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Brewing Topics => Recipes => Topic started by: anak85 on January 03, 2019, 09:00:45 AM

Title: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 03, 2019, 09:00:45 AM
Hi there!

I am just experimenting with the BeerSmith software and trying to brew half of the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale this weekend. I entered the full recipe and then proceeded to halve the batch. But the IBUs and the Color are suddenly different. Any idea what is going wrong?

I halved the recipe manually btw. If I half it using the "Scale recipe" function the ingredients are not halved either. They get adjusted to some weird values that suddenly achieve the same IBUs and colouring.

The mash efficiencies and water quantities seem very strange between the two...

(https://i.ibb.co/4Mksy4y/SNPA-full-batch.jpg) (https://ibb.co/ZK9Hscs)

(https://i.ibb.co/56dfvrc/SNPA-half-batch.jpg) (https://ibb.co/f2bPtk0)

Any suggestions? I bought the ingredients for half a batch already.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 03, 2019, 09:36:10 AM
Just halving the recipe manually when using the same equipment does not account for losses in your mash tun.  This is why when you used the scale recipe feature, the amounts were not the same as your manual halving of ingredients.  What the program does is increase the mash efficiency in the half batch to draw the same amount of sugars that you should get into the fermenter based upon the brew house efficiency specified in your equipment profile.  It does this regardless of the actual mash efficiency most likely being the same or close to that of your full batch.

When I do scale down a recipe, I start with constructing a new equipment profile to take into account the greater percentage loss due to dead space in the mash tun.  I will reduce the brew house efficiency based upon the difference in % loss.   For example, if I brew 20 liters with a BHE of 80% and a loss to dead space in my mash tun of 2 liters with a boil off of 4 liters, my loss in the mashing process is 2 liters / 24 liters = 8.3% loss.  The same system with 10 liters into the fermenter would be 2 liters of loss in the mash tun, 4 liters of boil off giving a loss in the mashing process of 2 liters / 14 liters = 14.3%.  This difference comes right off of the brew house efficiency in order to maintain the same mash efficiency which is where the sugar is drawn from.

For the IBU, the impact is on the other end of the process.  By using the same equipment profile, you will have the same end of process losses and the same calculation as above applies from post boil to fermenter.  With a greater percentage loss in the post boil volume, the IBU will be lost as well, which is exhibited by the lower IBU number.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 03, 2019, 12:32:36 PM
Just halving the recipe manually when using the same equipment does not account for losses in your mash tun.  This is why when you used the scale recipe feature, the amounts were not the same as your manual halving of ingredients.  What the program does is increase the mash efficiency in the half batch to draw the same amount of sugars that you should get into the fermenter based upon the brew house efficiency specified in your equipment profile.  It does this regardless of the actual mash efficiency most likely being the same or close to that of your full batch.

When I do scale down a recipe, I start with constructing a new equipment profile to take into account the greater percentage loss due to dead space in the mash tun.  I will reduce the brew house efficiency based upon the difference in % loss.   For example, if I brew 20 liters with a BHE of 80% and a loss to dead space in my mash tun of 2 liters with a boil off of 4 liters, my loss in the mashing process is 2 liters / 24 liters = 8.3% loss.  The same system with 10 liters into the fermenter would be 2 liters of loss in the mash tun, 4 liters of boil off giving a loss in the mashing process of 2 liters / 14 liters = 14.3%.  This difference comes right off of the brew house efficiency in order to maintain the same mash efficiency which is where the sugar is drawn from.

For the IBU, the impact is on the other end of the process.  By using the same equipment profile, you will have the same end of process losses and the same calculation as above applies from post boil to fermenter.  With a greater percentage loss in the post boil volume, the IBU will be lost as well, which is exhibited by the lower IBU number.

Thanks for the indepth answer.

So how do I go about setting my equipment profile correctly? I have a Klarstein Mundschenk 30L system (same as the Brew Monk) and want to brew 10L and 20L batches.

Regards!
Phillip
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 03, 2019, 12:59:26 PM
Since you are using the same equipment, I would not expect any change in the mash tun loss, so that remains consistent.  I would start by taking your current mash efficiency, change the fermenter volume, and start by adjusting the BHE by the difference in the losses.  i.e. in the first example for mash tun losses, you go from 8.3% loss to 14.3% loss.  If your BHE for a full batch is 75%, knock it down by 14.3 - 8.3 = 6% as a start and then you can modify it after you brew.  This should get you in the ballpark.

Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 03, 2019, 01:05:05 PM
Since you are using the same equipment, I would not expect any change in the mash tun loss, so that remains consistent.  I would start by taking your current mash efficiency, change the fermenter volume, and start by adjusting the BHE by the difference in the losses.  i.e. in the first example for mash tun losses, you go from 8.3% loss to 14.3% loss.  If your BHE for a full batch is 75%, knock it down by 14.3 - 8.3 = 6% as a start and then you can modify it after you brew.  This should get you in the ballpark.

I think you lost me a little bit.

Well, since I have no idea what my mash tun loss is, I guess I should just simply record losses during my next brew in all stages and post them for support?
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 03, 2019, 01:17:22 PM
But are there no profiles I can use as an approximation from similar style systems? I understand that it would be good to have precise information but just to prepare my recipes a little better it would be good to be able to import some examples for full size / half size batches.

Right now I am quite unsure what water quantities I should be using this weekend...
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 03, 2019, 01:23:02 PM
It looks similar to many one vessel system, such as the grainfather.  Most grainfather users that I have talked to have had to do slight changes to their profiles to match the results of their specific devices. 
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 03, 2019, 01:47:55 PM
It looks similar to many one vessel system, such as the grainfather.  Most grainfather users that I have talked to have had to do slight changes to their profiles to match the results of their specific devices.

I just found the button to import profiles. There is a Robobrew which is fairly similar. I will start with that.

What is meant with the full, medium and light bodies during the mash profiles? What is suggested for IPAs and Pale Ales?
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Kevin58 on January 03, 2019, 02:19:19 PM
The temperature at which you mash is what determines a full, medium or light bodied beer.

Mashing at the low end of the conversion scale... around 148-152 F will produce a more conversion of complex starches to sugars giving you, in theory, more fermentation and a clean, lighter tasting beer.

In the middle at 153-156 F is of course where medium bodied beers result.

Mashing higher at 155-158 F will result in less starch conversion leaving a beer with more unfermentables and giving you a full bodied beer.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Kevin58 on January 03, 2019, 02:25:02 PM
PS. If you find an equipment profile that matches your system you should still do some volume measurements to tailor that profile to your way of brewing. This will give you far better results when using the software. Even if you don't find a profile in the software or in the add-ons section it's not hard to create your own profile. All it takes is filling with water, draining and measuring what is left behind. That's an over-simplified description but its not much harder than that.

Here is a video tutorial of a larger system but the concept is the same...
https://youtu.be/HwEbjOt8OR8

and one more for good measure...
https://youtu.be/QmW7pwQP5mQ

Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 04, 2019, 06:38:25 AM
PS. If you find an equipment profile that matches your system you should still do some volume measurements to tailor that profile to your way of brewing. This will give you far better results when using the software. Even if you don't find a profile in the software or in the add-ons section it's not hard to create your own profile. All it takes is filling with water, draining and measuring what is left behind. That's an over-simplified description but its not much harder than that.

Here is a video tutorial of a larger system but the concept is the same...
https://youtu.be/HwEbjOt8OR8

and one more for good measure...
https://youtu.be/QmW7pwQP5mQ

Thanks!

I think I calculated the Brewhouse Efficiency for my full size batch.

I used Vinna Malt (1.035) 11 pounds and Crystal malt 10L (1.036) 1,1 pounds for a 6,07 gallon batch. So the Potential is 71,7.

My actual gravity was around 1.052 so the efficiency is 72,5%. Sounds roughly correct I assume. So you suggest using 66,5% efficency to start for the half batch?

Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 04, 2019, 07:17:27 AM
I think that would be a fairly safe place to make your first half batch recipe.  With the higher water addition for the mashing due to the higher percentage of volume losses, you may see a bit of a bump in efficiency. That will or will not prove itself out in the long run with a couple of brews behind you.  As someone who does predominantly 10 liter batches, I can attest the an improvement in efficiency going from 20 liters down to 10 liters all full volume BIAB.  The nice thing is if you come in with higher gravity readings, you can always choose to let it ride or dilute down and end up with slightly greater than 10 liters at the end.  It is much harder to compensate the other direction (low gravity vs target).

Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 04, 2019, 07:21:55 AM
I think that would be a fairly safe place to make your first half batch recipe.  With the higher water addition for the mashing due to the higher percentage of volume losses, you may see a bit of a bump in efficiency. That will or will not prove itself out in the long run with a couple of brews behind you.  As someone who does predominantly 10 liter batches, I can attest the an improvement in efficiency going from 20 liters down to 10 liters all full volume BIAB.  The nice thing is if you come in with higher gravity readings, you can always choose to let it ride or dilute down and end up with slightly greater than 10 liters at the end.  It is much harder to compensate the other direction (low gravity vs target).

