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Old 09-04-2011, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default Mash differences between Beersmith 2 & Brewtarget

I input the same recipe into both softwares and when it comes to mashing I'm getting two different "directions". I batch sparge and have a 10 gallon igloo round cooler with false bottom.

For example the recipe I'm brewing today in brew target lists the following information.

Brewtarget:

Mash
================================================== ==============================
Name Type Amount Temp Target Time
Conversion Infusion 4.570 gal 171.733 F 153.000 F 1.000 hr
Final Batch Sparge Infusion 5.644 gal 181.127 F 165.200 F 15.000 min

I've followed this softwares guide lines and am spot on with my numbers every time.

Here is what beersmith 2 tells me.

Beersmith 2:

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 14 lbs 10.0 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 19.42 qt of water at 167.1 F 152.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Drain mash tun, Batch sparge with 1 steps (5.45gal) of 168.0 F water


My question is, if you are mashing out you want to heat the grain bed to 168'f to stop the processes. Why is Brewtarget factoring this by having me add strike water of 181'f to get the grain bed to ~165'f while Beersmith 2 is having me add strike water of 168'f which will WAY undershoot the mash out temperature? Do I have something setup wrong in beersmith 2 or what is going on?

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Old 09-04-2011, 05:29 PM   #2
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While they are both giving different numbers neither one is giving you a Mash Out. They are giving you batch sparge. For a Mash Out you do not drain before adding the infusion water required to bring the temp up to 168. I am guessing the beersmith is telling you to add 168 degree water because it assumes you have already Mashed Out so the grain bed is at 168 degrees already.

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Old 09-04-2011, 05:39 PM   #3
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While they are both giving different numbers neither one is giving you a Mash Out. They are giving you batch sparge. For a Mash Out you do not drain before adding the infusion water required to bring the temp up to 168. I am guessing the beersmith is telling you to add 168 degree water because it assumes you have already Mashed Out so the grain bed is at 168 degrees already.
That makes sense, but if I checked the option "drain mash tun completely before sparging" it should know that there is no liquid in the tun and the grains are obviously no where near 168'f. I have done some google searching and this seems to be an issue with BeerSmith.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:42 PM   #4
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That makes sense, but if I checked the option "drain mash tun completely before sparging" it should know that there is no liquid in the tun and the grains are obviously no where near 168'f. I have done some google searching and this seems to be an issue with BeerSmith.
I have only ever used BrewTarget so I am really just guessing for BeerSmith. Is there a way to tell BeerSmith that you are not Mashing Out before draining the tun?
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dahoov View Post
I have only ever used BrewTarget so I am really just guessing for BeerSmith. Is there a way to tell BeerSmith that you are not Mashing Out before draining the tun?
Not that I am aware of. I am pretty certain that the 5.46 gallons of 168'f it is telling me to add is the "mash out". There are profiles that specify "no mash out" so I think that is a safe assumption. The google searching I was coming across was saying that beer smith doesn't calculate temp loss or grain bed temps. I find this hard to believe, I think I am doing something wrong. I have been using brew target exclusively since all grain brewing. I was just bored and wanted to switch back to beer smith since the update.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:16 AM   #6
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Still looking for some ideas or some input from someone in the "know"

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Old 09-05-2011, 07:03 AM   #7
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Use brewtarget...problem solved. PS....a good rule of thumb is to add 10-12 degrees to your strike water and your sparge water over the desired grain temp. I normally strike at 164 for a 153 mash, and my sparge water is 178 for a 168 sparge. Don't worry about what the software says...just learn your system and stick with it. If you are worried...estimate on the high side, as it will always be easier to add cold water quickly to bring the grain temp down than add hot water.

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Old 09-17-2011, 11:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mcaple1 View Post
Use brewtarget...problem solved. PS....a good rule of thumb is to add 10-12 degrees to your strike water and your sparge water over the desired grain temp. I normally strike at 164 for a 153 mash, and my sparge water is 178 for a 168 sparge. Don't worry about what the software says...just learn your system and stick with it. If you are worried...estimate on the high side, as it will always be easier to add cold water quickly to bring the grain temp down than add hot water.
Thanks for the advice. I store my grains in a chest freezer. I may have to go warmer than that yet.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:34 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. I store my grains in a chest freezer. I may have to go warmer than that yet.
Why not just take the grains you need out of the freezer the night before so they can warm up to room temp? I usually mill them the night before anyway so its all ready for my brew day.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:27 AM   #10
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I'm going to try following beersmith's mash guide. My initial boil volume is 8.27 gallons for me to end up with 5.5 gallons to transfer to the fermenter. I am Going for a 1.25qt/lb thickness @ 152'f. Beersmith suggests the following for a Medium body 1 step batch sparge:

Mash in: Add 14.25 qt of water @ 166.8 f for a temp of 152 for 60 mins.

Drain mash tun, Batch sparge with 1 step (6.25gal of 168'f water)

Does this sound right?? I've always mashed with Brewtarget's guide and get 70-74% efficiency. Wonder how this will effect my efficiency.

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