Author Topic: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.  (Read 11626 times)

Offline SkyFlyer

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Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« on: May 25, 2010, 08:41:16 PM »
Hello all.
I'm back to brewing after an unplanned leave of absence of 3 months or so.
Good to be brewing again! 
Even with the few problems with Beersmith and my temps, my beer is coming out pretty good, so I am encouraged!

I started some threads last year about not hitting my temps, in particular the strike water temp.
I have reviewed them, and I still am not sure what to do.  And no closer to getting it with Beersmith.
Great program, but I am struggling with parts of it.

Here is my scenario again.  I have attached my .bsm for my last brew.
This would be a dark IPA or IBA called Darkside.
This is my third batch of this particular brew and there will be more.  I really like it.

Anyway, my mash in water temp is consistently too hot when I add my strike water.  Around 6-8*F over my target.
I usually have to add some cold water and leave the cooler lid open for awhile.

I have changed the mash tun material index in equipment profile from low to high values and back again, and it makes no difference on the
mash in water temp, or anything else.  What do I need to do for these new values to take effect?
I have saved and closed and opened Beersmith.  It is still the same.
I have read in Palmer and other places that generally the mash in water temp should be 10-15*F above the target mash temperature.
My target is 154*F.  Beersmith tells me to add 171*F temp water.  This is around 17*F over my target of 154*F.
No matter what I seem to change in Beersmith, I cannot get that 171*F temp to go lower, like 166-168*F or something like that.
I would think I should see changes in the mash profile if I make changes in equipment profile or other areas.
My mash in temp always seems to be around 160-162*F, maybe even a little higher.
I have checked and unchecked the box for equipment.  Temp goes a little higher, not the 4-6*F lower that I need.
I have the grain and tun temperatures entered correctly in the mash profile.

What is interesting is, that all my other temps, times, volumes all come out really close.
What can I do about my mash in water temp, other than just knocking the value down on paper?

I'll continue to search the forum for some answers.
Ask me questions if you need more info.
Thank in advance for any ideas.
Thanks, Bob

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 09:10:57 PM »
When I opened it, the MLT material said aluminum, but you use a cooler (plastic).  That changed it more than 1F for me.

Under mash profiles, grain and MLT temps were 59F and 60F.  Are those wintertime temps from when you last brewed?  Room-temp grains and MLT in May might be 68+ depending where you brew.  My garage is 85F right now. 

Changing those to plastic/68/68 reduced the strike to 169.7F for me.   That's almost your Palmer 15F.

Are you really using a 1.0 water ratio?  If your measurements are off, and you're adding 29 or 30 gallons instead, that would drive it up as well.  I'd fill it hotter, let it fall to 170F and start adding grains.  Ice and boiling water on ready standby.

Offline SkyFlyer

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 11:27:42 PM »
Thanks for the response.  I hope some back and forth in this forum will help me get going on some solution.
And, I appreciate the help.
A couple of things ...
First of all, I live in Astoria Oregon.  Coooool now.  My basement really is 55-60*F!!  Those are not last winters temps.
Well, they are, but winters are mild here and my basement does not vary that much.  And last weekend, those were my temps!  Really!

Regarding the material setting, please help me understand how this works.
If I change the material and press enter, shouldn't I see a change in the temps down in my mash profile, especially the mash in where my problems lie?  I just changed from aluminum to plastic, pressed OK, and my mash in temp is still 171.3.  It did not change.
Am I missing something with Beersmith?  I should think that any changes are dynamic, meaning right away.  Is this correct?
I can change the material from .1 to .9 (under other) and there is no change!
I should think I would see some change.  I would think that material is part of the equation in setting up mash in temps.
So, I think part of my problem is my not understanding how to use Beersmith.
I would be the first to admit that I don't understand it.  It will happen!
Or, are the mash profile temps controlled by something else?
I know a lot of the variables are affected by many other variables.  I'm sure Brad had his hands full in writing this program!  Making sure all the pieces fit together!  It is a good product and I know it is the operator that is causing the problems!

And that is another thing that is a real puzzle to me, water ratios.
I look in the individual mash profile steps and I see, 0.25 and 0.40 ratios.  I never changed them or set them up.  I really don't understand them.
I don't know where you see a ratio of 1.0.  Please tell me where you see that, why you question it, and suggest something for me to try.

