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RoboBrew Efficiency

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1 year 3 months ago - 1 year 3 months ago #2163 by Frank_Grimes
Frank_Grimes created the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
I'm keen to understand if there are any improvements I can be making to my process on the RoboBrew. I purchased the system about 9 months ago and have been tracking my efficiency on the last 5 or so brews. I can't seem to get past 60% total efficiency but I'm achieving good numbers in mash efficiency. System is as follows:

Keg King RoboBrew
Magnetic Pump and recirc hoses
Stock pot on the stove for sparge water

I've watched Gash's videos and I'm following the same process with the exception of sparge in that I don't use a strainer and simply pour from the jug into the malt pipe. I've recently started looking into mash chemistry and found my local water profile. I brewed a Smurto's Golden Ale today and added Gypsum, Epsom and Chalk to match the water profile I was after but sadly that did not help efficiency. I'm still hopeful it will improve taste and accentuate hop flavour but my total efficiency was 58% today. I nailed the Mash Gravity at 1.035 and 72% but missed OG of 1.042 and instead came up with 1.039 at the end of the boil. I had found on previous brews that I was coming up with too much wort at the end but today I adjusted and ended up with 19.95L against a target of 20L. A screenshot of my numbers below.



My steps are as follows:

1. Night before, set up system and measure out water - leave overnight for chlorine to dissipate. I've downloaded the Beersmith RoboBrew profile from this forum
2. Morning of, add salt additions to mash water and begin heating
3. Once at strike temp add grain and let sit for 10min
4. After 10min start recirculation - I clamp the hose to the inner wall of the malt pip and control the flow so that in runs down the wall and not directly into the grain bed
5. I stir the grain relatively vigorously at least twice during the mash leaving at least 15min of rest at the end to help clear the wort
6. When I raise the malt pipe I begin sparging with the heated water once the level of wort has dropped below the top of the grain bed - I let this drain until I've reached the boil volume
7. I take my pre-boil reading now after stirring the wort to ensure the reading is accurate - I use a refractometer and sometimes hydrometer if the reading is off
8. During the boil I try not to cover the kettle for consistent boil off rate.
9. I use hop balls or a hop spider for additions

Any insights as to how I can improve my efficiency would be most welcome.

Cheers
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Last Edit: 1 year 3 months ago by Frank_Grimes.

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1 year 3 months ago #2164 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
G'day, So mash goes well, you ended up with pretty much your volume, except a few points down... hmmm it is a little odd to of got the right amount boil off but to be 3 points down, especially when you hit your numbers. It would be great if I could have a look at the recipe file. If you can export the recipe to a file and upload here or email it to me that would be great!

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Numbers are weird thing and aren't really important as long as you get some consistency. The mash eff is fine. Cheers mate!

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1 year 3 months ago #2166 by Frank_Grimes
Frank_Grimes replied the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
File attached.

I ended up with 19.5L in the fermenter but I took a hydro sample of 250ml to ensure my refractomer wasn't lying to me and there was 3.2L left in the kettle when I emptied and I accounted for 3L of dead space when measuring water. hence the 19.95L.

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1 year 3 months ago #2167 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
Too much wort earlier, I'm guessing that the boil off is different where you are at, whether it be environmental or you have less power getting through to the unit, whether that be extension leads or whatever. The trouble using beersmith for these types of brewing setups it isnt really designed for them, so the eff are out. At the moment mine is set to 68 overall, and even though this isnt really the case sometimes, I've used it to adjust the mash eff and get it close, because there is no direct way to adjust mash eff in Beersmith. So it really is trial and error, record everything and then reenter info to try and get Beersmith to match what your actual is. Mines been slightly adjusted since the upload, I lowered it a little because 2 out 3 batches in a while were coming up 2 points lower. And then I'll do a batch tomorrow and eff will be up again, mashing and the whole brewing process is very organic, any little thing can change a particular brew on a particular day. I always take anyone with a grain of salt that say they hit their numbers perfect ever batch, because it just doesnt happen. Even if their system is 100% perfect computer controlled etc (never happens) just a small variance in the grain that they use on the day can throw things out easily, grain changes every batch. Even though Beersmith is the best software out at the moment it still has its flaws.

