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How do you set or work out your Brew House efficiency?


Jun 28, 2018
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Hi All,

Well i'm starting to dial in the correct numbers into my Braumeister profile within BS, but there's one question which stumps me alittle, its the Brew House efficiency?

How do you work this out? when you havent made that beer before? and what should be the number you begin with?

Brew House Efficiency (BHE) is the amount of sugars from the grist which makes it into the fermenter.  In BeerSmith, the BHE estimate in your equipment profile controls your gravity at the end of the process.  It is affected by volume losses in the mash tun and throughout the process.

If your process is consistent and your losses always around the same volumes, then for the majority of your recipes the BHE will be reasonably consistent.  When you brew higher gravity recipes, it may drop off a bit as the mash efficiency is slightly lower with a high grist to water loading.

Most people run consistently between around 70% and 80% for BHE and if your process is unknown (like the first time you brew on your Braumeister) usually a target of around 75% will be a good starting place and get you fairly close to the targets.  From your first brew, if you fill in the readings on the 'session' tab BeerSmith will give you a calculated value for BHE as compared to the estimated value in your equipment profile.  This can be found on the session tab underneath the column labeled 'Brewhouse Efficiency'.  You can use these figures to help dial in your equipment profile.  I would recommend keeping a record at first and using a running average to adjust the BHE in your equipment profile until you get settled in and are achieving fairly predictable results.
nateboussad said:
In my opinion, people get too hung up on efficiency. As long as your in the 60s or 70s your doing just fine. I would shoot more for consistency and just adjust your recipe to your consistent brew house efficiency. If you're getting up in the mid to high 80s you probably need to start worrying about tannin extraction. I'd rather be consistently at 68% and have to buy an extra handful of base malt each time. You're still going to make good beer.

I think you might be confusing mash efficiency and brewhouse efficiency. One can have high mash efficiency and low brewhouse efficiency due to how much trub loss one experiences. Oginme explained the difference earlier in this thread.

The importance is not just and extra handful of grain, but predictability of any recipe on any number of brewhouse systems.