Author Topic: BeerSmith Efficiency  (Read 790 times)

Offline flbrewer

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BeerSmith Efficiency
« on: February 11, 2015, 11:45:28 PM »
I'm entering in some figures from my last brew day and have a question...why would efficiency go up as I enter a larger volume figure into the "Measured batch size into fermenter"? I can (somewhat) understand that pre-boil and post-boil OG has something to do with, but not sure what the amount of wort I pour into the fermenter has to do with it.

Also, since I didn't use all of my wort (ended up disposing 1.5 gallons) should I be entering in the fully produced wort number instead of what really goes into my fermenter?

Offline BrewBama

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BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 12:03:54 AM »
I've had similar "complaints"/concerns about Beersmith.

I guess brew house efficiency should be accounted for by reducing the amount left in the brew kettle. I've come to this: who cares as long as the OG is within a point or two plus or minus.  https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=21971
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 12:11:38 AM by BrewBama »
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Offline 69franx

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 12:08:17 AM »
If you adjust your volume, your OG should also shift. If you don't change both, the numbers will be skewed. As an example: if you expect 5G of 1.065 wort, you are expecting 325 gravity points in your batch. If you actually collect 6 gallons and still have a gravity of 1.065 (not likely unless your efficiency Calc was off) you now have 390 grav points in your batch from the same grist, in other words you were more efficient at getting the grist's sugars into your fermenter. Hope that's not too jumbled
Edit to correct all my typos
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 12:10:28 AM by 69franx »
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Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg: Märzen
In Bottles:  
In the works:

Offline duboman

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 12:47:17 AM »
This is actually a contested issue with BS and has been discussed at length on another form.

It has to do with the way BS factors in the losses you enter for total brewhouse efficiency.

My understanding is if you want the efficiency of what actually goes into primary you need to set all your losses to zero and add them in manually to your total volume calculation.

Personally I don't worry about it, if the gravity measurements come in as what I expect I'm happy;)
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 02:00:52 AM »
If you left 1.5G in the kettle that is trub chiller loss in your equipment profile.

If you left beer behind in your fermenter when bottling or kegging that is fermenter loss in your equipment profile.

Beersmith calculates brew house efficiency based on the batch size which is the volume you put in the fermenter.

That number will appear low if you leave wort in the kettle. When I say appear low I mean it seems low when compared to the efficiency values people report on sites like this. Beersmith also calculates mash efficiency. That is the number you can compare with other folks online. I am supposed to say "Don't compare. It's not a competition." But, I compare. I can't help myself.

Beersmith will predict the correct OG if your equipment profile is correct (matches your experiences on your system).

Offline flbrewer

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 02:23:09 AM »
If you left 1.5G in the kettle that is trub chiller loss in your equipment profile.

If you left beer behind in your fermenter when bottling or kegging that is fermenter loss in your equipment profile.

Beersmith calculates brew house efficiency based on the batch size which is the volume you put in the fermenter.

That number will appear low if you leave wort in the kettle. When I say appear low I mean it seems low when compared to the efficiency values people report on sites like this. Beersmith also calculates mash efficiency. That is the number you can compare with other folks online. I am supposed to say "Don't compare. It's not a competition." But, I compare. I can't help myself.

Beersmith will predict the correct OG if your equipment profile is correct (matches your experiences on your system).

In my case, I left it behind on purpose. It wasn't any type of loss, it was perfectly fine wort that I left out because my volumes were off and I didn't (couldn't) put that much wort into my fermenter.

Offline Stevie

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 02:34:19 AM »
I only care about mash efficiency and never really understood brewhouse. I just need to be able to predict what my pre-boil will be.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2015, 03:44:44 AM »
Welp. Apparently that's what I was referring to. Now I know there are two types of efficiencies (starts to read more).

Offline tommymorris

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 04:04:15 AM »

If you left 1.5G in the kettle that is trub chiller loss in your equipment profile.

If you left beer behind in your fermenter when bottling or kegging that is fermenter loss in your equipment profile.

Beersmith calculates brew house efficiency based on the batch size which is the volume you put in the fermenter.

That number will appear low if you leave wort in the kettle. When I say appear low I mean it seems low when compared to the efficiency values people report on sites like this. Beersmith also calculates mash efficiency. That is the number you can compare with other folks online. I am supposed to say "Don't compare. It's not a competition." But, I compare. I can't help myself.

Beersmith will predict the correct OG if your equipment profile is correct (matches your experiences on your system).

In my case, I left it behind on purpose. It wasn't any type of loss, it was perfectly fine wort that I left out because my volumes were off and I didn't (couldn't) put that much wort into my fermenter.
Beersmith doesn't mean to criticize by calling it a loss. The fact that it was perfectly fine wort means you dumped a gallon and a half of fermentable sugars. There is nothing wrong with that. But if you worked at a commercial brewery you would want to avoid tossing that wort as it cost money to make and is potential revenue down the drain.

I think brew house efficiency is most useable for commercial breweries which need to know how efficient their entire process is (not just how efficient their mash is). If you just want to predict SG then mash efficiency works just as well and mash efficiency is arguably more accurate since you don't have to include all these "losses" in the calculations.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 04:07:47 AM »
PS. I can think of three commonly used efficiency metrics (there are probably more.)

Conversion efficiency tells you how well you mash is working.

Mash efficiency helps predict SG.

Brewhouse tells you how efficient your whole process is.

Some of these efficiency metrics have more than one name.

Offline archstanton

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 04:43:12 AM »
Say you go to the store for some apples. You get there and they are having, to your delight apple bobbing. Now there are 10 apples in the tub and you are allowed to bob and collect as many as you can.  Lets say today you are hot and you get 8 of the apples out of the tub before your time expires. You head for home, but a little ecstatic from your great haul, you drop 2 apples which roll into the street and become instant apple sauce. A little humbled you arrive home with 6 apples.

Getting 8 out of 10 bobbing would be like your mash efficiency, also referred to as brewhouse efficiency.80%
Ending with 6 out of 10 would be what BS calls total brewhouse efficiency. 60%

If you increase what you ended with it will raise that efficiency. Like only dropping 1 apple.

Software is like an instrument, you need to tune it so you can play the notes you want.

I have a large difference in total brewhouse efficiency between an ipa and a porter for example. Imagine 10 ounces of hops vs 2 ounces in the wort. You will end up with more wort in the porter fermentor than the ipa fermentor, given everything else being equal. 

Offline Alewyfe

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Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 07:14:39 AM »
Nice metaphor. Explains it well.
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Offline BrewBama

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BeerSmith Efficiency
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2015, 12:06:29 PM »
... I am supposed to say "Don't compare. It's not a competition." But, I compare. I can't help myself...

This is why i asked this question in the thread i linked to above: "In other words, when you say you're getting 80% and I am saying I get 70%, are we talking apples and oranges, or are we measuring the same way?" LOL

Again, I think hitting gravity numbers are more important otherwise I'll just dump the kettle into the fermenter and viola: 80+%.
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