Author Topic: Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle  (Read 5350 times)

Offline Jiffster

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Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle
« on: October 13, 2015, 06:26:33 PM »
I created an Equipment profile using the wizard. I notice that it didn't allow me to add the brew kettle.

How do I modify my profile to include my brew kettle?

Offline brewfun

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Re: Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2015, 07:53:30 PM »
The brew kettle is an assumed, static portion of your brew system in the profile. It's set by your batch volume. BeerSmith will add boiloff and other losses to that volume.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline Jiffster

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Re: Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2015, 06:44:32 AM »
In order for Beersmith to account for boil off, doesn't it need to know the size of the brew kettle?

Offline brewfun

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Re: Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2015, 09:01:21 AM »
That's one way to look at it. BeerSmith implies a kettle size, rather than using it as a variable. That's why the kettle size is usually just in the profile name.

Since recipes are based on batch size, a minimum kettle size becomes a calculation instead of a static input. BeerSmith just works backward from batch size, since you have to have a volume equal to that, plus losses and boil off.

Losses are from equipment between the kettle, including deadspace and your trub pile. Boiloff is a technique based variable, based on how vigorously you boil. Those variables are something you measure and input to BeerSmith to get a preboil volume. The preboil volume, plus some head space is your kettle volume.

It's important to note that you have the option to either force the profile volumes to be what you expect, or  let BeerSmith calculate them for you.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 09:05:12 AM by brewfun »
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline Jiffster

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Re: Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2015, 09:12:55 AM »
So this is where I need to learn my equipment and its boil off rate based on the 5 batch rule and enter that figure into Beersmith, correct?

I'm brewing my 2nd batch ever this weekend. It's a 5 gallon batch; extract with steeped grains recipe. Instead of using a partial boil I would like to use a full boil with my nee 11 gallon kettle.

I have no idea what my trub or fermentation losses will be so I'm planning to need some top off water. What would a good method for testing boil off amounts be; should I boil 1,2,3, etc gallons of water for 1 hour and see how much was lost?

Offline brewfun

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Re: Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2015, 08:53:50 AM »
You can do 5 gallons easily in an 11 gallon pot. There's a lot of brewers that start with 7.5 gallons pre-boil and count on a half gallon of trub loss, for 5.5 gallons batch size in the fermenter. So, those may be good numbers to start with.

For boiloff and calibration, measure 7 gallons of cold water into the kettle. Heat the water to 208F and make a dipstick and mark it with the level. This is your 7 gallon volume with heat expansion. From that measurement, you can easily calculate where the 7.5 gallon volume would be, but don't mark it, yet.

Now just gently boil the water for a measured amount of time (15 to 20 minutes) and let it cool to 208F, which should happen pretty quickly. Measure the volume and calculate the difference. Now just figure that difference for an hour and you have your boiloff volume.

You can hold onto the water for brewing, so it's not wasted. If your kettle has a valve, drain it through that and measure what's left in the bottom. That's your loss to trub.

Hops will make some difference. I figure hops hold 10:1 wort, so 1 ounce of hops is 10 oz of loss. I don't count anything under the residual that the kettle holds. Just what would be more than the residual, for hoppier beers. So, if I lose a half gallon to trub, I ignore the first 6.5 ounces added to an IPA. YMMV.

I hope that helps you work with BeerSmith, for your next batch. You're in a steep learning curve and we've all been there.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline Jiffster

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Re: Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2015, 09:56:34 AM »
You can do 5 gallons easily in an 11 gallon pot. There's a lot of brewers that start with 7.5 gallons pre-boil and count on a half gallon of trub loss, for 5.5 gallons batch size in the fermenter. So, those may be good numbers to start with.

Got it.


For boiloff and calibration, measure 7 gallons of cold water into the kettle. Heat the water to 208F and make a dipstick and mark it with the level. This is your 7 gallon volume with heat expansion. From that measurement, you can easily calculate where the 7.5 gallon volume would be, but don't mark it, yet.

Now just gently boil the water for a measured amount of time (15 to 20 minutes) and let it cool to 208F, which should happen pretty quickly. Measure the volume and calculate the difference. Now just figure that difference for an hour and you have your boiloff volume.

This part I'm not clear on..... Am I measuring the difference after 20 minutes and cooled to 208F based on the first mark on the stick? If so, how do I calculate the difference (i.e. 1") to volume?



