Author Topic: Northern brewer and BeerSmith Cal Questions  (Read 6293 times)

Offline mpbaker82

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Northern brewer and BeerSmith Cal Questions
« on: December 09, 2014, 08:22:55 PM »
OK, My first attempt at a post here... Please bare with me as it may be longer then you would like to read  :-X

OK, I just picked up beer smith v2 and I am looking forward to an exciting brew day on Sat (12/13/14)

I picked up some equipment off CL fairly cheap. My equipment consist of the following

1) Mash Tun - 10G Igloo Lowes (Blue) Cooler w/ ball valve (I think 3/4 inch not sure)
2) 42Qt Stainless Steel (shiny) brew kettle with NO ball valve or temp... sucks, I know!

A brew kit which I think is a brewers best kit. It has the following...
3) 2 food grade 5gallon buckets. I am assuming one is a fermenter while the other is for bottling...
4) 1 plastic water jug looking fermenter with temp sticker on the side

5) assortment of bungs, airlocks, thermometers, Star Sand, funnels, hydro meter, refractometer that measures SG, digital scales, propane burner, ect...


I bought a kit off line at northern brewer. I started off easy with a Chocolate Milk Stout Extract.

After going into beer smith and setting up what I think it my right equipment profile... I was surprised to find that my directions on the kit don't match the beer smith directions.  :o

I found a addon within beer smith that has the recipe i bought from northern brewer

How do i proceed with the recipe?


cheers!
Michael










   
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 09:48:53 PM by mpbaker82 »

Offline jtoots

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Re: Northern brewer and BeerSmith Cal Questions
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2014, 06:21:10 AM »
what specifically doesn't line up?

Offline mpbaker82

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Re: Northern brewer and BeerSmith Cal Questions
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2014, 01:30:19 PM »
Well for one my OG, all my specs for the beer color, bitterness, ect. Depending on the equipment profile I use either my own which i know is wrong or a default beer smith 5gallon extract equipment profile.

The directions clearly call out 2.5 gallons of water to be heated to 170 degrees and steep the special grains for 20 mins. Then boil 60 min adding hops at specif times, chill fast as possible,  and add 3 gallons of cool water. To fermenter to bring up to 5 gallons. Pitch yeast and add airlock. Wait 4 days then transfer to secondary, wait two weeks and bottle.

If I take the same recipe that I bought off line from northern brewer and add it to my beer smith using the add on feature and use a 5g pot extract equipment profile then it throws everything off. Says I need to start out with 4.8 gallons of water steep grains, boil 60 min... Ect ect.

My numbers are then way off. My question is why?

I don't want to waste this kit if at all possible.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Northern brewer and BeerSmith Cal Questions
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 08:11:23 PM »
In the Equipment profile, do you have 3 gallons of fermenter top-up water?
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline jtoots

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Re: Northern brewer and BeerSmith Cal Questions
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2014, 08:57:31 AM »
I think either way you go about it you'll be fine.  Steeping the grains in more water will just mean less top up water at the end.  I think what you're going to want to do is create an equipment profile that mimics your instructions, including the 3 gallons top up water that brewfun mentioned.

Your observations on the OG, color, bitterness may end up being what encourages you to move slightly away from kits.  Typically if I use a recipe from a book, when I plug in the ingredients to beersmith I see some slight discrepancies between those numbers, so I tweak the ingredients until the goal OG, color, bitterness are hit on the head.  That way when I go to the homebrew store I know I'm getting the correct quantities for my equipment to achieve the goals.  With a kit, you get what you get. 

Offline flars

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Re: Northern brewer and BeerSmith Cal Questions
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 12:13:08 AM »
Well for one my OG, all my specs for the beer color, bitterness, ect. Depending on the equipment profile I use either my own which i know is wrong or a default beer smith 5gallon extract equipment profile.

The directions clearly call out 2.5 gallons of water to be heated to 170 degrees and steep the special grains for 20 mins. Then boil 60 min adding hops at specif times, chill fast as possible,  and add 3 gallons of cool water. To fermenter to bring up to 5 gallons. Pitch yeast and add airlock. Wait 4 days then transfer to secondary, wait two weeks and bottle.

If I take the same recipe that I bought off line from northern brewer and add it to my beer smith using the add on feature and use a 5g pot extract equipment profile then it throws everything off. Says I need to start out with 4.8 gallons of water steep grains, boil 60 min... Ect ect.

My numbers are then way off. My question is why?

I don't want to waste this kit if at all possible.
The first time out with an extract kit, I would not worry about entering the numbers in BeerSmith before you brew.  Follow the NB recipe, with a couple of small changes.
Steep the grains in water up to 165°F, just in case your thermometer is not calibrated.  Tannins can be extracted form the grain husks when the water pH is over approximately 6.4 and the temperature is at or over 170°.  Remove the grains before raising the heat to begin the boil.

You will need more than 5 gallons of volume to brew 5 gallons of beer.  Fermentors should be at least 6.5 gallons, and you may still need a blow off tube, depending upon the yeast used and the fermentation temperature.  The clear plastic fermentor with the thermometer strip is possibly the best choice.  Fill it with exactly 5 gallons of water, mark this level with good tape.  Siphon this water into the buckets to establish their volume capacity and mark the 5 gallon level.
Bottling buckets often have a spigot to attach a spring tip bottling wand to, with a 3 inch tube.  Makes bottle filling super easy.

Racking to a secondary after four days is one of NBs old generic recipes.  Racking to a secondary before fermentation is complete can cause problems.  A lot of brewers are not using a secondary unless their are additions like fruit or oak chips.  Beer finishes and clears just as well in the primary given two to three weeks.

Keep everything that touches the wort post boil sanitized.
Aerate the wort well.
Look up the yeasts optimum fermentation temperature.
Control the fermentation temperature.  Yeast produces heat as it works on the sugars.
The yeast will not work according to a time schedule, they will be done when they are done.

Stouts can take some time to really reach full potential in the bottle.  Try your first one after conditioning, at room temperature, two weeks + two days refrigeration.  Check another a week later.  Save a few bottles for tasting at three months.
Now you have time to go back into BeerSmith and enter numbers and perhaps tweak the recipe based on the brewing experience, flavor, and body of the stout after drinking the first couple.