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measuring efficency

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micsager:
I see many posts regarding homebrew efficiency.  I'm wondering how many folks really go to all the hassle to accurately measure efficiency.  At least I think I wonder.  I remember a BrewStrong episode where the crew was explaining how to accurately measure one's efficiency, and IIRC it was quite involved with exact potential of grains, and very spcific water volumes. 

Or is there an easier way?  I have beersmith set at 75% efficiency, and I always come close to the estimated OG.  (1.065 on BS, and I'll hit 1.060) I suppose I could adjust the efficiency in BS to the point where I'm right on, and figure that is my efficiency. 

How do you all measure your efficiency?

Joe Sr.:
I pretty much do what you do.  Sometime I hit it right on.  Sometimes I'm a bit off.

I only get pissed when I'm significantly off, but that's not happened recently and is likely attributable to inaccuracies in measuring sugar, DME, honey or other sugar additions.

anje:
Similarly, I'm curious how you all measure volumes accurately, particularly for top-offs, post-boil, etc. Clearly you'll need this for efficiency calculations.

I've been going by the graduations on my fermenter buckets as best I can, but I can't even pretend that those are particularly accurate. Is there a preferred way?

weithman5:
i tend to rough it.  i use my ibrewmaster now as a general guideline but fundamentally i figure what i should get based on the grains i use (roughly) based on their potential. then i figure what my og  gravity is at ferment temp before pitch.  kind of a rough brewhouse total.  quite honestly unless my og or fg are way off from my predicted i don't get bent out of shape.

rjharper:

--- Quote from: anje on December 06, 2012, 11:08:25 AM ---Similarly, I'm curious how you all measure volumes accurately, particularly for top-offs, post-boil, etc. Clearly you'll need this for efficiency calculations.

I've been going by the graduations on my fermenter buckets as best I can, but I can't even pretend that those are particularly accurate. Is there a preferred way?

--- End quote ---

I calibrated each of my primaries when I got them.  Some of the buckets were close, others off if the printing wasnt right.  I also calibrated and etched my glass carboys.  My boil kettle and HLT have sight glasses that I calibrated too.


--- Quote from: micsager on December 06, 2012, 10:13:43 AM ---Or is there an easier way?  I have beersmith set at 75% efficiency, and I always come close to the estimated OG.  (1.065 on BS, and I'll hit 1.060) I suppose I could adjust the efficiency in BS to the point where I'm right on, and figure that is my efficiency. 

How do you all measure your efficiency?

--- End quote ---

Same here.  I know my system is ~67-70% so I set my recipes to 68, then compare the predicted to measured FG.  You have to accurately know the dead volumes in your mash tun, brew kettle etc, and your final volume to fermenter to be accurate.

That said, it's less about knowing your exact efficiency, and more about making it reproducible so that you can hit your targets when you design a recipe.

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