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Old 08-28-2012, 10:09 PM   #11
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Except for it being a lot harder to adapt to changes regarding losses if you enter those trub and lauter losses into the BeerSmith fields. It is much easier to simply increase/decrease the batch size by the known amount of an equipment change, or the amount of hop absorption when switching from pellet to leaf, or a hoppy brew. It is more work (you need to do a new efficiency calc/tune), and bit of a crap shoot the first time, if you enter them into BeerSmith.
The current version of BeerSmith does a solid job of all the computations. I've not had any issue using it's figures for my batches. I use pellet hops for the boil, but whole for dry hopping (currently at least). I also use a hop spider to help keep the hop matter out of my plate chiller and fermenter. Or at least most of it out.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:21 AM   #12
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The current version of BeerSmith does a solid job of all the computations.
No matter how deep you bury your head in the sand, or how much wishful thinking you do, the design choice of BeerSmith to use 'to the fermenter' efficiency is not appropriate, and it is not calculating things correctly. The slop just gets accounted for with all the other corrections and losses. If needed, I can provide a link to a BrauKaiser essay on the issue that backs me up.

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I've not had any issue using it's figures for my batches. I use pellet hops for the boil, but whole for dry hopping (currently at least). I also use a hop spider to help keep the hop matter out of my plate chiller and fermenter. Or at least most of it out.
Use whole hops for a hoppy beer using your standard batch size in BeerSmith, then you would have the cred to comment on this.

If you want to account for the hop absorption using 'trub/chiller loss' in BeerSmith, I can tell you exactly what steps you would have to take to do it that way, but all involve having to either track down a 3rd party calc tool, or do some moderately tedious hand calcs. This is because BeerSmith, the 'Why do the calcs yourself' software, makes you do yourself the one calc only BeerSmith seems to use. And those just get you close.

Or, you could just increase you batch size (use the scaling tool) by the exact amount of your expected increased trub losses provided by your preferred hop absorption calc tool. This is also the easiest way to deal with BeerSmith right from the start- set trub losses to 0, and scale the batch to account for losses.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:39 AM   #13
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cwi, who pissed in your corn flakes?? Seriously, if you're so against BeerSmith, fine. Just seems like you're more full of hate for the software than you need to be. Instead of venting in the forums, how about communicating with them and doing something constructive about it?

Seems like you're one of those people that are not at all happy unless they have something to complain about. Nothing is ever good enough because it's not 100% perfect from the very first release. Guess what, we don't need fractional ounce accuracy when it comes to volume into fermenter.

Somethings that could really contribute to YOUR volume issues...
Hop matter into primary. I use a hop spider so very little goes from keggle to primary.
Yeast flocculation. I typically use yeast rated at least 'high' in flocculation. I also give it enough time to become compact enough to not matter.
Fermenter shape/size. I'm fermenting in tall 1/4 bbl kegs. With the cone on the bottom, the yeast settles there. Typically far enough under the 3 quart level to make it a non-issue for me.

I've had a few batches where I've filled my two 3 gallon kegs, and there's been some beer left in there. I just give it to the beer gods and don't worry about it.

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Old 08-29-2012, 12:47 AM   #14
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Lol didnt want to start a Pro vs Con thread on Beersmith...honestly i love the software.

Ive only really used it twice as I didnt see a need for it until i was AG brewing, but its been almost spot on the #'s for me for MLT/sparge amounts to get in the boil kettle....

Just wasnt sure if there was a good way to go about trub stuff in the software. It sounds like my solution to just set 5.5gallon batch sizes and not mess with the other settings is the best bet.

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Old 08-29-2012, 01:01 AM   #15
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If you want to save yourself a bunch of headaches, do NOT use the trub/chiller loss field. Set it to 0, then increase your batch size (use the 'scale recipe' tool with the 'keep OG, SRM, IBU the same' box checked), like mentioned above, to account for post-boil losses.

The root of the problem is that BeerSmith uses 'to the fermenter' for brewhouse efficiency, instead of the more common (and useful) 'in the kettle' BH eff.

If you use the trub loss field for losses, you would have to adjust your 'to the fermenter' BHE to account for it. There isn't a correct formula for this, but it can be approximated. Same goes for if you ever mod your equipment, switch from leaf to pellet, use a high trub grainbill, etc.

It is best to not use the trub loss field at all, and notate in your recipes how much of the batch size was for losses. Some even say to set the lauter dead space to 0, since making MLT changes cause the same issues with BeerSmith.
I use the LT deadspace setting and check the "adjust mash volume for deadspace" in order to get the proper H20 to Grain ratios for my mash. Why shouldn't I do that again?

