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Figuring out our efficiency


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Hey everyone. We are trying to figure out how efficient we are at our distillations. Everyone is saying use bushels, which I though was only applicable to corn. My googlefu has shown me that actually a bushel is applicable to any grain, with the following numbers:

1 bushel

Oats = 32lbs

Rye = 56lbs

Wheat = 60lbs

Malt = 34lbs

Corn = 56lbs

Searching these forums though, it seems that some people say the universal weight/bushel is just 56lbs?

With the original weights, we are getting an average of 1.9 pg/bushel of grain, but with making every grain 56/bushel, our efficiency jumps to 3.14 pg/bushel (both of those numbers are only looking at hearts cuts not the heads.

Any input?

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One of my biggest frustrations with the alcohol industry is that no terms are standard...

Gallons, litres, pounds, kilos, corn bushels, wheat bushels, brix, gravity, fores, heads, etc.

As for the real topic, I'd be interested in knowing what others get as we are going to start our first wheat mash in the next couple days.

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Going to vary significantly based on grain type. Corn > Barley > Wheat > Rye in extract potential. I believe 5.6 proof gallons is the typical listed max for (a bushel of) corn.

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As Per sudzie small runs, and my previous observations estimate:

88lbs grain /56 = 1.57 bush x 5.2 = 8.16 pg

It's easier to just say 55# - 5 pg. Easy rule of thumb, and every thing extra is free money

If you are only at 3+/- you are probably not getting good conversions.

What's your starting and ending SG ?

Generally the bushel rule is based on the amount of weight in a corn bushel. Using that number in lbs

of other grains gets you pretty close to the same number. The max is corn, and I beleive rice is right up there as well. there

Is a slight drop off with other grains due to the % of unfermentable proteins per lb. of course if you use things like

Wheat flour without the husk, your yield then goes up accordingly per lb, due to less protein per lb.

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Thank you all for your info and input.

Since everyone seems to be saying use 56lbs as bushel size I've reworked the numbers using data points from our last 11 distillations

With a mashbill of 1950# Malt; 250# Wheat; 220# Oat; and 55# Rye we seem to be averaging 3.19 pg/bushel (56lbs grain) with just our hearts cut, and 4.14 pg/bushel if it includes our heads.

Gravities in fermentation are are around 1.061 SG starting and ending fermentation right around 1.000 SG

Does that seem like a good run, especially since there is no corn? Or does the yield seem off?

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Seems low to me. You ever try with a stripping run? If so, what was your uncut pg?

That would make more sense wouldn't it. With the past 11 stripping runs we're averaging 3.8 pg/bushel. Should we be shooting for 5.0/bushel with no corn in our mashbill or a little lower (4.0/4.5)?

Edit: Forgot to mention that we mix our stripped low wines with unstripped wash in the still, if I get how much wash we add back to the pot still and extrapolate what our pg/gallon of wash is in the stripping column that comes out to around a theoretical 195.1 pg or 4.37 pg/bushel after a stripping run

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