Author Topic: Efficiency issue  (Read 103369 times)

Offline Slurk

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2014, 10:56:49 AM »
Slurk,  I didn't see it in that link.  Tom introduced it in reply 41. 
http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=File:First_wort_gravity.gif

Thanks KC!
I like reading the braukaiser site, but I have to admit (and being slightly embarrassed) that I see the graph for the first time.
This first wort/gravity graph is very helpful :)
R, Slurk
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KernelCrush

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2014, 11:25:06 AM »
Yes I have been to his site many times.  His preamble is usually so far over my head that I don't keep reading long enough to find the gems.  Thanks to Tom for providing these tables..

Offline RiverBrewer

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #77 on: April 14, 2014, 08:21:38 PM »
Just to follow up with my Dortmunder Export that I brewed Strike/Sparge , 1:1, Water/Grist 1.650
I use an Blichmann Auto Sparge and the last several years my sparge water volume was always insufficient amount, so I went to BeerSmith options/advanced/and changed the value for Grain Absorption to 1.037 and have been nailing my PB volume every brew. When my March pump runs dry, I am spot on my PBV. I know that sounds a little freaky, but it is consistent. I don't mash much wheat or rye which would change the consistency I am having.

Grain was 68% Rahr Premium Pilsner malt, 31% Weyermann Munich I, and 1% Weyermann Melanoiden malt. 90 minute mash @152 degrees F. / pH 5.18
Strike and sparge were both 10.31 gallons for a 13 gallon batch size/ 60 min. lauter

First running was 17.4 Brix, or 1.073 SG
So from the Kai chart, @ 1.63 qt./lb.= 1.076 SG
So 1.073/1.076*100=~99.7% Conversion Efficiency
PBG was 1.049 which moved a consistent 10 pts. to my OG of 1.059
My BrewSmith Measured Efficiency is normally ~84%
This 1:1 batch measured 88.1%, so that was the only bump of my numbers.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:33:20 PM by RiverBrewer »
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KernelCrush

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #78 on: April 16, 2014, 05:06:27 PM »
Here is another cool tool from The Kaiser.

http://braukaiser.com/documents/efficiency_calculator.xls

Offline brewfun

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #79 on: April 17, 2014, 11:12:24 AM »
I had a chance to try the method I posted. I did get an increase in both yield and gravity on my least efficient beer, Double IPA.

I gained a lot of kettle efficiency, going from 87% up to 91%. That represents 8% of the grain that could be removed from future batches. My sugar yield was up by 0.7 Plato (1.003) and volume by 15 gallons. This may not seem like much, but scaled to homebrew it's nearly 2# of grain in a 5 gallon batch.

In other words; in 5 batches, you'd save enough grain to make the 6th one for free. Not bad!

I need to type up the notes and then I'll post the recipe and data.

Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline grathan

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #80 on: April 17, 2014, 02:26:07 PM »
We're you able to keep final runnings over 1.016?

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #81 on: April 17, 2014, 03:23:21 PM »
Here is another cool tool from The Kaiser.

http://braukaiser.com/documents/efficiency_calculator.xls

I forgot about the spreadsheet.  I have a bunch of those left from when I was trying to figure out what was going on.  I used to fill one out for each brew, and saved each copy separately for historical data.  I used to place a "link" to the spreadsheet in the notes section of the brewlog entry.  I did the same thing with copies of EZ Water. 
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Offline Slurk

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #82 on: April 17, 2014, 03:55:07 PM »
Ad Fundum!

Ready to drink: Slurk Fjellbrygg, Slurk Foeyn Ale, Slurk Agurk (Cucumber Wit), Slurk Belgian Blonde, Slurk Eng (Raspberry Wit), Slurk Hav (Seaweed Wit)
Aging: Slurk Whirled White Wheat (Wit)
Fermenting:
Next brew: Slurk Hav

Offline brewfun

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #83 on: April 17, 2014, 06:54:08 PM »
We're you able to keep final runnings over 1.016?

