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Efficiency according to Brewmate

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BobtheBrewer

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Can somebody please explain to me how to use the efficiency tool in the Brew Day section of Brewmate? You have to input Actual volume in kettle, Actual OG, and this calculates Actual brewhouse efficiency. What has me puzzled is the definition of Actual volume in kettle. Going by todays brew, if it means actual volume in the urn (including trub) - I;m a BIABer - then my eff was 97%. If it means the hot volume in the cube then eff was 81%. If it means cooled volume in cub then eff was 78%. Any ideas? Randy Rob?
 

Bribie G

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I use BM and I take it as the efficiency you got if you followed the recipe and got 23L (or whatever batch size you specified) into the cube. 81% sounds about right. I get between 75 and low 80s depending on a number of variables like crush, mash time, liquor to grain ratio, mashout etc etc.

edit: so if my original BM recipe is set at 75% to get an OG of a 23L batch to be 1052, then I do a refrac reading that shows 1055 I've done well. So I fire up the recipe in BM to see what eff I actually achieved, and click the efficiency box up until it gets up to my 1055 and Praise the Lord I ended up with 79% so well pleased. (approx figures just to illustrate the point).
 

Rowy

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Buggered if I get anywhere near those I efficiencies. 65 is about right for me. What liquor grain ratio in brewmate are you blokes using.
 

Bribie G

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I use the BIAB option where it's full volume to grain I'd guess, never bothered calculating it. Whatever 33L to about 5kg of grain works out at, generally :)
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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If I calculate what I strike (generally hovers around 18L for 5-5.5kg of grain) and sparge (generally around 12-14L), then it is about 30-32L (which seems to be a consistent figure) for about 5-5.5kg of grain. I have always sparged, even using BIAB-type methods.

My efficiency is generally high 70's-early 80's (bit like being part of Gen X). If I have a lower OG beer, I may dilute (or forget and make a Golden Strong Lager), if I need a higher OG beer, I'll boil for 90-120 minutes and get a bit of caramelisation as a bonus.
 

Crusty

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Birkdale Bob said:
Can somebody please explain to me how to use the efficiency tool in the Brew Day section of Brewmate? You have to input Actual volume in kettle, Actual OG, and this calculates Actual brewhouse efficiency. What has me puzzled is the definition of Actual volume in kettle. Going by todays brew, if it means actual volume in the urn (including trub) - I;m a BIABer - then my eff was 97%. If it means the hot volume in the cube then eff was 81%. If it means cooled volume in cub then eff was 78%. Any ideas? Randy Rob?
If your batch size is 23lt @1.054, you need to have collected 24lt @1.054 for your calculated efficiency, mine is 80%.
24lt is the total wort you have on hand including trub. I no chill so 1lt of that is cooling loss (4%) & the rest that doesn't make it into my cube is trub loss.
I get 20lt into my cube, 4lt of trub (1lt is cooling loss = 3lt if chilling) so end up with 24lt of total wort @1.054 = 80% efficiency for my 23lt batch.
Remember that for a 23lt batch, I am no chilling so I will get 24lt of wort produced & if I let the 4lt of trub cool naturally, I will get 3lt of trub loss & achieve my 23lt batch size.
 

Bribie G

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Efficiency is a good method of checking how your mash procedures are going, if you suddenly get - for example - 65% then woooo, what's happening and the first area to investigate is the mash. Am I getting an accurate temperature reading, would a step mash have been better for that particular brew..... and so on.

Beersmith have an interesting article on efficiencies, they say that in effect most mashes will yield an overall efficiency of 75-80% when you take losses and trub etc into account (as described by Crusty) so the figures we are hitting with BIAB are well in the normal range.

I see members posting that they get efficiencies of 90% and upwards, wonder if we are all talking about the same thing here.
 

Liam_snorkel

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Bribie G said:
I see members posting that they get efficiencies of 90% and upwards, wonder if we are all talking about the same thing here.
I use "the calculator" spreadsheet from that other forum to calculate my efficiencies, and generally get between 80-90% mash efficiency. BIAB, single infusion w/ mashout - and a good squeeze of the bag.
it calculates it approx something like this:

[(start of boil gravity) x (start of boil vol)] / [(307) x (grain bill)]

I have NFI where the 307 comes from.
 

punkin

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You can set the trub loss in the losses to trub and chiller. That way the system takes it into account for you.
 

BobtheBrewer

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Bribie G said:
Efficiency is a good method of checking how your mash procedures are going, if you suddenly get - for example - 65% then woooo, what's happening and the first area to investigate is the mash. Am I getting an accurate temperature reading, would a step mash have been better for that particular brew..... and so on.

Beersmith have an interesting article on efficiencies, they say that in effect most mashes will yield an overall efficiency of 75-80% when you take losses and trub etc into account (as described by Crusty) so the figures we are hitting with BIAB are well in the normal range.

