Brewhouse efficiency is heavily scrutinized among brewers, as it is a demonstration of how well they are extracting sugars out of the Mash tun. 72% is a common benchmark thrown out there for those new to brewing, but a well tuned system and a mastering of process can help you witness efficiency of ~75-80% every time. Here are some common things to check, and things we've seen work best on our Spike systems:
- Water to Grist ratio of 1.35 lbs / gallon
- Accounting for additional mash water needed in your system due to deadspace. Our False Bottoms occupy about .25+ gallons (depending on the size) and the HERMS coils take up .35 gallons (50' coil) and .175 gallons (25' coil). Each foot of silicone tubing is about .01 gallons of deadspace.
- Uniform stir / temperature at the beginning of mash. Be sure you stir the mash so the bottom grain makes its way to the top and vice versa. Loosen up any clumps and make sure grain is uniformly dispersed.
- Stir the mash again every 15 minutes to continue spreading the heat effectively and have a uniform temperature gradient.
- Re-circulate the mash for the last 15 minutes to establish a good set bed for sparging. A uniformly compacted bed will help spread the sparge water over all the grain, rinsing all the sugars needed, while keeping tannins and other harsh flavors in the grain bed.