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BeerSmith Software => BeerSmith 2 Questions => Topic started by: brewprint on February 26, 2017, 11:21:55 AM

Title: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: brewprint on February 26, 2017, 11:21:55 AM
I've noticed that my preboil volume never, ever changes.

No matter how many hops I put in there, it remains the same.

How is this possible? Let's say for example; I have a recipe with a 1lb addition at 5 minutes left in the boil. Wouldn't that require me to have a larger pre-boil volume?

What am I missing here?
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: Oginme on February 26, 2017, 12:55:57 PM
Beersmith does not factor in water absorption of the hops.  Typically, it would be reflected in the 'loss to trub and chiller' section, but I find that varies from recipe to recipe.

What I do for a 10 liter batch is plan on 10 liters into the fermenter and 1 liter loss to trub and hops.  This covers my loss for heavily hop loaded recipes easily enough and I can always overshoot the actual volume to the fermenter on those recipes which have minimal hop loading.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: brewprint on February 27, 2017, 05:13:05 AM
Beersmith does not factor in water absorption of the hops.  Typically, it would be reflected in the 'loss to trub and chiller' section, but I find that varies from recipe to recipe.

What I do for a 10 liter batch is plan on 10 liters into the fermenter and 1 liter loss to trub and hops.  This covers my loss for heavily hop loaded recipes easily enough and I can always overshoot the actual volume to the fermenter on those recipes which have minimal hop loading.

Then I must say that this is a serious flaw in the software. When I do 11 gallon batches of hoppy IPAs that take around 10-14 ounces per batch, that is going to have an impact. I also use hop bags when doing these.

I also account for 1 gallon loss due to trub. If I factor that in for hops that could potentially be another gallon.

The more that I use the software I see little things like this that could easily be changed. Hop absorption, pH calculations, acid malt additions, and kettle height in inches.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: Oginme on February 27, 2017, 05:37:26 AM
As I stated in your other thread, the pH calculations is a new feature and I am sure it will be improved in new releases.  As far as hop/water absorption, if you have a study that shows the relationship, by all means, forward it to Brad.  I find that the difference between pellets and leaf, hard pressed pellets and soft pressed pellets, T-90s vs T-45s seems so variable in my meager studies and the ending water absorption is usually well within the error of my closest measurement that it may not be worth chasing so avidly, IMHO.  Even in one of my most heavily hopped recipes with a hop addition of 17 grams per liter of finished wort fits comfortably within my 1 liter of trub.

OTOH, I can see that if you are really stuffing a lot of low AA% hops into a recipe, that it would come into play eventually. 

Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: brewprint on February 27, 2017, 05:03:09 PM
Now you lost me.

When you use your example of 17 grams per liter, are you saying that you just throw them into the boil and that has no effect on your final volume in the trub? If that's the case, I'm sure that it would have a very significant effect on your final volume...as in a lot more trub.  Using hop bags not so much.

Either way, it should be accounted for. Why isn't it there? Check out the priceless calculator and just put in different hop amounts into your recipe. Watch the starting water volume change...fairly significantly.

We're not supposed to be just 'winging' it with this software. This is supposed to be 'the' brewing software. And it doesn't account for different amounts of hops!
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: Oginme on February 27, 2017, 06:46:53 PM
I don't use a bag for my hops and here goes the volume calculation (verified for my process):

OK, 17 grams per liter of hops for a 10 gal batch size is 170 grams of hops added.  Typical hop pellets have an apparent density of about 5 grams/ml, so this hop loading gives me a bump in volume of about 170/5 = 34 ml in a 11 liter finished volume.  This is about a .3% change in volume -- and that is on the highest end.  A typical recipe for me has about 29 grams of hops or about 6 ml of volume which is far less than my ability to accurately measure my volume using my dip stick.

This small amount can be easily buried in a small variation in boil off rate: 2.35 lph to 2.39 lph is 40 ml difference and is a very small change in the dial on my stove or affect of ambient temperature and well within a 2-sigma action limit for my process.

Likewise, it also falls within the variability for grain absorption.

I can appreciate that Priceless has added this variable, but in reality it would only be a major factor for whole leaf hops in a highly hopped recipe (where the volume would be somewhere in the range of 200 ml) and that would still end up buried in my extra liter of trub.  I've looked at his software, but I really like the single package of BeerSmith and find it much easier to track successive brews with BS2.

