Author Topic: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box  (Read 10743 times)

Offline merfizle

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Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« on: December 06, 2011, 07:49:22 AM »
I'm making a large beer.  BS automatically has to drain the tun before sparge because of the large grist and large amount of mash water.  What I don't understand is why BS displays two different amounts depending on in the drain mash tun box is checked?  Also, why does it display it:

"Batch sparge with 2 steps (drain mash tun, , 3.35gal)".

Why not drain mash tun, 3.35 gallons?

Here are my numbers:

Grain: 19.25 lbs
mash water: 5.75 gallons
grain absorption: 2.31 gallons
mash tun deadspace: .25 gallons
calculated preboil: 6.46 gallons

When draining, I expect 3.3 gallons of wort...roughly 1/2 my preboil volume.  The issue I have is with the sparge step.  If the drain check box is not checked the sparge step has 3.35 gallons.  When checked, 3.27 gallons.  6.46-3.3 = 3.16 gallons which is what I need.  Accounting for 1/2 the deadspace I would expect the sparge step to be 3.29 gallons.  If the check box is checked the volumes seem correct.  I believe there is an issue when BS automatically calculates that a drain of the mash tun is needed.  In that case make sure the check box is checked.

Mark
Primary: Lambic base for solera barrel
Kegged: Bavarian Weissbier, N. English brown, Roggenbier

Offline BeerSmith

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 10:38:33 AM »
Hi,
  It looks like a minor bug - could you post a sample recipe (BSMX format - use Export Selected to export one) and I'll run it here and correct it in the next build?

Brad
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Offline merfizle

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 01:19:53 PM »
Thanks Brad.

Mark
Primary: Lambic base for solera barrel
Kegged: Bavarian Weissbier, N. English brown, Roggenbier

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 08:21:59 PM »
Thanks,
  I'll take a look at it.

Brad
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Offline bdam

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 09:47:37 PM »
Has this bug been resolved yet?  I'm using BS 2.2.12 to batch sparge using batches that fill 95% of the tun with equal size batches and when using a large amount of grain the sparge volumes seem wrong.  I can vary the grain/water ratio on the attached recipe from 1.1 all the way up to 1.6 but it always tells me to sparge with 3.61 gallons of water unless I select the 'drain mash tun before sparging'.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2014, 06:12:33 AM »
Uncheck the "use equal Batch sizes" box. This only applies when batches exceed the tun volume.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline lucimar

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 07:09:44 AM »
Hi
I have a doubt regargin the option "drain mash before sparge check box". Is it used only to calculate the water volume to avoid exceeding the tun size or, there is some implication in the mash itself? (e.g. gravity)
Thanks
Lucimar

Offline bdam

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 10:54:52 AM »
Uncheck the "use equal Batch sizes" box. This only applies when batches exceed the tun volume.
What only applies when the tun volume is exceeded?  I understand that for a given grain/water ratio at some point the total volume exceeds the tun size and you just can't do equal batch sizes.  In other words, you can only do equal batch sizes when you are within the limits of your tun.

When the tun volume is exceeded shouldn't the 'equal batch sizes' just be ignored and force the mash schedule to drain the tun regardless of the 'drain mash tun before sparging'?  It shouldn't just lie to you without some sort of warning ... no?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 03:39:05 PM by bdam »

Offline brewfun

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2014, 11:02:53 PM »
What only applies when the tun volume is exceeded? 

Equal sparge sizes to fill your kettle. If the tun is capable of fully sparging out in one batch, then it doesn't apply.

You'd use equal size batches when doing more than one sparge batch and you want to equalize the amount of water between them in order to increase efficiency. Otherwise, you'll get batches that fill to the level you've told it to and perhaps a tail of an odd amount to make up the kettle volume. A extra water little is added to show apparent expansion and some grain absorption.

Take your water ratio and mash tun size down to see the multiple batches.

You have five tools at your disposal.

1) The fill level of the mash tun. You can lower this level to create more batches. Some brewers report better efficiency with more sparge batches.

2) Drain the mash tun. This simply removes all te heavier wort, allowing more sugar into the next batch from the grain instead of residual wort. Some brewers don't fully drain the mash tun with each batch simply to avoid the grain that can come through in the final bit. Others have the ability to avoid grain particles altogether.

3) Equal Batch sizes. Consider this just an automatic distribution of water for sparging. It is dependent on the above two choices.

4) Adjust mash vol for deadspace. Simply, this forces an additional amount of water into the mashtun and it's replaced by each sparge. The simplest rule is that if it is recoverable wort, then it isn't deadspace.

