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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:35 am
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:23 am 
So I am perplexed as to why my efficiency is lacking and I am hoping someone here can give me some advice as to what I am doing wrong. The following is the basic recipe used.

I crushed the grains from 030, and 028 and double crushed at 028(030 was the first batch and 028 was the second batch). Did a 90 minute mash stirred at the doe-in until there was no doe balls. Preheated oven to 155 f, but the pot inside the oven and stirred again at 45, and 90 minute mark. After that I did a rest at under 170 (165 to 170) f, for another ten minutes. At which time I took two coffee cups and squeezed the hell out of the grain bag. The grain bag sat on a large strainer over the pot. The wort was raised to boiling temps and added hop additions as per recipe.

2 lbs 12.4 oz 2 row
11.1 oz Vienna
6 oz 10L
I am using 2-05 but I think that’s irrelevant.

The hop additions are at 60, 30 and at the flame out. It’s a 2 gallon batch. I am also conduction an experiment with different hops so I am in the middle of making 3 more batches of this experement.

My BeerSmith says that I should have a OG of 1.052 but my measurement was at 1.042. This happened on both batches of beer have made so far. Again one batch was with a mill gap of 032 and the other was at 028 using my new barley crusher.
On these batches I am using a 14 diameter pot for a 60 minutes boil.
I added 3.9 gallons of spring water. I have used this water before and since it’s bottled from the store I do not suspect there are any PH issues here. I also know this because I have never had problems with PH yet and all oh my batches have fermented out. Given that I expect to lose 1.25 gallons to the boil, 0.60 to trub (I understand the trub from the grain bill might be almost double and I just guess at this amount), and the rest for grain absorption, should have put me somewhere near my target efficiency rate of 75%

Can someone help me discover my mistake? Is there anything I can do differently to get my numbers up a bit higher, aside from sparging with warm water?

Also what is the proper milling gap used to achieve the highest efficiency. People write and say various things anywhere from 020 to 030 and that’s a big difference. Maybe it’s just a guess, I am not really sure, but I would like something more definitive then these numbers I have seen.


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Location: south Tennessee usa
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:47 am 
Good Day, My 74 batches have been 4 gallon water and 1.3 gallon boil off, and 0.5 gallon trub.

My numbers for the recipe show 1.043 with an 83.0% effffiency.

This based for 2.56 gallon into the fermenter.

Dunno, if this clears or Muddies the water....


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Location: Upstate NY
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:00 pm 
Don't trust BeerSmith unless you have a complex understanding of how to set it up and have done many batches to get enough results to tweak it properly. Perhaps you should use the BIABacus instead.

Start here: http://www.biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1869&hilit=biabacus

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:42 am 
Good news Joshua, I am glad to hear that your numbers are far higher than mine. Also, according to your post, my methodolgy is not ogg, but the numbers I have used in BeerSmith. Bad news for me is how do I get to those numbers to match using BeerSmith or the program used here? Maybe if I uploaded a print screen pic and someone could comment on where I need to tweek my numbers.

Thughes, I will try to figure it out and get back to you.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:04 pm 
Hi there johns :peace:. I had a go at answering this question a few days ago but the only thing I achieved was getting drunk and having a psychotic episode :lol:. The title, 'Chasing numbers,' brought on some PTSD of the days when a few of us spent months making sense of the numbers given in various brewing software.

Let me have another go and let's see if I can save you a bit of the frustration we went through.

Two other quick things first...

1. There is no correct roller gap for a mill. It depends on its roller design, width and even on how it is powered. Check this post.

2. Your numbers will not go higher by holding some water back and using it as a sparge so continue to full-volume mash if you can, for 90 mins, and if possible do a mash-out.

Chasing your numbers

There are many good issues you have raised in your post and the answers are simple but will require some study and reading. When chasing numbers there are several areas of concern.

