BeerSmith Home Brewing Forum

BeerSmith Software => BeerSmith 2 Questions => Topic started by: aschecte on September 27, 2012, 03:50:23 PM

Title: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: aschecte on September 27, 2012, 03:50:23 PM
I hope someone may be able to help me out. I have had beersmith 2 since it's release and I have never been able to fully setup my equipment profile properly. I have all the basics in there ie. the weight , the gallon, dead space etc, but what eludes me is the specific heat. I use a 10 gallon round rubbermaid cooler and if I understood correctly my SH should be set to .3 but at that setting I have never hit my strike temps EVER. I always just ignore my brew steps and am able to hit pretty close by experience alone. All this said Beersmith ROCKS !!! I know it's something I'm not entering correctly so I have been messing around and this is what I came up with and I want to see what others think first here is the basics - MLT temp -72 deg, Grain temp- 72 deg, - MLT weight- 12lbs, Grain weight- 11lbs. Now without using Bersmith I know I need my strike water to be 180 degrees to account for lose to the cooler and with the grain I hit 152 on the nose. With the SH set at .3 it tells me to add like 14.61 qt of water at 168.2 deg but, that's not even close enough and that is with the box to adjust for equipment flagged. When I change my SH for the cooler to 0.98 it calculates with the adjust for equipment flagged to exactly 180.1 degrees which is exactly what I know I need. Does this mean my coolers SH is .98 ? I appreciate any input given thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: tom_hampton on September 28, 2012, 10:24:30 AM
Yep. A lot of us have discovered this over the years. 

The specific heat of "plastic" is generally around 0.4 cal/g-C.  "Foam" (the insulation) is more like 0.3.  Any steel (false bottom, etc) is more like 0.1.  So, the amalgamated specific heat should be around the 0.3 mark...depending on the exact percentages of each material in your MLT. 

However, you are likely to lose a lot more heat to the pouring of the strike water, and evaporation from stiring while doughing in. 
There's no real way for BS to predict using basic physics what your losses to the atmosphere will be, and how much stirring YOU do. 

What a lot of people have resorted to, is unchecking the "correct for grain/equip" box, and adding water +10F above the strike temp that BS gives.  Then you let that water sit in the MLT until it cools to the strike temp listed in BS.  At that point, I dough in, and will generally find that I hit the mash-temp or am 1-2 degrees high.  10 seconds of stirring and it drops that extra degree or two. 

I actually dough in a couple of degrees early because I don't have a RIMS/HERMS system.  So, I know I'm going to lose 4-5 degrees over an hour. 

So, you can keep doing it like you are....which probably amounts to about the same thing as what I'm describing above.
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: merfizle on September 28, 2012, 02:40:27 PM
Interesting that so much heat is being lost.  I have the standard square cooler for mash tun and even on cold day brew days it only drops 12-13 degrees.

Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: aschecte on September 28, 2012, 03:31:01 PM
Interesting that so much heat is being lost.  I have the standard square cooler for mash tun and even on cold day brew days it only drops 12-13 degrees.

I loose about 8-10 degrees average to the cooler the remainder of the loss is to the grain and stirring so like in my original post if I had a appx 10.5 lb grain bill at 72deg  and dumped about 3.75 gallons of 180deg water in the cooler it would instantly become 170-172 degrees than after stirring a few seconds and adding the grain in a few additions then stirring I loose the additional 18-20 degrees to the grain relatively quickly. Also after my mash temp is hit I loose appx .5deg a hour which is excellent. I have also just remembered a article I read quite a long time ago about the disadvantages of using a 10 gallon cooler for batches using under 15lbs of grain- The article basially said there is such a huge heat loss as you are heating the entire mashtun and only filling at best 1/2 of it at any point therefore creating issues accurately calculating strike temps. Hind site is 20/20 luckily I do brew larger grain bills as well.
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: Wingeezer on October 01, 2012, 05:28:15 PM
Glad I have company! 

I am a fairly new all grain brewer and  find that BS2 is so far off with my 10 gallon rubbermaid cylindrical cooler that it is really no use at all.

I brewed today, and in order to get a 153F mash, with a 13 lb grain bill,  I had to use 15L of strike water at 173F - and this was after already preheating the MT with 16L of 173F water !! 

(I think beersmith# suggested about 172 with no preheat needed!)

I had to add a couple more L of boiling water to get it to about 155 - 156 which was what I wanted to begin with.