You can hold onto the water for brewing, so it's not wasted.

Would it be safe to store it in a sanitized bottling bucket?


If your kettle has a valve, drain it through that and measure what's left in the bottom. That's your loss to trub.

Measure the plain water from boil off test or after a brew? If plain water, how would that be same as trub loss?



Hops will make some difference. I figure hops hold 10:1 wort, so 1 ounce of hops is 10 oz of loss. I don't count anything under the residual that the kettle holds. Just what would be more than the residual, for hoppier beers. So, if I lose a half gallon to trub, I ignore the first 6.5 ounces added to an IPA. YMMV.

I'm not sure what you meant by "ignore the first 6.5 ounces added to an IPA.


I hope that helps you work with BeerSmith, for your next batch. You're in a steep learning curve and we've all been there.

Forgive my ignorance (hence all the questions above). I truly appreciate the help.

Also,
I'm concerned from deviating from the recipe only because it was designed around a partial brew with a 5 gallon batch. Concerned how it might affect the outcome (i.e. hop utilization). Is there anything I can do to make sure the recipe turns out similar?

See attached recipe.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2015, 11:16:54 AM »
This part I'm not clear on..... Am I measuring the difference after 20 minutes and cooled to 208F based on the first mark on the stick? If so, how do I calculate the difference (i.e. 1") to volume?

Yes, it's the difference between the two. You should have a mark for 7 gallons (I mentioned ignoring the 7.5 gal mark). All you have to do is divide the depth by 7 to get an "inches per gallon" figure.

Post test boiloff of say 20 minutes, the difference between the 7 gal mark and the lower level gets multiplied by 3 for an hourly rate. Whatever this is (it's typically a gallon per hour for most brewers) goes into the profile as the boiloff, and you'd click the "per hour" box.

Quote

You can hold onto the water for brewing, so it's not wasted.

Would it be safe to store it in a sanitized bottling bucket?

Yes, and you don't have to sanitize it, since it's going to get boiled again. Just cover it.

When you use it, it might be a little cloudy or you may see sediment either floating or on the bottom. This is just minerals (calcium carbonate) that were broken out of the water by boiling. 

Quote
Measure the plain water from boil off test or after a brew? If plain water, how would that be same as trub loss?


Both. The water test is just a stand in for wort volume. It's a heckuvalot closer than no information.

Quote
I'm not sure what you meant by "ignore the first 6.5 ounces added to an IPA.
Oops. Probably a little TMI, too soon.  :)

Some recipes can have huge hopping rates. I was just giving you a guideline for calculating loss for those kinds of beers. Don't worry about understanding it, right now. It'll make sense in two or three batches.

Quote
I'm concerned from deviating from the recipe only because it was designed around a partial brew with a 5 gallon batch. Concerned how it might affect the outcome (i.e. hop utilization). Is there anything I can do to make sure the recipe turns out similar?

Beer is always better with a full volume boil.

At this point, the recipe is going to reflect your experience, regardless of how closely you follow it. If you have good sanitation and modest temperature control during fermentation, you'll get good beer.

Your main goals before going all grain are:
1) Managing the boil
2) Understanding sanitation
3) Learning what a "normal" fermentation is
4) Packaging technique

From there the natural ark is to begin exploring ingredients, then mash techniques, then advanced recipe design. Barley wants to become beer. Yeast wants to make alcohol.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 11:18:51 AM by brewfun »
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline Jiffster

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Re: Modify Equipment Profile - Add Brew Kettle
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2015, 11:35:45 AM »
Excellent info Brewfun. So would you advise I go for a full boil using the same ingredient quantities (minus water) instead of partial boil?

I built a fermentation chamber out of a mini fridge and added a dual stage temp controller to it so hopefully I'll be off to a good start with regards to controlling fermentation temps and I made a yeast starter that is resting in the fridge now.

I just received my equipment upgrade in preparation for AG brews:
11 gal brew kettle w/sight glass and 3 pc stainless spigot
10 gal Igloo cooler MLT with false bottom and 3 pc stainless spigot
Some silicone hose and camlock QD fittings

I finished building my immersion chiller

https://youtu.be/0GKcHMplv1M

Now I just have to get some brews under my belt! 

I really appreciate the help!

 

modification