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Old 07-11-2013, 01:18 PM   #1
bluegbb
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Default Rookie: Help me set up my Beersmith Equipment Profile and Troubleshoot?

Hello everyone,

I'm Blue, been brewing for about 6 months now (started with Mr. Beer and quickly moved on) and am now starting All Grain batches, but I could use some advice.

I thought I had my equipment profile set up correctly in Beersmith, but it told me to use far more water than was necessary (8 gallons!) in my first AG batch last weekend (American Wheat). Because of this my pre-boil gravity was way off obviously, and I had to do some calculations on my own to estimate a new boil time to get my batch down to around 5 gallons. I don't want to be doing that this weekend as I brew up my a birthday brew (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/dece...-stout-141483/) as I'm turning 30 on Sunday and wanted to have a nice b-day brew to enjoy in the fall.

So is there anyone out there willing to give me some advice? I think I'm misunderstanding the labels of equipment/process in Beersmith and a veteran could really help me out. Thanks.

FYI I have a 12 gallon cooler for my mashtun, and I boil in a 17.5 gallon aluminum pot (it lets me straddle two burners for a better boil).

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #2
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You could post up the recipe file? .bsmx?

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
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check out Beersmith.com. Brad has posted a lot of tutorials that just might do the trick. If I recall correctly, some are even videos. Also, check out the Beersmith forum. Lots of good BS specific information there as well.

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Old 07-11-2013, 02:08 PM   #4
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It took me a long time to get my profile set up. Finding all the variables to input into your profile is pretty tedious, but once you get them in, it's pretty accurate. Mash tun deadspace, how much liquid you leave behind in the boil kettle, evaporation rate, grain absorption, all go into how much water you need. For example: I have a 5.5 gallon batch recipe that calls for 10 gallons of total water to use. I lose 1.5 gallons to grain absorption (using Beersmiths calculations), 1.5 gallons to boil off, and I leave 1 gallon behind in the boil kettle (I know it's a lot), leaving me with 6 gallons to ferment. Leaving the other .5 gallon behind in the fermenter when I rack to the keg. Good luck.

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Old 07-11-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
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Ah, this is what I was worried about. Loads of variables that I don't have the ability to measure accurately.

I'll check out the tutorials and when I get back home later I'll post the recipe file. Thanks for pointing me toward some clues everyone.

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Old 07-11-2013, 04:03 PM   #6
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Fortunately, if you own a measuring cup, a sharpie, and a plastic gallon water jug, you can measure (pretty accurately) the volumes of your system.

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Old 07-11-2013, 04:24 PM   #7
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Total water used on brewday for my 5.25 gallon batches is very regularly around 8.25 gallons. That's NOT my preboil volume; it's the actual amount of water used in brewing the beer including all of the losses.

Your system seems pretty typical and should be fairly easy to "rough in" using one of the built-in equipment profiles. Here's an example of an equipment profile that approximates your system BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO DETERMINE YOUR EFFICIENCY AND LOSSES AND THEN ADJUST THEM IN THE EQUIPMENT PROFILE (i.e. MLT deadspace, boil off rate, cooling shrikage, loss to trub/chiller/BK, fermenter loss).

Code:
Equipment Profile: Blue's Pot and Cooler - All Grain
Batch Size: 5.25 gal

Mash Tun Volume: 12.00 gal
Mash Tun Weight: 5 lbs
Mash Tun Specific Heat: 0.30 
Lauter Tun Deadspace: 0.33 gal

Boil Size: 6.98 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Evaporation Rate: 14.3 % (1 gallon per hour)
Calculate Boil Size: TRUE
Kettle Top Up Water: 0.00 gal
Hop Utilization Adjustment: 100.00 %

Trub/Chiller Loss: 0.50 gal
Cooling Loss: 4.00
Top Up Water into Fermenter: 0.00 gal
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon73 View Post
Fortunately, if you own a measuring cup, a sharpie, and a plastic gallon water jug, you can measure (pretty accurately) the volumes of your system.
You're right Jon, I can, just not efficiently. Currently working on the 2nd batch right now and I'm going to take your advice and just measure throughout the process. I'm not sure how to measure my mashtun deadspace precisely, but otherwise I think i'll be able to get some good measurements out of the endeavor. Thanks for the feedback everyone. For now I'll consider this thread wrapped up.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:42 AM   #9
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I've been keeping very detailed notes of my brew days.
I made my own spread sheet to help me figure out and verify the temps, volumes, timing and all.
I've finally got BS setup to match my actual's, but it took a few brews to get there.

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