makes sense for Extract and Partial Mash recipes, which involve topping off the fermentor with water to hit target volume.  This release does not change how Extract or Partial Mash recipes work.

All Grain and BAIB recipes now have a setting to change the ‘batch size target’ to ‘kettle’.  Ending kettle volume becomes the batch size in that case.   This improves recipe portability because it eliminates variation from trub losses and hops absorption.

There is a twist with supporting multiple batch size targets: since a different volume is being targeted at a different point in the brewing process a different efficiency value needs to be used. When batch size target is set to ‘kettle’, the recipe switches itself to use kettle/lauter efficiency.

All existing recipes have been defaulted to batch size target of ‘fermentor’, and use ‘brew house efficiency’.

Brewer's Friend October release batch size

The view recipe page indicates which type of batch size and efficiency is being targeted. The water calculation inside the Brew feature is aware of the batch size target and will adjust automatically. The batch size target default is still ‘fermentor’ but you can change that in your profile.

See more in the FAQ about changing the batch size target.

Other upgrades:

  • Recipe view page shows total weight of all fermentables for a recipe.
  • Hops AA limit increased to 100 to support hop extract.
  • Stand alone hydrometer calculator remembers your calibration with a browser cookie.
  • All stand alone calculators updated to look better and support metric units!
  • Fix to water chemistry calculator – chalk ppm contribution corrected to account for portion that is non-soluble.
  • Brew Session’s Mash Calculator section has a new FAQ.
  • Brew Session’s Mash Calculator Infuse tab supports lowering temperature with cold water (but not ice).

We’ll follow up with additional blog posts about Plato and efficiency. We also have a spec done for our upcoming yeast calculator!

Post by Larry

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