Yes. Final runnings were 5P (~1.020).
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

KernelCrush

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #84 on: April 22, 2014, 04:52:44 PM »
Plan to do this on Saturday since I was too late to read the info last session.   When you add water to achieve 1.4:1 to 1.5:1 ratio, since conversion is complete, would you target a temperature rise or just maintain 150F?

Offline Slurk

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #85 on: April 23, 2014, 03:59:37 PM »
I had a chance to try the method I posted. I did get an increase in both yield and gravity on my least efficient beer, Double IPA.
I gained a lot of kettle efficiency, going from 87% up to 91%. That represents 8% of the grain that could be removed from future batches. My sugar yield was up by 0.7 Plato (1.003) and volume by 15 gallons. This may not seem like much, but scaled to homebrew it's nearly 2# of grain in a 5 gallon batch.
In other words; in 5 batches, you'd save enough grain to make the 6th one for free. Not bad!
I need to type up the notes and then I'll post the recipe and data.

Do you expect some differences in taste/flavour (compared to your former Double IPA)?
Ad Fundum!

Ready to drink: Slurk Fjellbrygg, Slurk Foeyn Ale, Slurk Agurk (Cucumber Wit), Slurk Belgian Blonde, Slurk Eng (Raspberry Wit), Slurk Hav (Seaweed Wit)
Aging: Slurk Whirled White Wheat (Wit)
Fermenting:
Next brew: Slurk Hav

Offline brewfun

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #86 on: April 26, 2014, 08:32:12 AM »
I've had a chance to try the 1:1 sparge method on two batches now. Both are large grists for my mashtun and lose some kettle efficiency as a result.

BACKGROUND: This is the result of a seminar on lauter efficiency that I attended this month. The presenter used essentially identical methods to my own. This is a different reference point to the "calibration batch" posts I started and have only half completed in this thread. I want to complete this part of the conversation because it represents good working practices for a variety of mash/sparge methods.

It's very important to note that what I'm finding correlates very well with Tom Hampton's posted methods for his mashes. In both of these recipes, my kettle efficiency went up.

I'm posting the recipes as brewed, except for the kettle sugar addition. There's nothing really remarkable about them as IPA's go. Each of these recipes has 3.5% dextrose but that's set to zero because we're interested in the grain efficiency. All of my other ingredients are in there for those interested in such things.

To make things work with Beersmith and still track an inventory, some ingredient translation is in order: Hop extract represents 1 can at 175 gm of AA, rather than a pound. Makes it easier to count. Yeast at one "pkg" is 15 gallons of slurry.

To get accurate numbers, you may need to change your grain absorption to match mine at 0.725 [options > advanced > grain absorption].

« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 10:15:05 AM by brewfun »
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #87 on: April 26, 2014, 10:04:54 AM »
My normal method is to dough in at 1:1 qt/lb and rest for 45 minutes, running a mash mixer for the duration. I then add some heat for 10 minutes to start the rise towards mash out. Then I underlet the mash to bring the ratio up to 1.2:1 and raise the temperature a little, with the mixer still on for about 10 minutes. I then recirculate for about 20 minutes (still with heat on) because that's how long it takes to get clear wort. Including dough in, total time is about 90-100 minutes.

Sparge takes 70 to 120 minutes depending on the recipe, using 170-174F water. I sparge to 2 Plato, but can go as low as 1.6 in some cases without astringency. Target mash pH is 5.3-5.4.

The goal of this new mash/lautering method is to extend out the higher gravity wort into the sparge and then stop before lower gravity wort is extracted (below 5 Plato or about 1.020). Those last runnings should still carry the final bit of sugar.

There's one paper out on the fermentability of wort under 8 Plato (1.035) and it shows that this isn't very fermentable.

A "perfect" sparge should look like this, where the top line is temperature of the runnings and the slope is the gravity.



More realistic is this slope of a fly sparge. The early slope up is recirculation as underletting is mixed in and heat is applied.