Thanks a lot! I might even hold back 0,5-1L Water just to make sure I do not need to do any reducing of the volume after my boil.

Tomorrow is the big day followed by a second brew on Sunday :)
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 04, 2019, 07:43:07 AM
Good luck and keep good notes on volumes and gravity throughout the process.  One additional thing that has helped me is not to trust the pre-printed/etched volumes on kettles or containers.  They are not applied by actual measurement but by design and I've been off initially on volumes due to inaccuracies in actual volume versus kettle markings.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 05, 2019, 10:16:28 AM
Hi there!

I just have a quick question about the BeerSmith software. It says that the estimated pre-boil gravity should be 1.041 SG. But it does not mention at which temperature. I am guessing at the mash temperature otherwise the conversion to 20?C would be 1.068 which is higher than my target gravity of 1.055SG

My last mash temperature is 78?C.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Kevin58 on January 05, 2019, 10:29:15 AM
I have always taken gravity readings at the same temperature the hydrometer calibrated to. Or use a conversion chart to compensate.

Are you measuring after your total sparge is complete or only the first runnings? Do you use top off water? If so you should be taking your pre-boil readings after that is done and stirred in. Speaking of stirring are you stirring well before you take your pre-boil reading? You can get stratification layers which will give you gravity readings that are either too high or too low.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 05, 2019, 10:36:57 AM
All gravity readings should be taken at the calibration temperature of the hydrometer.  This should be found on the paper inside the hydrometer which has the scale.  I have seen a few really cheap hydrometers which do not have the calibration temperature and I would stay away from those.  Generally, the calibration is 60F/15.6C or 20C/68F.

Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 05, 2019, 10:44:09 AM
All gravity readings should be taken at the calibration temperature of the hydrometer.  This should be found on the paper inside the hydrometer which has the scale.  I have seen a few really cheap hydrometers which do not have the calibration temperature and I would stay away from those.  Generally, the calibration is 60F/15.6C or 20C/68F.

Ok, so my gravity is 1.033 @ 65?C and the hydrometer is calibrated at 20?C. So that means I am effectivly at 1.051.

The recipe says I should be at 1.041. So I am 1.010 too high, correct? Add some water then?

Edit: I added 0,5L and now am at 1.025 @ 59?C which is 1.040. At 20?C which is close to my target :)

Edit 2: Only thing I couldn't measure is the pre-boil volume because as you said the markings on the kettle are totally wrong.... hmm. How should I have done that in my case without a looking glas along the side?

Edit 3: Just hit my post boil target of 1.055 perfectly :) (1.040 @ 59?C)
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 05, 2019, 12:53:17 PM
First thing I do with any kettle or carboy is to place it on a scale and add water 1 liter at a time.  For the kettles, I use a piece of 1 inch aluminum stock with a measuring tape and track the height of the liquid level with every liter added until I get to the top.  Then I take an engraving tool and mark the liters numbering every even one as I go.  This gives me a specific measuring stick for each kettle I have.  For the carboys, I place a strip of masking tape on the side of the carboy and mark with a fine permanent marker each liter as it is filled. This gives me the volume markers I need for all the vessels I use.

Next, I recommend highly never, never, never taking a gravity reading at hot temperatures.  While you will get close some of the time, it is difficult to get an accurate temperature reading with hot wort in a measuring cylinder after adding a room temperature hydrometer.  Aside from the shock to the hydrometer, it has never worked well for me and the temperature correction is questionable at best.  I have a mason jar that I take out around 250 ml of wort and then place it in an ice bath.  It cools down to room temperature in about 5 to 7 minutes where it will remain stable as I take the gravity reading.

It looks like you did well with your efficiency, explaining the high gravity reading.  Since you added a half liter of water, you can make a copy of the recipe and change the water volumes there to reflect what you actually did.  You may have to extrapolate a bit for the pre-boil volume, but the gravity number you measured looks to be accurate and your boil off rate must be pretty close.  Using these numbers in the session tab, the program will recalculate your actual BHE which you can use to update your equipment profile for next time!

Good going!



Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 05, 2019, 01:38:36 PM
First thing I do with any kettle or carboy is to place it on a scale and add water 1 liter at a time.  For the kettles, I use a piece of 1 inch aluminum stock with a measuring tape and track the height of the liquid level with every liter added until I get to the top.  Then I take an engraving tool and mark the liters numbering every even one as I go.  This gives me a specific measuring stick for each kettle I have.  For the carboys, I place a strip of masking tape on the side of the carboy and mark with a fine permanent marker each liter as it is filled. This gives me the volume markers I need for all the vessels I use.

I marked my fermenters quite accurately so am happy with that.

I will see what I can do with the kettle. Some other guys suggested marking out my mash spoon and use it as a ruler. I will see what I can do.


Next, I recommend highly never, never, never taking a gravity reading at hot temperatures.  While you will get close some of the time, it is difficult to get an accurate temperature reading with hot wort in a measuring cylinder after adding a room temperature hydrometer.  Aside from the shock to the hydrometer, it has never worked well for me and the temperature correction is questionable at best.  I have a mason jar that I take out around 250 ml of wort and then place it in an ice bath.  It cools down to room temperature in about 5 to 7 minutes where it will remain stable as I take the gravity reading.

Interesting. Since I have a second brew day tomorrow I will try that :)

It looks like you did well with your efficiency, explaining the high gravity reading.  Since you added a half liter of water, you can make a copy of the recipe and change the water volumes there to reflect what you actually did.  You may have to extrapolate a bit for the pre-boil volume, but the gravity number you measured looks to be accurate and your boil off rate must be pretty close.  Using these numbers in the session tab, the program will recalculate your actual BHE which you can use to update your equipment profile for next time!

Good going!

Thanks. But I ended up with "only" 8 and 3/8 liters of wart in my fermenter, eventhough I added 0,5L after the mash. BeerSmith had predicted 9L so I lost 0,75L more than anticipated.

The trub left in the kettle is 0,65 L (I had 0,95L programmed in BeerSmith). So I should adjust that to 0,65L and then I need to add 0,75L and 0,3L to other losses somewhere.

Where would you add these other losses?
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 05, 2019, 02:06:12 PM
I would guess that the other losses come with grain absorption. 

The other thing to consider is your boil off rate and it may be worth setting up and doing a boil with just water measuring volume in and out to get a better handle on that figure.

Since you do not have reliable markings on your kettle, how did you measure the volume of water in?  That may be another source of discrepancy in versus out.

I've met/heard of several brewers who mark their spoons.  I have one spoon and several pots/kettles, so it was easier for me to make a series of custom dip sticks.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 05, 2019, 04:33:49 PM
I would guess that the other losses come with grain absorption. 

I assume so too. So where do I change that setting? When I open the equipment profile I don't see where to input losses due to the mash. It only mentions mash deadspace losses (I assume it means if I am mashing in a separate vessle). Or do I enter the losses here for that. It is set to 0kg.

I just changed the Brewhouse efficiency from 66% to 63%. Before it suggested using a total of 16 liters (I used 16,5l) and that went down to 16,7 liters just by changing the efficiency. That means it is trying to concentrate the liquid a bit more then?

Quote

The other thing to consider is your boil off rate and it may be worth setting up and doing a boil with just water measuring volume in and out to get a better handle on that figure.


I'll try that tomorrow.


Quote

Since you do not have reliable markings on your kettle, how did you measure the volume of water in?  That may be another source of discrepancy in versus out.

I measured by weight each liter at a time into a bucket (I marked two 17 liter buckets along the side now with permanent marker). Then I just filled the bucket to the desired marking and weighed if it was correct before pouring it in.

But I just spent the last our engraving markings into the kettle :) Starting at 5 liters to 30 liters I added one liter at a time and engraved by scratching with a sharp piece of metal. It actually looks fairly good as I first started with a straight center line.

Thank you so much for your suggestions and help!!! I would be a bit lost without it  ;)


Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 05, 2019, 04:47:24 PM

I assume so too. So where do I change that setting? When I open the equipment profile I don't see where to input losses due to the mash. It only mentions mash deadspace losses (I assume it means if I am mashing in a separate vessel). Or do I enter the losses here for that. It is set to 0kg.

I just changed the Brewhouse efficiency from 66% to 63%. Before it suggested using a total of 16 liters (I used 16,5l) and that went down to 16,7 liters just by changing the efficiency. That means it is trying to concentrate the liquid a bit more then?

The setting for water absorption is a universal setting.  It can be found under 'options' > 'advanced'.  There are two figures.  The first is for standard mash tun configurations or basically any system where the water removal is solely by gravity.  The other is for BIAB mash profiles.  In order for this one to be active, the mash profile you use must be set for a full volume BIAB mash. 

