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Old 01-11-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
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Default Not getting 5 or 5.5 gal into fermenter

I am following the strike and sparge water volume exact according to beersmith and i always end up with either 4.5 or a hair under 5 gallons final volume going into my fermenter. Whats going on? am i boiling off too much? should i just do a 3rd batch sparge of a small volume and start with more wort?

My original gravities always hit near correct though. Today, i brewed the centennial blonde and my OG was 1.040 at 4.5 gal.

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:26 PM   #2
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If you're not getting enough liquid, my guess is that you aren't taking the deadspace in the MLT into consideration. In the equipment profile, you can add the amount of deadspace you have, and Beersmith will increase the water you add to the MLT.

Beersmith works with the figures you give it. I had to play around with it for a while to get my correct boil off, my correct deadspace, etc, dialed into the program. Now, it's spot on with water amounts and strike temperatures!

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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Looks like you need to start with a higher preboil volume and adjust your efficiency down about 5 points (ie from 75 to 70)

This will cause you to use more grain, to compensate for the extra .5 gallons post boil.

Yoop is right, you will have losses in any system... mine is dialed in to within a few cups of water. I run my HLT and MLT dry during sparge, and my post boil volume is dead on.

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:37 PM   #4
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I'll come at this from a different angle, cause it's not clear in the original post. Are you completely draining your boil kettle or is there some wort left? If there's some left I'll say it's a miss calculation of dead space in the boil kettle or hop absorption.

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:45 PM   #5
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I siphoned half of the kettle into the bucket then when it was easier to lift i dumped all of the kettle into it.

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:47 PM   #6
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Then you are boiling off more than your program is set for... so adjust your boil off in your program and drop your efficiency about 5 points, or you will undershoot you OG with the increased water volume

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
Then you are boiling off more than your program is set for... so adjust your boil off in your program and drop your efficiency about 5 points, or you will undershoot you OG with the increased water volume
Thanks, I will try that for the next brew. My boil off rate was set to 9% an hour, I will bump it up to 11%

Edit: I changed the values in beersmith in the recipes, and it has not affected the volumes of sparge water. Doesnt make sense to me.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:57 PM   #8
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You're kidding, right? You're not going to just randomly set it. I mean to say, really.

You obviously know how much you've got in the kettle at the start of the boil and you obviously know how much you've got at the end of the boil. We're not talking calculus, here; it's fifth-grade arithmetic to figure out the percentage boiled off per hour.

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NQ3X View Post
You're kidding, right? You're not going to just randomly set it.

You obviously know how much you've got in the kettle at the start of the boil and you obviously know how much you've got at the end of the boil. We're not talking calculus, here; it's fifth-grade arithmetic to figure out the percentage boiled off per hour.

Cheers,

Bob
Actually I don't know exactly how much i have in my kettle before the boil, I don't have any measurements on the kettle. And I dont know the "5th grade arithmetic" for that. Christ all mighty, if youre just gonna come here to berate people who ask a question, then get the **** out of my thread.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:04 PM   #10
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Yeah, that response was not helpful at all.

If you are coming in .5 gallons SHY on a 5 gallon batch. Meaning you are about 10% off. You need to plan for about 10% more boil off. My keggle will boil off 19%, so your 9% is pretty low. May want to experiment with 15%, see if that increases your water requirement by about .5 gallons.

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