Batch sparging looks something like this:



To attain something closer to the "perfect" graph, more consistent heat and a longer slope are needed. Therefore, more water in the mash and less in the sparge become best practices. The concept of a 1:1 SPARGE is that an equal amount of water is used in both the mash and sparge.

AH-HA #1: It turns out that underletting or adding water to the first wort to thin the mash is counter productive. A mash ratio over 1.25:1 is also counter productive because an equal sparge tends to yield too much wort and too low a final gravity, though efficiency didn't seem to suffer. Best practice is going to be some kettle top-up water rather than sparging longer.

RECIPE METHOD: The water ratios are accurate, though not optimal. The DIPA simply can't take any more water and the IPA got a little too much. Between the two versions, I like the one that's a little drier, as it also hit my desired mash temperature of 152.

The mash mixer was turned off during the conversion rest and pre-recirculation heat up period. Of course it's off for recirculation and sparge. This allowed more air to stay in the mash bed.

RECIPE ANALYSIS: Conversion time was not affected.
DIPA 1st runnings: 25.7 Plato
IPA First runnings: 21.6 Plato
  Both of these represent 100% conversion efficiency and beat the table on Kai's website. According to Kai, this is expected on a pro scale. We mill finer than most homebrewers.

Past practice says we expect 10 Plato runnings with the kettle about half full (10 barrels), then lose 1 Plato per barrel until full (20.5 barrels). There is a slope change at about 3 Plato where it slows to 0.7 Plato per barrel for about 3 barrels.

1:1 Sparge results: In this method we shut off sparge when the volume was very nearly equal to the mash volume. Ideal would be completely equal.

DIPA: 24.5 Plato at 9 barrels. 17 Plato at 13 barrels. 11 Plato at 16.5 barrels. 7.7 Plato at 18.5 barrels. Final runnings 5 Plato. Preboil volume 21.25 barrels (21.0 was the target). Preboil gravity 18.9 Plato. Net kettle efficiency gain of 10%, net yield gain of 6%.

IPA: 18.7 Plato at 10 barrels. 13 Plato at 12 barrels. 9 Plato at 14 barrels. Final runnings 3 Plato. Preboil volume 20.6. Preboil gravity 15 Plato. Kettle efficiency 95.5% where typical is ~93%. Net of 5% increase in yield.

Time and temperature both improved as well. The outflow temperature stayed steady at 164F throughout the sparge. Previously this has had a variance of up to 12 degrees F over the course of the sparge. First falling then rising near the end.

CONCLUSIONS: The tighter mash ratio and lower sparge volume seemed to net a greater increase in efficiency. I'll temper that with the fact that a pro brewer needs to be close to 90% efficient to maximize yield and profitability. However, my DIPA represents the least most efficient beer I make, so the added efficiency shows some real promise.

I'm going to stick to a 1.15:1 mash ratio and sparge with an equal amount of water. As of now, I don't think adding water to the mash would be ideal. However, it seems that a mash ratio nearer 1.5:1 works about as well as a tighter mash ratio.

I'm going to apply this method to lighter gravity beers that already have very high efficiency. The aim will be to improve flavor and fermentability. I plan to stop sparge at equal volume OR when gravity falls to 8 Plato, with the idea that final runnings will not be below 5 or 6 Plato but full extraction is attained.

Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #88 on: April 26, 2014, 10:06:30 AM »
Do you expect some differences in taste/flavour (compared to your former Double IPA)?

Hopefully not! At least not anything bad.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Efficiency issue
« Reply #89 on: April 26, 2014, 10:20:53 AM »
Plan to do this on Saturday since I was too late to read the info last session.   When you add water to achieve 1.4:1 to 1.5:1 ratio, since conversion is complete, would you target a temperature rise or just maintain 150F?

I have come to the conclusion that adding water is unnecessary and perhaps detrimental. Add it all up front, then go right into recirculation and sparge.

I'm a bit out on a limb with this method. I'm showing my adaptations and learning curve as I go, with this one. Forgive me for any contradictions as I figure it out. I hope it could be useful to show my process, errors and all.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

 

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