Author Topic: Measured values fields and comparison report for dialling in equipment  (Read 3966 times)

Offline bougie1st

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Hi Brad

In a future upgrade, would it be possible to add some extra fields to reflect actual measured values, and then a report to compare BS2 estimates and actual values (including differences) across a certain piece of brewing equipment?  This would help with adjusting equipment and program variables to increase accuracy by using averages of measured values.

The fields I'm suggesting are mainly in the vols tab:
1. Measured water available from mash
 - this could then be used to calculate the Measured mash grain absorption (ie Mash water adds - Measured water available from mash)
 - From looking at the calculated numbers, it seems that the sparge water essentially has no absorption, so the default value for this could be [Measured pre-boil volume - sparge water vol]
2. Measured total grain absorption
 - Total water needed - Meas pre-boil vol
3. Total grain absorption rate (in fl oz/oz of grain, per the advanced set up tab)
4. Measured post-boil volume
5. Measured boil-off (Measured pre-boil volume - Measured post-boil volume)
6. Measured boil-off rate (Measured boil-off/Boil Time)

Then being able to generate a report (by equipment, or recipe) of these values for each brew session.  For example, select a brewed recipe, then generate report, which shows all of these values side by side with the estimated value, and the difference.  This could potentially be added to a folder - say brew log - to generate a report of the data for all the recipes created by a specific piece of equipment.  A second report showing the average values would also be useful.  This could then be used to update the equipment profile to improve estimations.

If I'm missing something, and there is a way to do this, please let me know.  As my understanding is at the moment, the process of dialling in equipment is "Hmm, I think I had some more grain absorption here, I might adjust that a bit and see how it goes next time."  With all the data in the program, being able to enter all of the observed values, and then generate a report to compare, would be very useful to make the most of the information that is available here.


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Greetings bougie1st - I'm only spitballing here, but it seems to me that the basis for your request is mainly on a Grain Absorbtion assumption of perfect accuracy - and it's not.  If I'm misunderstanding your post, forgive me.  But it seems you're splitting hairs.

It is my understanding that grain absorption will remain relative to the type of grain AND the exposure the grain has to moisture within the environment(s) from which it came - all of them.

In other words, let's say 10 pounds of grain leaves the maltster with a 4% moisture content.  The grain then goes to the distributer or vendor who repackages it and sells it in bulk or smaller packaging.  How much moisture is picked up in this process?  Then, the brewer takes the grain and mills it and makes it ready for brewing.  How much moisture is picked up in that process? Or did the grain dry slightly?

My point is that the 10 pounds of grain will inherently absorb moisture along every step of the way from the time it leaves the malt house till the time it's in the mash tun each time it's exposed to air... unless, of coarse, it's kept under a controlled environment with each step, and that's not going to happen.  So, once the grain hits the mash tun the actual moisture content went from 4% to 4.5, 5, 5.5 maybe??

This actual moisture content will certainly affect the amount of moisture absorbed in the mash since a piece of grain can only hold so much moisture.  This aspect in itself makes the information you're seeking from the performance of the brewing equipment a moot point.

It is my opinion that the only way for you to grasp the equipment performance information you're seeking would be to determine the actual amount of moisture in the grain at the point just prior to hitting it with your strike water.  That information will then allow you to determine the amount of moisture it really absorbed in the mash.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 06:06:49 AM by KellerBrauer »

Offline ihikeut

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+1 there is no way of knowing the exact moister ECT of a ever thing in the brewing process without having a lab. The only thing I hope Brad addresses on updates is hop absorption.

Offline bougie1st

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Hi again

Thanks for the post, KB, but I do think you are misunderstanding me.

I do realise that there is going to be day-to-day and batch-to-batch variability that will never be perfectly predicted with any program.  What my post is about is due to what I will explain below.

My understanding of the purpose of BS2 is two major functions:
1) Simplifying recipe formulation
2) Recording brew session data - particularly as one of major mantras in homebrewing is to take lots of notes

Using the information from 2 means that the predictions from 1 will be improved.  So called "dialling in" of any system.

My point is that, while BS2 is good at point 1, it has some parts missing to achieve objective 2.  Thus, there is also some deficiency in step 1.  Further, without more accurate info from objective 2, the assumptions for step 1 then become little more than educated guesses.

No matter at what step extract or volume is lost, including grain absorption, the more information that you have from previous sessions, the more powerful your prediction for future sessions will be.  It also allows a brewer to identify where problems are more accurately.  For example, my question about differing gravities (that you - KB - and Oginme were helping me with), didn't seem to have an easy solution, but with more information, I hope to eventually be able to find the problem.

Of course, with the 'Calc Boil Vol' ticked, it also automatically updates all the fields, including mash and sparge water, which means that, once a session is underway, this needs to be unticked to be able to keep your data accurate (eg if you change the trub as to that observed, BS2 changes the mash and sparge water volumes retrospectively, making the brew session data inaccurate).

All I was asking for was fields that allow measurements to be recorded at each stage of the process, then a way to easily compare predicted and actual values.  The fields that I was referring to were just some of the fields that I thought would be recordable.  Indeed, with the addition of the sessions tab, Brad went some way to including more of these fields for this purpose already.

Thanks again

Offline Davidbog

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Measured values fields and comparison report for dialling in equipment
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 03:15:16 AM »
Its been like months since this has been going on and I wanted to know what happened?

Offline Oginme

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I would guess that the feedback loop of calculations for various assumed values would need to be included in the next big update of BeerSmith.  While being, on the surface, useful feedback, the data points really would not help much unless put into a comparable matrix for evaluation over a period of brew sessions in order to pick out trends and natural drift.  To someone not familiar with process variability, it could prove more of a frustration if they were to alter their process each time they get the feedback of a change in boil off rate, grain absorption, etc. only to find that the difference resides in their own ability to measure accurately or a natural process fluctuation.

For my own processes, I track these values on a separate spreadsheet looking for trends and drifts in my process or changes due to new equipment, grains, or operations.  But my background as a process control engineer also enables me to understand the inherent variations versus these changes and respond when there has been a demonstrated statistical shift and not a batch to batch variation.  It really takes some familiarity with statistical control to understand and resist the urge to 'fix' your numbers based upon a single data point.  Therein lies the danger of datum.
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