What is Brewhouse efficiency?

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What is Brewhouse efficiency?

Postby Gabe » Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:36 am

What is Brewhouse efficiency? I've seen this term used but don't know what is meant by it. I have always done extract brewing but will be starting to do all grain in a few weeks when I finish building my brewery.
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Postby valorian_13 » Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:17 am

Brewhouse efficiency is the ratio of how much sugar was extracted compaired to the amount that type of grain is capable of producing. Here's a good page explaining it. http://hbd.org/uchima/tech/efficiency.html
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Re: What is Brewhouse efficiency?

Postby BugeaterBrewing » Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:27 am

Gabe wrote:What is Brewhouse efficiency? I've seen this term used but don't know what is meant by it. I have always done extract brewing but will be starting to do all grain in a few weeks when I finish building my brewery.


If, during your mash, you were able to convert all the starches and extract all the sugars into your wort, you would have 100% efficiency. This, of course, won't happen. Brewhouse efficiency is simply a way of comparing the specific gravity of your wort with the specific gravity you would have gotten had your efficiency been 100%

For example, if the maximum possible OG for the wort from your recipe was 1.060 and you achieved 1.045, your efficiency would be 75% (45/60=.75). This is the greatly simplified version. For a much better explaination, please check out http://www.howtobrew.com/ .

It is necessary to figure your efficiency for a number of reasons. First, if your efficiency really sucks (say less than 60-65%) you need to examine your mashing process. Most folks get in the 70-75% range, some into the mid 80% range.

The second reason is that when you use another persons recipe, you need to compare your normal efficiency to the efficiency used in the recipe in order to modify the amount of base grains used so you can come up with the same gravity. Likewise, if you are designing your own recipe, this figure is necessary to figure grain amounts.

The third reason is not so important for homebrew use. Simply with higher efficiencies, you need less grain to get the same OG. On a commercial scale, this adds up to big $$$.

There are 2 separate points at which you can determine efficiency. The first is at the preboil point. This tells you just how efficient your mash was. The second point is after the boil. This tells you your overall system efficiency. These will differ as the second takes into account the amount of wort left in the kettle, mixed with the hot/cold break and absorbed by the hops.

To get an accurate efficiency, you need both an accurate gravity reading (remembering to adjust for temperature) and an accurate volume measurement. I use a measuring stick for my brew kettle and have marked the volume in half gallon increments with paint markers on the outside of my carboys.

Hope this helps more than confused you.

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Postby BDogD » Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:33 pm

BugeaterBrewing wrote:
There are 2 separate points at which you can determine efficiency. The first is at the preboil point. This tells you just how efficient your mash was. The second point is after the boil. This tells you your overall system efficiency. These will differ as the second takes into account the amount of wort left in the kettle, mixed with the hot/cold break and absorbed by the hops.


Brewhouse efficiency is simply the ratio of the amount of sugar (or rather the amount of sugar + its equivilent in alchohol) appearing in the final product (finished beer) to the potential sugar from the raw materials started with.

As Bugeater alludes to, there are multiple points where effienciency can be measured. Mash efficiency. Post-boil efficiency. Brewhouse efficiency - accounts for all the potential losses in the process of making the final product.

Where are the losses? Incomplete extraction from the mashe - mash efficiency. Loss in transfer from the MLT to the kettle - MLT deadspace including tubing, etc. Loss in the kettle - includes absorption by hops and break material. Loss in transfer to the fermenter - tubing, chiller, pump, kettle deadspace. Loss in transfer to the final package (bottle, keg) - trub, tubing, bottle bucket, spillage. Loss to other sources - hydrometer measurements (my favorite).

In short, the brewhouse efficiency measures how well you get the sugar from raw material (malt, etc.) to final product (packaged beer).

AT

BTW, where are you at Bugeater? (An old venerable name!)
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Postby SudsyMcGee » Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:02 am

Here's two idiot proof ways I use to figure efficiency. The first is I use ProMash. You'll have to sit down and play with it a little to get it to work. The second way (and even more idiot-proof) is to use "Doctor Bob Technical's Amazing Wheel of Beer - Wort Gravity Calculator". It's like a circular sliderule that'll help you to figure efficiency.
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tastybrew calculator

Postby sceechbeer » Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:30 pm

i found a site that helps with brewhouse efficiency at tastybrew.com you put in the amount of grains,etc and play with the efficiency until you actually get your starting and final gravities its real easy to use and you can get a real detailed printout of every beer you make with all the specs!!!
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