Author Topic: Efficiency and Recipe Design  (Read 7684 times)

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 646
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Efficiency and Recipe Design
« on: May 30, 2012, 09:13:53 AM »
Having read a bit about how a lower efficiency (specifically 70%) leads to a better malt character in beer, I have tried widening the gap on my mill to get a looser crush and drop my efficiency. The first time I did this, I just brewed the recipe as-is and gauged the efficiency and malt character. And it worked. My efficiency dropped to 72% by widening the crush to .040. Then it crossed my mind: how would I change a recipe to brew the SAME" beer with a lower efficiency. I have read that some people increase every malt to account for the efficiency difference, but does that really make sense? Are you getting any less out of the roasted or caramel malts when you have a lower efficiency? They aren't really part of the "mash equation" and so their impact wouldn't be reduced by a lower efficiency. At least that's what I thought. And so I have wondered whether only base malts and other "mashing grains" should be altered when changing a recipe to account for efficiency. Thoughts?

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11670
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 09:28:44 AM »
I absolutely do not believe that lower efficiency leads to better beer.  For one thing, my own experience doesn't bear that out.  For another example, Sierra Nevada targets and gets darn close to 100% efficiency.  Their beers do not suck.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline andrew000141

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 09:36:37 AM »
Denny is most likely right as usual..... But if he is wrong(we are all hoping for it to happen atleast once) I dont think youll have to increase the specialty grains. When i calculate my extract beers i dont even calulate the speciality malts which have given me small amounts of gravity, a maximun of about 5 GUs. Theres hardly a difference, and they give me the intended flavor so i would just change your mashing grains and leave the speciality. The specialty is about flavor not gravity.
Fermenting:
Cherry melomel

In Kegs:
Saison
Irish Red
Thanksgiving Cider
Rye Pale Ale
IIPA
Ayinger Maibock clone
Moose drool clone

Bottles:
Mead

Keep your nose out of trouble and no trouble will come to you

Offline jmcamerlengo

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 625
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 09:37:47 AM »
Denny is most likely right as usual..... But if he is wrong(we are all hoping for it to happen atleast once) I dont think youll have to increase the specialty grains. When i calculate my extract beers i dont even calulate the speciality malts which have given me small amounts of gravity, a maximun of about 5 GUs. Theres hardly a difference, and they give me the intended flavor so i would just change your mashing grains and leave the speciality. The specialty is about flavor not gravity.

My experience is this as well.
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11670
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 09:44:29 AM »
If I adjust a recipe, I adjust all the grains the same way.  I want to maintain the original % of grains relative to each other.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline andrew000141

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 09:49:57 AM »
If I adjust a recipe, I adjust all the grains the same way.  I want to maintain the original % of grains relative to each other.

well wouldnt that offset the balance of malt flavor vs hops?
Fermenting:
Cherry melomel

In Kegs:
Saison
Irish Red
Thanksgiving Cider
Rye Pale Ale
IIPA
Ayinger Maibock clone
Moose drool clone

Bottles:
Mead

Keep your nose out of trouble and no trouble will come to you

Offline saintpierre

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
  • Augusta, ME
    • View Profile
    • www.malthomebrewclub.org
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 10:21:02 AM »
If I adjust a recipe, I adjust all the grains the same way.  I want to maintain the original % of grains relative to each other.

well wouldnt that offset the balance of malt flavor vs hops?
No, I believe Denny is saying that he adjusts the amount (weight) of grain but keeps the %'s consistant with the recipe.  Because of his efficiency, his pre-boil gravity is consistant with the original recipe and therefore his hop utilization is unchanged.
Mike St. Pierre
Maine Ale & Libation Tasters (MALT)
BJCP Recognized
[719.4, 74.1] AR

Offline andrew000141

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 10:29:08 AM »
Exactly so the amount of grains and speciality grains is increased which would "hide" the hops. The amount of speciality to the hops is different
Fermenting:
Cherry melomel

