Author Topic: Help me improve my efficiency  (Read 2795 times)

Offline rjharper

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Re: Help me improve my efficiency
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2011, 11:07:49 PM »
Denny and most batch spargers use picnic coolers where there is no dead space at the bottom.  In a system set to run with HERMS, I'd assume you have a vessel with significant dead space under the grain bed.  I mash in a converted keg with a sabco false bottom, which leaves 4 quarts of liquid under it.  Could batch sparging with a system like this possibly leave more wort in the tun?

Jeff,
You raise a very valid point, which I did consider in my design.  I have a false bottom, but the pickup arm collects from under it, and in my systems tests I was leaving at most a quart behind with the siphon.  I really wanted to avoid substantial losses there.
Thanks,

Offline rjharper

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Re: Help me improve my efficiency
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2011, 11:13:07 PM »
I'm at work and don't have details but I can tell you that when I first started using beersmith I disagreed with the efficiency calcs I was getting.  I built a quick spreadsheet and started calculating it manually and sure enough I was right.  Turns out that the way I was entering some other variables was effecting the number the program was spitting out (perhaps the equipment or batch size, can't remember which)... also, beer smith calculates efficiency 3 different ways, right?  are all three of them the same for you?



James,
Glad to see I'm not the only one who visits from work!  When you do have a moment, I'd love to hear more about how you corrected everything.  I've found that with the equipment profile I generated, I need to set the efficiency at 65% to make the predicted OG match the measured OG.  I'm referring to the Brewhouse Efficiency number from Beersmith.  The Mash Efficiency is greyed out, but seems to be autocalculated.  Maybe I need a Beersmith tutorial too!

Thanks everyone for the responses, this is a really helpful thread

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Help me improve my efficiency
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2011, 12:37:42 AM »
Batch sparging, and dialed in at 74% right now.

Denny, interesting that the time doesn't matter. Will try that, and shave a few more minutes off the process.

I have found that when using software, small water quantity changes, as in kettle volumes, makes a huge difference in efficiency estimates. I think that's where the biggest errors creep into what we do.
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline James Lorden

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Re: Help me improve my efficiency
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2011, 01:23:16 AM »


James,
Glad to see I'm not the only one who visits from work!  When you do have a moment, I'd love to hear more about how you corrected everything.  I've found that with the equipment profile I generated, I need to set the efficiency at 65% to make the predicted OG match the measured OG.  I'm referring to the Brewhouse Efficiency number from Beersmith.  The Mash Efficiency is greyed out, but seems to be autocalculated.  Maybe I need a Beersmith tutorial too!

Thanks everyone for the responses, this is a really helpful thread

Here is a post I wrote about it a while back

..."careful with the "lost to trub" number. It will throw off your efficiency calc. I set it to zero then set my batch size and final volume to the amount I want in the kettle after the boil before chilling and run off. (note that beersmith wants your batch size and final volume at the same number)

Assume 75% efficiency, 13.85G of 1.040 preboil w/ 10% boil off, leaving 1 gallon in the kettle/chiller, and I want 11Gallons in my fermenters.

Based on these numbers my final gravity should be 1.046 post-boil

However if I add the 1Gallon Trub Loss that makes my batch 11Gallons (keeping the pre-boil constant at 13.85 gallons and 1.040)
my 1.046 OG now is only 68% efficency.

That nmber is wrong. Beersmith seems to act as if the kettle loss is the same as boil off and concentrates my wort.. it want my OG to now be 1.051 - that's wrong.

I say it's easier to just leave the kettle/trub loss at 0 and formulate w/ batch size based on whats in the kettle post boil."

Note that calculating your efficiency manually as a double check isn't that hard.  It's not that hard to set up a spreadsheet that will do it for you.  Check out this section of How To Brew.  If you can't get it you can PM me and I can send you the one that I put together (I warn you that it's for personal use and not labeled well)

http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-5.html

James Lorden
Beer Drinker Beer Maker & Beer Judge

Offline rjharper

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Re: Help me improve my efficiency
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2011, 12:21:00 AM »
Wanted to follow this up for everyone who helped, especially James.  With 6 batches through the system in the last month, by tweaking the Beersmith profile to suit the rig better, and by improving my technique, I'm getting 73% on LHBS crush.  I'm happy with that until I decide to upgrade to my own mill.

Thanks again everyone,
Ross