Don't understand why BS2 is so far off,  and I have more or less given up on it for strike water temp - just going now by past experience.


Brian.



 

 
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: ipso on October 02, 2012, 02:29:48 PM
I have a standard Orange Rubbermaid 10gal mash tun with a SS false bottom, and for me BeerSmith nails the strike water temp every single time for years running.  I’m able to get all my house beers, and new beers, within a single degree consistently.  Frankly, it’s kind of eerie, because my batch sizes are all over the place.  To me the strike temp calc. function is the one perfect shining example of a reason to purchase BeerSmith.

Now.., you have to standardize your process.  I make sure to rinse my mash tun with my hottest tap water 10min before strike.  If I do it 1 hour before strike, it’ll be a couple degrees off.  If I do not stir my standard amount of time, I’ll be off a degree.  Etc.   I loose 8° in an hour with it closed tight.

This is my equipment setup info:

Mash Tun Vol. = 10
Mash Tun Weight = 11
Mash Tun Specific Heat = .3
Lauter Tun Deadspace = .625  (actual)

This is the thing – what is your [Mash Profile] setup as?  That is where you set your temperature, and all your step check boxes must correspond to what you’re doing.

To me the only confusing thing about BeerSmith is that you can change the same value in a multitude of places, and there are excellent reasons for that, but it can be confusing.  In some forms you can’t easily see what fields are manually input vs. calced too.  It took me quiet a while to get it all squared away (and I’m semi literate technically.)

(However, full disclosure, what I cannot fix in BeerSmith, and I’ve just always worked around it out of laziness, is the fact that I get about 20min of extra volume wort EVERY TIME, :o so I’ve got my own axe to grind.  (I’ll create a separate thread for that, to not confuse this one.)

I suspect your dealio is in the Mash Setup (Note: if you change values in the template, that is different than changing values in the recipe copy.  You'll have to re-select the modified Mash Profile template from within the recipe.)
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: aschecte on October 02, 2012, 08:49:06 PM
I have a standard Orange Rubbermaid 10gal mash tun with a SS false bottom, and for me BeerSmith nails the strike water temp every single time for years running.  I’m able to get all my house beers, and new beers, within a single degree consistently.  Frankly, it’s kind of eerie, because my batch sizes are all over the place.  To me the strike temp calc. function is the one perfect shining example of a reason to purchase BeerSmith.

Now.., you have to standardize your process.  I make sure to rinse my mash tun with my hottest tap water 10min before strike.  If I do it 1 hour before strike, it’ll be a couple degrees off.  If I do not stir my standard amount of time, I’ll be off a degree.  Etc.   I loose 8° in an hour with it closed tight.

This is my equipment setup info:

Mash Tun Vol. = 10
Mash Tun Weight = 11
Mash Tun Specific Heat = .3
Lauter Tun Deadspace = .625  (actual)

This is the thing – what is your [Mash Profile] setup as?  That is where you set your temperature, and all your step check boxes must correspond to what you’re doing.

To me the only confusing thing about BeerSmith is that you can change the same value in a multitude of places, and there are excellent reasons for that, but it can be confusing.  In some forms you can’t easily see what fields are manually input vs. calced too.  It took me quiet a while to get it all squared away (and I’m semi literate technically.)

(However, full disclosure, what I cannot fix in BeerSmith, and I’ve just always worked around it out of laziness, is the fact that I get about 20min of extra volume wort EVERY TIME, :o so I’ve got my own axe to grind.  (I’ll create a separate thread for that, to not confuse this one.)

I suspect your dealio is in the Mash Setup (Note: if you change values in the template, that is different than changing values in the recipe copy.  You'll have to re-select the modified Mash Profile template from within the recipe.)