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1 year 3 months ago #2168 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
My big 3 vessel system brewhouse eff is 71% now thats for a 23L batch with 4.5L losses to mash and chiller, the robobrew we have set to somewhere about 65-68% brewhouse eff but thats a 20L batch with 3.9L losses to mash and chiller (mash and chiller loss is another thing we adjust to get the mash eff right in Beersmith, for the robobrew we split the 3.4L in the bottom and the loss for hops and transferring etc between mash and chiller loss settings) So that in itself drops the Beersmith Brewhouse Eff number.

Just the 3.9L out 20L batch is 20% then we lose another litre at least in the fermenter, so thats 25% loss. Thats before the normal loss to mash eff because we never want or get the 100% sugars out of a mash.

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1 year 3 months ago #2169 by Frank_Grimes
Frank_Grimes replied the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
Ok, so I do use a 20m extension lead (only one I have) into a powerboard to run the Robo and the pump. It does make sense that this would be affecting the boil off rate. I'm based on the southern end of the Gold Coast also.

So - what is the adjustment I should make? Lower the boil off rate in the equipment profile? I'll brew the same recipe this weekend.

I'd be happy to hit just 65% consistently - that way I can plan ingredients around that number.

BTW - I added gypsum, epsom and magnesium to the mash water before heating, but did nothing to my sparge water - should I be making similar additions?

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1 year 3 months ago #2170 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
See if you can go over your old brews and work out your boil off. Adjusting sparge water isnt really necessary most of the time, if you are getting your Mash ph right thats the most important, after that you can add more salts to your boil if you think its necessary, if your going for a very hoppy beer you might add 5g of Gypsum, or a very malty beer you might add 5g Calcium Chloride for example. Again water profile dependant. Cheers!

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1 year 3 months ago #2172 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
hmmm I've found something else, it might not be your boil off, I see youve set it as BIAB for the mash, I've noticed the BIAB grain absorption setting in Beersmith is lower then other mash profiles, so I'm going to have a play with my profile today and do a brew and see how I go.

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1 year 3 months ago - 1 year 2 months ago #2173 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
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Smashed the numbers today. I changed a few small things, I changed grain absorption and boil off. but at the moment it may show up wrong in your Beersmith because I changed the grain absorption in beersmith to .66 , which is in 'settings' section, beware this will change all your recipes, although they will change back if you change the setting back to its default of .96.

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Last Edit: 1 year 2 months ago by Gash.

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1 year 3 months ago #2174 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: RoboBrew Efficiency
Ignore the grain bill on that amber.. it is what I used,, but only because I ran out of one sort of munich and ran out of dark crystal. :)

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Drunken Ramblings

Finnroo's Avatar Finnroo - Wed 22 Nov - 16:24

David Cassidy Dead. Another rock icon gone.He was part of thye 70s glam promo thing with a tv show the partridge family. When the Sweet , Slade, T rex and Bowie were doing there thing some were pushed into the money making scams.RIP David. Ledgend :D

Gash's Avatar Gash - Sun 19 Nov - 23:30

dark day indeed!

Finnroo's Avatar Finnroo - Sun 19 Nov - 14:19

Black arm band day today Malcolm Young from ACDC dies at 68 years old. Best rock rhythem man of our time. Having a coopers pale and listening to Power Age. Cheers

Finnroo's Avatar Finnroo - Wed 15 Nov - 14:52

Bottled my Scottish ale and all went very well, washed 2 jars of yeast and that looks good too. Brew day tomorrow just preparing the liquor now. Was a bit worried about doing the yeast thing again but decided to get back on the pony and move forward. :D

Finnroo's Avatar Finnroo - Tue 7 Nov - 07:59

Hi Paul, Ive posted a new post topic about Mauribrew yeast but seems to be Lager, Wheat and Engish style. :D

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