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Inefficient Holy Hell Batman

So for the first time I decided to see how efficient I was on one of my AG brews. And man was I depressed. The calculator I used gave me 50%.
I tried calculators but they dont make sense.

OK so help me out:
It was about 14.5 lbs of grain composed of:
10lbs 2 row
2.5 lbs Munich
1 lb Crystal 60
.5 lb Carafa II
.5 lb carafoam

(this is Rogues Blackened Brutal Bitter if you hadn’t guessed)

My end amount after mash was 7 gallons. I stirred it and took OG at 1.046 then shit my pants.
I did a 90 minute boil, which now got me 5 gallons. Then I ended up adding in 1/2 gallon of water just to get it up to more volume. Then took a another gravity , after stirred, (pre - pitch) of 1.068.
So that makes more sense to me.

In the meantime, I decided to cool down my original OG sample to 60deg. Low and behold, OG was now at about 1.060.
I am using hydrometer BTW.

I redid calculations, and it got me to 68%.

Now what I do not understand, is how do I account for a longer boil? Are the calculators set up for 60 minutes?

All of your readings are Original Gravity - final gravity is the gravity reading 3 weeks from now - after fermentation.

What was the gravity of the cooled wort after you were done brewing - the gravity of the 5 gallons of cooled wort??? That is your Original Gravity.

I don’t have the calculator right with me, but, if your original gravity was 1.068 then I think you did just fine with the amount of grain you used.

efficiency is just comparing the amount of sugar that could have possibly been extracted from the grain you used vs. the actual amount (1.068??). At quick glance, I think you did fine probably 70’s?

[quote=“gdizzle”]
My end amount after mash was 7 gallons. I stirred it and took OG at 1.046 then #### my pants.
I did a 90 minute boil, which now got me 5 gallons. Then I ended up adding in 1/2 gallon of water just to get it up to more volume. Then took a final gravity , after stirred, (pre - pitch) of 1.068. [/quote]
You have a measurement error either in volume or hydrometer, or both. The amount of sugar in the kettle stays the same throughout the boil, and you are changing the amount of water. In other words, G1V1 = G2V2. For your original reading, 467 = G25.5, G2 = 58. The second reading of 1.068 should have been at a volume of 4.75 gallons if the mash reading is to be believed.

For that grist, assuming an average 36 pgal/lb, the 100% pre-boil efficiency point is 3614.5lb/7gal = 74.6 points. You measured 46 points, so the efficiency is 46/74.6 = 62%.

However, all these calculations mean nothing if you don’t have accurate data going in. Were gravity readings taken of a sample cooled to the hydrometer reference temperature? Was the sample cooled in a sealed container to prevent evaporation? How was the volume measured? Was the volume temperature corrected?

I don’t trust your pre-pitch gravity reading because you stirred in water which cannot be easily mixed completely. If your pre-boil sample was taken at an elevated temperature, it can’t be trusted either. There are correction factors for temperature on a hydrometer, but you really want to be within one or two points of the reference temperature for an accurate number. Also your cooled pre-boil sample can’t be trusted because it was (probably) not cooled in a sealed container. However, the change in gravity due to evaporation is probably not more than 4 points, so the 1.060 you measured was more likely 1.056 in reality, which would peg the efficiency at 56/74.6 = 75%. That’s my best guess.

Next time, take more accurate measurements. Cool the gravity samples in a sealed jar, and if you don’t have one already make a dip tube to measure wort volume to the nearest quart.

I got 62% mash efficiency from my calc too, and that is bad but not terribly unusual for a high gravity beer. Probably get another 5% from a better crush and a longer mash time. I think you ought to be getting closer to 70% for that beer.

The brewhouse efficiency (done from final volume and OG) is slightly less informative since you may be throwing out some sugar in the hot/cold break material, and that is subjective and depends on the outlook of the person whos making that decision.

I mis-spoke. When I said Final Gravity, I meant Original Gravity from the wort that I put into the fermenter before I added yeast.

thanks for the info though, it is very interesting. Most important take away was how the temperature of the sample in the hydrometer tube effected quite a change as it got cooler.

Hmm…do you like your beer?

