Author Topic: Unexpected efficiency  (Read 1314 times)

Offline 69franx

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Unexpected efficiency
« on: January 18, 2015, 08:19:22 PM »
So today I made an attempt at a standard bitter, essentially as a large, drinkable starter to grow up enough yeast for an attempt at "The Queen's Diamonds" English Barleywine from Denny and Drew's "Experimental Home Brewing." Most of the batches I have been making are in the 1.065 and up range and I have been getting efficiencies in the high 60s-low 70s. I am still trying to dial in a system upgrade with a new larger brew kettle. I knew I would have better efficiency on a 6G batch of 1.038 OG Bitter, so I adjusted my efficiency number in Beersmith up to 74%. This was obviously not high enough. I did boil off an extra quart, but finished with 5.75G at 1.046, calculated at almost 86% efficiency. Needless to say, I am pleased with the efficiency on such a low OG brew, just wish I had planned on it being that high. My "Nothing Special About It" ordinary bitter is now actually in the "Special" range (and I am going to have to change the name,  ;D)   Grist was 7#13oz Crisp MO(first experience with this malt, it is the Glen Eagles Malting I had asked about previously in another post) and 6.7oz of C120. Mashed with 5g of treated RO(targeting 5.4 pH), and sparged with 3.75G treated RO. This was easily my thinnest mash to date, at 2.43qt/# to get in the ball park of equal runnings. With the notes from anther thread about sparge options I believe, maybe this should have been a no sparge batch. Either way, I will update after fermentation about the progress of this batch.The color and clarity in my hydrometer sample are wonderful, will post a pic soon. Really no questions here, just sharing my experience, if you see something that seems out of place though, please let me know.
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline 69franx

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2015, 08:30:55 PM »
Here's the sample pic:

Or here:
Frank L.
Fermenting:
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2015, 08:52:38 PM »
I'm sure it'll be a good beer, Frank. Out of curiosity, did you hit your target volumes ?  Change water/grain ratio ?  Using a different maltster can give you efficiency changes, too - Avangard malts have a pretty high extraction rate compared to some other ones, for example.
Jon H.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 08:56:57 PM »
No, all volumes measured with the same gallon measure I always use. The one smallish mistake I made was not to take a pre-boil gravity reading, could have helped me add water and boil longer if I had seen it then. I am also sure it will be beer, but I have never really had an English Bitter, ordinary or special, so i wont know what I'm looking for, but I will enjoy it

edit: after dumping out break and hop materials from BK, I see that have 1 qt less left in kettle than normal. If that qt had been left in kettle, eff would be 82%. Wort is in between stages right now, in an intermediary vessel coming down from 68 to 62 before pitching. I will see what it looks like at that point and may only end up fermenting 5.5G. We shall see
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 09:08:38 PM by 69franx »
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline 69franx

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 09:11:48 PM »
Jon, it was also different than my usual water to grist ratio: this was 2.43/# while I am usually at around 1.5-1.75. This is the lowest OG brew I have made by a long shot, so really just some growing pains I am sure as I learn what that brings to the kettle. As I mentioned in original post, maybe I should have gone no sparge with only 8.23# grain for this batch. Maybe next time
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline archstanton

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 10:18:11 PM »
The less grain you use the higher your efficiency will be, everything else being equal. Imagine having 10 gallons to wash a bus, now imagine you have 10 gallons to wash a small car. That car will be much cleaner. Just keep notes and you will get it dialed in.

The thinner mash will convert sooner, so if you were having conversion issues it would boost your extraction. As mentioned, malts will vary in content. Again keep notes.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 10:40:02 PM »
I like the bus washing analogy a lot. My main comment was just so much  more efficiency than I had anticipated. Usually I aim for the top of the OG range per style guidelines. For this batch, I went a little lower, not much but lower, than upper limit just in case I got more points than I had accounted for, I could still land in range.  This brew is now pitched, 5.5g in fermenter at 1.043. It's not a worry, I just now know a little better what to expect with such a low OG brew day. Best part is that I can save some grain the next time I make this due to the higher extract and/or efficiency.
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline quattlebaum

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2015, 03:11:36 AM »
Great bitter by the way i brew close to that often 95% MO or Pearl and 5% C120 bitter to 35ibus  and throw on nitro, tasty. Just attempted the same but with C150 should be interesting

Offline 69franx

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2015, 03:23:18 AM »
Thanks, I have my fingers crossed. Originally it was a standard @ 1.038 & 32 IBUs, bit it's now a 1.046 with the same hops, and I guess since the wort is more concentrated, my IBUS will be a little lower. I. Ant wait to try it out
Frank L.
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2015, 02:01:16 PM »
For a batch sparge at that gravity, 85-90% lauter efficiency is about right. Even a no-sparge mash would run 80-85%. As long as you get full conversion, it's possible to estimate overall mash efficiency very precisely.

http://seanterrill.com/2013/10/05/batch-sparging-calculator/
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 07:48:32 PM »
The published recipe has an error, it should be 25 lbs of malt.
http://www.experimentalbrew.com/errata
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Offline denny

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 07:56:22 PM »
The published recipe has an error, it should be 25 lbs of malt.
http://www.experimentalbrew.com/errata

Thanks, Jeff.  I already let him know.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 08:02:53 PM »
The published recipe has an error, it should be 25 lbs of malt.
http://www.experimentalbrew.com/errata

Thanks, Jeff.  I already let him know.

Didn't know you were on it. ;)
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2015, 08:31:13 PM »
Saw activity this morning, just 12 hours after pitching my starter. It was 1L of 1.035ish wort stirred for about 20 hours. My stir plate came after the blazing thread about the benefits of a stir plate. I paid for it, so I put it to use for the first time for this batch, will see how it works. Again, its changing more than one thing at a time though: first stir plate starter, and first starter crashed before completely fermenting out. I did run the plate at the lowest setting where I could still see movement. I think it will work just fine though after already seeing activity. Plan on letting it ride at 64 until Wednesday morning (60 hours post pitching/48 post signs of fermentation) and start raising it 2° every 12 hours and let it ride when it gets to 72° for another 6 days, rack it, and brew the BW to pitch onto the 007 slurry
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline 69franx

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Re: Unexpected efficiency
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2015, 12:03:44 PM »
Still steadily bubbling away this morning, 1x per 1-2 seconds. I am very happy with 007 performance so far at 64. Will be taking it up a couple degrees this evening
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age