Since you are mashing in the same vessel as you are boiling in, your setting for the deadspace in your equipment profile is correctly set.  Any volume losses which cannot be drained will end up at the end of the process as losses to trub and chiller.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 05, 2019, 05:00:05 PM

I assume so too. So where do I change that setting? When I open the equipment profile I don't see where to input losses due to the mash. It only mentions mash deadspace losses (I assume it means if I am mashing in a separate vessel). Or do I enter the losses here for that. It is set to 0kg.

I just changed the Brewhouse efficiency from 66% to 63%. Before it suggested using a total of 16 liters (I used 16,5l) and that went down to 16,7 liters just by changing the efficiency. That means it is trying to concentrate the liquid a bit more then?

The setting for water absorption is a universal setting.  It can be found under 'options' > 'advanced'.  There are two figures.  The first is for standard mash tun configurations or basically any system where the water removal is solely by gravity.  The other is for BIAB mash profiles.  In order for this one to be active, the mash profile you use must be set for a full volume BIAB mash. 

Since you are mashing in the same vessel as you are boiling in, your setting for the deadspace in your equipment profile is correctly set.  Any volume losses which cannot be drained will end up at the end of the process as losses to trub and chiller.

The grain absorption is set to 0,96 fl oz / oz grain.  And grain volume is set to 0,652 L / kg.

Not sure I want to touch these without knowing what I'm doing... hmm.

If I work out my evaporation rate I should be able to work out how much I lost today during the boil. Then I can work backwards how much was absorbed into the grain I suppose...
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 05, 2019, 06:21:56 PM
I would not touch the grain volume without some concrete information saying that it is incorrect.  The grain absorption I update every 10 or so brews, though at this point it is almost imperceptible in the volumes.  The default is listed on the side, so if you change it you can change it back pretty easily.   I would not recommend changing it without some data to support the change.  The calculation, once you get your volume measurements squared away is pretty easy:  (Volume into mash - Volume following grain removal)  / weight of grains.  I calculate mine at liters per kg of grain and then have to convert it for BeerSmith which is stuck on fluid ounces per ounce of grain.  Average this value over the next 4 to 5 brews and you can be sure that you have minimized any noise in the measurement.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 06, 2019, 11:17:15 AM
I would not touch the grain volume without some concrete information saying that it is incorrect.  The grain absorption I update every 10 or so brews, though at this point it is almost imperceptible in the volumes.  The default is listed on the side, so if you change it you can change it back pretty easily.   I would not recommend changing it without some data to support the change.  The calculation, once you get your volume measurements squared away is pretty easy:  (Volume into mash - Volume following grain removal)  / weight of grains.  I calculate mine at liters per kg of grain and then have to convert it for BeerSmith which is stuck on fluid ounces per ounce of grain.  Average this value over the next 4 to 5 brews and you can be sure that you have minimized any noise in the measurement.

Ok, will be careful with that.

I boiled water for 30 minutes and then chilled to room temperature. I lost 2 liters from 15 liters initially. So that is a 4 liter loss per hour. That seems very high! The preset in BeerSmith is assuming 2,65 liters per hour.

Then I proceeded with my brewday and had a loss of around 4,25 liters during a 60 minute boil + steep + whirlpool. So that is quite accurate then.

BUT, I totally missed my numbers somehow.

Targets:
Pre boil gravity: 1.048 (I hit 1.047 so still good here)
Pre boil volume: 15,1 liters ( I hit 15,75 liters)

Post boil gravity: 1.067 (I hit 1.051)
Post boil volume: 11,1 liters (I hit 11,5 / 11.6 roughly).

Can you assist me how to set up my equipment settings based on this?

Here some more information.
I mashed in with 13,5 liters and sparged with 5 liters. The mash was 60 minutes at 67?C.

I attached my settings and the recipe I followed (added 0,5L to the mash and reduced the sparge by 0,5l but followed the rest exactly)

Also, just calculated by Brewhouse efficiency to be 53% instead of 63% which I had yesterday :( Really struggling to understand why I ended with such a low gravity even though I had set the boil off almost correctly.

I hope it still ends up as a decent yet little light IPA :)

Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 06, 2019, 01:20:54 PM
OK, so let's parse the data you collected.

You started with 13.5 liters in the initial infusion and sparged with 5 additional liters.  Your total mash volume is 18.5 liters.