If yes, my solution would be to stop measuring efficiency :cheers:

The part I don’t understand though is according to the numbers you posted, your sample seemed to indicate a lower gravity when cooled compared to warm, which is the opposite of reality.

i enjoy this, makes much more sense to me.

"Hmm…do you like your beer?

If yes, my solution would be to stop measuring efficiency "

[quote=“segroves”]i enjoy this, makes much more sense to me.

"Hmm…do you like your beer?

If yes, my solution would be to stop measuring efficiency "[/quote]

I consider it bad advice in general to tell someone to stop taking measurements when brewing. It’s sort of at the core of what we do. We weigh ingredients, take temperature readings, gravity readings, PH measurements, test water chemistry, measure volumes, estimate hops utilization and IBUs, etc. and then use that information to make beer. Flying blind will get you good results sometimes, but I like to keep my eyes open.

[quote=“cramer”][quote=“segroves”]i enjoy this, makes much more sense to me.

"Hmm…do you like your beer?

If yes, my solution would be to stop measuring efficiency "[/quote]

I consider it bad advice in general to tell someone to stop taking measurements when brewing. It’s sort of at the core of what we do. We weigh ingredients, take temperature readings, gravity readings, PH measurements, test water chemistry, measure volumes, estimate hops utilization and IBUs, etc. and then use that information to make beer. Flying blind will get you good results sometimes, but I like to keep my eyes open.[/quote]

Hmmm…do you like your beer?

If yes, my solution would be to continue measuring the hell out of everything you can measure :cheers:

[quote=“Louie”][quote=“cramer”][quote=“segroves”]i enjoy this, makes much more sense to me.

"Hmm…do you like your beer?

If yes, my solution would be to stop measuring efficiency "[/quote]

I consider it bad advice in general to tell someone to stop taking measurements when brewing. It’s sort of at the core of what we do. We weigh ingredients, take temperature readings, gravity readings, PH measurements, test water chemistry, measure volumes, estimate hops utilization and IBUs, etc. and then use that information to make beer. Flying blind will get you good results sometimes, but I like to keep my eyes open.[/quote]

Hmmm…do you like your beer?

If yes, my solution would be to continue measuring the hell out of everything you can measure :cheers: [/quote]

I liked my first batch of beer, which is why I continued to brew. I’m glad I didn’t take your advice back then, and stop measuring, learning and experimenting. The beer I make now is far superior. Just because you like something, doesn’t mean there isn’t room to improve it.

No one is really saying to stop " taking measurments" as stated above that is one core aspect of our hobby. Just stressing the “relax” side of things. I would enjoy this hobby much less if i obsessed about every little thing, my OG was 2 points off, my eff dropped 3 points, etc. It is suppose to be fun, not extremely worrisome.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

[quote=“cramer”]I consider it bad advice in general to tell someone to stop taking measurements when brewing.[/quote]I brewed one of my recipes with a local micro and was surprised by their almost total lack of measurements - we weighed the grain and hops, and took a couple of gravity readings during the sparge (but not during the mash) and one from the kettle. They used municipal water and added no brewing salts and did no pH testing (or adjusting, obviously).

Since then I’ve been looking at which measurements really need to be made once you know the process, the recipe, and the yeast.

[quote=“Shadetree”][quote=“cramer”]I consider it bad advice in general to tell someone to stop taking measurements when brewing.[/quote]I brewed one of my recipes with a local micro and was surprised by their almost total lack of measurements - we weighed the grain and hops, and took a couple of gravity readings during the sparge (but not during the mash) and one from the kettle. They used municipal water and added no brewing salts and did no pH testing (or adjusting, obviously).

Since then I’ve been looking at which measurements really need to be made once you know the process, the recipe, and the yeast.[/quote]

That’s pretty much what I do also, though I also measure temperatures of various things like strike water and mash, it’s kind of hard to guess at those. I like to measure the volume of wort that I collect also. Efficiency is simply a calculation based on these measurements.

Actually, that’s exactly what he was saying. I marked it in bold below in case you missed it.

[quote=“Louie”]Hmm…do you like your beer?

If yes, my solution would be to stop measuring efficiency :cheers: [/quote]

I don’t think that learning how to measure things or calculate things properly = obsessing over them or “measuring the hell out of them” or takes the fun out of brewing. I like to know how fast I’m traveling when I drive, that doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with it.

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