Efficiency Question

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Evadious, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Evadious

    Evadious New Member

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    So I have my Efficiency set to the default 70% I haven't done enough batches yet to be confident on what my efficiency will actually be with my equipment, but on my last batch, I back calculated it at 75%, so my beer was a bit stronger than planned. Not the end of the world, it tasted pretty good. But if this happens again, should I be adding more sparge water to get the pre-boil SG in line? Or should I add water at the end of the boil to adjust the OG going into my fermentor? Or should I not care and enjoy whatever comes out :). I'm hesitant to adjust the efficiency in the calculator yet in case I don't get the same efficiency as last time. I'd rather have a strong beer than a weak beer.

    Thanks
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Conversion efficiency or overall efficiency? I find 70% is not perfect but a good approximation of my brewhouse efficiency.
     
  3. Evadious

    Evadious New Member

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    Brewhouse I think. Still getting the hang of this, but either way my last batch went into the fermentor at a higher OG than the recipe predicted.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Your conversion efficiency may be a bit higher than predicted (80% is the standard, I believe, for conversion). Keep in mind that the recipe builder can only approximate based on a number of factors and assumptions and it does pretty danged well at it. I use multiple mashing schemes and can't expect that it will produce the same result for a single infusion mash as a triple decoction with a cereal mash. But the assumptions are good enough to make good beer. I can always add water (or DME, depending on the direction of the "miss").
     
  5. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Adjust the efficiency to match reality then adjust (less) base malt in the recipe editor until you get the OG where you want it. You can also use the Scale feature in the recipe tools drop down while editing. Works pretty good.
     
  6. Medarius

    Medarius Active Member

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    I would go with that choice. :))
     
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  7. Evadious

    Evadious New Member

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    When you add the water or DME is that based on the pre-boil SG?
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It's based on the outcome you want. I wouldn't use it to adjust pre-boil, but after the boil (you have another variable, the boil-off rate, between the pre-boil and end kettle gravities). If hitting your gravity target is your objective, add the water or DME to adjust either the OG or FG (make sure you boil and cool the water before adding it to adjust FG to drive oxygen out). Keep in mind that DME will not adjust FG! But I tend to agree with a lot of the posters above: Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew (and take good notes for next brew).
     
  9. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    We used to try adjusting things to hit the numbers at each stage in the process. Now the only thing we do is dilute at yeast pitching time if we've overshot OG significantly (and I mean significantly). So now we just update the equipment profile or the efficiency so that the next batch is more predictable. It's definitely helping cut down the really big differences each batch and giving us a much better picture of the parts of the process we need to focus on.

    Well that's ignoring the couple of litres of wort lost at the end of mashing the last batch as I pulled the bag out and found out the kettle wasn't as stable as I'd hoped (imperial stout as well, so black spattered all over the place).

    And I'm constantly surprised by how tasty some beers are when they end up weaker than predicted. My kettle sour is now being deliberately pushed to a lower ABV after a mess up that left it lower than expected in an early batch.
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    A few brews ago I wound up with an oatmeal stout at 3.5% ABV, considerably less than predicted. In terms of flavor, it punches far above its weight.
     
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  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    My 2 c get another couple of brew sessions under your belt at same 75% (brewhouse) efficiency then average these and hey Presto you'll be laughing.
     
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  12. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I use 75% for the default. I'm usually between 73-78%, so I just relax and drink it. Note that this fermenter efficiency. Efficiency will also vary depending on the grain bill size, mash temp, and a whole lot of other things.
     
  13. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    What is your brewing process?
    Are you doing BIAB? All Grain? Extract?
     
  14. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    IMO, efficiency (within reason), is something new brewers (myself included when I started a couple years back), tend to worry about some things too much and other things (sanitation), not enough. Efficiency is more towards cost savings for larger brewers. Even a 10th if a percent can mean a lot of money. As long as you are within reason, your beer will be just fine.
     
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