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Efficiency Breakdown Help

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iralosavic

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G'day, I'm in the process of calibrating my e-kettle BIAB rig and would appreciate some assistance. Details from brewmate:

Target Volume: 20L (calculated at 1L loss to trub).
Target OG: 1.050
Set recipe efficiency: 75%

Strike water: 27L
Grain weight/temp: 4.25kg/25c
Total mash volume (actual ): 32L
Expected pre-boil volume: 24.3L

Totally forgot to take note of the pre-boil volume, but the pre-boil SG was 1.0477.

Post 60 minute boil volume: 21.8L (same as predicted give or take 200ml).


Actual OG: 1.0556

Wort samples cooled to room temp (25) and temp correction calc used for SGs.


Now I'm not sure how much ended up in the cube, so I have no way of figuring out brewHOUSE efficiency, but I can still get mash efficiency from the above, right?




Cheers
 

Flewy

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As you don't lose any sugars during the boil, only water, as far as I know your pre-boil volume must have been (556/477)*21.8, so 25.4L
 

iralosavic

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As you don't lose any sugars during the boil, only water, as far as I know your pre-boil volume must have been (556/477)*21.8, so 25.4L
Brewmate predicted 24.3L volume before boil.

So can this data be used to calculate mash efficiency?
 

Flewy

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Yep, ignore the 24.3L, plug 25.4L and 1.0477 into the efficiency calculator, and that'll be your mash (into kettle) efficiency.
 

iralosavic

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Brewmate doesn't let me fiddle with the pre-boil volume in the brewday section :/ What variable would I need to adjust to get it to automatically output the actual volume correctly? What differred in my system? Less absorbsion (perhaps due to thorough rinse?)? I have no idea.

I used another mash efficiency calculator where I could key in my grain bill, pre-boil vollume and SG and it told me 93%. That seems way too high?!
 

iralosavic

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Also, in brewmate, if I jump back to the recipe screen and mess around with the efficiency until it predicts the same gravity as my actual OG, it says 83%. That's 10% difference compared to the mash efficience calculator. I'm confused. Also if I do this, it then expects my pre-boil SG to be 1.052 and the volume 23.7L. :S Something isn't adding up.
 

kelbygreen

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iralosavic you have mash eff and brewhouse eff both are different. Mash eff measures how eff the grains extracted the sugars brewhouse eff takes into account all the losses in the kettle and such so 2 people can have the same volume and SG pre boil and the same post boil volume but if one has 1lt trub and the other has 3lts trub the one with 1lt trub will get better eff as they get more out of it. None really matters the thing that does is working it out so it works for your system. I am not sure if my volumes are right as I just guess but the amount I plugged in works for my gear I dont pay any attention to eff just the final eff even volumes I know I am always over but its worked out on my system and if I change it I have to work everything out again.
 

iralosavic

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iralosavic you have mash eff and brewhouse eff both are different. Mash eff measures how eff the grains extracted the sugars brewhouse eff takes into account all the losses in the kettle and such so 2 people can have the same volume and SG pre boil and the same post boil volume but if one has 1lt trub and the other has 3lts trub the one with 1lt trub will get better eff as they get more out of it. None really matters the thing that does is working it out so it works for your system. I am not sure if my volumes are right as I just guess but the amount I plugged in works for my gear I dont pay any attention to eff just the final eff even volumes I know I am always over but its worked out on my system and if I change it I have to work everything out again.
Thanks Kelbygreen. I just want to know what % to key into brewmate in my subsequent recipes so I know how much grain to use - and I'm not sure how to figure that out!
 

katzke

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Thanks Kelbygreen. I just want to know what % to key into brewmate in my subsequent recipes so I know how much grain to use - and I'm not sure how to figure that out!
Can not help with your software. You need to guess and brew again remembering to get volumes. Someplace in the program there should be a way to adjust some if not all of the numbers it uses to make calculations. Grain absorption is one as well as boil off and leftovers or losses to trub.

I figure that if I am within a few points I am doing well. Just way too many variables in the size of batches we brew. You must have some fancy tool for measuring gravity. My hydro is only good to .02 and you are getting down to .001.
 

iralosavic

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Can not help with your software. You need to guess and brew again remembering to get volumes. Someplace in the program there should be a way to adjust some if not all of the numbers it uses to make calculations. Grain absorption is one as well as boil off and leftovers or losses to trub.

I figure that if I am within a few points I am doing well. Just way too many variables in the size of batches we brew. You must have some fancy tool for measuring gravity. My hydro is only good to .02 and you are getting down to .001.
Yeah I will pay better attention to recording all volumes next time. I'm happy to roughly hit targets too; I just want to dial in the appropriate efficiency in Brewmate so I can either save money on grain from under-estimating or otherwise ensure target gravity isn't missed by too much.

