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Setting up equipment with Beersmith3

Grummore

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In this thread: http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,19803.0.html there was some information that made me re-evaluate that I surely have a few recipes that don't taste what I was expecting with the beersmith result and my equipment (which I probably entered wrong).

I have a :
Tri-Clad Induction Ready 10 Gallon Stainless Steel Welded Brew Kettle with a thermometer and valve (weight 4.89kg)
Copper Immersion chiller (my water well keep the temperature around 10?C all year so it takes about 10 min from boil to yeast temperature)
Hop spider

Some 6 gal, 5 gal and 3 gal carboys for secondary
[btw, when is it a good idea (or for what kind of beer) to directly put wort in a carboy for single fermentation)?]
Enough plastic bucket for primary

I boil on my stove (vitroceramic).

If I always brew with extract and steeping grains. Should "Type" always be "Extract" or sometimes it should be "General" and why/when?

I suppose I should have a setting when I do a full boil with all the water and another set if I ever use a portion of the water for boiling and top after in the primary?

What's actually wrong or just not answered in the equipment windows I attached?

Thank you!
 

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brewfun

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The main difference between "Extreact" and "General" (or "All Grain") is the Brewhouse Efficiency (BHE) field. It's not there in extract because whether high gravity or full volume boiled, it's expected that all of the wort, trub and all, will go into the fermenter.

Brewhouse Efficiency comes into play when some trub is left behind. BHE is simply the percentage of available sugars that make it into the fermenter. In OP's second example, the setting is General and the BHE is 72%. In fact, OP's boil parameters state 23.96 l, less 4% cooling and 0 l trub loss for 23 l batch size. That would indicate that 100% of the cooled wort went to the fermenter. So, OP's recipe likely told him that he needed more extract to get the gravity he targeted to make up for the loss.

The other issue that happens between the two settings is what BeerSmith does with any grain in the recipe. In General, BeerSmith will assume a higher amount of sugar from grain than in extract. When in General. the grain is assumed to be mashed, while in extract the assumption is steeping.

If you're not mashing, use "Extract" mode. That way, trub loss is simply a volume. Once you're mashing and leaving trub in the kettle, BHE becomes the best calculation to target gravity and yield.

 

Douglas Wilde

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You say "if not mashing"....as a partial mash brewer, I steep. Isnt that basically the same as mashing? Also, in the styles drop down box, there's a partial mash choice you can make? Do I choose Partial Mash or Extract? Thanks.
 

Kevin58

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Douglas Wilde said:
You say "if not mashing"....as a partial mash brewer, I steep. Isnt that basically the same as mashing? Also, in the styles drop down box, there's a partial mash choice you can make? Do I choose Partial Mash or Extract? Thanks.

On the surface mashing and steeping look similar but they are not the same. There are differences in thickness, the temperature, the duration of time the grain is in the water and sometimes the method of separating the liquid from the grains.

Simply put: when you mash you are encouraging the enzymes in the malted grain to convert starches to sugar. For an all grain brewer this provides most or all of the sugar required to make you beer. When you steep you are usually using specialty grains for the purpose of extracting their flavor and/or color.
 

Oginme

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The main function which separates steeping from mashing is the need to convert starches in the grains. 

As Kevin58 stated, unconverted grains (base malts, adjuncts, raw grains) contain starches which must be broken down into sugars by use of enzymes.  Base malts all have some enzyme content to achieve this conversion.  To convert the starches into sugars efficiently, they must be mashed at temperatures from 145F to  163F (63C to 72C) where the starches will be soluble and the enzymes will be most active. 

Most specialty malts are already converted or contain little available starch to convert.  As a general rule of thumb, malts with a color of over 12 Lovibond (24 EBC) have been converted and then kilned, toasted, or roasted to give them the flavor and color they contribute.  These can be steeped to give you color and release the available sugars in the grains. Steeping is most commonly done at the same temperatures which mashing takes place, but can also be performed at cooler temperatures, since the sugars in the grains will be more soluble than starches from base malts.

I would highly advise reading the sections on extract versus all-grain on the howtobrew.com web site, section 3.  This will give you more information on the processes and the differences between them.
 
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