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Old 07-20-2012, 04:30 AM   #1
Rau71
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Default Small batches?

I have beersmith set to make 5 gallon batches, or 5.5 gallon, but every time bottling time comes up I am at 4 gallons. Should I change the boil off rate? I use a propane burner and have a pretty violent boil is that the case or is this standard?

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Old 07-20-2012, 04:40 AM   #2
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How much do you have going into the fermenter?

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Old 07-20-2012, 04:44 AM   #3
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I usually have about 4.5 going into the fermenter. I lose about .5 gallons in there.

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Old 07-20-2012, 04:51 AM   #4
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Sounds like you need need to change your boil off rate. I set mine for 5.5 gallon batches, 9% evap. rate, so on a 60 minute boil I start with 6.3 gallons. After trub loss, etc., I typically get just over 5g into the fermenter, and 5g out. You can change settings in beersmith to account for trub loss, but I find it easier to do it the way I am accustomed to.

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Old 07-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #5
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Consider topping up in the fermenter with the water lost to evaporation.

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Old 08-28-2012, 08:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinj View Post
Sounds like you need need to change your boil off rate. I set mine for 5.5 gallon batches, 9% evap. rate, so on a 60 minute boil I start with 6.3 gallons. After trub loss, etc., I typically get just over 5g into the fermenter, and 5g out. You can change settings in beersmith to account for trub loss, but I find it easier to do it the way I am accustomed to.
Yes, whatever you do, don't jack with the 'trub/chiller' loss field, except to set it to 0. It is (part of) a major design flaw with BeerSmith, and will cause you untold amounts of grief. Just increase your batch size, using the scaling tool to keep OG, SRM, IBU, etc. the same, to account for losses post-boil.

Your 'efficiency' in BeerSmith will then be the more useful 'in the kettle' efficiency, and not the flawed 'to the fermenter' efficiency BeerSmith uses if you use the trub loss field.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwi View Post
Yes, whatever you do, don't jack with the 'trub/chiller' loss field, except to set it to 0. It is (part of) a major design flaw with BeerSmith, and will cause you untold amounts of grief. Just increase your batch size, using the scaling tool to keep OG, SRM, IBU, etc. the same, to account for losses post-boil.

Your 'efficiency' in BeerSmith will then be the more useful 'in the kettle' efficiency, and not the flawed 'to the fermenter' efficiency BeerSmith uses if you use the trub loss field.
I don't understand. Beersmith measures efficiency at two points. Your mash efficiency is calculated based on your pre-boil volume and pre-boil gravity; your brewhouse efficiency is calculated based on your original gravity and the amount of useable wort you have.

What other measure of efficiency are you looking for, and why would it be more useful to you?
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:51 PM   #8
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I don't understand. Beersmith measures efficiency at two points. Your mash efficiency is calculated based on your pre-boil volume and pre-boil gravity; your brewhouse efficiency is calculated based on your original gravity and the amount of useable wort you have.

What other measure of efficiency are you looking for, and why would it be more useful to you?
If you read my previous post carefully it is in there. I will try to explain it again differently.

Brewhouse efficiency in BeerSmith includes losses on the way to the fermenter, i.e. trub/transfer losses (although BeerSmith calls them trub/chiller losses). If you choose to use the trub loss fields provided by BeerSmith to account for post-boil kettle losses, you will need to do some extra work whenever that field is changed, including the first time if all you have ever used is the more standard 'in the kettle' efficiency.

Here is an example:
You make an modification to your kettle dip tube to suck less trub into the fermenter. This results in more trub/wort left in the kettle. You now go into BeerSmith to update the trub/chiller loss number. Your work is not done, though, because of BeerSmith's design decision to use 'to the fermenter' efficiency as its only user efficiency input. You still need to adjust your brewhouse efficiency for BeerSmith to work properly, because otherwise all BeerSmith will do is add an equivalent amount of water to your mash volume. Even better, it will also magically increase your mash efficiency so that it can display the same OG as before, and keep you unawares.

So, you now have to either do a calc by hand to get your new efficiency, or track down a 3rd party calculator, since there is no tool in BeerSmith to do this. The number won't be completely correct no matter how you do it, because to do that would require a phd in math to solve a fairly complex series problem. An approximation will get you close enough, though. That is just more ammo against following the standard BeerSmith way of doing things.

You now take your new efficiency number that includes the extra trub loss, and plug it in. Now you just need to make sure that it matches your previous mash efficiency- you do have that 6 digit number memorized, right? What, and you forgot to right it down, because it is a BeerSmith generated value anyway? No worries, just follow the other BeerSmith mantra of having to chase numbers around after every brew because they roll all that crap up into only one efficiency number available to the user, and make you back everything out of it.

The same thing goes for if you brew a hoppy or trubby brew, or switch from pellet to leaf hops or back the other way. You have to enter your new trub loss number, and go through all that nonesense again, only this is for each recipe you change- unless you only ever add the exact same amount of hops for every brew.

Want to trade a recipe? Don't forget to include your trub loss along with your "BeerSmith" efficiency. If you want to be nice, you could also give them your lauter dead space, since that is also rolled up in your fancy BeerSmith efficiency number. Although, it is not an exact science to back all that out of the BeerSmith efficiency number, because there is still not enough information. You might want to give them your mash efficiency, too. There, that should do it.


Now, see how the other side lives. You make a change to your equipment, switch from leaf to pellet, brew a hoppy brew, whatever. All you need to do is increase the batch size by the exact amount you will increase or decrease your losses by. Done.

Trade a recipe, you say? Give them the ingredient list and batch size in the kettle, along with your efficiency, which is now essentially the 'in the kettle' efficiency everyone else already uses. Done. Except for maybe blacking out "BeerSmith" if you printed it from there. That way the 'trub lossers' don't call you back to harass you with a bunch of questions about all of your numbers since the can't get their BeerSmith numbers to match yours.

A note about your actual trub loss would be nice for everyone, but completely unnecessary. Everyone has different trub losses, and even hop absorption, depending on whether they spider, squeeze, trub cone, pellet, leaf, etc.
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