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Old 08-29-2012, 02:39 AM   #21
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I just always try to put one gallon over the amount of finished beer I want in to my fermentor. In my case I try to always bottle at least 5 gallons of finished beer per batch, so I put 6 gallons in the fermenter. With this said I design all of my batches at about 6.25 gallons, so I can leave most of the hot break in the kettle..

EDIT: For the record I don't use Beersmith, and..... I think some people in this thread might want to consider switching to decaf!

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Old 08-29-2012, 02:40 AM   #22
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I set trub chiller loss to 1 gallon and set my brewhouse efficiency accordingly. I get about 78% mash efficiency and run 70% brewhouse efficiency for 10.5 gallon batches and 62% brewhouse efficiency for 5.25 gallon batches. This works for me and after several trial and error batches I now get extremely consistent results and 5.25 gallons in each fermenter every time. When building or scaling recipes you just have to make sure you add enough grain or hops to match your OG and IBUs.

In the end you're just going to have to find what works for you and hope you get it dialed in before you muck up too many batches. Luckily Beersmith has plenty of calculators to help you adjust and fix your mess ups.

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Old 08-29-2012, 04:00 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by chumpsteak View Post
When building or scaling recipes you just have to make sure you add enough grain or hops to match your OG and IBUs.
Are you aware of the 'recipe scale tool'? It will scale any recipe, and automatically match IBU, SRM, OG, etc.- exactly.

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In the end you're just going to have to find what works for you and hope you get it dialed in before you muck up too many batches. Luckily Beersmith has plenty of calculators to help you adjust and fix your mess ups.
Strangley, the one calculator it doesn't have built in is the one to figure out BeerSmith's own version of brewhouse efficiency. Even stranger is that all the numbers are available right there for it to do it for you automatically.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:10 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by jbaysurfer View Post
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?
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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 think setting trub losses to 0 is a good idea. Above, I think I said that other people even recommend setting lauter loss to 0, but they must have OCD, or expect major lauter changes. In another post, I may have edited out where I had a copy/paste error that may have had me including it with trub loss. I haven't fully investigated what setting lauter space to 0 would entail. I posted somewhere, maybe not here, that setting lauter losses to 0 doesn't gain you that much in convenience if your equipment changes. Not using the trub loss field, however, has some major convenience advantages.

It is related to how all the losses into the fermenter are rolled up into one efficiency number. It can be difficult to arrive at a new efficiency number that gets all your other numbers in BeerSmith, that were not actually affected by the equipment/trub change, back to where they were previously.

I think the guys who do the '0 lauter dead space' method increase their batch size to include the lauter loss, and adjust their efficiency down, along with some other compensatory stuff. Sounds like a pain to me, especially since the lauter dead space doesn't change that often.

BK transfer losses, however, change all the time, at least for me- Pellet or leaf, hoppy or not hoppy, extra trubby grain bill or not. Plus, I constantly tinker with my dip tube setup, but it is always just a straight volume change. If you have to change those in the equipment profile for every recipe, along with hand calcing the new 'to the fermenter' efficiency, it becomes a pain. Especially when all the information you need to account for the changes is just a volume increase to the batch size which you would already know anyway because it's the same number you would put in the 'trub chiller loss' field if you did it the other way.

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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.
The issue I have with the 'to the fermenter' eff number, is that it has too much crap rolled into it, and makes using the trub loss field on a per recipe basis entirely too cumbersome. It also does not accurately calculate some other numbers, though the error is small for normal situations, and there is no need to go into that here.

The main issue goes something like this:
If you adjust the 'trub loss' field to account for either a permanent gear change, or one specific to an extra loss in a recipe like extra trub, leaf vs. pellet hops, very hoppy beer, whatever; you will also have to adjust the BeerSmith efficiency number because that number includes losses to the fermenter. If you don't, all BeerSmith will do is add water to your mash, and increase your mash efficiency (a number you don't control), to make the OG still come out right (your OG in BeerSmith will not change). This is because you told it you are losing wort (sugars), but aren't experiencing a decrease in the sugars delivered to the fermenter. It is like you told it your trub loss is pure water. That is all it has to go on, so it proceeds to make the numbers work.

When you go to brew, you are in for a surprise, because even though BeerSmith magically increased your mash eff to 132% to make the numbers work, you won't be getting that.