The reason there is an extra decimal place is because of the temperature correction calculator. My hydro is just a basic glass one.
 

Flewy

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Iralosavic,
you shouldn't need to adjust anything from your original recipe to calculate efficiency, in fact you have to keep it "as is". I use Brewmate too. In the Brewday mode, put in 25.4L and 1.0477 into the Actual Brewhouse Efficiency box. That's your mash efficiency. You can work it out at your pre-boil volume and gravity, or at your post boil volume and gravity, it should give you the same number. That's the efficiency % you need to use next time when calculating a recipe.

But, you also need to know how much wort you lost to trub. I saw from your other post that you had a high trub loss. I find the easiest way to use Brewmate for this is to set Losses to Trub and Chiller to be 0, regardless of what they actually are, and just to add my typical losses onto the final volume I want. For example, if I find that my mash efficiency is 70%, and I usually lose about 2L to trub, and I want 23L into the fermenter, then I would set my recipe to 70% with a volume of 25 (i.e. 23+2) L.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Flewy
 

BobtheBrewer

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G'day, I'm in the process of calibrating my e-kettle BIAB rig and would appreciate some assistance. Details from brewmate:

Target Volume: 20L (calculated at 1L loss to trub).
Target OG: 1.050
Set recipe efficiency: 75%

Strike water: 27L
Grain weight/temp: 4.25kg/25c
Total mash volume (actual ): 32L
Expected pre-boil volume: 24.3L

Totally forgot to take note of the pre-boil volume, but the pre-boil SG was 1.0477.

Post 60 minute boil volume: 21.8L (same as predicted give or take 200ml).


Actual OG: 1.0556

Wort samples cooled to room temp (25) and temp correction calc used for SGs.


Now I'm not sure how much ended up in the cube, so I have no way of figuring out brewHOUSE efficiency, but I can still get mash efficiency from the above, right?




Cheers

You don't mention your mash temperature. A loss to absorption of 2.7 litres (for expected pre boil volume) seems awfully high. For that amount of grain I normally get a max of 1.9 litres. I don't understand your reference to e-kettle, but if you are using BIAB perhaps you are not squeezing the bag enough.
 

iralosavic

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Iralosavic,
you shouldn't need to adjust anything from your original recipe to calculate efficiency, in fact you have to keep it "as is". I use Brewmate too. In the Brewday mode, put in 25.4L and 1.0477 into the Actual Brewhouse Efficiency box. That's your mash efficiency. You can work it out at your pre-boil volume and gravity, or at your post boil volume and gravity, it should give you the same number. That's the efficiency % you need to use next time when calculating a recipe.

But, you also need to know how much wort you lost to trub. I saw from your other post that you had a high trub loss. I find the easiest way to use Brewmate for this is to set Losses to Trub and Chiller to be 0, regardless of what they actually are, and just to add my typical losses onto the final volume I want. For example, if I find that my mash efficiency is 70%, and I usually lose about 2L to trub, and I want 23L into the fermenter, then I would set my recipe to 70% with a volume of 25 (i.e. 23+2) L.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Flewy
Thanks for the info and tips, mate. 1.047 @ 25.4L = 90%. I know for certain that my sight guage is equally measured, but I'm not 100% as to the volumetric accuracy. I think I will re-calibrate it and take more heed of volumes at all stages during the brewday next time.

I will have to see what my losses are on my next brew too, as I lost a lot more than I should have due to being unprepared for hops being in the boil. Basically, my pick up tube was just copper pipe resting against the outer edge of the keg. My whirlpool was almost useless (probably due to the turbulance and suction due to partial blockages during drainage, so I had to terminate the runnings around 3-4L prematurely to when I would otherwise have had to.

I'm going to fashion a new hop spider from stainless for next brew and I think I might pop a bit of swiss voille over the pick up tube too, just in case!


Any tips on a successful whirlpool? I used a medium sized flat spoon/spatula, but had some difficulty getting a rhythm due to knocking the element.



Cheers
 

kelbygreen

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my advise if you can is measure everything threw every stage and it will make it easy to put into the software (i cant as my floor is unlevel and got not sight glasses or anything only used a bucket from big w with lt markings and not sure how acurate that is lol)

for a whirlpool you dont have to go right to the bottom. I start from the outside get it spinning and bring the spoon to the very centre and just try to spin it in the centre. I find you dont need a massive vortex as when that goes you will still see heaps of crap outside it anyway.

