Author Topic: BeerSmith 2 - Adjusting some items  (Read 3740 times)

Offline AlphaAcid

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BeerSmith 2 - Adjusting some items
« on: June 16, 2015, 09:56:04 AM »
I'm having a hell of a time getting my beersmith app to match my brewing. I'm using a 5bbl system, with 10bbl fermenters. During my lauter my numbers are always off and I can't figure out how to adjust it so it's more accutate. For instanced today it calculated to get 6.48bbls in my HLT to get 1.042, and to sparge with 4.6bbls.  I got the BK to 6bbls and it was at 1.039, I still had another 1.25bbls in my HLT, plus there was about 1-2bbls in my MLT still.

I've gone through my equipment profile, and the boil off rate and everything else seems accurate. I can't tell what I need to adjust so I can start hitting my targets more accurately.

Offline brewfun

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Re: BeerSmith 2 - Adjusting some items
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2015, 04:50:58 PM »
Yup, I understand, completely.  One of the things I noticed when using BS for a 15bbl system was that the relatively small errors in homebrew batches were amplified to a barrel or so at commercial scale.

Here are a couple of reasons:

Commercially milled grain retains less water than the coarser milled homebrew size. This adds to the volume of your first runnings and the symptom is inexplicably lower first wort gravity than you'd expect. Roughly, the percentage of lower gravity corresponds to the higher volume of free water. You can change this in Options.

Expansion is more apparent in commercial brewing. I found that a setting of 3.15% shrinkage corresponded more closely to the difference between 70F water and 180F water. I don't measure too much at 212 and my beer isn't 34F until I crash it. That means less difference in shrinkage. This can make a barrel of difference.

WHEN you measure your volumes makes a difference. Be consistent. I stop my sparge based on a 200F reading and where the gravity is. I measure my pre-boil gravity at 10 minutes after hitting 211 degrees. This is because that's how long the first hot break takes to lose foam without foam control (which I use to prevent boil over) and because that's how long it takes for the kettle to mix itself. I've always counted the start of the boil as when the first hot break crashes but I don't see it with the foam control, thus the timing.

I measure post boil volume after WP and settling. The kettle temp is close to 190F, which is in line with the shrinkage value I noted. I WP longer for highly hopped beers to gain more aroma, so it averages out to just above the 180F of the shrinkage percentage.

If you are sparging out to tailings, I recommend that you stop sparge water when you reach 6 plato. That's just about right on most systems to finish at just above 2P.

Check to make sure that your yield to the fermenter is accurate. Use hot water that you run through the heat exchanger into a fermenter. Then make sure that your brewhouse efficiency matches your measurement to the fermenter. Just a few percentage points can make all the difference.

Lastly, don't assume all your recipes will have the same brewhouse results. Have a baseline, but change the master recipe equipment profile to match your results. There's a vast difference between my Pilsner and my DIPA in terms of yield. I have three baseline equipment profiles, based on gravity range and kettle hopping.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 04:54:43 PM by brewfun »
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline AlphaAcid

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Re: BeerSmith 2 - Adjusting some items
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 11:00:42 AM »
Wow!! That' was awesome! I owe you a couple beers.

1) I never thought about the commercially milled grain retaining less water. Thanks.

2) 3.15% for shrinkage. Can you show me how you calculate this? I usually check my levels at 200F in my BK. But when I mash in I'm checking my levels from my HLT which is usually around 160-170F.

3) I'm not following you on the following statements: 

"If you are sparging out to tailings, I recommend that you stop sparge water when you reach 6 plato. That's just about right on most systems to finish at just above 2P." - Tailings?

"Check to make sure that your yield to the fermenter is accurate. Use hot water that you run through the heat exchanger into a fermenter. Then make sure that your brewhouse efficiency matches your measurement to the fermenter. Just a few percentage points can make all the difference." - I can't tell what I have in my fermenter because I dont have a flow meter, or sight guage on my FV's. I dont understand what this means: "Use hot water that you run through the heat exchanger into a fermenter."

4) How do I determine how to adjust my baseline equipment profiles?

Offline AlphaAcid

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Re: BeerSmith 2 - Adjusting some items
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 11:02:07 AM »
Can you screen shot your different equipment profiles for me to glance at?

Offline brewfun

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Re: BeerSmith 2 - Adjusting some items
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2015, 12:49:07 AM »
2) 3.15% for shrinkage. Can you show me how you calculate this? I usually check my levels at 200F in my BK. But when I mash in I'm checking my levels from my HLT which is usually around 160-170F.

Look on any hot water expansion chart. The 4% number is the difference between 34F (where water is densest) and 212F (where it's really 4.25%). I don't measure anything at those temperatures. I'm closer to the difference between 70F and 180F, which is 3.15%.

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Tailings?

Running the lauter dry. The final tailings usually get muddy and actually have a little bump in gravity. On a chart it looks like the tail of a rattle snake that's rattling. Obviously, you stop when you see that.

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I can't tell what I have in my fermenter because I dont have a flow meter, or sight guage on my FV's.

You can rig one up with a tee and some clear beer line.

Or, you can fill with cold water through the cone until you get a little water out of the CIP arm. Then pump the water back into the kettle and measure it. This is the spill volume of the FV. Less 20% and you have the capacity volume, plus an eyeball in the kettle of what level it should be at for knockout. If you heat it to 190F, you have the expanded volume in the kettle and can apply that percentage to the equipment profile.

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I dont understand what this means: "Use hot water that you run through the heat exchanger into a fermenter."

It's the reverse of what I stated above. Starting with hot (180F) kettle water, you chill it to see what volume you get in the FV.

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4) How do I determine how to adjust my baseline equipment profiles?

Practice. ;-)
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.