Honestly, there are a lot of other areas to improve the software and which would make a much greater impact to the average brewer.  There are a lot of places that *could* be modeled, but not all of them are enough of a difference to the majority of brewers who use the software or make enough of a difference to change their outcome.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: KellerBrauer on February 28, 2017, 05:35:53 AM
Greetings All - I use a hop bag with my additions to help keep my plate cooler from clogging.  I have a 90 minute IPA recipe which includes 8 oz. of hops added over a 90 minute period.  I have had no noticeable or tangible difference in my final post-boil volume of 5.13 gallons.  So I agree with Oginme, any additional absorption is negligible - at least for my use of hop pellets.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: BOB357 on February 28, 2017, 01:41:36 PM
The only calculator I've seen that takes hops into consideration in volumes is BIAB Brewer's. They figure .04 gal./oz of hops and don't distinguish between leaf and pellets. While 5.12 oz. seems like a lot of liquid/oz. of hops, when you stop to consider that the hop debris/trub is suspended in a lot more liquid than it actually absorbs, I can believe it. 6.2 oz. of hop debris could very well cause a kettle loss of a quart of wort.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: brewprint on March 01, 2017, 05:32:16 PM
The only calculator I've seen that takes hops into consideration in volumes is BIAB Brewer's. They figure .04 gal./oz of hops and don't distinguish between leaf and pellets. While 5.12 oz. seems like a lot of liquid/oz. of hops, when you stop to consider that the hop debris/trub is suspended in a lot more liquid than it actually absorbs, I can believe it. 6.2 oz. of hop debris could very well cause a kettle loss of a quart of wort.

Exactly. 1 quart per 5 gallon batch with 6 ounces is 1/2 gallon per 10 gallon batch. This is where the issue arises.

It surprises me that the posters above find this negligible. That along with the software not accounting for this blows my mind.

I also like using BS2 to keep everything in place. When I have to use other calculators to find correct numbers for pH and hop additions; I get annoyed.

Hopefully Brad is reading this. As I cannot believe that this issue has never come up before with the myriad of people using this software.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: KellerBrauer on March 01, 2017, 05:57:14 PM
Greetings All - I have not researched the calculators mentioned in this post.  As I stated, I use a hop bag holding a maximum of 1 oz. of hops per bag.  Therefore, there is no trub left in the kettle so it would be impossible to loose as much as you're suggesting. I'm guessing I would loose perhaps a 1/4 oz./oz. of hops.  But I'm not certain.  I'm brewing again in a week or so.  I'll check it to find out for sure and I'll post my findings.  In any case, whatever is lost is not enough for me to be concerned about.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: brewprint on March 01, 2017, 06:32:51 PM
Greetings All - I have not researched the calculators mentioned in this post.  As I stated, I use a hop bag holding a maximum of 1 oz. of hops per bag.  Therefore, there is no trub left in the kettle so it would be impossible to loose as much as you're suggesting. I'm guessing I would loose perhaps a 1/4 oz./oz. of hops.  But I'm not certain.  I'm brewing again in a week or so.  I'll check it to find out for sure and I'll post my findings.  In any case, whatever is lost is not enough for me to be concerned about.

I'm referring to hoppy beers...not one ouncers. We've stated that 6oz of hops can absorb appoximately 1 quart of water.  Double the batch size and you're at 1/2 gallon. Add more hops...you are potentially losing a gallon in preboil.

I'm not referring to trub. I'm referring to absorption because if hop bags weren't used for that application you'd have to increase fermenter volume.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: Oginme on March 01, 2017, 07:07:06 PM
IMHO, you are confusing water absorption with water displacement.  Hops may absorb a good amount of water, but that does not change the volume of the wort/hop mixture.  The only change in volume is the actual volume of the hops, since they do not dissolve in the wort.  Another thing people confuse is density versus bulk density.  Whole or leaf hops have a very low bulk density, taking up a lot of volume for a given weight of hops but when compressed, they don't take up much volume at all.

In my 37 years as a process engineer, process control engineer, and formulator of coatings, paints, inks and saturating solutions, I've seen people repeat this many times and end up scratching their heads trying to figure this out.  The volume increase in your kettle is only as much as the volume of the hops.  The difference comes out in the amount of trub created due to the absorption of the wort by the hops.  If you account for the trub volume ahead of time, there is no need to add additional water to the system to otherwise compensate for high hop loadings.  If you are adding additional water to account for the absorption of water by the hops, then what you are actually doing is accounting for additional trub volume that you will be leaving behind.  If you want to do this, change your loss to trub and chiller accordingly. 
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: brewprint on March 02, 2017, 04:59:26 AM
What I'm referring to is exactly the same thing that happens while doing a full volume mash. If I would end up with 12 gallons for the pre boil based on grain absorption from  25 pounds of grain, I don't start my volume with 12 gallons! This is the argument that you're giving me here.

