Author Topic: Efficiency and Recipe Design  (Read 8190 times)

Offline jeffy

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2012, 08:42:09 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).
Did this brewer top off with water before the boil or brew the batch to a higher gravity?
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2012, 01:55:36 PM »
you could also make an argument for sparging and sparging and sparging, then boiling and boiling and boiling to increase overall efficiency.  boiling a lot and down may increase malt flavor at a higher overall efficiency.

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Offline paul

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2012, 06:41:33 PM »
Did this brewer top off with water before the boil or brew the batch to a higher gravity?

For the commercial brewer, neither.  At least, I don't recall him adding water to the brew kettle and he definitely hit the target gravity.  I believe the recipe was simply formulated with a lower efficiency and more malt.  When I do this at home, I usually have to add water since I have a pretty high boil-off rate.

you could also make an argument for sparging and sparging and sparging, then boiling and boiling and boiling to increase overall efficiency.  boiling a lot and down may increase malt flavor at a higher overall efficiency.

True, but sparging x 3 could risk tannin extraction.

Offline malzig

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2012, 09:31:58 PM »
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.
The only problem I've run into with this technique is that if I try to brew one of these recipes that is formulated for 65-70% efficiency (like the BYO, CYBI, or BCS recipes), they come out much paler if they contain dark crystal malts or roasted grains and I adjust all the grains to my 87% efficiency.
...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.
Of course, if you batch sparge, your second runnings are probably normally closer to 1.028 than they are to 1.010.

Offline skyler

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2012, 01:46:32 AM »
I'm not sold on the "lower efficiency= better malt character" thing, I was just wondering why we keep percentages the same when efficiency shouldn't really alter the yield of steeping grains. I have to scale down every BYO or Zymergy recipe because they all assume a lower efficiency than I have dialed in. It just seems like reducing the crystal and dark malts may now be necessary, as (theoretically) only the mashing grains are going to have a different extraction due to a change in efficiency.

I am going to have to experiment to test my theory.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2012, 08:04:45 AM »
Consistency is key with efficiency.

I only get 60% efficiency, but if I get it every time, I know what to expect from my mash.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2012, 12:17:55 PM »
I'm not sold on the "lower efficiency= better malt character" thing, I was just wondering why we keep percentages the same when efficiency shouldn't really alter the yield of steeping grains. I have to scale down every BYO or Zymergy recipe because they all assume a lower efficiency than I have dialed in. It just seems like reducing the crystal and dark malts may now be necessary, as (theoretically) only the mashing grains are going to have a different extraction due to a change in efficiency.

I am going to have to experiment to test my theory.

in this case when you are steeping grains on top of the mash run off, if the mash efficiency changes you would adjust this to get the same gravity as you would with the different efficiency. then adjusting the steep would not be necessary.  bottom line is that the gravity from wort contributions /percentages are still the same pre boil
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Offline skyler

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2012, 12:24:00 AM »
Back to my original question, why do we keep the percentages the same, for example, an 80% efficiency amber ale with 8 lbs 2-row, 1 lb munich, and 1 lb Crystal 60L.... if I brew that with a system that gets 70% efficiency, why not brew it with the same 1 lb of Crystal 60L (just adjusting the 2-row and munich malt) since the extraction from the crystal should theoretically be the same since they don't get "converted" by a mash, even if they are in a mash.

Offline dzlater

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2012, 04:19:02 AM »
Back to my original question, why do we keep the percentages the same, for example, an 80% efficiency amber ale with 8 lbs 2-row, 1 lb munich, and 1 lb Crystal 60L.... if I brew that with a system that gets 70% efficiency, why not brew it with the same 1 lb of Crystal 60L (just adjusting the 2-row and munich malt) since the extraction from the crystal should theoretically be the same since they don't get "converted" by a mash, even if they are in a mash.

   I think it's because efficiency is related to how well the grains are sparged not just on conversion.
I don't know if it's correct but I read somewhere that when adjusting for mash efficiency if the adjustment was less then 10% just change the base malt, over 10% adjust everything.
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Offline repo

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2012, 05:51:43 AM »
Consistency. Also based on your asssumption of 100% conversion of the crystal malt, one would assume they are getting 100% conversion in their mash. Therefore in theory if you get 70, 80 or 90 percent efficiency you are obtaining the same percentages of each malt. Hence at 70 % efficiency you are getting 70% from the 2-row, 70% from the Munich and yes 70% from the crystal.

Offline weithman5

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2012, 05:55:38 AM »
try it and see if it makes a difference.  the problem is that you are relating efficiency to conversion and it is really more related to extraction.  you could have two different worts with og of 1060.  one could be all fermentable sugars, the other's not, a function of conversion.  if the grain bill was the same, the efficiency was the same, but the beer would be different.  in your example you would be correct if actual sugar contributions from each grain were identical from the two different systems. (similar to the extract discussion in a few posts ago)
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2012, 07:37:26 AM »
I am definitely missing something here. I thought that mashing at a higher temperature doesn't change efficiency, but rather, produces more unfermentable sugars. Thereby leaving more malt character in tact.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Efficiency and Recipe Design
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2012, 07:45:08 AM »
i don't know that mash temp was part of the discussion but it has wandered a bit.  fundamentally reading the op again i think it is just if mash efficiency is altered does the entire grain bill get altered.  for example, my efficiency, like Kyles above hovers at around 60.  i have eaked it a bit now to 65.  but let's say i want to brew someone else's recipe based on efficiency of 75%  do i have to change the entire grainbill?  i think that is the question the op is driving at.  i change everything to maintain the grain bill proportional. 
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