My practice has been to add the water to the grains.  I gathered that a lot of brewers do that, so that is the way I have been doing it.
So, you are suggesting that I do it the other way.  And I understand having the hot water and ice at the ready!
But, I hear about so many guys hitting their temps, and wonder why I am having the trouble that I am.
I want to be one of those guys!
Maybe I was destined to be a hot water and ice brewer!!  I would like to get to the bottom of my problem.

Anyway, enough rambling for this post.
Thanks ML, for your thoughts ...
Thanks, Bob

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 02:19:36 PM »
And that is another thing that is a real puzzle to me, water ratios.  I don't know where you see a ratio of 1.0.  Please tell me where you see that, why you question it, and suggest something for me to try.

My practice has been to add the water to the grains.  I gathered that a lot of brewers do that, so that is the way I have been doing it. 

Not sure about the dynamic nature of some changes.  Brad? 

Under Mash Profiles, click on the "Mash in" step.  You'll see the water ratio used in the math.  This is what BeerSmith thinks you're using, so it tells you the water should be 174F.  Most default mash profiles are 1.25 quarts water per pound of ground.  Many brewers use 1.5.  Yours said 1.0, which is sorta low.  Especially since you've been adding water to dry grain, that might be tough to mix, so perhaps you're adding more than the 1.0, which would end up too hot.   BeerSmith thinks you're adding relatively less water, so it calculates to make that strike water hotter.  If you then add more water, you're hot. 

Many people create a measuring stick from a straight  1" dowel.  Add a gallon, mark the stick.  And so on. 

I'd make (or verify) a stick, and next time use a water ratio of 1.25 and put the strike water in first, and a little hotter.  When it falls to the strike temp BeerSmith gave, stir in grains. 

I bet you'll be much closer next time, and in three batches you'll be one of those guys. 




Offline 88Q

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010, 08:52:58 AM »
I have to ask (only because I can't take the time to look at the last years comments) but have you checked the box on the recipe page in the "Mash Profile" section "adjust  temp for equipment"?

I consistently hit my temps even at a 1 to 1 grain to water ratio...... within a degree. But I do add grain to water, not the other way around. But I can't see how this could make that big a difference.

88Q

Offline SkyFlyer

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010, 01:29:28 PM »
As I noted above, I have tried both checking and unchecking the box.  I have been leaving it unchecked most recently. 
It made no difference in the mash in temp.
Where I am still confused is where one sees the 1:1 ratio that you guys are talking about in BeerSmith.
It seems that you are suggesting that my ratio is 1:1 and that is a little low.
I agree.  I have read that it should higher (water that is).
Is this something you just know or is does it show up in the screen or printout.  I have no idea.
The only ratio that I see, are the ones in the individual mash steps, and these are 0.25 and 0.40 in my particular example.
And I really don't know what that means.  It says the water/grain ratio is 0.25 gal/lb.  Does this mean 0.25 gal of water per pound?  Or the other way?
Or percent?  Are these ratios added up to give the total ratio?
Sorry for all the questions, but I feel like a fool with this.  I don't get it!  And I am convinced this is my problem.

Based on what ML alluded to earlier, I went in and changed the 0.25 to to .3 in the mash in step and immediately I see a change in the the infusion water temp.  It went from 171*F to 168*F.  This is a big step in the right direction for my situation!
This is what I have been looking for all along.  I need that one temp to be lower.  This might do it.
However, I have no idea what I did and why it changed the temp.
How did BeerSmith set up the 0.25 in the first place?  And why is the mash out step at 0.40?
Are these variables that are normally tweaked or set up by the user?
I really would like to see a good description or explanation of water/grain ratio and how BeerSmith deals with it.  I believe this little part has been the source of my problems all along.
If one knows of a good posting that addresses it, please point me to it.
I don't know if Brad has additional info on this matter or not, but if it exists, please let me know.
Maybe I should consider adding grains to water.  The reason I have been doing it this way is that I use rice hulls at the bottom to help with drainage.  That part is working very well, and if I pour them into the water, it would never have the same effect.
Anyway, thanks for the input.  And I apologize for my rambling text. Trouble is I can type as fast as I think!
I'll keep working at it.  I do my next batch next weekend and would like to try some new things.
Have a good holiday weekend!
Thanks, Bob

