Author Topic: Efficiency/procedure  (Read 2541 times)

Offline duboman

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
    • View Profile
Efficiency/procedure
« on: September 26, 2011, 01:35:12 PM »
After completing our second partial mash recipe I re-visited our first and have some questions about procedure and resulting efficiency issues and appreciate your insight:

Recipe:
3lbs 8oz Pale 2-row
8oz carapils
8oz crystal 40L
3.3lbs Pale LME
1oz Chinook 60 minutes
1 oz cascade 15minutes
1oz cascade 2 minutes
Wyeast 2112

Est. OG 1.048
Actual OG 1.040
Measured FG 1.010
Measured efficiency 50.8%
Single infusion 2-step batch sparge

Mash in 5.63qt @172.5 degrees
Step @156 degrees
2 step at 2.26 gallons @156 and 3.13 gallons at 156 degrees
Mash tun is a 5 gallon industrial Bev cooler with a screen, no false bottom

My supplier provided the crushed grains and they appeared to be done fine enough but not so fine to create a lot of dust so I am not sure that can be improved.

First question is regarding pre-boil reading. Is this done prior to adding the extract or after as with extract brewing we never did this and the extract was usually added once the water came to a boil (We do full boils)?

Second Question: Top off water, after the complete mash out we had only 5 gallons. Our system requires 6.25 gallons for a full boil with 1.15 boil off. Should I be topping off the volume prior to the boil and before or after the extract add or should I be boiling everything and then topping off the primary to arrive at the 5 gallons?

Third question: If the pre-boil reading is lower than expected how do I know how much DME to add to get to the expected gravity, is there a general rule of thumb like 1lb per 5 points for example?

For our second batch I just added a lb of DME to the boil because I just assumed from this recipe we would be well off. As a result we actually wound up being high on the OG. While I know this is not an exact science I also know that I shouldn't just be grasping at straws and guessing either, appreciate your help!
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline James Lorden

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
  • Forest Hill, MD
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 02:05:17 PM »
First question is regarding pre-boil reading. Is this done prior to adding the extract or after as with extract brewing we never did this and the extract was usually added once the water came to a boil (We do full boils)?

Second Question: Top off water, after the complete mash out we had only 5 gallons. Our system requires 6.25 gallons for a full boil with 1.15 boil off. Should I be topping off the volume prior to the boil and before or after the extract add or should I be boiling everything and then topping off the primary to arrive at the 5 gallons?

Third question: If the pre-boil reading is lower than expected how do I know how much DME to add to get to the expected gravity, is there a general rule of thumb like 1lb per 5 points for example?


1a)
take your gravity when all liquid and grain is in the pot before the boil.  First concept to understand in ppg (Points per Pound per Gallon). LME is generally 1.036.  This means that in 5 gallons of beer post boil to achieve a 1.048 OG you would need:

48 OG X 5 gallons = 240 total points / 36ppg LME = 6.6 lbs of LME into the boil

Assuming that you start with 6.5 gallons of water before you boil, your pre-boil gravity would be:

240 points (from above) / 6.5 gallons = 37 or 1.037 OG

After the boil you will have concentrated the 1.037 into 1.048

1b)
Once this ppg concept is understood, adding grain is easier.  Simply take the grains ppg and multiply it by your efficiency to get (most grain have a ppg that is also around 1.036)  So if your efficiency is 50% then your ppg for your grain is:

36 ppg * 50% efficiency = 18 ppg

using the same example above, if you want all of your total gravity to come from grain (240 total points) then you'd use:

240 total points / 18 ppg Grain = 13.3 lbs of grain

It is pretty easy to rearrange this equation so that you can use OG, volume of water,  and lbs of grain used to calculate efficiency (remember that your extract efficiency is always 100%)

2)

Either will work but if you can top off prior to boiling I think that is easier.  I will sometimes take a gravity reading right before flameout and if I'm high on gravity I will add a bit of water to bring the gravity down.  The boiling also sanitizes the water.

3)
refer to the ppg explanation above.  DME's ppg is generally about 1.042.  Following the above equation, if I have 5 gallons with OG that is 4 point to low (1.054 but looking of 1.058):

5 gallons * 4 OG (too low) = 20 points / 42 ppg DME = .47 lbs (about half a pound of DME)

in other words, half a pound of DME will raise the gravity of a 5 gallon batch by about 4 points.

Hope this helps


James Lorden
Beer Drinker Beer Maker & Beer Judge

Offline duboman

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 02:28:32 PM »
Thank you , this is all great information, some of which I'm aware of. I am using Brewsmith Software and all of these calculation are basically taken care of. My additional question is this. When I set up my equipment profile for our first partial mash I assumed 75% efficiency in the set up. Upon completing the first recipe the actual efficiency cam in at the 50%.

