Author Topic: Brewhouse Efficiency Questions  (Read 924 times)

Offline JKL

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
    • View Profile
Brewhouse Efficiency Questions
« on: April 19, 2011, 02:03:01 PM »
While brewing my 1st 10 gal test batch last weekend I took my pre/post boil gravity readings which we're 1.061 and 1.073 respectively.  I typed my figures into Beersmith while waiting for my wort to cool and was siked to see my efficiency was 81%. My old system was always around 65%.  Then while draining into my 2nd fermenter the kettle ran dry before I hit the 5.5 gal mark.  I got about 4.  Not sure how that happened?  (I think my BK measuring stick is off?) So I retyped my batch size at 9.5 gal into Beersmith and found the efficiency to be 76%.  Still not bad for a batch sparger, right?  Then it hit me the next morning while staring at my carboys in the fridge still waiting for some airlock activity.  I have approximately 1 gal of trub in 1 fermenter and probably about a 1/2 gal in the other.  So does that mean my batch size is now 8.75 gal?  I've always used my initial volume so it still means a got a good jump in efficiency with the new system.  I was just wondering how most people calculate their efficiency?  Isn't there an easier way to figure your efficiency from your pre-boil gravity reading?  This is really what we want to know right?  The extraction % from the grain, that is.
-J.K.L.
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

John K. Lee
AHA Member
Rock City, AR

Offline hamiltont

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 987
  • Location: Somewhere in the Middle of Nebraska
    • View Profile
Re: Brewhouse Efficiency Questions
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 02:21:49 PM »
This works pretty good:  http://www.brewblogger.net/index.php?page=tools&section=efficiency  Be sure to adjust your gravity due to the higher temp of the wort. http://www.brewblogger.net/index.php?page=tools&section=hyd  Cheers!!!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 02:24:41 PM by hamiltont »
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline JKL

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
    • View Profile
Re: Brewhouse Efficiency Questions
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 02:55:02 PM »
This works pretty good:  http://www.brewblogger.net/index.php?page=tools&section=efficiency  Be sure to adjust your gravity due to the higher temp of the wort. http://www.brewblogger.net/index.php?page=tools&section=hyd  Cheers!!!

Thanks hamiltont!  82.7% according to that program if my initial boil volume was actually 12 gallons.  76.33% if it was around 11 gallons.  Either way it's pretty good for a decent size beer.
-J.K.L.
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

John K. Lee
AHA Member
Rock City, AR

Offline hamiltont

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 987
  • Location: Somewhere in the Middle of Nebraska
    • View Profile
Re: Brewhouse Efficiency Questions
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 04:12:21 PM »
Thanks hamiltont!  82.7% according to that program if my initial boil volume was actually 12 gallons.  76.33% if it was around 11 gallons.  Either way it's pretty good for a decent size beer.
-J.K.L.

Yep, not to shabby...  Cheers!!!
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline SpanishCastleAle

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • View Profile
Re: Brewhouse Efficiency Questions
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 05:11:33 AM »
Quote
I was just wondering how most people calculate their efficiency?  Isn't there an easier way to figure your efficiency from your pre-boil gravity reading?  This is really what we want to know right?  The extraction % from the grain, that is.
You can use the numbers 'into the kettle' or 'into the fermenter'.  I call the 'into the kettle' numbers the mash efficiency and the 'into the fermenter' numbers the brewhouse efficiency.  I tend to use brewhouse efficiency because that tells me how much grain I need to hit a certain OG in the fermenter (makes it easier to formulate recipes for my system).  Many people use efficiency into the kettle.  Either way works they are just a little different.  If you know your 'boil efficiency' then it's easy to relate the two.

You will suffer a small efficiency loss in the kettle (boil efficiency).  When you measure the volume in the kettle, the break volume is included in that.  Then you'll add hops which will absorb some wort as well as displace some volume, some/most of that will be left behind in the kettle. Depending on how much trub/break/hops there are and how much make it into the fermenter will affect the boil efficiency.

I measure the volume and gravity into the kettle just to make sure I'm on the right track to hitting my target OG into the fermenter, but I never calculate my efficiency from those numbers (but lots of folks do).  After the boil/chill I fill the carboy, then I strain any leftover wort into a gallon jug and freeze it for yeast starters (I intentionally make the batch a quart or two more than I plan to put in the fermenter).  So I always know exactly how much wort I got (even though it didn't all go into the fermenter) and know the gravity.

Try both ways and see which you prefer.  Just keep in mind that if you brewed two identical batches except one had 1 oz of pellet hops and the other had 6 oz of leaf hops, your boil efficiency will be different thus the brewhouse efficiency will be different.  But the mash efficiency will be the same.  Another reason I tend to use brewhouse efficiency.

Offline JKL

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
    • View Profile
Re: Brewhouse Efficiency Questions
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2011, 05:43:32 AM »
Quote
I was just wondering how most people calculate their efficiency?  Isn't there an easier way to figure your efficiency from your pre-boil gravity reading?  This is really what we want to know right?  The extraction % from the grain, that is.
You can use the numbers 'into the kettle' or 'into the fermenter'.  I call the 'into the kettle' numbers the mash efficiency and the 'into the fermenter' numbers the brewhouse efficiency.  I tend to use brewhouse efficiency because that tells me how much grain I need to hit a certain OG in the fermenter (makes it easier to formulate recipes for my system).  Many people use efficiency into the kettle.  Either way works they are just a little different.  If you know your 'boil efficiency' then it's easy to relate the two.

You will suffer a small efficiency loss in the kettle (boil efficiency).  When you measure the volume in the kettle, the break volume is included in that.  Then you'll add hops which will absorb some wort as well as displace some volume, some/most of that will be left behind in the kettle. Depending on how much trub/break/hops there are and how much make it into the fermenter will affect the boil efficiency.

I measure the volume and gravity into the kettle just to make sure I'm on the right track to hitting my target OG into the fermenter, but I never calculate my efficiency from those numbers (but lots of folks do).  After the boil/chill I fill the carboy, then I strain any leftover wort into a gallon jug and freeze it for yeast starters (I intentionally make the batch a quart or two more than I plan to put in the fermenter).  So I always know exactly how much wort I got (even though it didn't all go into the fermenter) and know the gravity.

Try both ways and see which you prefer.  Just keep in mind that if you brewed two identical batches except one had 1 oz of pellet hops and the other had 6 oz of leaf hops, your boil efficiency will be different thus the brewhouse efficiency will be different.  But the mash efficiency will be the same.  Another reason I tend to use brewhouse efficiency.

Good Stuff! I guess I've always "Brewhouse Efficiency" as you call it, but through beersmith to calculate my recipes. I have a couple lagers planned here in the coming weeks that will be based off recipes that I brewed on the old system and I want those to be right on.  Like I said, this was a test run on the new system to check things like efficiency, boil off, yada yada.  thanks for your input!
-J.K.L.
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

John K. Lee
AHA Member
Rock City, AR