From that you collected 15.75 liters of wort from the above water and 3.39 kg of grains.  The difference in volume in and out of your mashing step is 18.5 liters - 15.75 liters = 2.75 liters of water lost in the grain.  Having used 3.39 kg of grain, your grain absorption is 2.75 / 3.39 = 0.81 liters/kg.  This converts to 0.81 l/kg / 3.785 l/gal * 128 oz/gal / kg/1000 gms * 28.3 gms/oz gives us 0.694 fl oz per oz of grain which is your absorption rate.

Boil off is pretty straight forward: you started with 15.75 liters and ended up with 11.55 liters so you lost 4.2 liters per hour as you already calculated. 

Now let's see how reliable your numbers are.  If you took pretty good measurements, your gravity points pre-boil should be about equal to your gravity points post boil (within your ability to accurately measure).

So 15.75 liters at 1.047 gravity gives you 15.75 * 47 points = 740 gravity points

Post boil you ended up with 11.55 liters at 1.051 gravity, which gives you 589 gravity points.  Hmm, not very close at all.  Does your ending volume include wort which could not be drained from the vessel or is it the measurement before you drained the kettle? 

If you assume that your initial volume and gravity reading was correct, you should have ended with 740 gravity points / 11.55 liters or 64 points which gives a gravity reading of 1.064. 

Trying the reverse calculation (assuming that the ending measurements are correct) gives you 589 gravity points / 15.75 liters or 37 points which gives a gravity of 1.038.

These are basically the calculations you need to determine the boil off, grain absorption and the reliability of the data.  If you took the volume reading post boil after you drained the wort, add back in the volume which could not be drained and recalculate both the boil off and the gravity point balance.  If this volume is the actual post boil volume as measured in the vessel, then it suggests that one of your gravity readings is off.
 
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 06, 2019, 01:35:33 PM
OK, so let's parse the data you collected.

You started with 13.5 liters in the initial infusion and sparged with 5 additional liters.  Your total mash volume is 18.5 liters.

From that you collected 15.75 liters of wort from the above water and 3.39 kg of grains.  The difference in volume in and out of your mashing step is 18.5 liters - 15.75 liters = 2.75 liters of water lost in the grain.  Having used 3.39 kg of grain, your grain absorption is 2.75 / 3.39 = 0.81 liters/kg.  This converts to 0.81 l/kg / 3.785 l/gal * 128 oz/gal / kg/1000 gms * 28.3 gms/oz gives us 0.694 fl oz per oz of grain which is your absorption rate.

Boil off is pretty straight forward: you started with 15.75 liters and ended up with 11.55 liters so you lost 4.2 liters per hour as you already calculated. 

Now let's see how reliable your numbers are.  If you took pretty good measurements, your gravity points pre-boil should be about equal to your gravity points post boil (within your ability to accurately measure).

So 15.75 liters at 1.047 gravity gives you 15.75 * 47 points = 740 gravity points

Post boil you ended up with 11.55 liters at 1.051 gravity, which gives you 589 gravity points.  Hmm, not very close at all.  Does your ending volume include wort which could not be drained from the vessel or is it the measurement before you drained the kettle? 

If you assume that your initial volume and gravity reading was correct, you should have ended with 740 gravity points / 11.55 liters or 64 points which gives a gravity reading of 1.064. 

Trying the reverse calculation (assuming that the ending measurements are correct) gives you 589 gravity points / 15.75 liters or 37 points which gives a gravity of 1.038.

These are basically the calculations you need to determine the boil off, grain absorption and the reliability of the data.  If you took the volume reading post boil after you drained the wort, add back in the volume which could not be drained and recalculate both the boil off and the gravity point balance.  If this volume is the actual post boil volume as measured in the vessel, then it suggests that one of your gravity readings is off.

Yes. All measurements are of the wart in the kettle. I have roughly 10.8L in the fermenter.

I will take one more gravity reading not then.  (already checked the post-boil reading twice but maybe something was wrong with the chilling I did).^

Edit: no change. Still 1.050 @ 23?C, so 1.051. Very odd. Did I simply read the pre boil gravity incorrectly... hmm.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on January 07, 2019, 08:08:57 AM
So I took my assumptions from the Sunday IPA brew that I measured and used them to work backwards on my Saturday Pale Ale brew. They are pretty much spot on.

Volume in the fermenter is 8,75L.

