Recipe Conversion

Post #1 made 4 years ago
G'day all,

I wanted to try the BIABacus so I just transposed my last BIAB recipe from BeerSmith to BIABacus (the recipe is attached for your reference). Only thing I found was that the automatically calculated boil-off is 3.13l/hr but from the last brew I found that I boiled of 4.31l/hr so have modified the BIABacus default adjustments to take this into account. KFL estimate was off also, so made another small adjustment there. Overall just looking for general feedback on my interpretation of what I need to get everything added into the BIABacus correctly.

Cheers,

Ferg
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Post #2 made 4 years ago
I/m in a rush Fergus but here are some key points for you...

1. Mash and boil times should be 90 minutes. Search posts by me with "mash boil" and you'll find something written here on this recently.

2. Evaporation can b=vary greatly from one day to the next especially if you brew outside so be careful of changing defaults after one brew.

3. Trub losses can also vary greatly from brew to brew (hop bills make a big difference) and from system to system. Your trub losses were very high so consider using your BIAB bag as a hop sock if you can on your next brew. Otherwise, you'll need to let the kettle settle after chilling and then do a very gentle transfer.

Everything else looks good :peace:
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Post #3 made 4 years ago
Thanks PP. Appreciate the feedback. I will definitely take 1) into consideration and make the necessary adjustments. For 2), I have done a couple of boils on the stove with this particular pot now and the boil-off has always proven to be in or around the same. I tested again today with water, just to confirm, and I again lost around the 4.4l mark in 60 mins. For 3), I am using the HLT from my all-grain setup as my BIAB pot. It has a port w. ball-valve on the bottom, so the volume left in the kettle after dumping into the fermenter is alway a consistent 3.03l (unless I tilt the pot over on its side to get more out of the port, but I don't bother).

Gonna build my new porter recipe tomorrow using the spreadsheet and brew next weekend. I will port it over to BeerSmith also to see the comparison as I have been reading some of your posts on the errors in BS and intrigued to see them for myself :) Thanks again mate.

Ferg

Post #4 made 4 years ago
One other quick one PP.

1) In Sect. K (Estimated Vols), there is a difference of ~0.4l between TWN & SWN (SWN is > TWN by 0.4l). There is no top-up required, so where does this difference come from?

2) The "Mash Volume" I am figuring is the volume occupied by the water and grain combined. Is this correct?

3) How is the grain bill calculated? For example, when I transposed my recipe from BS, my base malt weight is 1.87kg but BIABacus gives me a required weight of 2.4kg. In fact, they all seem to run about 29% more in BIABacus compared to BS. Why is that?

Cheers,

Ferg

Post #5 made 4 years ago
fergus wrote:One other quick one PP.
:lol:

One and two are actually quick Ferg so let's get them done. Water swells when it is heated so occupies more volume. THat is why SWN is 0.4 L greater. ANd yes, you are correct on the mash volume :peace:.

For number three, post up a BeerSmith file and your equivalent BIABacus file and I'll be able to explain that much easier. Rest-assured there won't be that 29% discrepancy.

;)
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 20 Jan 2014, 00:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #6 made 4 years ago
You're right PP. There's no such thing as a quick question, at least not when I am asking :) Thanks for the answers for 1) & 2). Makes perfect sense. I think I may have figured out my conundrum in 3) (and you're tight the difference was 15% not 29% :)). In BS, for the mini-BIAB profile, the default efficiency is set to 75%. From what I can see, BIABacus is ~65% as, when I set BS to a 65% efficiency with everything else the same, the grain weights match up almost exactly. Does that seem like a reasonable conclusion to you? If so, am I better off with the default efficiency as per the BIABacus or after a couple of brews, can I make some adjustments to increase it? The results of my BIAB a few weekends ago put my efficiency at around 70% for that batch (I missed the 75% as I did not have the correct value for the boil-off in BS and so ended up with a smaller post boil vol. than I should have).

Cheers,

Ferg
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Post #7 made 4 years ago
Fergus, thanks for posting the files and my apologies for being so slow in my reply. You have done a great job mate :thumbs:.

Before we go any further, can I just say that I nearly had a heart attack? I started to write my answer here and was changing the auto-efficiency in the BIABacus and the right hand side of the grain bill didn't change. What the... :scratch:. I then thought maybe there was a problem with your file so I opened some others. Same thing :o. This went on and on until I finally re-started my computer and now everything is working fine. I have never had that happen before. I actually thought I had turned the corner and gone completely mad :P.

Let me get a beer to calm down :)...

Okay, as I said above, you have done a great job on the files. As you mentioned, you got the two programs to agree. They will, when set up correctly, always agree almost exactly although there are a few ambiguities in BeerSmith. For example, if you change the moisture content of a grain in BS, nothing changes whereas it should.

The biggest thing we need to deal with in this thread is the difference between kettle and fermentor efficiency. We haven't addressed this for a while here so this thread is a good opportunity to do so.

In your post above, you mention the word "efficiency" on its own. This is done on every other forum in the world and is the cause of countless problems. My neighbour is coming down for a beer. Let me do that and then I'll come back here with a second post that talks soley on "kettle efficiency" and "fermentor efficiency". It's a subject that should be very simple but that other programs have made very complicated.

:roll:
Last edited by PistolPatch on 22 Jan 2014, 17:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #8 made 4 years ago
A note to Older Forum Members

What I write below will be old hat or unimportant to many of you older forum members. You might ask, "Why is he explaining fermentor and kettle efficiency yet again?" There are a few reasons. Firstly, I am seeing a new pattern here. New members are asking questions that some of us now take for granted. It is very easy to forget though that much of the information we now regard as old hat and that we now take for granted is only available here on BIABrewer. Secondly, there is currently no easy way for new members to access this information. It is all buried in threads like this. Thirdly, after seven years of answering questions in great detail, I want to see if I can start writing single posts that might answer many questions. If that is successful then BIABrewer might be able to re-write them and move them to places that are much easier for all of us to find.

My van blew up this morning so I don't think what I write below will be ground-breaking. I'll mainly focus on getting Fergus sorted. Bare in mind the above though as these questions are starting to come up again.
Fergus! The first and hardest thing to realise in brewing is that using the word, "efficiency," on its own means nothing. It's hard to realise that because everyone on other forums does it. Let's have a look at your files you posted above...

Countless Confusing Terminology

If you look at your BeerSmith file, you will see at the top of the screen two terms, "Tot Efficiency" and "Est Mash Eff". Elsewhere in the program you will see, "Brewhouse Efficiency" and "Efficiency".

Are you confused yet?

I can, actually manipulate BeerSmith (as many brewers do for reasons I won't go into) so that all the 'efficiencies above equal each other. Let's look at your bsm file though. On the main screen, you have a "Tot Efficiency" of 75% and an "Est Mash Eff" of 93.5%.

These are obviously wildly different figures.

So the first thing to realise when discussing efficiency is that what you read as commonplace elsewhere can be very misleading.

Two Main 'Unambiguous' Types Of Efficiency

We've spent several years on this site coming up with clear terminology for many brewing terms that, in hindsight, might seem obvious and simple. From the above, you should firstly realise that there are not one, but two main types of "efficiency" so using the word "efficiency" on its own means absolutely nothing.

Even if a brewer has had the rare and good fortune of being educated in the above, you will still find many different terms to describe "efficiencies". We have done it here in the past. You will see lots of terms such as "Efficiency into Boil," "Efficiency into Kettle," "End of Boil Efficiency," "Efficiency into Fermentor" or whatever. They are actually pretty good terms as they are not ambiguous, unlike the terms I mentioned in, "Countless Confusing Terminology," above.

When it is all said and done, there are actually only two main types of efficiency. They can be called, "Kettle Efficiency," and, "Fermentor Efficiency". One of these can be predicted with acceptable (quite good) accuracy thanks to this site and the BIABacus. The BIABacus is based on kettle efficiency. Furthermore, the BIABacus assesses how much water you 'wash' your grain with. The more water you wash your grain with, the 'cleaner' your grain will be.

All other software works in an entirely different way. All other software leads you to believe that no mater how much water you wash your grain with, you will always end up with the same level of cleanliness. In other words, wash your filthy jeans in 10 litres of water will make them as clean as if you washed them in 50 litres of water. Obviously that is not true.

