HBB at 70-75% efficiency?

Any hardware used in the mashing /fermenting or aging of product

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HBB at 70-75% efficiency?

Postby jon1163 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:50 am

I'd like some expert advice on how to increase my mashing efficiency... Or what efficiency is for that matter. I'm guessing it's (expressed mathematically) the amount of sugars I'm extracting from the grain divided by the amount of sugars possible for extraction?

I did two mashes tonight

1st mash
5.5 gallons of water
6 lbs flaked maize
1 lb rolled oats
3 lbs 2 row

Strike temp was 160 and dropped to 155 when poured into igloo mash tun. Dropped to 150 when grains were added. Mashed 90 minutes.

SG at 75 degrees Fahrenheit = 1.05

The website https://www.brewersfriend.com/brewhouse-efficiency/

Shows this at 71% efficiency.

2nd mash
Same ingredients, strike temp was 165, dropped to 160 when poured into igloo mashtun, 155 when gains were added. mashed 90 minutes.

SG at 75 degrees = 1.055

Shows 78% efficiency.

Are these acceptable numbers for this grain bill and do you guys /gals have any tips on how to increase the efficiency?
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Re: HBB at 70-75% efficiency?

Postby bilgriss » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:36 am

Your understanding is roughly correct. That's "Mash Efficiency". If a pound of 2row has 37 potential gravity points, and you extract 32, you lost roughly 14% of the potential sugar, or had a 86% mash efficiency. There's a lot else that can play into efficiency by the time you are done, such as sugar left in the mash tun or on the grain, lost in liquid that doesn't make it into your fermenter, and so forth. If you combine all those other losses until your final product, you have what is called "brewhouse efficiency", which is generally a lower number. I'm oversimplifying, but it's good enough.....

To get a higher efficiency, generally you want a really good grind (or crush) of your grains, to make sure all the starches are available during the mash. A good grain mill helps. Also, holding your temperature stable is important. The fact that you got a higher efficiency with the hotter mash makes me think the first one cooled off a good bit during the 90 minutes. If it stays 145-150 during that whole time, you should be done. If it drops more, you probably want to mash longer. With a good cooler, I'd be surprised if that was an issue. If you are draining the mash from the grain, you might want to check out your sparging technique.

But..... 1.050 seems acceptable for 10 pounds grain in 5.5 gallons of water. 1.055 is decent!
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Re: HBB at 70-75% efficiency?

Postby HDNB » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:43 am

finer grind.
cook the grain up to 195. let cool and hold it at 185 for 90 minutes with continuous stirring +HTL
find your strike temp for 149 mash temp and hold it for 90 minutes with continuous stirring.

fine grind
hold temp
stir continuous.

when i put my numbers into that calculator, using "flaked" instead of actual milled grain i'm getting 103% efficiency with this method.
(can't put my finger on what i might be doing wrong there. :problem: )
I finally quit drinking for good.

now i drink for evil.
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Re: HBB at 70-75% efficiency?

Postby zapata » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:21 pm

As mentioned grinding, stirring, gelatinizing and holding proper temps are key to boosting mash efficiency. Fermenting and distilling on grain are the "easiest" ways to increase "stillhouse" efficiency.
I would argue that going on grain will be more productive than chasing ever diminishing returns in mash efficiency.
The mash becomes a little less important because it will continue to convert in the fermenter. And every drop makes it into the still if you dont have to strain.
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