Offline the lizard king

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2010, 07:38:34 AM »
I have a quick question that may go along with this, do you guys normally add grains before of after the strike water, I usually keep the 1 gallong of tun water in the tun (used to pre heat it) then add the grains, then the rest of the water agallon at a time. I have been gettin lower than predicted temps but also may need to adjust my stuff in beer smith I just adjusted my equiptment no I guess I should toss in the grain temp I thought it might be around 65 degrees cause that is the ambient temp of my basement but maybe I should kick it down a few degrees and see what happens.
The Lizard King

FBDU fortune cookie writer / brew ninja

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2010, 03:23:26 PM »
Where I am still confused is where one sees the 1:1 ratio that you guys are talking about in BeerSmith.
It seems that you are suggesting that my ratio is 1:1 and that is a little low.

It says the water/grain ratio is 0.25 gal/lb.  Does this mean 0.25 gal of water per pound? 


I more often see the water ratio given in quarts water per pound of grain.  So, one quart would be 1:1, 1.5 quarts would be 1.5:1, etc.

Sounds like yours is appearing in gals, so the 0.25 gal is the same as quart, so 1:1.

Unless you're crushing very finely, I would think you don't really need rice hulls for most beers.  I think adding grains to water mixes faster, so you lose less temp while stirring. 

Offline SkyFlyer

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2010, 04:10:13 PM »
Duh ...
I never thought about it being 0.25 of a gal or one qt/lb.
Then I have the 0.40 in the second mash step, which would be just short of 2 qts or half a gal.
That is still short of the 1.25 or 1.5 gal/lb.
Where are the others calculated or shown, or is that internal to BeerSmith?

I use rice hulls because I read in a number of places that is helps to clear the beer.
I don't have to use it because I have what I think to be a regular grind of grains.
Next batch, I'll add grain to water and don't use the hulls and see how that works out.

ML, a few posts below, you mentioned ...
Quote
Most default mash profiles are 1.25 quarts water per pound of ground.  Many brewers use 1.5.  Yours said 1.0, which is sorta low.

Where do you see this?  I am still trying to figure that one out.
I'm sure it is staring right at me!
Thanks for the help ...
Thanks, Bob

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2010, 07:05:12 PM »
in Mash Step, under Mash Profiles.  See attached shot.

Offline SkyFlyer

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2010, 08:22:34 PM »
OK, I've know about that ratio all along, but I though you meant there was a water/grain ratio total somewhere else that was showing 1:1.
I see that is not the case now. 
I guess I just thought ratios were set up by BeerSmith and I didn't need to change it.

So, if I understand this correctly, I would want 1.25 (or whatever ratio that I choose) for each step of the mash?
Or might the mash out ratios be different?  If I so choose or based on the beer?

I'm looking forward to my next brew so I can try this out.
Thanks again, ML.


Thanks, Bob

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2010, 10:35:00 AM »
So, if I understand this correctly, I would want 1.25 (or whatever ratio that I choose) for each step of the mash?
Or might the mash out ratios be different?  If I so choose or based on the beer?


Each step's ratio is entirely up to the brewer.  For a single infusion, I think it's usually between 1.0 and 1.5.

For a multi-step, each step is usually much lower, so that you don't end up with watery soup. 

But to help your issues, I think it's most important to tell BSmith exactly what you're adding, and then add exactly that amount.  The water and heat formulas are pretty well-tested, so variance is usually the human's fault:  inaccurate measuring stick, dead-loss space errors, etc.  Once you get accurate numbers for all that, it doesn't change until you change equipment. 

Offline SkyFlyer

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Re: Same old problem, Mash In temp too high in Beersmith.
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2010, 12:53:44 PM »
OK, time to put this one to rest!
Thanks for the input and help, ML.
I'll give it a try over the next few batches and see what happens.
One thing that will help me is that I set BeerSmith to show quarts in the mash profile instead of gals.
That really had me confused for some time.
And the profile that I grabbed a while back (before know much about BeerSmith) was in fact a 1:1 ratio.
I see now that was too low.
I learned a lot over this discussion.
I will look at more mash profiles in sample recipes to see how the ratio varies.
Thanks again ...
Thanks, Bob