Is the above making sense so far?

There actually is one other major level/layer of silliness in existing software to explain but I think it would be a dis-service to write that now before I am sure that the above makes sense to you Fergus. It's also a bit tricky to write :scratch:.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 22 Jan 2014, 20:26, edited 3 times in total.
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Recipe Conversion

Post #9 made 4 years ago
G'day mate. Yep, so far, so good. I am with you and understanding how the BIABacus works and what it is looking at as compared to ,say, BS actually helps a lot. Cheers for the detailed explanation and the time taken to write all re above. I appreciate it :) So, lay the next layer of silliness on me and I'll see if I can make sense of that too.

Cheers,

Ferg


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Post #10 made 4 years ago
Sorry Ferg, my writing isn't that great atm. We're in the middle of a heatwave here and by the time I get home I am fried. Add a few beers on top of that and :roll:. Anyway, the next layer of silliness is right at the end but we need to cover some ground before we get there.

What we Covered Above

1. The word "efficiency" if used on its own, is meaningless as it could mean a number of things.
2. The most common types of efficiency (but not all) can be defined as "Kettle Efficiency" and "Fermentor Efficiency".
3. On other forums and in commercial software, even when the word "efficiency" is accompanied with another word or two, it is still often impossible to tell whether they are referring to kettle or fermentor efficiency.
4. Both kettle and fermentor efficiency reduce as gravity increases.
Kettle Efficiency
The Parent of all Efficiencies.
The simple, fairly predictable, easy to understand efficiency
that the BIABacus calculates for you anyway. Kettle efficiency can be simply seen as what percentage of available "sugars" you can wash out of your grain bill. It's that simple.

The only other important thing to understand about kettle efficiency is point 4 above. A pair of jeans you have worn for one day (low gravity brew - not much sugar to get out) will come out much cleaner (more efficient) than jeans you have worn for 6 months (high gravity brew - lots of sugar to get out.)

The BIABacus calculates your kettle efficiency for you. You have to do nothing except check that you are, on most brews, getting to say within 5% of the kettle efficiency predicted. If after three brews, you are not meeting the kettle efficiency predicted, you should check this post.

Kettle efficiency can be measured any time from when all the sweet liquor has been collected from the grain. It's usually done at the beginning of the boil but can be measured any time during the boil or at the end. A volume reading (corrected for thermal expansion) and a cooled gravity sample are what is needed.

The terms we now use in the latest BIABacus for kettle efficiency are, "Efficiency into Boil (EIB)" and "Efficiency of Ambient Wort (EAW)". We have used other terms in the past such as 'Efficiency into Kettle' or 'End of Boil Efficiency'. They are pretty clear. In BeerSmith 2, BIABrewer.info asked that a kettle efficiency value be made visible as much as possible. "Est Mash Eff" is your kettle efficiency on the main page and similiar wording is used in a few reports. (Mash Eff is not a great term but it's a long story :smoke:.)
Fermentor Efficiency
The bastard child of Kettle Efficiency.
The complicated, unpredictable, hard to understand efficiency
that commercial software expects you to provide. The only difference between kettle efficiency and fermentor efficiency is what we call your 'Kettle to Fermentor Loss {KFL)' and what BeerSmith calls your 'Loss to Trub and Chiller'. Doesn't sound like a big deal right? For example...

If you had 25 litres in your kettle after chilling and your Kettle Efficiency had been 85%, and then you drained your kettle and had a KFL of 5.0 litres, then your fermentor efficiency would be 69.3% (20/25*85).

Let's say I did exactly the same recipe and brew on your equipment but I used a hop sock to reduce my KFL then I might get 25 litres in my kettle after chilling at exactly the same gravity as you (therefore my Kettle Efficiency will also be 85%) , but my KFL might be just 2.0 L. This would mean my fermentor efficiency would be 79.1% (23/25*85).

A third brewer, a no-chiller say, might pour all his wort into a cube and then later on pour all that into a fermentor. (I'm not saying that is a good or bad thing btw). His KFL will be zero so his fermentor efficiency will be exactly the same as his kettle efficiency :roll:.

So, on the above brew, three brewers with identical kettle efficiencies might write on a post in another forum, any of the following...