While I understand how I can compensate with the ingredients I am more concerned with what I can do to increase the efficiency of the set up or if I am doing something wrong in the process that is decreasing my efficiency. Obviously with only a 50% efficiency the cost of a recipe goes up a bit in increasing the ingredients to compensate for the lack of efficiency. I know a lb of DME isn't that expensive, when I move to all grain I also want to be sure my equipment can handle the volume of grain required and the difference in efficiency could mean an amount of grain that I cannot handle. Or if we stay doing partial mash I really don't want to have to compensate every recipe with a whole lot more extract which is even more expensive.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5681
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 02:49:18 PM »
how long did you mash for? How much wort was left in the Tun after your final run off? If the crush looks good I would think these are the first two things to look at. Did you stir really well to ensure no dough balls? When I was first doing all grain I was mashing in a bucket with a grain bag as a screen and when I tried to make a big belgian I got 53% eff, as I was clearing out the grain I discovered a big dry patch in the middle of the grain that explained the poor efficiency.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline duboman

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 03:20:53 PM »
I mashed in for 60 minutes, stirring twice, then vorleufed and drained, added second for 15 minutes with 1 stir, vorleufed and drained and then the third same way, on draining after the third we tilted the cooler so everything ran out. After the grain cooled and we went to clean there wa less than a cup of liquid in the bottom of the cooler.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline duboman

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 03:30:55 PM »
I meant to also add that as we drained the third the liquid was almost clear meaning almost no color.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7223
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 05:10:26 PM »
I mashed in for 60 minutes, stirring twice, then vorleufed and drained, added second for 15 minutes with 1 stir, vorleufed and drained and then the third same way, on draining after the third we tilted the cooler so everything ran out. After the grain cooled and we went to clean there wa less than a cup of liquid in the bottom of the cooler.

Looks like you should mash for longer. Try 90 minutes or more cause you most likely have a coarse grind. Buy a mill.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2634
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 06:13:06 PM »
Something doesn't sound right with your measurements.  You said you put in 5.63qts (1.4075G) + 2.26G + 3.13G =  6.7975G all told and got 5G after you'd drained everything.  You can usually figure worst case that the grain will absorb about 0.12G / lb so that would mean your 4.5lbs of grain would absorb 0.54G.  If you only ended up with 5G, that means 6.7975G - 0.54G - 5G = 1.2575G is unaccounted for.  That's nowhere near the 1 cup (0.0625G) you mentioned.  Either you left a lot of wort somewhere or your measurements are off.
Joe

Offline duboman

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 05:01:45 AM »
Something doesn't sound right with your measurements.  You said you put in 5.63qts (1.4075G) + 2.26G + 3.13G =  6.7975G all told and got 5G after you'd drained everything.  You can usually figure worst case that the grain will absorb about 0.12G / lb so that would mean your 4.5lbs of grain would absorb 0.54G.  If you only ended up with 5G, that means 6.7975G - 0.54G - 5G = 1.2575G is unaccounted for.  That's nowhere near the 1 cup (0.0625G) you mentioned.  Either you left a lot of wort somewhere or your measurements are off.


I know I did not leave any wort anywhere as I did the cleaning. I was not present during the 2nd and 3rd steps of the mash as my assistant took care of that so I will assume his water measurements were off but either way as I came in for the final runoff the wort coming out was essentially clear and filled our pot to the 5 gallon mark.

I will go with the recommendation that our grains are just not getting crushed enough and see what happens next time around. I will also be sure to be around for the water measurements during the mash process to be sure that is being done properly.

I really appreciate all the comments to figure this out, outside of the measurements being off with the water I am glad to hear my process is correct, now it's just tweaking and refining.
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5681
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 08:04:22 AM »
also, what color is your cooler? that can have a big effect on efficeincy  ;D
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline James Lorden

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
  • Forest Hill, MD
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2011, 08:55:49 AM »
Something does seem odd with that water calculation was that 5 gallons after you added the LME? because 3lbs of LME would probabaly add at least another quart of volume to the pot.  I ask because if you actually collected something like 4.5 to 4.75 gallons of water and the extract pushed your volume to 5 gallons then your efficiency is probably closer to 60%.
James Lorden
Beer Drinker Beer Maker & Beer Judge

Offline duboman

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 09:39:49 AM »
After speaking with my buddy that was in charge the water calculation was off, shame on him! As for the rest lol on the cooler color, I always get a laugh at that! The extract was added after we got the 5 gallons of wort. The bottom line is we acheived our 6.25 gallons for the boil, lost the boil off and received 5 gallons in the primary, took the gravity and it was low, when I entered the numbers in the recipe on brewsmith it came back with the low efficiency percentage. After additional calculations about a pound more of dme would have gotten us up to where we should have been I believe.

I do have a greater understanding now of all the details involved and will be much more aware of volumes, etc and evaluate the crush more closely, I appreciate all the insight!
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline duboman

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 01:49:03 PM »
One additional question if I may;

What does the mash temperature have to do with the efficiency of the mash? AS I read different recipes and then go through  Beersmith I see many different temperatures, some of which conflict with each other. Is there an article on this somewhere. I have read several recommended books but have not seen much addressing the exact reason for different mash temperatures?
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11660
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2011, 02:46:21 PM »
One additional question if I may;

What does the mash temperature have to do with the efficiency of the mash? AS I read different recipes and then go through  Beersmith I see many different temperatures, some of which conflict with each other. Is there an article on this somewhere. I have read several recommended books but have not seen much addressing the exact reason for different mash temperatures?


Mash temp has pretty much nothing to do with efficiency, as long as you're within a 146-168F range and get conversion.  What mash temp does influence is the attenuation (and therefore body) of the beer.  Lower temps produce a lighter bodied beer, higher temps a fuller body.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7223
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Efficiency/procedure
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2011, 03:05:08 PM »
Also the mash pH plays a role in efficiency, or so I'm told. The biggest contributor is the crush and how you get the wort out.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman