Author Topic: Efficiency for no-sparge?  (Read 7067 times)

Offline a10t2

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2011, 04:38:29 PM »
As long as your conversion efficiency is 100%, it's really easy to calculate what the efficiency will be for a no-sparge. It's just the ratio of the mash runoff to the total strike volume.

For example, if the grist weight is 12.5 lb (1.5 gal absorption) and the pre-boil volume is 6.5 gal, the efficiency will be 6.5/8.0 = 81%.
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Offline malzig

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2011, 04:37:39 AM »
As long as your conversion efficiency is 100%, it's really easy to calculate what the efficiency will be for a no-sparge. It's just the ratio of the mash runoff to the total strike volume.

For example, if the grist weight is 12.5 lb (1.5 gal absorption) and the pre-boil volume is 6.5 gal, the efficiency will be 6.5/8.0 = 81%.
Doesn't this ignore the volume contribution from dissolved sugars?

When I've done these calculations using Kai's mash calculator, it predicts around 75% efficiency (maybe just slightly higher, I doubt I've ever specifically tested 12.5 # and 8 gallons, but I can't run the spreadsheet at the moment).  In practice, I see 70-75% efficiency when I do no sparge on ~10-12 plato beers, usually very close to 75%.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2011, 05:20:18 AM »
As long as your conversion efficiency is 100%, it's really easy to calculate what the efficiency will be for a no-sparge. It's just the ratio of the mash runoff to the total strike volume.

For example, if the grist weight is 12.5 lb (1.5 gal absorption) and the pre-boil volume is 6.5 gal, the efficiency will be 6.5/8.0 = 81%.

You do realize you are only calculating a volumetric efficiency of the water utilized, correct?

With a 12.5 lb grist your theoretical gravity points would be ~450. With 100% efficiency that 6.5 gallon batch would have a gravity of 1.069, 80%=1.055, 70%=1.048, etc...with a no-sparge I believe most people with an adequate crush should see their efficiency in the 60-70% range...YMMV
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2011, 06:59:53 AM »
Doesn't this ignore the volume contribution from dissolved sugars?

Good point. Kai's spreadsheet assumes a solute volume of 0.63 L/kg, but of course that wouldn't be constant for all concentrations. Working with that assumption, though, the total volume ends up being ~8.8 gal, so the efficiency would be ~74%. You could probably just knock 10% off the un-corrected volumes and get a conservative estimate.

You do realize you are only calculating a volumetric efficiency of the water utilized, correct?

Exactly. If you're making the assumption that all the available sugars are uniformly dissolved in the water (100% conversion efficiency), then there are no other variables. If you measure the actual mash volume (which as malzig pointed out, isn't constant) and the actual runoff volume, the ratio between the two is the lauter efficiency. If you're getting an overall mash efficiency that's less than that, it's because conversion efficiency was <100%.
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Offline malzig

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2011, 08:48:49 AM »
Doesn't this ignore the volume contribution from dissolved sugars?

Good point.
One I never would have been aware of if Kai didn't catch me making the same mistake, once.

Otherwise, yes, it is a simple volumetric dilution.  I do quite a few no-sparge beers, and 75% is a very predictive number on my system.  But I never make Barleywines and I make sure I get over 90% conversion.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2011, 09:11:30 AM »
I just cannot see why a lauter efficiency is even useful. Since we know the absorption, just calc the volume one wants in the kettle to know how much "sparge" water to add in total. I guess that could let you know you aren't draining the tun fully, but why not simply drain the tun fully?

To me the mash efficiency is most important since it will predict the gravity of the resultant beer.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2011, 09:27:48 AM »
To me the mash efficiency is most important since it will predict the gravity of the resultant beer.

Agreed.

Mash efficiency determines gravity whereas lauter efficiency will impact volume. I'd rather have a wort of known gravity than a wort of known volume.

can also be stated as quality over quantity.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2011, 11:36:11 AM »
I get 70-75% when I do no-sparge.  I mash with the total volume of water too, sometimes 3.5qt/lb.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2011, 01:57:32 PM »
What's the gravity you generally are shooting for when you get 75%?

'm not saying one couldn't get 75% with a no sparge, I'm just saying it's the exception rather than the rule.
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Offline tom

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2011, 03:49:53 PM »
I just cannot see why a lauter efficiency is even useful. Since we know the absorption, just calc the volume one wants in the kettle to know how much "sparge" water to add in total. I guess that could let you know you aren't draining the tun fully, but why not simply drain the tun fully?

To me the mash efficiency is most important since it will predict the gravity of the resultant beer.
The lauter efficiency of a "no-sparge" beer will indicate how much sugar is left in the grain absorption.

You need to know both the mash conversion efficiency and the lautre efficiency.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2011, 04:21:13 PM »
What's the gravity you generally are shooting for when you get 75%?

'm not saying one couldn't get 75% with a no sparge, I'm just saying it's the exception rather than the rule.

I am usually brewing in the 1.050-1.060 range.  By using all my water in the mash, its a simple matter of partioning between the bound water and what runs off.  If I mash 5lb of malt for a 2.5gal batch, it holds 0.5gal.  By adding 4gal of mash water, I get 3.5gal out of the system.  (3.5/4)x100 = 87.5.  I don't quite get that and I generally think its a lack of 100% conversion, but its pretty easy to get 75% and if I decoct I get 5% more.
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Offline malzig

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2011, 03:43:08 AM »
'm not saying one couldn't get 75% with a no sparge, I'm just saying it's the exception rather than the rule.
On a beer in the neighborhood of 12°P, with near complete conversion, ~75% is the predicted efficiency for no-sparge.  If you are getting less, you aren't completely converting your grain.  If you get near complete conversion, predicting the gravity of your runnings is no longer a guessing game.

As far as the importance of lauter efficiency, it plays a greater role in determining gravity of a batch sparge, but even in the case of no-sparge it is important for predicting gravity.  If you are trying to hit a specific pre-boil volume, the more wort you leave behind in the grain the more water you will need to add to the tun.  The more wort you add to the tun, the more dilute and lower gravity your runnings will be.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2011, 03:46:12 AM »
toms
You can make a 1.060 beer with a single draining of the mash tun after you vorlauf?

If your efficiency is 75% then you are doing that with 11 pounds of malt on a 5 gallon batch and that is certainly impressive.

You should write up your exact techniques so others can learn how you are able to achieve efficiencies on a no-sparge many don't quite get with a batch sparge or fly sparge.

- -

Wow, decocting a brew without sparging. How many rests do you typically use?



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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2011, 05:00:35 AM »
toms
You can make a 1.060 beer with a single draining of the mash tun after you vorlauf?

If your efficiency is 75% then you are doing that with 11 pounds of malt on a 5 gallon batch and that is certainly impressive.

You should write up your exact techniques so others can learn how you are able to achieve efficiencies on a no-sparge many don't quite get with a batch sparge or fly sparge.

- -

Wow, decocting a brew without sparging. How many rests do you typically use?

If this is physically impossible then maybe I'm wrong.  I am ignoring the contribution to volume from sugar, but is my math above wrong somehow?  I just know I can do as well with the no-sparge as I was doing with a single sparge, but I wasn't getting quite to my predicted results with that either.  I do typically mash for a longer time, I tested once and the conversion didn't finish until almost 90min.

As for decocting, I'll sometimes mash in at 125, then step to a beta rest, then decoct to a low-end alpha.  The decoction gives me the chance to expand the starch granules without killing the alpha amylase and I think thats what gives me the extra bump in efficiency.
Lennie
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Efficiency for no-sparge?
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2011, 09:51:02 AM »
toms
You can make a 1.060 beer with a single draining of the mash tun after you vorlauf?

If your efficiency is 75% then you are doing that with 11 pounds of malt on a 5 gallon batch and that is certainly impressive.

You should write up your exact techniques so others can learn how you are able to achieve efficiencies on a no-sparge many don't quite get with a batch sparge or fly sparge.

I'd guess most home brewers aren't getting nearly 100% conversion efficiency. Their LHBS mill gap is set pretty wide, they don't pay attention to mash pH, etc. If you *can* get full conversion, then calculating lauter efficiency is simple and very accurate, in my experience. In the last 25-30 batches I've not missed my target efficiency by more than 3%.

On my last no-sparge, I used 8.5 lb of grain and 4.9 gal of strike liquor. The theoretical maximum efficiency would be about 72%. I ended up with 3.0 gal of 18.2°P wort, which is ~69% efficiency. So apparently that mash only reached ~96% conversion. That would be equivalent to using 14.2 lb of malt to make 5 gal of 1.075 beer.

To get 5 gal of 1.060 wort post-boil (6 gal at 1.050 pre-boil), mash 11.5 lb of grist (77% AICG) with 7.4 gal water. That's ~75% efficiency. If your conversion efficiency is only 80%, though, the overall mash efficiency will be 60%. If it reaches 90% conversion, the overall efficiency will be 68%, etc.
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