My efficiency was 85.0%
My efficiency was 79.1%
My efficiency was 69.3%

Watch on other forums what answers are given to the above depending on what number is posted.
The next layer of silliness.
Mainstream commercial software really requires
an infinite number of profiles to be set up. The above section shows how drastically KFL affects fermentor efficiency. We already know on this site that kettle efficiency is not a constant, it is a variable. (The jeans stuff we talked about). The BIABacus handles that very well - no thinking required by the user.

The other big variable though is KFL. I can brew a lager of 1.050 and a highly hopped APA and get totally different KFL's. In the BIABacus, you can over-ride the trub estimates. It's easy as.

But, in existing commercial software, if you want to change your trub estimate, you have to go through an extremely complex process because you also have to change your fermentor efficiency as well :roll:.

How complex and confusing is that process? Massive. BIABrewer Pat wrote a thread that is stickied on the BeerSmith forum here. One sentence written there was, "Changing things in your Equipment Profile without having a reliable collection of average figures will only cause you trouble. For example, if you decide to decrease your 'Loss to Trub and Chiller' figure, do you realise after studying the above that you must also increase your 'Brewhouse Efficiency' figure because your system now will have a higher 'efficiency into fermenter'?"

This is just one of the many reasons why we say here, don't let a first glance of the BIABacus scare you. It's actually far more powerful, simple and educational than anything else around.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 23 Jan 2014, 20:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #11 made 4 years ago
PistolPatch wrote: If you had 25 litres in your kettle after chilling and your Kettle Efficiency had been 85%, and then you drained your kettle and had a KFL of 5.0 litres, then your fermentor efficiency would be 69.3% (20/25*85).

Let's say I did exactly the same recipe and brew on your equipment but I used a hop sock to reduce my KFL then I might get 25 litres in my kettle after chilling at exactly the same gravity as you (therefore my Kettle Efficiency will also be 85%) , but my KFL might be just 2.0 L. This would mean my fermentor efficiency would be 79.1% (23/25*85)
PP
Thanks PP. You guys are having a heatwave, we are having a polar vortex. Was -37C here this morning. Lets say we meet half way and catch a beer. Weather might be slightly more tolerable :) So, I am following along all that you said and I am down to one last observation (related to the quote above). I understand what you are saying about the hop sock. If I can contain the hops and remove them, well that leaves pretty much the full volume of wort at my disposal. Otherwise, I need to leave some wort behind so as not to transfer the hops to the carboy. In my case, I have a ported kettle with ball valve at the bottom and my volume left in the kettle will always be 3.03l. The only way to overcome this is to tilt the kettle so I get more out the port/valve but I haven't been bothering to do that.

You know what, I bought a hop sock this week. What I am going to do this weekend when I brew is to set the BIABacus back to auto for the KFL in the recipe, use the hop sock and then I have the full contents of the pot at my disposal. I'll drain what I can with the port/valve and then once I am left with my 3.03l, tilt the kettle and get the remainder :) What do you think?

Thanks a million for taking the time to explain that. It is really a lot clearer now and I am definitely less confused than I was at the start of the week :)

Cheers,

Ferg

P.S. Any particular time you recommend to pull the hop sock or can I leave it there till the very end to ensure I get the most from the hops?

P.P.S. I made the changes in the BIABacus I mentioned. Even so, the estimated KFL is 1.35l. How so? Am I wrong in assuming I can use 100% of the wort or will there still be a small amount lost to trub etc to contribute to the 1.35l?

P.P.P.S. (I swear, this is the last one).....So, I modified the BIABacus further still and made all the actuals to match with the expected, except for actual KFL I put 0. In that case, my actuals for EOBE & EIF match up. Are those the specific values you were referring to when you said fermenter efficiency matches the kettle efficiency?

Cheers :)
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Last edited by fergus on 24 Jan 2014, 11:19, edited 1 time in total.

Post #12 made 4 years ago
Good stuff Ferg :peace:. (-37C versus +37C by the look of it. -37 is ridiculous!!!)

Okay, just because you use a hopsock doesn't mean you will get rid of all kettle trub. Lots of 'silty', cloudy stuff will remain. So. unless you are a brewer who makes a conscious choice to put all the trub into the fermentor, you should always have some 'Kettle To Fermentor Loss (KFL)'.