5) Grain absorption. Perhaps the best hidden of the tools available. Found in Options > Advanced, it changes how much first runnings you expect. It is set based on your actual experience, since grain crush size can make a big difference on absorption. Also, you could set it for a preference of when the sparge flow slows enough that you don't want to wait for that last few ounces.

The default grain absorption is set pretty tightly. Some brewers report absorption as high as 1.4 fl oz/oz. A formula discussion can be found here: http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,10935.msg44592.html#msg44592

Quote
When the tun volume is exceeded shouldn't the 'equal batch sizes' just be ignored and force the mash schedule to drain the tun regardless of the 'drain mash tun before sparging'?  It shouldn't just lie to you without some sort of warning ... no?

I'm not even sure how to respond to this... Homebrewers come up with an amazing array of brewery configurations and goals. No software comes close to covering all of them. If you check a box, you should expect BeerSmith to factor that in. Thus, give it false information, expect a false answer.

You get a red dot as a warning whenever you create a spec outside of your brewery/recipe parameters. When normal or nominal the dots are blue.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline bdam

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2014, 05:57:40 AM »
>Equal sparge sizes to fill your kettle. If the tun is capable of fully sparging out in one batch, then it doesn't apply.

What you describe suggests that this setting only applies/affects the sparge, not the initial runoff.  How certain of you of that?  It runs contrary to everything I've ever read and experienced over 50 batches or so.  In batch sparging the ideal is to equalize the amount of water from the initial run-off and the sparge step.  Most times this means you add a bit of water before initial run off to equalize with the sparge water.  A quick check with a 9lb recipe bears this out: without equal batches I'm pulling 2 gallons from the initial run off and sparging with 5.22 gallons.  If i check that option I'm adding 1.6 gallons before the initial runoff so I get 3.6 gallons from it and then sparge with 3.6 gallons.  In other words, this setting does exactly what I want it to do: change the mash schedule to equalize the two run-offs despite never coming close to the tun capacity.

EDIT: Maybe this is an issue of terminology since the first run-off could be considered a sparge?

>You get a red dot as a warning whenever you create a spec outside of your brewery/recipe parameters
Where?  I don't see anything but blue.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 06:39:36 AM by bdam »

Offline brewfun

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2014, 09:01:43 AM »
So, this discussion has devolved from a precise and specific fix for the symptom you described, out to a contentious questioning of techniques, program settings and apparently my level of experience.

I measure my experience in decades and my batches in barrels. 

Let's be clear: Proper brewing techniques on your part are assumed on my part. I'm not here to teach you how to brew. I'm on this forum because I wanted to better understand how BeerSmith works and apply it. I'm another user, like you, and am here to share what I know with you and others.

>Equal sparge sizes to fill your kettle. If the tun is capable of fully sparging out in one batch, then it doesn't apply.

What you describe suggests that this setting only applies/affects the sparge, not the initial runoff.  How certain of you of that? 

In simplifying my explanation, I decided not to go through every scenario. Why would I point out something you've already tried and observed? That would've been cumbersome. Of course, there are times where your water ratio will determine if you need to add more before draining the first runnings.

Sparge is a verb meaning "to sprinkle" with origins in the 15th or 16th century. It also is applied to processes of separation with both water and gasses. I.E.: Winemakers will sparge CO2 from a wine with argon gas.

For purposes of BeerSmith, initial runoff is a sparge step. It's application in BeerSmith for first runnings is not quite precise, but it gets the point across. Not a big deal, IMO.

Quote
A quick check with a 9lb recipe bears this out <snip> In other words, this setting does exactly what I want it to do.

BINGO!

Again, proper brewing technique on your part is assumed on my part.

Quote
>You get a red dot as a warning whenever you create a spec outside of your brewery/recipe parameters
Where?  I don't see anything but blue.

Your test example never gets to that point. The mashtun is too big and the style is too small. 

As a test, just change the mash tun volume to 9 gallons and look on the vols tab. Mash volume and volume needed will be red.

If you change the style to a barleywine and look on the fermentation tab the "measured abv" should be red if the measurements are the same as you uploaded.

I'm not sure if EVERY blue dot is reactive. I've never stress tested the program that hard.

Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline bdam

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2014, 10:54:45 AM »
I'm not doubting your experience but between the suggestion you gave and the suggestion of the OP it's the later that provides the mash schedule I want.  By default, I want to use equal batch sizes.  Where that's not possible I need some indication that's the case.


>Your test example never gets to that point. The mashtun is too big...
But the mash calculator doesn't seem to think so; it's adding a 'drain mash tun' step despite not having 'drain mash tun before sparging' selected and telling it to use 100% of the tun volume.  Maybe I'm way off base but I assume it's adding that step because it thinks the tun can't handle it.  Is there some other reason?