Hops absorb water just like the grain. The grain and hops are removed but still contain water from the original volume. I'm not confused here. I believe that you are actually going on about things that are meaningless.

If one does what you are saying, their final volume will be a significantly higher via volume, then you'd have to account for loss via trub and chiller like you stated.

Who does that? Seriously do you know anyone that wouldn't use some kind of a hop bag for 12 ounces plus on an 11 gallon batch of ipa?  Now you're just being difficult.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: jtoots on March 02, 2017, 05:48:12 AM
I believe that you are actually going on about things that are meaningless....  Now you're just being difficult.

Woah, easy there bud.  Getting testy with someone that's trying to help you?  Not here, please.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: KellerBrauer on March 02, 2017, 06:24:23 AM
Greetings brewprint and I beg your pardon!  I happen to use hop bags for all my brews to help protect my plate cooler!  In fact, as I mentioned earlier, I brew a 90 minute IPA that includes 8 oz. of hops AND 8 hops bags which drained, as best as possible, and removed at the end of the boil.  So, yes, I do that and it works beautifully!

I also stated that I'll be brewing next weekend (I hope) and my brew will use 4 oz. of hops and 4 hop bags.  I will conduct an experiment on exactly how much liquid I loose from my batch.  I'll post my finsings at that time.  I'm guessing, however, my findings will be - as stated - insignificant.

Lastly, your original post asked a question and the answer has been posted in a variety of fashions and styles.  It's unfortunate it's not the answer your seeking.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: ihikeut on March 02, 2017, 06:47:03 AM
Wow such a argument over a quart of wort.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: Oginme on March 02, 2017, 07:10:58 AM

If one does what you are saying, their final volume will be a significantly higher via volume, then you'd have to account for loss via trub and chiller like you stated.

Who does that? Seriously do you know anyone that wouldn't use some kind of a hop bag for 12 ounces plus on an 11 gallon batch of ipa?  Now you're just being difficult.

I am really not trying to be difficult.  You stated that this, in your opinion, is a very significant flaw in BeerSmith.  I am trying to explain why it is not.

OK, real life scenario:

I brewed my DIPA last fall, aiming for a 17 liter batch with 2 liters of trub, so total post boil would have been 19 liters.

I started with an extra half liter of water through misreading the sheet as I was filling my kettles.  Added a total of 218 grams of hops.  So that comes out to 44.5 grams of hops per gallon, or 1.57 ounces/gallon.  No hop bag.

I ended up with 17.65 liters in my carboy and 2 liters of trub (as planned).  In entering in my process data into my tracking spreadsheet, I noted the extra half liter of water added deviation from plan.  My boil off rate and grain absorption was pretty close to target; preboil volume was 24.2 liters versus projected 23.76 liters by BeerSmith.  So in total the 218 grams of hops added to the boil kettle amounted to and additional whopping 200 ml (0.2 liters) of additional wort not accounted for in my water additions.  My boil off rate was 2.42 lph versus my equipment profile which was set at 2.43 lph, so in a 90-minute boil, that may have accounted for most of the 200 ml I was off, but even ignoring that, the volume is pretty proportional to the amount of hops added and not the absorption rate of the hops.

If, on the other hand, the software had added 5 oz of additional water for each ounce of hops I added, The software would have put in an additional 1.14 liters of water throwing my system completely out of balance.  I would have missed my pre-boil gravity based upon a dilution factor of around 4.7% and post-boil gravity by a similar amount. 

It certainly seems to me that if this were a more significant error, as you have been arguing, then Brad would have addressed it by now.  As my experiences and measurements bear out, it the volume of the hops is a rather minor addition to the ending volume and one that can easily disappear into the error of most people's ability to accurately measure.

Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: brewprint on March 02, 2017, 01:10:26 PM
Wow such a argument over a quart of wort.

6 ounces of hops is roughly a quart of wort. 12 ounces for a double batch is 1/2 gallon. Now add 18 ounces for a DIPA and we're at 3/4 gallon. Make a hoppier TIPA with 24 ounces and now we're at 1 extra gallon.

The argument isn't about a quart of wort.

I understand that the software doesn't compensate for hop absorption. I also realize that it can be negligible for most beers that aren't IPAs or even 5 gallon batches of IPAs. When doing batches greater than 5 gallons it can have a significant impact.

If you guys don't agree, and for the most part automatically disagree with my conclusion, then it just kind of defeats the purpose of the forum.