You can reduce the KFL that is caused by your kettle tap height by adding a pick up tube to it.

With your recipe, you can just leave the hop sock in or out as it only has bittering hops. When a recipe has flavour and aroma hops, it is debatable what to do. It more depends on the chilling method and even then, it's probably not a big deal.

Re your last P.P.P.S. :P, the only difference between kettle and fermentor efficiency is KFL so, yes, if you have zero KFL, then your fermentor efficiency will match your kettle efficiency.
Un-Muddying the Waters
"Kettle Efficiency," and "Kettle to Fermentor Losses,"
should never, ever have been combined. When the above are combined, we come up with fermentor efficiency which does nothing but muddy the waters. When we separate the two, problems are much easier to solve. We can say that the brewer's kettle efficiency is too low and this might be caused by x or we can say that the brewer's KFL are too high and this might be caused by y.

These are two entirely separate issues but commercial software has blended the two into one creating a legacy of many waters that are very hard to clear.

Waters can be kept clear though by clearly publishing, in any recipe report, a kettle efficiency, a kettle to fermentor loss and a fermentor efficiency.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 25 Jan 2014, 19:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Recipe Conversion

Post #13 made 4 years ago
Cheers mate. You have cleared a lot of things up here and I am now more confident about using the BIABacus and what all the different parameters do. Also, your explanation of the efficiencies is great and I agree by separating them it makes it a lot easier to identify where the issue is. And good call on the dip tube. I hadn't even thought of that :) I'll let you know how the brew turns out later today. Take it easy mate :)


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Post #14 made 4 years ago
:luck: Ferg,

patrick.danley had a further question on kettle efficiency which I've answered here. That post comes from a different angle to the above and this might (or might not :interesting:) help clarify some things above.

;)
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 26 Jan 2014, 13:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #15 made 4 years ago
Here is the post brew-day update. Went pretty well I think and the numbers are all good.

Ferg
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Post #16 made 4 years ago
Nice job Ferg ;)

Keep records like that on your next three to five brews and you'll be so far ahead :peace:.

In section N, can you tell me how you lost the 1.1 litres?

:peace:
PP
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Post #17 made 4 years ago
Cheers Pat. Couldn't have made sense of it without your help mate. For Sect. N, I took that to mean the loss to the carboy. In my carboy I generally have about 1.1l of gunk left at the end of the fermentation process. Was my assumption wrong on what this parameter is?

Cheers,

Ferg


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Post #18 made 4 years ago
Yep :). It's a bit of a confusing name that one Ferg. Anyway, that 1.1 l is actually called 'Fermentor to Packaging Loss (FPL)' and you'll see it in Section K. See how the BIABacus has auto-estimated that you will have 0.91 L of FPL? You can over-ride this and set it to 1.1 L in Section X.

Section N is all about correcting volume and/or gravity prior to pitching. For example, if you ended up with too little wort but at higher gravity, you can add extra water to the fermentor until you see the gravity in Section O match what you wanted.

Or, if you didn't hit the gravity you wanted, you might choose to add some DME (not really advised though).

The first line, 'Wort lost from fermentor' would be used in the case where your efficiency was much higher than expected which might result in you ending up with too much wort at the right gravity to fit in your fermentor safely.

Basically, those three lines can cover every pre-pitching correction scenario.

Cheers :peace:,
Pat
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Post #21 made 3 years ago
G'day Pat,

That last time we spoke you mentioned the below. To be honest I hadn't really given it much thought until my most recent BIABs didn't go so well and finished about 10 points higher than expected. Everything seemed fine so I was left scratching my head. Then, this last couple of weeks, I've been reading a brewing book that's been on my shelf for a while and it got me thinking about the water:grain ratio and the mash time. In my normal all-grain setup, I mash in a Coleman cooler with a typical water:grain ratio for 60 mins. But after reading this book, I started to realise why you advocate the 90 min mash. I believe it's because in BIAB we add the full boil vol, thus increasing the water:grain ratio. That means we have a much thinner mash and so, it will take a longer time for starch conversion to take place. Hence the 90 min mash. It makes sense and I believe why my BIABs always finish 6-10 gravity points higher than their regular all-grain equivalent.

