BIAB Brewhouse (Total) Efficiency in BeerSmith

So I just finished my 4th AG BIAB. So far with Beersmith set to the default 70% this is what my measured results have been;

Black IPA - 76.2% - Beersmith Est 84%
Apple Hefe - 83% - BS Est 84% (grain bill was half of what it should have been)
La Petite - 75.1% - BS Est 86.7%
Lemon Drop Hefe - 70% - BS Est 84%

So figuring I get about 75% mash efficiency on average, I set the BS Brewhouse (Total) Eff until it matched on the La Petite and resulted in a Total Eff of 60.3%.

Currently I double crush (first is done by NB). For the LD Hefe I did a rest of 90 minutes. I always try to twist and squeeze to try and extract extra sugars.

So I know increasing the grain bill is one way to use my Brewhouse efficiency to reproduce an existing recipes OG. Another option I know of is when missing the Mash Gravity is adding some DME to compensate. Does anyone have some suggestions that might help improve my BH Eff instead of actually upping the grain bill or adding DME?

Seriously, if your efficiency is already averaging about 75%, don’t change a thing. That’s great efficiency. You can gain more from a harder crush of the grains if you like, but efficiency is really not that important.

Plus I believe I read somewhere that too high of an efficiency can result in undesirable affects such as thin bodied beer. I’m trying to find the citation but can’t seem to locate it.

In all honesty, you probably heard that from me. It’s one of my mavericky theories.

In all honesty, you probably heard that from me. It’s one of my mavericky theories.[/quote]
Well Dave that does sound like you :lol: But I think I have read it elsewhere.

That’s good to know. So I guess to keep a recipe true then I’d have to up the grain bill by converting using my equipment setup? Guess I will need to start keeping some unmilled grains like 2-row, pilsner, and wheat for when I buy kits.

I’ve put some thought into this (or at least I did 4-5 years ago). Unfortunately I still never successfully ran side-by-side taste experiments to know for certain whether high efficiency hurts beer quality – it is just a very interesting theory to me at this point.

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Thanks those were good reads. Now one question it seems you were talking about Brewhouse Eff not Mash Eff. So for that I’m still missing the 70% mark. I’m making another lighter beer in a week or two so think I’ll try to close the gap a little bit when I do a second milling and maybe find a way to let the bag drain a little more before taking a sample.

Are you doing full volume BIAB mash? If you do some kind of sparge it will likely increase your efficiency.

I mash at traditional water to grain ratios then pull the bag and rest on an oven rack over the kettle and sparge by running 190ish water through the grain bag to get my boil volume. I’ve actually stopped squeezing the bag so much because I found it doesn’t seem to do much more if I sparge like this.

Some other guys drop the bag in a bucket of water and just let it soak a while then add that back to the boil.

I was crushing to .028 for BIAB and getting very high efficiency with a sparge so I’ve actually closed the gap to try and get my efficiency down to reach target abv.

An important part of any efficiency is to be able to get repeatable results. I would work on that rather than high efficiency, unless your efficiency is really poor.

Thanks again guys. But when talking efficiency should I be looking at Mash which I average 75% right now, or Total (Brewhouse) which is only 60.3%?

So I tightened up the crush a little, basically tightened on a business card until it would just barely pull out and it tore slightly. Below are my crush pictures. Again I got a 75% Mash Eff, so only 60% Brewhouse. I still don’t sparge so not sure how much impact that would have. Also I don’t know my PH yes and will probably get some test strips so I can see on my next brewday.

Pictures of my crush;