Brewer Error

Please read Some Common Reasons for a Low Efficiency Reading

There are two points I'd like to highlight more from that link. The first is that you can't tell from single brew if you even have an efficiency problem. Just bear that in mind as you might be worrying about nothing at this stage. (I'm working on the theory that this is your first all-grain brew)

Secondly, the terminology used in the home brewing software world is very poor. It is especially poor when it comes to the term, 'efficiency'. BIABrewer.info has put a lot of work into creating easy to use, clear terminology. For the moment, you will need to study this post on Brewing Terminology. There are six main terms to learn which are highlighted at the bottom of that post.

Software Error and 'Friction'

thughes has rightly suggested that you use The BIABacus. In the same vein that BIABrewer.info has spent time on giving us clear, non-clumsy, unambiguous terminology, they have also done the same for software. It was not their original intention and, in fact, months and months were spent here trying to make other software easy to use. thughes advice to use The BIABAcus is correct for many reasons as here is what was found when examining other software...

There were one or more major errors in nearly all the software that was checked. This process took many months as we naturally assumed that all software would be correct. Just be aware of that.

The poor terminology used in existing software means that it can take a long time to check a single recipe as two users can use the same program in two completely different ways.

The design of existing programs is very inflexible and educates people into myths. A good example you'll often see on other forums is the statement, "I get 80% efficiency on all my brews bang on every time." There's 3 problems with such a statement. Firstly, who knows which efficiency they are talking about? Secondly, it is impossible for a home brewer to get the right numbers every time unless you do a bit of mental juggling as we just don't have that level of accuracy. Thirdly, unless they are brewing the same gravity brew every time with exactly the same spec grain, then they should not be getting the same "efficiency" on every brew.

Another major problem was that it was very easy to push a single wrong button in some other programs and come up with totally incorrect answers or destroy the integrity of the recipe. The design is unsafe.

Explaining how to set up and then use other software safely and explain the number, terminology and design errors mentioned above became so time-consuming (and hard for the user) that BIABrewer.info abandoned that avenue and some of the guys here started working on improving The Calculator. You now have The BIABAcus.

Even though it is free and not in program form, it is important to realise that it is revolutionary. It is a 'low-friction' (user-orientated), safe, fast to learn, powerful, flexible, highly educational tool with many features no other brewing software has.

What we can do now

Once you have had a bit of a read of some of the links above etc, I think post the .bsm file of your recipe up here. I will take a look at it and we can work from there.

:peace:
PP


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:41 am 
Interesting software and I can understand how it would be useful.

I do have some questions though:
What is the difference between EOBV and EOBV-A? I understand what the definitions state; however, to me they appear to be one in the same. Is there a difference other than terminology and if so could someone explain this difference further?
Why is “Head Space” important? Does it have something to do with the limitations of the mash?

Is there a better way to go from metric to English Imperial measurements and vice versa? While the unit conversion tab is useful, I would imagine that there could be a better way to transpose, or enter in pounds and ounces into the data fields. Being in the USA and using the English form of measurement puts Americans at a disadvantage in using measurements from the rest of the world (unless it’s in the manufacturing, or processing industries, in which its more cost effective not to retool). When I am outside of the states I have less problems thinking in metric.

If I wanted to add other fermentable other then grain such as: wheat, molasses, maple syrup, rice, corn, honey, or any other fermentable material, where would I place this data and to what extent would they contribute to the total amount of fermentable material in the recipe? Honey or DME does not have the same fermentable qualities as 2 row. I am just wondering how to compensate for the discrepancy.

Also I have to figure out how to save a BSM file and then I will upload here.

As a side note; while using “The Calculator”, is it really necessary to measure start of the boil gravity? If so, than what is the purpose of this? Also the same conversion issue applies here with converting metric to English forms of measurements.

I still have to finish my 5 patches so I don’t have a rough idea on what my estimated efficiency will be. I am still playing with gap space on my mill.

Enclosed I have uploaded my first view recipes to as experiments to see what is going on with my BIAB. The only things that have changed are the hop varieties, as I want to see what the difference in the hop flavor will be.
Overall the programs are very pertinent to BIAB. It is obvious that people have but a great deal of thought into them.