I confess I don't understand all of your post, but I don't understand this specifically:
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The root of the problem is that BeerSmith uses 'to the fermenter' for brewhouse efficiency, instead of the more common (and useful) 'in the kettle' BH eff.
Before I start changing up a bunch of settings in my equipment profile, is there anything else you can point me too to read about this, or can you elaborate? Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:10 AM   #16
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I've had a few batches where I've filled my two 3 gallon kegs, and there's been some beer left in there. I just give it to the beer gods and don't worry about it.
I put it into a PET bottle and force carb it with a carbonator cap. No sacrifices necessary. The beer gods want you to DRINK that beer ;-)
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:09 AM   #17
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cwi, who pissed in your corn flakes?? Seriously, if you're so against BeerSmith, fine. Just seems like you're more full of hate for the software than you need to be.
I am not against BeerSmith, I am against the fanboys who, when I state a fact about the software not doing something correctly, they claim it gives them good numbers, why I am bitching?- which is exactly what I stated, and you replied with.

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Instead of venting in the forums,
Did you bother to look at the title of this thread? How is it venting when I give knowledge that is directly relevant to the OP's request, while your first post gave nothing but a bunch of nonsense about how much cake volume your yeast leave in the fermenter- which he never asked about. Oh, and the fanboy stuff about how BeerSmith gets everything right for you when you enter you trub loss values- which was what the OP was asking about details on.

I was venting when I responded to your post. I try to pass on some knowledge that is more in depth than yours, and you try to downplay it based on your anecdotal use of the product. I understand how the software is written and functions, not just how my beer tastes based on using it.

If you are not having any problems with it, that is your good luck. Stating that doesn't pass that luck on to someone who is having problems, like the OP.

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how about communicating with them and doing something constructive about it?
I have contacted them about the issues I have found, and received the same fanboy treatment you doled out. The act like a cult over there, and you are insulting their leader.

As a matter of fact, I found a serious bug in the software while trying to investigate my issue with the software, which is more of a design choice issue that I feel is an improper one. The funny thing is I still got berated, even after the creator of BeerSmith admitted I found an error. That's some strong kool-aid they serve over there.

There is a known user UNfriendly feature in BeerSmith, which I explained. Your response just discounts my statement, and could possibly cause another reader seeking information to think - 2 sides to everything, so nothing to be learned here.

If you do not care to know the intricacies of configuring BeerSmith, and instead prefer to fly blind in its hands, that is your choice. It doesn't make BeerSmith magically work differently for you, or fix other peoples issues with it.

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Seems like you're one of those people that are not at all happy unless they have something to complain about. Nothing is ever good enough because it's not 100% perfect from the very first release. Guess what, we don't need fractional ounce accuracy when it comes to volume into fermenter.
Again, you're one of those people that doesn't know what you are talking about, and are just adding noise. My issue is that that the BeerSmith clan seems reticent to even admit there is an issue, even in the face of mounds of evidence to the contrary.

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I just give it to the beer gods and don't worry about it.
Again, you do not get it. Read my previous post thoroughly. This is not about how much beer makes it into my belly, it is about using BeerSmith and having it play some tricks on you if you are not aware.

Using the trub/chiller loss field is a pit fall with BeerSmith. If you do not fully understand that when you do use it, you must adjust your efficiency in BeerSmith, your brew day will be majorly hosed. Most people are used to calculating brewhouse efficiency as 'in the kettle' post boil. This is not how BeerSmith does it, and it is a major source of confusion when dialing recipes and systems in.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:18 AM   #18
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i bottle, so i calculate all my recipes for 6 gallons out of my kettle. if i get 5 gallons i'm happy, if i end up closer to 6 then i'm even happier

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Old 08-29-2012, 02:24 AM   #19
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Lol didnt want to start a Pro vs Con thread on Beersmith...honestly i love the software.

Ive only really used it twice as I didnt see a need for it until i was AG brewing,
It is a good thing you avoided it until you went AG. The bug I found was related to extract brewing when trub loss was used, and would result in some serious OG issues when you actually brewed.

but its been almost spot on the #'s for me for MLT/sparge amounts to get in the boil kettle....

The software works well, but there are some booby traps in it that you have to watch out for. The water calculators are very handy for getting mash volumes.

Just wasnt sure if there was a good way to go about trub stuff in the software. It sounds like my solution to just set 5.5gallon batch sizes and not mess with the other settings is the best bet.
The easiest way to use it, even according to some of the fanboys who don't see it as an issue that the trub loss field is a pitfall, is to set trub loss to 0. You need to check the setting, because it is defaulted to .5g for some pre-made profiles used for templates.

Account for you trub losses in the 'batch size', which is 'to the fermenter' in BeerSmith, so your batch size will be fermenter volume + trub loss. This way when you swap out leaf for pellet hops for a recipe, or improve your equipment regarding trub loss, all you have to do is scale your batch size accordingly using the scale tool. The alternative requires some tedious calcs by hand or 3rd party calculators, as well as some iterative tuning over the next few batches.

This method of using BeerSmith also makes recipe sharing, and importing into BeerSmith, much easier- and I have Braukaiser backing me up on that one.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:31 AM   #20
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i bottle, so i calculate all my recipes for 6 gallons out of my kettle. if i get 5 gallons i'm happy, if i end up closer to 6 then i'm even happier
Yes, getting the qualitative numbers right (OG, IBU, SRM) in the kettle, regardless of the volume lost to trub, is the most important thing. BeerSmith complicates that by its 'to the fermenter' efficiency number as the only control input.
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