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Confused -- recipe did not match the actual results

mr_beer

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I am confused ? at least I certainly need some assistance understanding a Braggot recipe Irecently made and how to use BeerSmith.

My ?profile? is a BIAB profile, estimated BH efficiency was 70% and estimated mash efficiency was 76.1%.  Somehow BeerSmith computed this mash efficiency ? where and how?

My notion was that I wanted 5.7 gallon batch size.  On the design view the estimated pre-boil volume was 9.1 gallon.  Using the Water tab I was instructed to add 9.88 gallon of water.  After the boil and cool down I still had about 8.6 gallon of wort before adding the honey.  Way too much wort for what was supposed to be a 5.7 gallon batch size.  What happened ? how did I flub the water amount?

The grain bill was 9.63 pounds and 8# 4 oz of honey.  Added together it came to the 18.1 pounds of grains.  Am I to assume that in the Design view the honey accounts for the essential equivalent of the same amount of grain?  Is that true?

The Go-Ferm amount was computed to be 29.1 g.  On balance, my other recipes call for about 15g ? with BeerSmith doing the calculations and using the ?automatic? calculation.  My own worksheet which has embodied the original Advanced Nutrients in Meadmaking paper published by Travis Blount-Elliott looks like the amount of Go-Ferm should be in the single digits.  Go-Ferm is inexpensive for the home brewer but the question still is how come this recipe had double the amount or Go-Ferm that was recommended for other recipes and almost four time the amount recommended ty the Travis Blount-Elliott equations? 
 

brewfun

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mr_beer said:
My ?profile? is a BIAB profile, estimated BH efficiency was 70% and estimated mash efficiency was 76.1%.  Somehow BeerSmith computed this mash efficiency ? where and how?

BeerSmith calculates mash efficiency from your batch size PLUS your losses post boil (Brewhouse Efficiency). If the Brewhouse Efficiency says 70%, then you're telling BeerSmith that you expect 70% of all available sugars are going into the fermenter. To maintain gravity, the only way to account for this is a corresponding change in mash efficiency.

My notion was that I wanted 5.7 gallon batch size.  On the design view the estimated pre-boil volume was 9.1 gallon.  Using the Water tab I was instructed to add 9.88 gallon of water.  After the boil and cool down I still had about 8.6 gallon of wort before adding the honey.  Way too much wort for what was supposed to be a 5.7 gallon batch size.  What happened ? how did I flub the water amount?

Does the equipment profile match your actual equipment? As I see it, the 9.88 gallons matches the total preboil volume in a regular sparged mash. I get 8.99 gallons mash water from the 5 gallon BIAB profile. Does the boiloff and trub loss in the profile match your real world performance?

The grain bill was 9.63 pounds and 8# 4 oz of honey.  Added together it came to the 18.1 pounds of grains.  Am I to assume that in the Design view the honey accounts for the essential equivalent of the same amount of grain?  Is that true?

Somewhere, you have a math issue. Either there is more grain than you list, or more honey. I get 17.88 lbs, regardless of whether I select a mead or beer recipe type.

The Go-Ferm amount was computed to be 29.1 g.  On balance, my other recipes call for about 15g ? with BeerSmith doing the calculations and using the ?automatic? calculation.  My own worksheet which has embodied the original Advanced Nutrients in Meadmaking paper published by Travis Blount-Elliott looks like the amount of Go-Ferm should be in the single digits.  Go-Ferm is inexpensive for the home brewer but the question still is how come this recipe had double the amount or Go-Ferm that was recommended for other recipes and almost four time the amount recommended ty the Travis Blount-Elliott equations?

Here we have the issue with mixed fermentations. As an all grain recipe, more goferm will be calculated for both honey and malt. As a Mead recipe, I see the goferm amount is 7.1 gm because it's only calculating for the honey.

In doing a braggot, I wouldn't recommend the full BIAB method. I'd match the water to a slightly thin mash and perhaps add a bit more after conversion. I'd then use an old extract trick of displacement by putting the sealed bucket of honey into the kettle (burner off) and adding water to the preboil volume. Once you've removed the honey container, the remaining volume is ready for boiling and adding the honey later to establish the right volume and gravity.

BeerSmith is handling mead one way and beer another. Braggot is sort of left in a mudbog of mediocrity. As bakers say, "all purpose flour serves no purpose."
 

mr_beer

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Thank you for the reply.

Does the equipment profile match your actual equipment? As I see it, the 9.88 gallons matches the total preboil volume in a regular sparged mash. I get 8.99 gallons mash water from the 5 gallon BIAB profile. Does the boiloff and trub loss in the profile match your real world performance?

You caused me to look at the Equipment profile which I fumbled because of my lack of knowledge about BeerSmith.  I have set up three equipment profiles for BIAB -- 5 gallon, 10 gallon in a 5 gallon and and a 7 gallon batch size and 15 gallon in a 5 gallon and 7 gallon batch size.  The pot size merely accommodates a large grain bill for a BIAB if needed.  It seems that I did not select and parameterize the correct equipment profile -- thank you for getting my nose into the correct details. 

Since it is BIAB all five profiles show the 'type' as All Grain from the equipment profile drop down list.  Is this the correct approach or should the selection be some other value such as "Partial Mash"

Somewhere, you have a math issue. Either there is more grain than you list, or more honey. I get 17.88 lbs, regardless of whether I select a mead or beer recipe type.
Ignore the math -- I just rounded for simplicity.  My question was if BeerSmith assumed in the Design view that honey accounts for the essential equivalent of the same amount by weight of grain?  Is that true?  Ignore the amount of pounds since the question that may have been poorly stated. 