I see members posting that they get efficiencies of 90% and upwards, wonder if we are all talking about the same thing here.
I was going to reply last night but somebody stole the forum. I have been using the cooled cube volume to work out my efficiency. Lately my efficiency has been way down and I couldn't figure out why. My absorption rate has been way up, ~0.05, whereas it used to be ~ 0.3. The boil off rate has been fairly constant around 11%. I have lowered my efficiency in brew mate to 65, and then 70, so have increased my grain bill. I aim for about 4.3% ABV, had a couple lower but then it came back up. Yesterday my absorption figure was 0.26. Have I discovered the ultimate way to squeeze a bag? I don't know, but at the end I had an OG of 1.046 v 1.044. I did let it boil for 15 mins before starting the timer. Guess it is a case of suck it and see, but I won't be changing my efficiency rate in brewmate anytime soon.
 

nala

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The instruction is...........volume in kettle, this includes trub.. et al. Input gravity of wort, this then calculates efficiency.
No point in kidding yourself that you have done something fantastic !
The real measure of efficiency is, brewing to a recipe and achieving the criteria as per the recipe.
I am not interested in getting a greater OG than what the recipe calls for, efficiency should to mind, be judged on achieving
the recipe criteria. In terms of cost benefit per litre of an over gravity wort is so small it is not worth considering.
When everything is considered you will find that the data that you input to the recipe should show you how you are doing in terms of meeting the right criteria/efficiency.
Brewmate gives GU/BU which I find very helpful, it ceases to be helpful when you have a greater GU than planned as this affects the hop balance that you are trying to achieve.
 

Fat Bastard

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Just set your losses to trub and chiller to zero. Hitting the numbers for the recipe is the important thing. Your losses to trub will vary with the recipe and very few brewers have identical systems, so if its the first time you've brewed a particular recipe, it's unlikely you'll hit all your numbers on the first run anyway. That becomes your baseline and the recipe can be adjusted for volume, gravity and bitterness on subsequent runs. This way you can graph your mash efficiency vs grain bill and take a good guess at the efficiency for a given grain bill on your system. You could do the same for the system and trub losses, but there are far too many variables and you'd still be doing a blind run first up anyway.
As long as you do everything the same each time, you should hit your numbers every time you brew that recipe on your system.
 

yum beer

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I use the brew day eff to calculate my final efficency, ie: I use the actual amount into the FV and OG into the FV. I then work backwards and adjust evap amounts, trub and kettle losses, etc to more accurate numbers given physical leftovers. This allows me to put in a more accurate 'efficiency' in the recipe design area for the different styles I am making.
It takes a little fiddling to get the numbers right for your setup but once sorted you will hit right around your numbers every time.
 

Edak

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Correct me if I am wing but mash efficiency should be calculated pre-boil and total efficiency post boil.

Total efficiency should account for trub losses, based on what volume went into the fermenter at what gravity, so will always be lower than mash efficiency.

My mash efficiency is about 80-82% depending on style and total efficiency is about 72% because of losses to trub.

Correct or not?
 

Hawko777

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I agree with Edak
Your brew should take into account losses in heat exchanger, chiller etc etc and compensate for this, and for this reason you might need to add extra malt
and water to counteract losses.
Grain efficiencies are all different too, depending on it's type, age and the mashing process. I don't like using Australian malts due to low efficiencies and it's
hit and miss aiming for a target S.G. Different malts respond to different mashing techniques which makes brewing an interesting, rewarding hobby. Wyermann Malts are what I use most and are more reliable in re-producing a recipe. I regularly attain an overall efficiency of between
80 - 83% using my HERMS system which is PID controlled. I have 300ml loss in my boiler, none in the HE and Plate chiller.
 

chunckious

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Edak's comments seem to resonate with my line of thinking.
My eff is set 72%. For a beer with an OG of say 1.050, this will get me my desired volume and gravity.
It's a sliding scale though, if my recipe has a OG of 1.060 or 1.070, I have to dial back my efficiency to say 70% to achieve my desired OG for the same volume.
It's still work in progress for me but this is the mindset I follow. 2c
 

jc64

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Brewhouse efficiency is what matters, it's what I get into my fermentor, SG and volume, that is the most important factor. So I'm with Edak.
 

Crusty

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Brewhouse efficiency is what I use in BrewMate. It's the total amount of wort I have on hand & includes trub.
Some recipes for me will yield more trub loss than I have set in my trub loss column. I average 2.5lt of trub loss but sometimes get 3lt or more, it just depends on the recipe, the crush & how aggressive I get with squeezing the bag. At the end of the day, all that matters is that I have my required 23lt ( total wort produced ) & I have hit my expected gravity, this is brewhouse efficiency.
If you no chill like I do, remember that for a 23lt batch, you might have 24lt of total wort but 4%, or 1lt will be cooling loss.
 

GuyQLD

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This argument has been done to death. Brewhouse eff is pointless because no one can ever agree on what it means. I consider it efficiency into fermenter. This means NO trub. Crusty includes trub. Already we're talking two different measurements. Worry about your pre boil gravity and recovering whatever volume of wort you require at the gravity you want. The rest is moot.
 

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