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Brewing tomorrow morning: Efficiency adjustment question

Hi all - I’m getting up early tomorrow to brew with a setup that’s new for me. I’ve conservatively guessed at the efficiency (65%), and have increased my grain bill proportionately. My question, which just occurred to me as I was setting things up this evening, is: do I also increase the volume of the mash / infusion / sparge water? My instinct says no, but, if no, would it skew the water / grain ratio too much? Without the efficiency adjustment to the grain bill I’d do around a 1.2q/lb ratio.

Thanks -


You do indeed need to increase your water additions to account for more grain / less efficiency. You can keep the 1.2 qt/lb ratio the same. Do you use any brewing software to figure out your water additions? If you change the total pounds of grain in the calculator, it should spit out all the new numbers for you. They will all go up a little. If you just want to take a swag at it, you probably only need to add like an extra 3-4 quarts or something like that. Split them up however you see fit. It will turn out fine.

Good luck!

Thank you Dave - great timing, since I’m about to get started (7:20 am PST!). No software, just a basic spreadsheet that does the math for me. I’ll use the increased water volumes. Not happy that my instinct was dead wrong, but glad to get some solid advice. Thanks again.

As I understand it, lower efficiency means you’ll get less sugar from each pound of grain. To counter the lower efficiency, you add more grain while keeping the volume the same. Oops, I forgot you have to add water to account for the water the additional grain absorbs. What else have I missed here?

Any major change in technique or equipment will go better if you check your gravity continuously as you’re running off, sparging, and boiling. That will tell you if you need to boil longer/harder, add water to the boil, adjust hop additions, or top-off at the end.

Try increasing your q/lb ratio it could help your efficiency.

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