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Efficiency As Used By Beersmith

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PeterS

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I have to admit that I am somewhat confused with the results of the various Efficiencies given by BeerSmith. This program under Brewhouse Efficiency gives the following:

1. Brewhouse Efficiency Based on Target Volume.
2. Efficiency into boiler.
3. Efficiency into Fermenter.

The readings in 1 and 3 are always close and a lot higher in 2. The Help File or other searches on the subject has not been too helpfull to me. (I might be just dumb, but I am sure confused).

What confuses me is that users of other programs like Promash often mention other terminologies than those above which makes it hard to compare or to know what they are talking about. For example, I am not sure any more if somebody quotes that his efficiency is say 85% weather he is referring to his Mash Efficiency or his overall Brewhouse Efficiency. Added to that confusion is the users who manually calculate efficiency. Some use a preboil calculation and others measures as taken in the fermenter. The more I read into this the more I am getting confused, especially if I have to convert metric to US to follow a particular example calculation. Therefore, it seems I need help with the following:

1. If we are talking about efficiency in general which one should I refer to in BeerSmith?

2. How are you guys calculate efficiency if not using a program (Metric Calculation please as I hate converting) ?

To date I have not worried too much about this as I was concentrating in getting used to the idiosyncrosies of my system. Now that I have more time it seems it does bother me now.

Any help in clarifying this would be welcomed.

Cheers :eek: :chug:
PeterS....
 

AndrewQLD

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Peter,
The efficiency system you use depends on the efficiency you are trying to measure.
1. brewhouse eff based on target volume,
This is the overall eff of your system, based on the original volume you have set up in your options settings ie, if you do 23lt brews then you would have this figure entered into your equipment settings and this is what your eff would be calculated against.

2. Efficiency into boiler,
This (in my opinion) is the most important eff of all. this will tell you how well you extracted the sugars from the grain. This is taken pre boil after all your spargeing is complete and when you imput your volume into boiler and gravity into boiler it tells you how much of the available sugars you managed to extract from the mash.

3. Efficiency into fermenter.
This is not as important as 2 except for working out final gravities and alcohol content. This efficiency takes into account ALL the losses in you system ie, boil off, losses to trub, hop soakup, losses in the kettle ect. This will give you a final eff of your whole system with all the losses counted in. You must set up you equipement properly in you option settings, including how much you have left in boiler after emptying ect.

I usually look at eff into boiler first to tell me how much sugar I extract and eff into fermenter to see how close to the recipe OG I have managed to get, using these two you should be able to tweak your eqipement settings to get your system tuned in :D .

Cheers
Andrew
 

Ross

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Thanks for that Peter :)

Never noticed the variations in there before. I've always taken my efficiency as the brewhouse one. Looks like I might be getting better efficiency into the boiler than I realised :)

Cheers Ross
 

Gough

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I've always used the 'brewhouse efficiency' when quoting my efficiency. THought it was cheating a bit to just use the efficiency into the kettle. If we are all going to quote that figure instead now it might throw Sosman's immaculate charts out a bit :lol: :lol:

Shawn.
 

AndrewQLD

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Ross said:
Thanks for that Peter :)

Never noticed the variations in there before. I've always taken my efficiency as the brewhouse one. Looks like I might be getting better efficiency into the boiler than I realised :)

Cheers Ross
[post="89285"][/post]​

Ross,
I think you will find that the eff into boiler is your true indication of extract eff. The one into the fermenter is taking into account all of the losses due to hop soakup and trub, the 1-2 lt left in the boiler after draining ect.

Cheers
Andrew
 

PeterS

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Thanks Andrew for your well written explanation. I kind of figured to be that way but I needed confirmation. I guess that when we bandy efficiency figures about we are talking about Mash Efficiency or in BeerSmith talk Efficiency into Boiler. That figure on my system is between 80 to 85% on average, the highest 92.5 with my Altbier. I bet this is the figure that Graham Saunders gets over 100%.

Since that side is now a lot clearer, tell me which figure you use to enter in the Brewhouse efficiency column when you are working out a recipe. My figures are around the 65 to 68% average with one batch at 75%, if I use the first or the last calculation. Noted that most recipes I see are around the 75% in this field.

I still need to tweak my HERMS system to get my right temps in particular hence end results are not yet predictable.

Thanks Andrew.

Cheers.
PeterS....
 

AndrewQLD

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Peter,
I use the eff into fermenter as my brewhouse efficiency. Because that is basically what Beersmith refers to when it say Brewhouse eff, it means overall eff and that is the one into the fermenter :blink: . For the time being, until you iron out you system take an average of the last few brews eff and use that as your brewhouse efficiency, pretty soon you will nail it on the head :p

Cheers
Andrew
 

chiller

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AndrewQLD said:
Peter,
I use the eff into fermenter as my brewhouse efficiency. Because that is basically what Beersmith refers to when it say Brewhouse eff, it means overall eff and that is the one into the fermenter :blink: . For the time being, until you iron out you system take an average of the last few brews eff and use that as your brewhouse efficiency, pretty soon you will nail it on the head :p

Cheers
Andrew
[post="89294"][/post]​

Brewhouse efficiency is the only important one -- full stop!! :)

if you have 150% efficiency into the boiler and overall 25% Brewhouse efficiency you are not running your system correctly. And your beer at the end of the day will reflect the 25% figure.

Brewhouse account for all losses. It is the only effective way to accurately predict and formulate recipes.