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Originally Posted by jbaysurfer View Post
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.
Before you change anything, make copies of everything, and check your current actual mash efficiency numbers. that is what you will use for your new 'total efficiency' number- or is it 'brewhouse eff'. I think it is something differnent on each page, gotta love BeerSmith. Then you just add your old trub loss to the batch size, using the scaling tool to keep the numbers the same.

On brewday, check your SG and vol numbers in the kettle to verify that stage, and for the next brewday adjust your (now) 'in the kettle' brewhouse eff numbers if you were off. If you end up short on volume to the fermenter due to transfer losses, just up the batch size for that recipe. No having to redo efficiency, or even worry about that side of the house as long as the kettle numbers were good. The only inconvenience to this method, is having to keep track in the 'notes' field, what values you use for trub loss, hop absorption, etc. It would be nice if BeerSmith's trub field could be used for this with this method, but it is hardcoded to work the other way.

You can try to read the 'How to' written by some Aussies that explains the differnece and how to convert BeerSmith into using 'in the kettle' efficiency vs. 'in the fermenter' efficiency. I think it explains it correctly, but I am not entirely certain, since it is horribly formatted. It also tries to explain both ways in one document, but then mixes them together and reuses terms where the terms mean different things. The main thread also has an explanation of it.
http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,5140.msg21415.html#msg21415

You can also see a smarta$$ response I made where I lay out the different user experience for each style.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/small-batches-342569/#post4369165
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:37 PM   #25
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You can try to read the 'How to' written by some Aussies that explains the differnece and how to convert BeerSmith into using 'in the kettle' efficiency vs. 'in the fermenter' efficiency. I think it explains it correctly, but I am not entirely certain, since it is horribly formatted. It also tries to explain both ways in one document, but then mixes them together and reuses terms where the terms mean different things. The main thread also has an explanation of it.
http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,5140.msg21415.html#msg21415
That's the same thread I referenced earlier. I thought the PDF in the third post explained it pretty well actually. I just don't agree with them that their "total efficiency" method is the best way.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:49 PM   #26
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That's the same thread I referenced earlier.
Yes, it is, and I didn't mean to co-opt your input, or steal your thunder. I knew I had seen that posted recently, but wasn't sure which thread that was in, and didn't feel like scrolling/searching while already in the posting editor. I had that thread in my browser history from earlier reading, and just linked straight to it. I have a number of threads going trying to warn extract guys about the serious flaw for extract recipes using trub loss. It is equivalent to forgetting to adjust efficiency when trub loss is adjusted, but there are absolutely no warning signs from BeerSmith that something is amiss. (This is when doing things "the BeerSmith way", and actually using the trub loss field.)

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I thought the PDF in the third post explained it pretty well actually.
It isn't completely unreadable/unuseable, but after reading it a few times critically, especially from a newbie point of view (which is the audience), it is a bit confusing. They define the same term, 'total efficiency' differently twice in the 'definitions' section. I also think they have some confusing language regarding what 'tot eff' and 'brewhouse eff' actually do. Some of it may be due to BeerSmith reusing/changing field names in different places; but I can't remember, and am really over trying to decrypt BeerSmith. Regardless, I think there is a simpler way to explain both strategies.

I have come up with a way to simplify the user experience, without adding too much manual bookkeeping, and actually a lot less if you like to adjust for trub loss on a recipe by recipe basis, or mod your equipment. It is similar to the 'est mash eff' strategy in the 'how to'. Hopefully, those guys will come back from the dark side, and obviate the need to explain how to jerry rig BeerSmith to work how people expect it to work.

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I just don't agree with them that their "total efficiency" method is the best way.
Amen, brother. And they even tell people to switch to the new 'tot eff' method, and quit using the old preferred workaround, even though nothing has changed regarding why it is the preferred method.

I am in an ongoing battle with those guys about the design choice to use 'to the fermenter' as 'brewhouse efficiency', and also as the only user input to lock down any stage's efficiency. They seem to want to stick with the Apple Computer method of dumbing everything down- A one button mouse, and one all inclusive user efficiency input to control everything.

The fact that they have to had to make user guides and videos to explain how to set up equipment, along with how to twist the program's intended strategy to get it to work the way most people are used to, is telling.
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