Gowanus Brewery

Gowanus Brewery Mash Efficiency by Jeremy
May 5, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: all-grain, equipment

I’m happy to report that Gowanus Brewery is more efficient than I hoped.

I’m cutting a new recipe from whole cloth, a strong wheat ale, and that requires taking stock of our mash efficiency. Mash efficiency, in short, is a measure of the amount of sugar extracted from grain compared to the total sugar potentially available. This information is useful to predict, among other things, alcohol content. I won’t complicate this post by discussing precisely how mash efficiency is measured, but, simply put, for one pound of malted grain mashed in one gallon of water it is possible to extract a fixed amount of sugar.

With our set-up, I’m extracting 78% of available sugar.

Home brewers typically have a mash efficiency in the ballpark of 75%, so we’re doing fine. I’m surprised because we cut some corners in certain equipment-related decisions we made months ago, but still… we’re ahead of the curve!

UPDATE: I made an apparently classic mistake by using the post-boil specific gravity, rather than the pre-boil. What’s the difference? Well, we have the same amount of sugar at both points, but a different volume and that means a different concentration. Bottom line, I figured 78% and it’s more like 68%. That’s a bummer, but we’re still in the ballpark of 75%. Kind of.


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[…] will (theoretically) produce a wort with a starting gravity near 1.115 and a final alcohol content in the neighborhood […]

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