I appreciate your response and considering we have the same setup I would think I would be expierencing the same profile. I can tell you from my first hand expierence that I loose about 10 degrees to the mash tun ... I should mention if I pre heat I don't loose anything but my point is I don't want to pre heat hence this thread. I also fairly consistently brew around the same weight give or take a pound or 2 grain bill. I average about 15-18 degrees loss to the grain at 72 deg.  So on a avg. I loose 25-28 degrees without pre heating to all looses. hence I need my strike at like 180 to hit 152. This has nothing to do with how I have beersmith setup this my everyday "knowledge" of my system. Want I want is beersmith to mimic what I already know will happen.
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: condog on October 03, 2012, 03:11:55 PM
For what it's worth . It took me some time but i have the profile of my equipment, 10 gal round cooler and converted kegs, setup pretty good. Dead space and losses. Set heat rate .3 . I preheat MT with warm water and so far I hit mash temp on the nose. I do have to add a little boiling water mid way to keep temp up depending on how much I stir. Setup is everything. Good thermometer is crucial and use the same on everytime. I use a Fluxe digital.
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: R. Gibson on October 08, 2012, 12:12:25 AM
I appreciate your response and considering we have the same setup I would think I would be expierencing the same profile. I can tell you from my first hand expierence that I loose about 10 degrees to the mash tun ... I should mention if I pre heat I don't loose anything but my point is I don't want to pre heat hence this thread. I also fairly consistently brew around the same weight give or take a pound or 2 grain bill. I average about 15-18 degrees loss to the grain at 72 deg.  So on a avg. I loose 25-28 degrees without pre heating to all looses. hence I need my strike at like 180 to hit 152. This has nothing to do with how I have beersmith setup this my everyday "knowledge" of my system. Want I want is beersmith to mimic what I already know will happen.

I have the same problem, and agree completely! I also agree with your original question about whether it is reasonable to simply set the SH of the cooler to 0.98. I do mostly 5 gallon batches in my 10 gallon system (for some reason I just assumed I would start brewing 10 gallon batches at some point...) But I wonder, if the issue is with the relative discrepancy between the size of the cooler and the volume of the grain, if the specific heat would change with batch size? For example, in a 10 gallon cooler, with no pre-heating, a 5 gallon batch required a SH of 0.98, if the same batch of beer, on the same equipment, scaled up to 10 gallons would require a SH of 0.3?

While I haven't brewed a 10 gallon batch yet, I would bet that is the case. Given that, I suppose it would make sense to create two different equipment profiles, one for 5-gallon batches, with a SH of 0.98, and a second profile for doing 10 gallon batches with an SH of 0.3...assuming you brew both 5 and 10 gallon batches.
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: jomebrew on October 08, 2012, 09:37:47 AM
I found that I lose 16 - 20F pumping my hot water up into my mash tun.  l screwed with the calculations for  a while not believing I was losing that much inline.  Further, I found that the tubing I use can affect this by 4-5F.   Even my copper manifold will affect things.  The colder it is to start, the more it affects things.

I am a lot closer these days but always end up adjusting a little.  Now, I fill my mash tun with the desired volume of water first and make sure it is at the desired strike temp then I add my grain.   It was just easier for me to adjust my process to accommodate the external variables than try to trick the software.  That is never going to be reliable.

When i was gravity filling my mash tun, I never had a problem with Beersmith's calculations (once I dialed in my equipment). 
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: aschecte on October 09, 2012, 05:58:37 AM
Ok I have a bit of a update for everyone I brewed a lambic on Saturday using a turbid mash ( it was a adventure unto itself 4 hour mash  !!!) and I used the new setup of .98 specific heat. Well I'll be honest it is not .98 BUT, it is also not .3 I found that by doing the turbid mash it gave me 4 hours of infusion and extraction to play with settings to see what worked to bring me to the next step. When I doughed in for my 113 rest I added 146degree water assuming a .98SH and I hit more hit 123deg so I knw that .98 was too much. I added cold water and stirred until I hit 113. My next step was 126 so I adjusted my SH to .7SH and still over shot by 6 degrees this time but I was getting closer. I adjust my SH to .5 for the next step of 149 and I was 1deg low now so on the high Alpha rest of 162 I bumped my SH to .53 and boom I hit that rest pluss mash out dead on !!! So I do admit I was wrong with the .98 SH but that still proves as others have said it's all about setup. Now another user had said they wonder about actualbatch size effecting the Sh and i bet it does as the higher water is in contact with the MLT the less dead space and the more buffer you would have. I remember reading in the joy of Homebrewing that exact issue Papazian said the pro's and con's of using a larger vessel to mash in was it was harder to get a stable temperature and he is right. I hope I don;t have to change my SH with every change in grain bill that would truly suck.
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: aschecte on October 09, 2012, 06:01:11 AM
Opps I forgot to mention yes I did account for the infusion and extraction in the software so the proper amount of water was calculated.
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: ultravista on October 09, 2012, 07:30:46 AM
I too use the Home Depot orange 10 gallon cooler. I pre-heat the mash tun with a gallon or so of boiling/near boiling water and let it sit until my mash water is ready. Some times it's 15 minutes but could be 30 to 60 depending on what's happening.