In Kegs:
Saison
Irish Red
Thanksgiving Cider
Rye Pale Ale
IIPA
Ayinger Maibock clone
Moose drool clone

Bottles:
Mead

Keep your nose out of trouble and no trouble will come to you

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1668
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 11:04:18 AM »
why would this hide the hops if the sugar (original gravity is the same)  i adjust all my grains to maintain the same percentage as the original grain bill
Don AHA member

Offline andrew000141

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2012, 11:44:06 AM »
say youre using .75lb of roasted barley so you decide to jack it up to 1lb, that would affect the "appearance" of the hops would it not? The .75 would allow for more hop influence while the 1lb would be more overpowering.
Fermenting:
Cherry melomel

In Kegs:
Saison
Irish Red
Thanksgiving Cider
Rye Pale Ale
IIPA
Ayinger Maibock clone
Moose drool clone

Bottles:
Mead

Keep your nose out of trouble and no trouble will come to you

Offline gsandel

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
  • www.onbeer.blogspot.com
    • View Profile
    • On Beer
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2012, 12:13:25 PM »
Ray Daniels explains the Gravity Unit to Bittering Unit ratio (GU:BU) in Designing Great Beers, so a change in the gravity of a beer would require the adjustment of the bittering units to get near equal ratio.  Not everythign is straight line algebra, but it gets you closer.

I think that the point of the gravity discussion is that you shouldn't worry about getting a high efficiency rather than lower is better.  The cautionary tale is that some people chase high efficiency for efficency's sake, which could cause them to over-sparge and may lead to astringency or other flavor problems.

Knowing your system's effiecency allows for consistency, or assists you when troubleshooting.
You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...

Online garc_mall

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 795
  • [1892.9, 294.9deg] AR Lynnwood, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2012, 12:28:44 PM »
say youre using .75lb of roasted barley so you decide to jack it up to 1lb, that would affect the "appearance" of the hops would it not? The .75 would allow for more hop influence while the 1lb would be more overpowering.

I think you are overthinking this. I also raise the amount of every grain in order to maintain the proportion from the original recipe. If you are rinsing less sugar from the grain, wouldn't you also rinse less other soluble flavoring agents? If you really want to, you can do an experiment. I have never done a side by side comparison, but I haven't noticed differences.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11670
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2012, 01:02:55 PM »
Exactly so the amount of grains and speciality grains is increased which would "hide" the hops. The amount of speciality to the hops is different

IF the OG remains the same, the hops don't get adjusted.  If the OG changes, the hops get adjusted to maintain the same IBU as the original recipe.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline saintpierre

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
  • Augusta, ME
    • View Profile
    • www.malthomebrewclub.org
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 01:31:41 PM »
Exactly so the amount of grains and speciality grains is increased which would "hide" the hops. The amount of speciality to the hops is different

IF the OG remains the same, the hops don't get adjusted.  If the OG changes, the hops get adjusted to maintain the same IBU as the original recipe.
+1
Mike St. Pierre
Maine Ale & Libation Tasters (MALT)
BJCP Recognized
[719.4, 74.1] AR

Offline paul

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 87
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2012, 06:02:41 AM »
Back to the premise of the question, that lower efficiency leads to better malt character, I can't claim to have any firsthand experience with this.  But I worked with a pro brewer who said for his competition brews, he preferred to quit sparging when the runoff drops to about 7 P (1.028), which is a good bit higher than the 1.010 minimum rule of thumb.  He said this would provide a better malt character.  This is consistent with some who say that no-sparge methods provide the same benefit.  Whether these assertions are true or not, they are claiming, essentially, that better malt character results from not oversparging.  This is related to efficiency.  By sparging less, the efficiency is most definitely lower than it would be compared to sparging fully.  But, the efficiency loss is due to the sparge, not due to the crush.  I would think you'd want to crush as you normally do (unless you find that your fine crush is shredding your husks too much).