Can you tell me if I am on track with this assumption?

Cheers mate,

Ferg
PistolPatch wrote:I/m in a rush Fergus but here are some key points for you...

1. Mash and boil times should be 90 minutes. Search posts by me with "mash boil" and you'll find something written here on this recently.

2. Evaporation can b=vary greatly from one day to the next especially if you brew outside so be careful of changing defaults after one brew.

3. Trub losses can also vary greatly from brew to brew (hop bills make a big difference) and from system to system. Your trub losses were very high so consider using your BIAB bag as a hop sock if you can on your next brew. Otherwise, you'll need to let the kettle settle after chilling and then do a very gentle transfer.

Everything else looks good :peace:
Last edited by fergus on 03 Dec 2014, 05:40, edited 1 time in total.

Re:

Post #22 made 3 years ago
fergus wrote:G'day Pat,

That last time we spoke you mentioned the below. To be honest I hadn't really given it much thought until my most recent BIABs didn't go so well and finished about 10 points higher than expected. Everything seemed fine so I was left scratching my head. Then, this last couple of weeks, I've been reading a brewing book that's been on my shelf for a while and it got me thinking about the water:grain ratio and the mash time. In my normal all-grain setup, I mash in a Coleman cooler with a typical water:grain ratio for 60 mins. But after reading this book, I started to realise why you advocate the 90 min mash. I believe it's because in BIAB we add the full boil vol, thus increasing the water:grain ratio. That means we have a much thinner mash and so, it will take a longer time for starch conversion to take place. Hence the 90 min mash. It makes sense and I believe why my BIABs always finish 6-10 gravity points higher than their regular all-grain equivalent.

Can you tell me if I am on track with this assumption?

Cheers mate,

Ferg
PistolPatch wrote:I/m in a rush Fergus but here are some key points for you...

1. Mash and boil times should be 90 minutes. Search posts by me with "mash boil" and you'll find something written here on this recently.

2. Evaporation can b=vary greatly from one day to the next especially if you brew outside so be careful of changing defaults after one brew.

3. Trub losses can also vary greatly from brew to brew (hop bills make a big difference) and from system to system. Your trub losses were very high so consider using your BIAB bag as a hop sock if you can on your next brew. Otherwise, you'll need to let the kettle settle after chilling and then do a very gentle transfer.

Everything else looks good :peace:
In 3 vessel brewing you mash for 60 min followed by a sparge; meaning the grain is in contact with water for approximately 90 min. The extra water we use to mash in helps to wash the sugar from the grains.
Last edited by Lumpy5oh on 03 Dec 2014, 06:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #23 made 3 years ago
Nice to see you back Ferg... Totally agree with Lumpy. It is contact time not the mash thickness that is making the efficiency difference. (Some base malts will convert faster than others but as a general rule, 90 minutes is the way to go. This thread has been generously contributed to by members and shows, overall, that the more contact time, the greater the kettle efficiency.

There is lots more to explore and say here but the critical points are above. Anything else is minutiae in comparison and, on top of that, is poorly researched (almost no evidence/data collection as far as I am currently aware).

:peace:
Last edited by PistolPatch on 03 Dec 2014, 21:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #24 made 3 years ago
Pat, For anybody who would like to see, a paper in mashing, Times, Thickness, Ph please see

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?ti ... of_Mashing

And for anybody who would like to see everything about Mashing, Malting, Crushing, etc Download "Brewing - Science and practice" at

http://vinic.com/files/books/Brewing_Sc ... _2004_.pdf

or for a photocopy

http://fars.itvhe.ac.ir/_fars/Documents ... 322cb7.pdf

Sorry for side stepping the Topic.
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Post #25 made 3 years ago
joshua wrote:Sorry for side stepping the Topic.
No worries Josh. I've read (or own), all those except for the last one and there is still a serious lack of data in this area. BS&P actually would agree with this statement.

Keep it simple and do 90 minute mashes. It also makes brew days more relaxing I reckon ;).
Last edited by PistolPatch on 03 Dec 2014, 21:49, edited 1 time in total.
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