I also sit my grain bags in the sun on sunny days or leave them out overnight if frozen/refrigerated.

While I haven't run tests on temperature drop, I feel the cooler retains heat very well.

I suspect the pre-heating is the right thing to do regardless of cooler or method.
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: Beer_Tigger on October 09, 2012, 11:26:14 AM
"Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT"?  That's one big Mutton, Lettice, and Tomato!
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: R. Gibson on October 09, 2012, 01:02:18 PM
::)  ;)  ;D
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: ipso on October 09, 2012, 01:18:50 PM
"Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT"?  That's one big Mutton, Lettice, and Tomato!
True love [for beer] is a noble cause!
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: aschecte on October 10, 2012, 07:22:18 AM
::)  ;)  ;D


 ;D :) :D ;D ;)

Now that's funny great way to start the morning LOL !!!
Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: Wingeezer on October 22, 2012, 05:37:46 PM
I found that I lose 16 - 20F pumping my hot water up into my mash tun.  l screwed with the calculations for  a while not believing I was losing that much inline.  Further, I found that the tubing I use can affect this by 4-5F.   Even my copper manifold will affect things.  The colder it is to start, the more it affects things.

I am a lot closer these days but always end up adjusting a little.  Now, I fill my mash tun with the desired volume of water first and make sure it is at the desired strike temp then I add my grain.   It was just easier for me to adjust my process to accommodate the external variables than try to trick the software.  That is never going to be reliable.

When i was gravity filling my mash tun, I never had a problem with Beersmith's calculations (once I dialed in my equipment).


Were you using that much temperature through the pump even when the pump and hoses were warmed up?

I also use my pump to transfer to the MT,  but for several minutes before I start the transfer, I use the pump to just recirculate back to the HLT - of course that immediately drops the HLT temp, but I keep recirculating and heating until it gets back up to the temp. I want and than i start the transfer to the MLT.


Brian.

Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: jomebrew on October 23, 2012, 09:18:37 AM

Were you using that much temperature through the pump even when the pump and hoses were warmed up?

I also use my pump to transfer to the MT,  but for several minutes before I start the transfer, I use the pump to just recirculate back to the HLT - of course that immediately drops the HLT temp, but I keep recirculating and heating until it gets back up to the temp. I want and than i start the transfer to the MLT.


Brian.

I prewarmed the pump and other inline gear but circulating hot water back into the hot liquor tank before pumping to the mash tun. 

In the attached picture, you can see the HLT behing the kettle connected to the pump which also has a therminator, inline temp gauge, valve and length of hose.  The screwdriver is there for dramatic affect.


Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: Wingeezer on October 23, 2012, 04:45:21 PM

Were you using that much temperature through the pump even when the pump and hoses were warmed up?

I also use my pump to transfer to the MT,  but for several minutes before I start the transfer, I use the pump to just recirculate back to the HLT - of course that immediately drops the HLT temp, but I keep recirculating and heating until it gets back up to the temp. I want and than i start the transfer to the MLT.


Brian.

I prewarmed the pump and other inline gear but circulating hot water back into the hot liquor tank before pumping to the mash tun. 

In the attached picture, you can see the HLT behing the kettle connected to the pump which also has a therminator, inline temp gauge, valve and length of hose.  The screwdriver is there for dramatic affect.


Surprised then that  the temp drop is so much through the pump.

Just last week I decided to try a new method of mashing - instead of trying to work out the correct strike temp to warm a cold  MT and cold  grain to exactly the right temp for mashing, I decided to pump extra hot water into the MT and then just et it come down to the temp that Beersmith said I should need if the MT were preheated - then add the grain.

I put 18L of water into the MT at just over 180F,  and even with the lid off and stirring, it was only down to 175 after five minutes, so it seems I didn't lose much heat through the pump and hoses.


Had to wait quite a while to get the water in the MT  down to about 163F to add the grain, eve with the lid off and much stirring, so next time I won't heat the water quite as much!  Maybe 175!

Brian.
 


Title: Re: Rubbermaid 10 gallon MLT
Post by: jomebrew on October 24, 2012, 08:47:06 AM
I usually come in hot and cool it down.  easier than trying to bring the heat up.   It is good for folks interesting in more precision to really understand the components of their system and not guess, like I was, that the temp drop of just a couple degrees.