Here we have the issue with mixed fermentations. As an all grain recipe, more goferm will be calculated for both honey and malt. As a Mead recipe, I see the goferm amount is 7.1 gm because it's only calculating for the honey.

In doing a braggot, I wouldn't recommend the full BIAB method. I'd match the water to a slightly thin mash and perhaps add a bit more after conversion. I'd then use an old extract trick of displacement by putting the sealed bucket of honey into the kettle (burner off) and adding water to the preboil volume. Once you've removed the honey container, the remaining volume is ready for boiling and adding the honey later to establish the right volume and gravity.

IT seems that the Braggot is neither fish or fowl and your suggestions are certainly appropriate.  That said there should be some notation or drop down list that would notify the unskilled/novice user of the "fish/fowl;" contradiction and make a recommendation as you suggested.  There is plenty of room of the Starter tab for that instruction. 

 

brewfun

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mr_beer said:
Since it is BIAB all five profiles show the 'type' as All Grain from the equipment profile drop down list.  Is this the correct approach or should the selection be some other value such as "Partial Mash"

I'd suggest creating an all grain profile that uses batch sparging. I'd start by subtracting the same volume of water as you intend to add in honey. Just divide honey weight by 12 to get the gallon volume.

Ignore the math -- I just rounded for simplicity. 

Surprising. You're not given to including inaccuracies.

My question was if BeerSmith assumed in the Design view that honey accounts for the essential equivalent of the same amount by weight of grain?  Is that true?

Asked and answered. Weight is weight. BeerSmith makes no assumptions about that. Within the ingredient profile is the gravity contribution. This contribution is what's expected from 1 lb of the ingredient per 1 gallon wort/must would yield. BeerSmith individually calculates the gravity contribution of each ingredient.

IT seems that the Braggot is neither fish or fowl and your suggestions are certainly appropriate.  That said there should be some notation or drop down list that would notify the unskilled/novice user of the "fish/fowl;" contradiction and make a recommendation as you suggested.  There is plenty of room of the Starter tab for that instruction.

There is no substitute for knowledge. No program is a substitute for knowing the fundamentals behind the process. As you ask, you learn and comprehend. That's what this forum is for. That's what books are for. That's what looking for information rather than confirmation is for.

I agree that Braggot could be better handled, but this is the first iteration of incorporating specific mead/cider/wine functions. It's already quite a leap from prior versions. Brad could've gone with separate versions for each, which would've been more profitable, but he chose to keep it all in one. Previous versions evolved, so will this one.
 

Kevin58

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Have you created a custom equipment profile? Have you optimized your mash profile for BIAB? Doing both will get your results closer to the estimates given by the software.

Here are two video tutorials I like for setting up an equipment profile. The second really digs into measuring all of your potential volume losses.

https://youtu.be/QmW7pwQP5mQ

https://youtu.be/HwEbjOt8OR8

And here is how to make BIAB mash profiles.

https://youtu.be/VKiEjhxo2oo
 

mr_beer

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Thank you for your contribution.

In answer to your suggestions, I have made appropriate custom equipment profiles to match my equipment and batch sizes.  It is clear that I fumbled some of the parameters but the help menu is sparse and of little help.  With clear documentation I would not have fumbled.

My questions remain partially answered.  If the intention is to defend the product as delivered then I understand that.  If the intention is to gather suggestions for improvement in future releases then the answers seems inconsistent.  But that is just my view as a user and not an expert.

For example apparently BeerSmith has different gravity contribution calculations based on the ingredient.  It would be helpful if that information was expanded in the Help menu.  Absent that information folks start to speculate. 

My expectation regarding suggestions was met with a defensive answer -- seems odd for a new software release that will have issues.  If that is the way the forum works, then that sets my expectations. 

Possibly there should be a new topical area where suggestions could be submitted and recognized as areas for product improvement. 

 

brewfun

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mr_beer said:
If the intention is to defend the product as delivered then I understand that.  If the intention is to gather suggestions for improvement in future releases then the answers seems inconsistent.  But that is just my view as a user and not an expert.

It depends on who you're talking to. Here, you're talking to fellow users, not developers. We're here to help you through a current situation. We don't update the program.

None of us were expert before we chose to learn.

That said, changes do get made based on what's said in this forum. The "Session" tab is a change based on user requests. So are "Post Mash Gravity" and "Pre-Boil Gravity," to reflect the measurements between mash and kettle sugar additions. Changes to Whirlpool hop calculations are another example, as is Mash pH.

For example apparently BeerSmith has different gravity contribution calculations based on the ingredient.  It would be helpful if that information was expanded in the Help menu. Absent that information folks start to speculate. 

This information is something covered in even the most basic brewing book.

Example: http://howtobrew.com/book/section-2/steeping-specialty-grains/example-batch

 

brewfun

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mr_beer said:
Possibly there should be a new topical area where suggestions could be submitted and recognized as areas for product improvement.

Spot on! If only there were a forum within beersmith.com called "Suggestions!"
 

mr_beer

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It is probably time to close this topic.

Spot on! If only there were a forum within beersmith.com called "Suggestions!"

It is definitely needed in my view.

This information is something covered in even the most basic brewing book.

Example: http://howtobrew.com/book/section-2/steeping-specialty-grains/example-batch

My point is that the software is great -- lots of new features and other capabilities.  That said the documentation sucks.  Expecting somebody to look elsewhere for information and then speculate on how BrewSmith3 operates is not helpful.

The documentation is so poor that I had to write my own user manual -- good for me but not the general case. 
 
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