Offline brewfun

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2014, 12:05:52 PM »
>Your test example never gets to that point. The mashtun is too big...
But the mash calculator doesn't seem to think so; it's adding a 'drain mash tun' step despite not having 'drain mash tun before sparging' selected and telling it to use 100% of the tun volume. 

In your specific example, the mash ratio is 1.24:1. This yields more wort than half the volume to fill your kettle to the specified preboil volume of about 7 gallons. The wort yield is 4.81 gallons. The only option would be to drain the mashtun.

If I read you correctly, you're assuming that the program should tell you to just add more water to the mash and drain it all in 1 batch? That is accomplished by unchecking both the equal batches and the drain mashtun boxes.

You're going to get the drain mashtun instruction if you check either of those boxes because the first wort yield is so high.

If you were to change the liquor to grist ratio to 1 qt/lb, AND check the equal batch sizes box, the program will instruct you ADD half a gallon of water to the first runnings before draining. When you add that half gallon to the available first runnings, you have a total volume of 3.61 gallons, which equals the second step.

If you then add the "drain mashtun" box into this mix, the instruction does what you ask and shifts that half gallon over to the second step. At this point, what you've asked is to take all of your first runnings and IF there is more than one sparge, they should all be equal.

It better illustrates if you change the batch size to >11 gallons.

With both boxes unchecked, you get an instruction to add more than 5 gallons to the first runnings. At this volume, the instruction really doesn't seem so clear since if the word "sparge" is applied correctly, this could seem like two separate batches AFTER removing the first runnings. Check the drain mashtun box and you get different amounts in addition to the draining instruction.

Dizzy yet?  ;)

"Drain Mashtun" is an instruction to BeerSmith to clear the mash first, then proceed with sparges.

BeerSmith automatically displays the "drain" instruction when the yield volume is equal to or greater than the second step. Checking or unchecking the box will not change the instruction display if these conditions are true. This is effected by the grist ratio AND the grain absorption number.

"Equal Batch Sizes" will do exactly that, including first runnings IF the yield is equal to or less than the second and further steps AND no single step exceeds the mash capacity. If the yield is less than the next sparge step, you'll be given an amount to ADD to the mash before draining.

If the "equal batches" box is unchecked, the batches likely will be of unequal size. BeerSmith will instruct you to fill the mashtun to the maximum allowed level (default 95%) until you no longer need more water and will then give you the residual amount for the last step.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline bdam

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2014, 12:22:39 PM »
If I read you correctly, you're assuming that the program should tell you to just add more water to the mash and drain it all in 1 batch? That is accomplished by unchecking both the equal batches and the drain mashtun boxes.

It's gonna take a bit to digest everything else but I'd like to clarify this since I think it might be where we are misunderstanding each other.  No, I don't expect BS to do that which effectively makes it a no-sparge mash.  It's doing half of what I would expect: it is adding the drain mashtun step despite not telling it to do so via the option.  This is good, adding more water would just further unbalance the two run-offs/sparges.  The problem is that it doesn't calculate the last sparge volume correctly unless I also check the drain mashtun option ... even though the scheduler has already added that step itself.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 12:29:34 PM by bdam »

Offline brewfun

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Re: Mash tab - drain mash before sparge check box
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2014, 04:57:36 PM »
The problem is that it doesn't calculate the last sparge volume correctly unless I also check the drain mashtun option ... even though the scheduler has already added that step itself.

We have the equal volumes and the adjust for deadspace checked, correct? In this configuration, the number I'm seeing for the second step is 3.61 gallons.

The amount is equal to half your preboil volume, plus your mashtun deadspace. This is in line with batch sparging as you explained it here:
In batch sparging the ideal is to equalize the amount of water from the initial run-off and the sparge step.  Most times this means you add a bit of water before initial run off to equalize with the sparge water. 

In that check box configuration, BeerSmith is doing exactly what you asked of it. It's giving you the "equalized" sparge volume plus the deadspace volume for the second step and disregarding the excess actual runoff. GIGO.

Further in the quoted post, you gave an example with a lighter grist. Simply, this grist will yield less wort, so of course, the batch sizes can be equalized. In the example we've been working on, your first wort yield exceeds half the preboil volume.

My first advice was:
Uncheck the "use equal Batch sizes" box. This only applies when batches exceed the tun volume.

Which is still accurate for this example, but I'll modify to include cases where only one second step is needed AND the first runnings exceed 50% of the preboil volume. If one of these two conditions is false, then check the "equal" box.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 05:13:02 PM by brewfun »
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

 

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