+ 0,65L losses in the trub = 9,4L

+ 5 L boil off = 14,4L

+ 2 L loss in the mash (0,81L/kg) = 16,4L (My initial total volume was 16,5L)

So I guess my IPA measurements support my Pale Ale brew day results. The question is then why my Brewhouse Efficiency is around 63% for the Pale Ale and around 50% for the IPA.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on January 07, 2019, 09:01:45 AM
The first thing I would recommend is to try batch sparging.  If the batch sparge brings your efficiency up by a good margin, then it would suggest that you have some channeling of the sparge water in your fly sparge so the water is bypassing much of the grains.

If the batch sparge does not help much, then it comes down to the standard factors which control mash efficiency:

1.  Crush
2.  Crush
3.  Crush
4.  Crush
5.  Crush
6.  Poor wetting of grains when doughing in causing dough balls which are protected from the water and enzymes.  Mix the heck out of the grains when doughing in.  I mean like 5 to 10 minutes of stirring!
7.  Mash pH is waaay out of the prime conversion zone of 5.2 to 5.6 pH (at room temperature).
8.  Work to minimize process losses (loss of volume + sugar = poor efficiency)
9.  Check your thermometer to make sure it is accurate
10. Check and calibrate your hydrometer and/or refractometer

Normally, most issues are solved with steps 1 through 6.  If your brewing water is very hard, it may be difficult for the pH to drop down to the ideal range for enzyme activity to convert the starches into sugars.  Hope this helps some.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on February 17, 2019, 11:20:20 AM
The first thing I would recommend is to try batch sparging.  If the batch sparge brings your efficiency up by a good margin, then it would suggest that you have some channeling of the sparge water in your fly sparge so the water is bypassing much of the grains.

If the batch sparge does not help much, then it comes down to the standard factors which control mash efficiency:

1.  Crush
2.  Crush
3.  Crush
4.  Crush
5.  Crush
6.  Poor wetting of grains when doughing in causing dough balls which are protected from the water and enzymes.  Mix the heck out of the grains when doughing in.  I mean like 5 to 10 minutes of stirring!
7.  Mash pH is waaay out of the prime conversion zone of 5.2 to 5.6 pH (at room temperature).
8.  Work to minimize process losses (loss of volume + sugar = poor efficiency)
9.  Check your thermometer to make sure it is accurate
10. Check and calibrate your hydrometer and/or refractometer

Normally, most issues are solved with steps 1 through 6.  If your brewing water is very hard, it may be difficult for the pH to drop down to the ideal range for enzyme activity to convert the starches into sugars.  Hope this helps some.

I just had my next brew day and had much better BHE results. 79%! I bought my own mill and crushed the grains myself. Also I spent a lot more time stirring the mash at the beginning and a second time after 20 minutes of mashing.

Thanks for your support :)

The BeerSmith Software does not quite correctly predict my water retention in the mashed grain. It is almost exactly 0,82L per kg grain and the BeerSmith predicted 0,94L / kg. How would you change that?
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on February 17, 2019, 01:12:25 PM
You can change the water absorption rate by clicking on 'options' > 'advanced' > 'grain absorption'.  Note that there are two values -- the first for standard brewing and the second for BIAB brewing. 
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on February 17, 2019, 02:13:37 PM
You can change the water absorption rate by clicking on 'options' > 'advanced' > 'grain absorption'.  Note that there are two values -- the first for standard brewing and the second for BIAB brewing.

Thanks. Which is the one to change?

0,82 L / kg is 27,73 fl oz / 35,3 oz -> 0,78555 fl oz / oz Is that correct? The grain absorption is set to 0,9600 and the BIAB grain absorption is set to 0,5860 currently.

And where do I set it if it is standard or BIAB? Is that done by ticking the little box in the mash profile?
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on February 17, 2019, 02:16:54 PM
If your mash profile has the box checked as a full volume BIAB mash, then you want to change the BIAB value.  Otherwise, change the standard grain absorption value.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on February 17, 2019, 02:39:31 PM
If your mash profile has the box checked as a full volume BIAB mash, then you want to change the BIAB value.  Otherwise, change the standard grain absorption value.

Great, thanks! Now my values in the recipe are spot on with the results I got. Finally getting closer to the real world and can start copying recipes to my system.

I brewed this one today and thankfully it stated the brewhouse efficiency they calculated with. http://brulosophy.com/recipes/tiny-bottom-pale-ale/ (http://brulosophy.com/recipes/tiny-bottom-pale-ale/)

How do you go about to copying recipes when the efficiency is not stated anywhere? Just try and hit the numbers (% alc. / IBU / colour) with your system?
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on February 17, 2019, 05:13:08 PM
There are too many recipes out there where the authors thoughtlessly do not express the efficiency for which they designed the recipe.  Most often, publications will standardize a recipe on a certain percent.  I believe the AHA uses 70% total efficiency and BYO is at 65%.  For others the best way is to use my force fit method described below.

