### Author Topic: Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff  (Read 3287 times)

#### Jeff M

• Brewmaster
• Posts: 821
• Currently upgrading to Brewery 3.0
##### Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff
« on: February 10, 2013, 05:27:20 PM »
Hey All,

So I'm set up for my first all grain Batch and i have a few questions.  How do you figure out how efficient your Mash is?  IS there a Recipe calculator out there that people use to determine potential sugars so you can take measurements and compare them to the numbers the calculator spits out?  Pretty nervous about doing this the first time:)

Thanks
Jeff
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

#### erockrph

• Official Poobah of No Life.
• Posts: 6229
• Chepachet, RI
##### Re: Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 06:55:42 PM »
I use Brewers Friend as my brewing software, so it calculates everything out nicely as I log my brewing progress. Here is a standalone version of the efficiency calculator:

http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

#### In The Sand

• Brewer
• Posts: 398
##### Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 09:58:22 PM »
I use beersmith. They have several grain varieties with potential yield already preloaded. Palmer's book also suggests measuring preboil gravity and multiplying the points by the volume (gallons) of wort collected, then divide by the pounds of grain you used. Anything above 27 is great. Below 25 is not good.

Don't be nervous. It's as simple as heating water and mixing grain and waiting. You'll be able to do it with your eyes closed soon and it's a lot more fulfilling than extract brewing IMO. Cheers!
Trey W.

#### malzig

• Brewer
• Posts: 466
##### Re: Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 11:38:23 AM »
Measure the volume (in gallons) and gravity (in SG) in your kettle before or after your boil.  You can probably assume that your grain has a potential of ~36 points per pound per gallon.

pounds of grain x 36 = potential yield

measured gravity x volume = actual yield

100 x actual/potential = mash efficiency (%)

#### davidgzach

• Senior Brewmaster
• Posts: 1690
##### Re: Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 01:23:10 PM »
Definitely invest in some brewing software.  I use BeerTools.  It makes the process that much easier as well as recipe generation.  And remember to have fun and RDWHAHB!

Dave
Dave Zach

#### ddcurtis69

• 1st Kit
• Posts: 13
##### Re: Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 08:42:02 PM »
Mash efficiency is calculated from the maximum Ppg of the grain bill you are using, the actual points you get from your pre-boil gravity, and the pre-boil volume. You can research maximum extractable sugar, or Ppg, online for the grains you are using. You then calculate the Maximum Ppg As-Is for each grain on the bill with the following equation:

Max-Ppg As-Is= (Max Ppg*lbs of grain)/pre boil volume

Then you sum up all of the Max-Ppg As-Is for each grain in your grain bill and that is the maximum points you can get from your grain bill and pre-boil volume.

You then measure the pre-boil gravity to calculate your efficiency as below:

If your summed Max-Ppg As-Is = 49 points or a gravity of 1.049 and you measured a pre-boil gravity of 1.040, the mash efficiency is calculated as:

Mash Efficiency= 40/49 = .816 or 81.6%

Beersmith uses brewhouse effiiciency and estimates a mash efficiency. For this to be correct, you must go to your equipment profile and enter your system losses correctly or the estimated mash efficiency will not be right. The brewhouse efficiency is a combination of mash efficiency and system losses to calculate an overall total efficiency. They have some helpful aids on the Beersmith web page to describe this in more detail.

#### malzig

• Brewer
• Posts: 466
##### Re: Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 11:43:03 PM »
...You then calculate the Maximum Ppg As-Is for each grain on the bill with the following equation:

Max-Ppg As-Is= (Max Ppg*lbs of grain)/pre boil volume
It doesn't have to be pre-boil volume.  Post-boil volume and gravity will give you the same value.
Quote
Beersmith uses brewhouse effiiciency and estimates a mash efficiency. For this to be correct, you must go to your equipment profile and enter your system losses correctly or the estimated mash efficiency will not be right.
Beersmith has an implementation of this that continues to confuse people, much like it's bizarre suggestions of multiple small batch sparges.  It may be a lot easier to just do the calculation by hand, using 36 ppg as a decent average potential, if you don't have the actual potential for your lot of grain.

#### ddcurtis69

• 1st Kit
• Posts: 13
##### Re: Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 01:12:32 AM »
...You then calculate the Maximum Ppg As-Is for each grain on the bill with the following equation:

Max-Ppg As-Is= (Max Ppg*lbs of grain)/pre boil volume
It doesn't have to be pre-boil volume.  Post-boil volume and gravity will give you the same value.
Quote
Beersmith uses brewhouse effiiciency and estimates a mash efficiency. For this to be correct, you must go to your equipment profile and enter your system losses correctly or the estimated mash efficiency will not be right.
Beersmith has an implementation of this that continues to confuse people, much like it's bizarre suggestions of multiple small batch sparges.  It may be a lot easier to just do the calculation by hand, using 36 ppg as a decent average potential, if you don't have the actual potential for your lot of grain.

I totally agree.  I only use pre-boil volume because sometimes I add honey, or other fermentables to the boil that will throw off my mash efficiency if I use post boil gravity.  Yes, I agree the Beersmith implementation is quite confusing and frustrating when you really want mash efficiency to be repeatable.

#### ukolowiczd

• Assistant Brewer
• Posts: 144
• Burlington, VT
##### Re: Brewing Calculator and Mash Eff
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 02:34:01 AM »
I use hopville.com. It's free, online, saves recipes and you can set all your own standards like mash efficiency. It's got some bugs but still great.