Author Topic: predicting efficincy after continual improvements  (Read 521 times)

Offline gman23

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predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« on: February 03, 2015, 04:51:31 PM »
So my brewhouse efficiency has continued to increase over the last 3 batches from 70% to 72.7% to 75% yesterday after averaging around a lowly 65% for a few months. This appears to be directly to related to a very fine crush and water adjustments.

Yesterday's brew session is the first time that I have used acidification to adjust my mash pH which explains the increase from the prior batch. I overshot my predicted OG by 3 points which isn't bad but it is going to make a 5.6% kolsch. I plan to keep my process the same for the upcoming batch which will be an alt. Should I just assume 75% and hope I can hit that again?

I realize that it will likely just take a few batches to get my system dialed in again but I am curious if others have any ideas after experiencing efficiency increases of 10 points.
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Offline denny

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Re: predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2015, 04:56:08 PM »
You can't predict effieincy when you make changes, you cam only measure it.  I'd assume that the efficiency for the next batch will be the same as the last one, then see what reality says.
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Offline gman23

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Re: predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2015, 04:59:26 PM »
You can't predict effieincy when you make changes, you cam only measure it.  I'd assume that the efficiency for the next batch will be the same as the last one, then see what reality says.

Yes, I have never duplicated efficiency for two different beers so I don't expect it to be the same. Maybe I will just settle with a predicted efficiency of the average of the last 3 batches. Mainly, I don't want to undershoot because that bugs me probably more than anything brewing related.
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Offline denny

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Re: predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 05:32:21 PM »
You can't predict effieincy when you make changes, you cam only measure it.  I'd assume that the efficiency for the next batch will be the same as the last one, then see what reality says.

Yes, I have never duplicated efficiency for two different beers so I don't expect it to be the same. Maybe I will just settle with a predicted efficiency of the average of the last 3 batches. Mainly, I don't want to undershoot because that bugs me probably more than anything brewing related.

Just boil longer if you;re under.  Less volume, but you'll get the beer you want.
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Re: predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 06:04:01 PM »
Yes, I have never duplicated efficiency for two different beers so I don't expect it to be the same. Maybe I will just settle with a predicted efficiency of the average of the last 3 batches. Mainly, I don't want to undershoot because that bugs me probably more than anything brewing related.

I have been using a similar approach to formulating recipes for many years.  However, I just use the average of a small number of batch extraction rates measured in points per pound per gallon, where batch_ extraction_rate = original_gravity_in_points * kettle_volume_after_cooling / pounds_of_grist.  The variable kettle_volume_after_cooling is the total liquid volume that is left in the kettle after cooling minus the volume of the hops and break. 

You would be surprised at how well a method this simple works.  In practice, there is no need to calculate a weighted efficiency percentage. The grist component that drives extraction rates is base malt.  While specialty malts do affect batch extraction rates, the deviation in extraction rates between batches ends up being very small after a brewer has dialed-in his/her system.

Offline gman23

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Re: predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2015, 06:20:19 PM »
You can't predict effieincy when you make changes, you cam only measure it.  I'd assume that the efficiency for the next batch will be the same as the last one, then see what reality says.

Yes, I have never duplicated efficiency for two different beers so I don't expect it to be the same. Maybe I will just settle with a predicted efficiency of the average of the last 3 batches. Mainly, I don't want to undershoot because that bugs me probably more than anything brewing related.

Just boil longer if you;re under.  Less volume, but you'll get the beer you want.

This is difficult for me. My mash efficiency was 80% yesterday so I was expecting 1.053 and I added more hops to compensate for this. I ended up at 1.050 postboil which was 75% brewhouse efficiency. This threw off my anticipated IBU:OG although I don't think it will be very noticeable.

If my mash and brewhouse efficiencies were equal then it would be easier to make adjustments after my preboil reading.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2015, 07:54:34 PM »
...If my mash and brewhouse efficiencies were equal then it would be easier to make adjustments after my preboil reading.

If the brewhouse ('total') and mash efficiencies are different, it means that BeerSmith (or any other program) is trying to account for volume losses after all the wort is in the kettle (other than evaporation).

I have better consistency (and understanding) throughout the brew if I concentrate on efficiency in the mash and assume some constants in the kettle.

In BeerSmith, total/mash efficiencies are different if you enter volumes for losses under "Boil and Fermentation" in the "Volumes" tab. Delete trub loss and kettle top up, and just assume those as constant when you set your batch volume.

In your equipment profile setup, set a constant mash efficiency. Also set your lauter deadspace: amount of water it takes to fill your mash tun to the top of the manifold.

If this doesn't make sense, let me know. Lots of coffee today  :o
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Offline gman23

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Re: predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2015, 08:10:40 PM »
I think that makes sense. I have no trub loss or kettle top up entered and do have approximate deadspace in there is well. Until recently, my mash and brewhouse figures seemed to be pretty much identical. Maybe I changed my equipment profile accidentally.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: predicting efficincy after continual improvements
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2015, 10:10:27 PM »
If you overshoot your OG, just add water and hit it on the head. Points are always conserved so if you have an accurate measurement of volume it's a cinch to calculate. Say your beer is 1.053 (53 points) and you have exactly 5 gallons of water. 5 x 53 = 265 now you wanted a 1.050 beer so divide by 50. 265/50 = 5.3 since you have 5.0 gallons and 5.3 gallons would give you a wort of 1.050 just add 0.3 gallons of water.

I often get higher efficiency than I calculate so I water down the brew to hit an exact gravity or more often than not I adjust my boil time to limit evaporation to hit the gravity on the nose.
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