I also found that a bigger pot and volume is so much easier. My 20lt pot could never get a cone to form at all. 40lt keggle with single batch was easier had a little cone but it settled right out to the edge. 80lt pot with double batch I get a perfect cone and it is about 20mm or so from the edge of the pot.
 

iralosavic

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You don't mention your mash temperature. A loss to absorption of 2.7 litres (for expected pre boil volume) seems awfully high. For that amount of grain I normally get a max of 1.9 litres. I don't understand your reference to e-kettle, but if you are using BIAB perhaps you are not squeezing the bag enough.
Ahh yep. Mash temp was 66c (I lost 2c total, but only temporarily, as I ramped back up and held it at 66c again until mash-out).

I seriously squeezed every willing drop out of the grain bag, so I am more inclined to assume my volumes are inaccurate - as per my previous reply; I will have to re-calibrate my sight guage and be more prudent with my measurements and try again.

I seem to have confused a few people calling it e-BIAB. It just got written out of habbit - having called the vessle an "e-kettle" in so many previous threads. I didn't mean to dress it up or make it appear unique or anything, as (implied by bum in his above sarcasm, which I was due for rubbing him the wrong way with a stubborn rant another day :p ).

Thanks for your thoughts. Back to the drawing board! 90% doesn't seem right for BIAB...
 

iralosavic

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my advise if you can is measure everything threw every stage and it will make it easy to put into the software (i cant as my floor is unlevel and got not sight glasses or anything only used a bucket from big w with lt markings and not sure how acurate that is lol)

for a whirlpool you dont have to go right to the bottom. I start from the outside get it spinning and bring the spoon to the very centre and just try to spin it in the centre. I find you dont need a massive vortex as when that goes you will still see heaps of crap outside it anyway.

I also found that a bigger pot and volume is so much easier. My 20lt pot could never get a cone to form at all. 40lt keggle with single batch was easier had a little cone but it settled right out to the edge. 80lt pot with double batch I get a perfect cone and it is about 20mm or so from the edge of the pot.
One of the reasons I chose to go with electric was so I could brew indoors and it just so happens that my washing machine is perfectly level (as I levelled it myself), so I figured a sight guage would be cool. In hind-sight, I can see it becoming a bit of a PITA as there's already more than enough cleaning to do after a brew and it also adds another area for potential leaks. In a HLT, sure, but I won't use a sight in a kettle that has hot sugars in it again.

Thanks for the whirlpooling tips... I wasn't trying to get the "spoon" to the bottom, but the wort was so murky that I couldn't judge the depth well and kept inadvertently knocking on things. Once I fit my false bottom, it'll be a lot easier.

Cheers
 

stux

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You shod be able to get circa 80% into boil efficiency with tha grain bill

I've had 93% when targeting lower gravity OGs
 

kelbygreen

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if you have a rule and the pot is the same width right down you can work out the volume. Of coarse hot liquid will be more volume then cool liquid but not sure if the brewing programs take this into account? there are calculators on the net to calculate the volume of a object so you want one for a cylender and you measure the radius and the depth and put this into the calculater and it will give you your volume. Of coarse if your pot is the same radius top to bottom you can use the calculator to mark markings on there like every 2 lts or so and then you can use it to work out the volume.

Also I guess you could get down to working out the volume your element and other bits take up in the kettle if you want to get really padantic lol
 

iralosavic

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if you have a rule and the pot is the same width right down you can work out the volume. Of coarse hot liquid will be more volume then cool liquid but not sure if the brewing programs take this into account? there are calculators on the net to calculate the volume of a object so you want one for a cylender and you measure the radius and the depth and put this into the calculater and it will give you your volume. Of coarse if your pot is the same radius top to bottom you can use the calculator to mark markings on there like every 2 lts or so and then you can use it to work out the volume.

Also I guess you could get down to working out the volume your element and other bits take up in the kettle if you want to get really padantic lol
Someone out there has probably already done it and it would have been a pretty decent challenge as the keg is ribbed! Seeing as I've already got a hole in the keg for the sight guage (which has a dial thermometer built in [handy for strike in temp reading]), I might as well make sure it's useful! When I calibrated it, it wasn't until after I'd already stuck the volume stickers down that I noticed the measurment ladder said "approx" at the top. Oh well! Buying labatory glassware is kind of addictive anyway and I've been meaning to get a volumetric flask or beaker anyway.
 

iralosavic

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You shod be able to get circa 80% into boil efficiency with tha grain bill

I've had 93% when targeting lower gravity OGs
If we assume that my actual volumes were as Brewmate predicted for all points during the brew, then for the SG I measured, I'd be at 86%. I'm going to do another brew with the exact same grain bill and volume targets and see what happens when things are better calibrated.
 

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