You must know all the losses -- you must have them factored into your recipe calculation and when and only when you have those figures can you consistently from different different recipes get consistent results.

All the other figures will allow you knowledge of how components of the system are working but the brewhouse efficiency is the one that indicates to you how your system, not mine, is performing.

Efficiency is not as important as repeatable results, based on the whole system -- that is why they call it brewhouse efficiency.

Change one component and the brewhouse figures can be changed. That is where the equipment profiles in BeeerSmith are so good.

I have a profile for batch sparging and one for fly sparging.

Brewhouse for batch is 78% and brewhouse for fly is 90%

If I didn't use the correct brewhouse efficiency an 80./. Scottish could easily turn into a juvenile wee heavy.
 

KoNG

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chiller said:
Change one component and the brewhouse figures can be changed. That is where the equipment profiles in BeeerSmith are so good.

I have a profile for batch sparging and one for fly sparging.

Brewhouse for batch is 78% and brewhouse for fly is 90%

If I didn't use the correct brewhouse efficiency an 80./. Scottish could easily turn into a juvenile wee heavy.
[post="89315"][/post]​
Chiller, Ive just started fooling round with beersmith... what values and data do you enter for the "equipment profiles"..?
does that function take into account your kettle/chiller losses etc or is just the size of your tun/kettle...?
i'll have to have a tinker tonight.... :unsure:
 

chiller

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KoNG said:
chiller said:
Change one component and the brewhouse figures can be changed. That is where the equipment profiles in BeeerSmith are so good.

I have a profile for batch sparging and one for fly sparging.

Brewhouse for batch is 78% and brewhouse for fly is 90%

If I didn't use the correct brewhouse efficiency an 80./. Scottish could easily turn into a juvenile wee heavy.
[post="89315"][/post]​
Chiller, Ive just started fooling round with beersmith... what values and data do you enter for the "equipment profiles"..?
does that function take into account your kettle/chiller losses etc or is just the size of your tun/kettle...?
i'll have to have a tinker tonight.... :unsure:
[post="89333"][/post]​

If you want me to help you over the phone PM me and I will give you a phone number to call. It will take 5 minutes to set it up. Phone will be free [to use/not cost] this evening :)

Steve
 

PeterS

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Thank you all for your replies. I now have a more thorough understanding of the subject and it confirms some of my thoughts on the matter.

To take this one step further I wonder if I could get your thought on what figure you use as your Batch Size in the Efficiency Calculation of BeerSmith. My judgent on what I read on the BeerSmith Home site and another related earlier thread on this forum (Promash and Efficiency) seems to indicate that I am entering the wrong volume here. (My normal Batch Size Target is 23L, therefore I enter 23L here if I get that much into my fermenter.). I found the extract below interesting on the BeerSmith Forum but I am not sure of the answers to it.

" My low efficiency was a concern to me until it was pointed out that Beersmith uses the Batch Volume field to calculate the Actual Efficiency but it does not take into account the "Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller". Therefore, Beersmith is telling me that I have collected 23L of 1.0XX gravity wort, when in fact I have collected 27L due to 4L of kettle losses. The result of using just 23L in the calculation is a much lower Actual Efficiency shown on the Recipe View.

To get around this anomoly, I set "Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller" at zero and increase the Batch Volume by 4L.

Beersmith then recognises that 27L of 1.0XX gravity wort has been collected and calculates the efficiency accurately."

I think the above explains my thoughts as well and that is the reason I quoted it. The question now is how many of you add the losses and enter that as your Batch size or were you infact aware that this is necessary? I think this is where the answer lies to my apparent low system efficiency when my Mash Efficiency is quite good. What do you recon?

:beer:
PeterS....
 

chiller

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PeterS said:
<snip>

To get around this anomoly, I set "Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller" at zero and increase the Batch Volume by 4L.

Beersmith then recognises that 27L of 1.0XX gravity wort has been collected and calculates the efficiency accurately."
[set the additional to whatever your actual losses are.]
PeterS said:
I think the above explains my thoughts as well and that is the reason I quoted it. The question now is how many of you add the losses and enter that as your Batch size or were you infact aware that this is necessary?
Peter I have discussed this matter with Brad Smith the authour of Beer Smith on a couple of occassions [I have beta tested Beer Smith since the very start] and possibly it is the distance from America to here but I have never really understood the method -- based on my own actual measurements - that is used to set up an equipment profile.

To get the gravity figures reflected in the Brewhouse efficiency calc I find I must do as above.

PeterS said:
I think this is where the answer lies to my apparent low system efficiency when my Mash Efficiency is quite good. What do you recon?

:beer:
PeterS....
[post="89337"][/post]​
It is the method I use and have instructed all who have contacted me to do the same. When you do the program is amazingly accurate.

If you or any other user of BeerSmith is having problems setting up equipment and is prepared to make a 5 minute phone call I will talk you through the initial set up. PM off list.

Steve
 

BrissyBrew

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This is an old thread but I thought it was worth a bump.
I strongly suggest you set "loss to boil trub and chiller" to zero.

Not only does it play with your efficiency figures, gravity etc but it messes up your IBUs.

Back to the square one to dial my system in.
 

browndog

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Yep, this very thing is covered in another thread just recently. Since resetting my figures to give an accurate result, everything has gone arse up. Before reading the thread I knew there was something wrong with Beersmith and emailed Brad Smith with my concerns but his replies got so heavily into the mechanics of brewing, I ended up not having a clue what he was trying to tell me.



cheers

Browndog
 

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