The reason that I made this post on here was because I thought there was something missing and I just didn't see it, as I've done before. I see now that's actually not the case.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: Oginme on March 02, 2017, 02:16:03 PM
Please don't take the comments and arguments personally.  I certainly didn't.

You pointed out something that warranted investigation in your mind, and I think did a good job presenting your case.  I tried to argue back civilly and with information that I deemed appropriate. It really was a useful back and forth and did force me to take a good long look at the subject matter and dive into my data again to determine if there was something that I was missing.  In my experiences and brewing data so far, I don't think so but I could still be proven wrong. 

I work in a company which develops new technology focused on the manipulation of the electromagnetic spectrum from deep UV through the IR.  We frequently have such discussions, even when we all think the person putting forward the assertion is correct, to poke and prod the subject matter to see if something is there to investigate further.   It is how we all move things forward in a productive manner. 

Same goes here.  Things get suggested or recommended; the idea is beaten around ring a few times; and sometimes it leads to improvements. 

On the positive note, if the software was to be centered around mash efficiency instead of brew house efficiency, your idea would work in allowing for a minimal trub value that could then be adjusted based upon an expected amount of hop additions with associated water retention.  The way the software is set up now, it would make an adjustment to the mash efficiency to accommodate the increased volume of wort, making the mash efficiency a moving target.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: ihikeut on March 02, 2017, 08:04:29 PM

Sorry didn't know I was stepping on your toes. You are right the hop absorption rate is approx. 8 to 12 oz of fluid to 1 oz  of hops, bearing on type of hops and moisture content. As of now I don't see where Brad has addressed this in his program. Could be with a 33% variable he choose not too. It maybe something he may do in the future. Until he addresses this issue we will all have to factor it in too our brewing process.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: brewfun on March 03, 2017, 10:29:45 AM
If you guys don't agree, and for the most part automatically disagree with my conclusion, then it just kind of defeats the purpose of the forum.

The reason that I made this post on here was because I thought there was something missing and I just didn't see it, as I've done before. I see now that's actually not the case.

I don't disagree with either your conclusion or your desire to see the software make a compensation. Yet, there are a lot of other places where BeerSmith and every other program make very broad assumptions and people still get accurate results. BeerSmith has always dealt with these types of losses in the trub number. Other programs may deal with it differently, but both end up in the same place.

BeerSmith doesn't account for moisture content in grain, or liquid loss from yeast. There is no calculation for beer absorbed by yeast or volume loss from CO2 and alcohol lamination.

What does happen is that brewers change the batch size and loss assumptions to cover a broad swath of circumstances. Thus, we end up with 5.5 gallon batch sizes for a 5 gallon yield. Seems to work. In my case, I look for 17.1 barrels in a fermenter to get a 15 barrel yield. Adding dry hops is an assumed loss of 1 gallon per pound. My yield just goes down, I don't look to add water way back at the beginning of the process.

I think your observations in other threads about pH and water chemistry are on-point and much higher priorities.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: BOB357 on March 05, 2017, 04:26:08 PM
Since I introduced the 5.12 oz./oz. of hops that heated up this thread, I thought it fit to add that I don't calculate losses to hop debris, whether I use a spider or just chunk the pellets in. I set my batch size to 6.0 gallons to brew a 5.5 gallon batch so I can be assured of 5.5 gallons of clear wort into the fermenter. If I end up with some extra it can go into a 1 gallon fermenter or be canned as starter wort.

Following this thread got me to thinking (ouch!). In the process of dialing in my equipment profiles I measured the various losses in the process, as I assume most of you did. Among those losses were kettle loss due to trub. I never really thought how much hop debris, and the liquid it was suspended in contributed to the volume I entered. If we had 3 or 4 oz. of hops in the batches we measured the kettle loss from, it greatly reduces the volumes being discussed here.

Also, what goes into the fermenter varies greatly from brewer to brewer. All the way from running only clean wort to dumping everything in. In the end, each of us have found what works for us and our setup. While I do support input to Brad, I really think this subject would be better addressed by individuals to fit their systems and processes. The losses are similar to boil off change when the humidity takes a big swing, and we don't usually think much about relative humidity before calculating water volumes. Just my opinion.

 If you feel it important enough, it's simple enough to just add a set amount of sparge water/oz. of hops above what was included with kettle loss or suck up the loss in your packaging volume. In any event, it has been an interesting discussion leaving us an opportunity to do some experimentation.
Title: Re: Hops and pre boil volume
Post by: home2come on March 23, 2017, 01:20:19 AM
 :D ;) :)