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BYO Recipe Efficiency 65% vs. Your Efficiency

BYO lists their brewhouse efficiency at 65% for all recipies.

What do you guys and gals do when your efficiencies are much greater? Do you adjust / scale the recipe for the higher efficiency?

For example, I mash in a voile bag and the grains are crushed quite fine. I have no worries about anything getting stuck and there is zero loss in the mash tun. Sparing is easy with the bag and I run-off until I reach my target boil size.

When boiling, I hop in a 200 micron bag, so there’s nothing left in the kettle.

I estimate my efficiency at 80+ due to the mash and hopping in a bag.

I plan on brewing the BYO May / June Rogue Shakespeare Stout clone and wondering if I should adjust the recipe for my systems efficiency.

What do you do?

Scale each ingredient to your own efficiency. If that is 80%, then use 65/80=81% as much of each ingredient as they specify in BYO. So if they have you using 10 pounds of base malt, you only need to use 8.1 pounds, etc. Same goes for all the specialty malts and hops. The only things that need to stay the same are water volumes, salt additions, and yeast pitching rate, as applicable.

I wouldn’t adjust the hops, personally.

:shock: Oh yeah… I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Yeah, don’t mess with the hops. Just the malts.

I plan on the Rogue Shakespeare Stout recipe. At 65% the target is dead on with Rogue’s data. I may however leave the recipe as is. Improved efficiency will give me a higher OG resulting in a bit more ABV post-fermentation.

Using Pacman of course.

Calculated in Beersmith, OG moves from 1.062 @ 65% to 1.071 @ 75. The ABV jumps from 6.7 to 7.8.

So if I land somewhere between 65% and 75% I should be good. Pacman will take it down to 1.015 as expected.

Hummm, interesting topic.

I usually get 80% from my process, but have always only adjusted the base malt.

So I leave the specialty malt amounts the same and just lower the base malt to reach the right OG.

Has anyone done it this way or have it been doing it wrong for years?

I’ve always wondered how others do it and why they choose to adjust all malts and not just the base malt.

Thanks!!

brewingdan asks a good question. Efficiency is about extracting sugar, and the vast bulk of sugar comes from the base malts. The specialty malts are there primarily to add flavor, color, and in the case of crystal malts, less fermentable sugars. So you could make a pretty good argument to NOT reduce the specialty malts.

Or it could be such a small factor that it’s irrelevent. I’ve been scaling total grain bill for years, and can’t say my beers are lacking in flavor.

It is a good question, and I can’t say I feel very strongly one way or the other whether to scale down the specialty malts or not. I’ve done it both ways, but typically I scale down each type of malt and not just the base malt. I wonder if this explains why I am occasionally disappointed at the complexity of my beers. Then again, usually I am pleased. It’s so hard to say for sure whether it matters. More experiments are needed.

One thing I can say, I guess, is that if you are happy with the way your beers are turning out, with one method or another, then you’re doing it right and don’t need to fret about it. That much is certain.

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