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Location: Alberta, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:49 am 
I hope some of these answers help. Others will chime in as well.
johns wrote:
Interesting software and I can understand how it would be useful.

I do have some questions though:
What is the difference between EOBV and EOBV-A? The difference tho small is the extra volume taken by 60C water over say 20c ambient water. I understand what the definitions state; however, to me they appear to be one in the same. Is there a difference other than terminology and if so could someone explain this difference further?
Why is “Head Space” important? Does it have something to do with the limitations of the mash? Head space is the available kettle volume before adding you grains. (I think)

Is there a better way to go from metric to English Imperial measurements and vice versa? While the unit conversion tab is useful, I would imagine that there could be a better way to transpose, or enter in pounds and ounces into the data fields. Being in the USA and using the English form of measurement puts Americans at a disadvantage in using measurements from the rest of the world (unless it’s in the manufacturing, or processing industries, in which its more cost effective not to retool). When I am outside of the states I have less problems thinking in metric. Sorry I don't think there is a better way. I just gave in and stared using all metric. Being from Canada that should be easy you say? Not so! I'm old!
If I wanted to add other fermentable other then grain such as: wheat, molasses, maple syrup, rice, corn, honey, or any other fermentable material, where would I place this data and to what extent would they contribute to the total amount of fermentable material in the recipe? Honey or DME does not have the same fermentable qualities as 2 row. I am just wondering how to compensate for the discrepancy. Again sorry,but help will follow soon i'm sure.
Also I have to figure out how to save a BSM file and then I will upload here. Me too! :dunno: I used Beer Smith for a while and gave it up for The BIABacus
As a side note; while using “The Calculator”, is it really necessary to measure start of the boil gravity? If so, than what is the purpose of this? Also the same conversion issue applies here with converting metric to English forms of measurements. Start of boil gravity figures into the mash efficiencies calculations
I still have to finish my 5 patches so I don’t have a rough idea on what my estimated efficiency will be. I am still playing with gap space on my mill.

Enclosed I have uploaded my first view recipes to as experiments to see what is going on with my BIAB. The only things that have changed are the hop varieties, as I want to see what the difference in the hop flavor will be.
Overall the programs are very pertinent to BIAB. It is obvious that people have but a great deal of thought into them.

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Location: Canada, Formerly UK
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:03 am 
I enter a metric number and watch the corresponding imperial figure beside, then I adjust the metric value up or down until the imperial beside it is where I want it. A pound is roughly 500g. A gallon is roughly 4L. Don’t know if that helps. Bit tedious but I quickly learn what a pound or an oz is in grams.

I think the BIABacus engineers want people to only post Biabacuses in this thread http://www.biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=286&start=1025 because it is pre-release and they will have to edit them when the final version comes along. I got a lot of help there over there. I’d like to help more but I’ve only been brewing AG for a few months and only using BIABacus for less than a week.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:28 am 
GR a U.S. pound is 454Gram and a U.S.Dallon is 3.78L.

But, In Engand a Pound is about $1.78 U.S.Dollars....


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:48 pm 
Quote:
If I wanted to add other fermentable other then grain such as: wheat, molasses, maple syrup, rice, corn, honey, or any other fermentable material, where would I place this data and to what extent would they contribute to the total amount of fermentable material in the recipe? Honey or DME does not have the same fermentable qualities as 2 row. I am just wondering how to compensate for the discrepancy.


I asked the same question here.

You would need to find out a bit more info (FGDB & moisture) of the item, but once you know that it is quite easy to account for.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:11 pm 
Looks like the guys have got a lot of your questions sorted johns. Good on 'em!

I've tidied up your BIABAcus file and for the reasons GR explained above, I have posted it in this post of the thread he linked. You'll also find a lot more info on the BeerSmith side of things in a link I have included in the other post.

Have fun!


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