1.  Open up a recipe template with your equipment profile,

2.  Enter the recipe EXACTLY as it is printed or written.  BeerSmith helps in that you can enter in the exact weight and the units and it will convert to your preferred units.  For example, I use Kg and grams for malts and hops respectively.  I can enter in the weight of '1.5 oz' and the program will automatically convert this to grams when I hit enter,

3.  Using the sliders below the design box, click on the Est Orginal Gravity slider and a box will pop up.  Fill in the target OG from the recipe.  The program will adjust the weights of the grains to scale for that gravity target,
 
4.  Do the same thing with IBU and color.  Note that the hop scaling will not affect any hop addition which does not contribute to IBU, such as dry hops.  For these, I scale according the the ratio of the volumes between the printed recipe and my target batch size.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on February 18, 2019, 04:09:37 AM
There are too many recipes out there where the authors thoughtlessly do not express the efficiency for which they designed the recipe.  Most often, publications will standardize a recipe on a certain percent.  I believe the AHA uses 70% total efficiency and BYO is at 65%.  For others the best way is to use my force fit method described below.

AHA / BYO?

1.  Open up a recipe template with your equipment profile,

2.  Enter the recipe EXACTLY as it is printed or written.  BeerSmith helps in that you can enter in the exact weight and the units and it will convert to your preferred units.  For example, I use Kg and grams for malts and hops respectively.  I can enter in the weight of '1.5 oz' and the program will automatically convert this to grams when I hit enter,

Ohh wow, that is useful! I always mess about with the annoying converters. I'll give it a try.


3.  Using the sliders below the design box, click on the Est Orginal Gravity slider and a box will pop up.  Fill in the target OG from the recipe.  The program will adjust the weights of the grains to scale for that gravity target,
 
4.  Do the same thing with IBU and color.  Note that the hop scaling will not affect any hop addition which does not contribute to IBU, such as dry hops.  For these, I scale according the the ratio of the volumes between the printed recipe and my target batch size.

Thanks - that is very useful information!!

Also, I was told that I might have milled too fine. 0,6mm and that is probably why my water retension in the grain is so low at 0,78 fl / oz. Another user with the same setup has 0,84 fl oz / oz with a mill size of 1,2mm.

Since my grain was dripping very slowly I will go to the 1,2mm mill next time. I think I might have gotten lucky not to burn the kettle as it was only a 11L batch. Anything lager and the kettle might have run dry.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: Oginme on February 18, 2019, 05:41:06 AM
AHA = American Homebrewers Association
BYO = Brew Your Own (a popular home brewing magazine)

As far as your crush is concerned, as long as you did not get a stuck sparge or if you want to increase your run off rate then you don't need to change anything.  Unless you are seeing lots of shredded and cut hulls, or a lot of barley flour in your grist, I would not worry too much about it.

A finder crush will generally lead to slightly lower grain absorption rate, but the lower the grain absorption rate means the less sugars you are leaving behind in the mash tun.  There really is no 'correct' grain absorption number to target as it will vary from system to system and depends upon a number of factors related to mash liquor temperature, mean grain particle size, size distribution, amount of intact the hulls, grain bed depth, rate of drainage, amount of grain bed compaction, etc. 

Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: BOB357 on February 18, 2019, 12:15:57 PM
Gravity readings are taken at, or very close to , the calibration temperature of the hydrometer and adjusted to the actual temperature as needed. As you get further away from the calibration temperature the adjustment tables become less accurate.
Title: Re: Halving recipe changes properties in BeerSmith Software
Post by: anak85 on February 19, 2019, 02:17:35 PM
AHA = American Homebrewers Association
BYO = Brew Your Own (a popular home brewing magazine)

As far as your crush is concerned, as long as you did not get a stuck sparge or if you want to increase your run off rate then you don't need to change anything.  Unless you are seeing lots of shredded and cut hulls, or a lot of barley flour in your grist, I would not worry too much about it.

A finder crush will generally lead to slightly lower grain absorption rate, but the lower the grain absorption rate means the less sugars you are leaving behind in the mash tun.  There really is no 'correct' grain absorption number to target as it will vary from system to system and depends upon a number of factors related to mash liquor temperature, mean grain particle size, size distribution, amount of intact the hulls, grain bed depth, rate of drainage, amount of grain bed compaction, etc.

Perfect - thanks!!