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Old 04-22-2012, 05:48 PM   #1
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Default Another Beersmith WTF moment...

If you create a recipe and go the "vols" tab, then adjust the "trub loss" under "boil and fermentation" the program adjusts the water volume going in, but not the OG of the pre boil wort.

In other words for a normal recipe if it says that your pre boil OG (7.9 Gals) is 1.045... if you were to change the trub loss to say 2 gallons it would adjust the pre boil volume but then the pre boil OG would go up.... despite being diluted with an extra 2 gallons of water.

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eobie
If you create a recipe and go the "vols" tab, then adjust the "trub loss" under "boil and fermentation" the program adjusts the water volume going in, but not the OG of the pre boil wort.

In other words for a normal recipe if it says that your pre boil OG (7.9 Gals) is 1.045... if you were to change the trub loss to say 2 gallons it would adjust the pre boil volume but then the pre boil OG would go up.... despite being diluted with an extra 2 gallons of water.
You need to make sure your equipment set up is dialed in first, then create your recipe, it really doesn't work backwards. Everything you do is based on the equipment set up so if you change that. Your previously entered recipes will change as well
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:31 AM   #3
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Brewer's Friend correctly accounts for this and lets you rebuild a brew session if you change your equipment profile.

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Old 08-28-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by eobie View Post
If you create a recipe and go the "vols" tab, then adjust the "trub loss" under "boil and fermentation" the program adjusts the water volume going in, but not the OG of the pre boil wort.

In other words for a normal recipe if it says that your pre boil OG (7.9 Gals) is 1.045... if you were to change the trub loss to say 2 gallons it would adjust the pre boil volume but then the pre boil OG would go up.... despite being diluted with an extra 2 gallons of water.
I am not saying this is how brewing software should work, but this is due to BeerSmith using 'to the fermenter' for brewhouse efficiency. So, trub loss is part of that number. If you increase/decrease trub loss, you need to decrease/increase the BeerSmith definition of efficiency.

The part about it keeping the OG the same, even though it tells you to add extra water, is truly devious. It does this by magically increasing your mash efficiency, even over 100% at times. No warnings, no popups, nothing. Normally you don't even care about mash eff pre-brew anyway, so it is hidden in the fine print until your brewday goes haywire, and you see the trap you fell into. This is just a side effect of how BeerSmith's algorithm tries to reverse engineer all the numbers for a recipe. It could definitely be improved, but this seems to be what they are sticking with.

The best way to use BeerSmith, is to set trub loss to 0. (some even advocate setting all losses to 0) You then just increase (use the scaling tool to do this) the batch size to account for any post boil losses. This makes adapting to equipment changes and ingredient differences much easier (think leaf vs. pellet). The efficiency number is then 'to the kettle' (which is a more useful number anyway). The batch size includes the trub, so you have to remember/notate that somewhere, since you sure as F can't put it where it is supposed to go.

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Originally Posted by duboman View Post
You need to make sure your equipment set up is dialed in first, then create your recipe, it really doesn't work backwards. Everything you do is based on the equipment set up so if you change that. Your previously entered recipes will change as well
None of that is correct. You can change equipment settings, for the recipe only, or to the equipment's profile, and BeerSmith will change the recipe. If you change the profile itself, I believe you have to pick it again. If you change it locally (there is a button), it changes automatically. For trub changes, you would have to hand calc, or trust someone elses calculator, to get your new efficiency number due to trub losses.

Previously entered recipes contain all information from the equipment profile used to create it. No changes to existing recipes will occur, unless you go to edit them and pick the equipment profile again from the drop down, which triggers a reload.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by larrybrewer View Post
Brewer's Friend correctly accounts for this and lets you rebuild a brew session if you change your equipment profile.
I hadn't heard of this one, and have only used BrewTarget and BeerSmith. I only tried BeerSmith because of claims of easy recipe sharing and use, which I have subsequently found to be the complete opposite due the the strange efficiency methodology used for it.

BeerSmith is good for recipe creation, but a bit of a kludge to share them easily. Same with adapting to equipment changes.

BrewTarget seems to have most of the same tools and functionality as BeerSmith, but in not quite as pretty of a package. It does do efficiency properly, though. They are planning a new version that I may participate in designing/coding, now that I have battled BeerSmith enough to know what I don't like.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:57 AM   #6
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Well check out Brewer's Friend, it has a risk free, zero cost, unlimited duration trial. We are really happy with the numbers we are getting right now and it will only continue to grow. This is especially true because of our excellent customer support and the fact that we release new features on a regular basis. (/End shameless plug)

http://www.brewersfriend.com

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Old 08-29-2012, 12:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cwi View Post
I am not saying this is how brewing software should work, but this is due to BeerSmith using 'to the fermenter' for brewhouse efficiency. So, trub loss is part of that number. If you increase/decrease trub loss, you need to decrease/increase the BeerSmith definition of efficiency.

The part about it keeping the OG the same, even though it tells you to add extra water, is truly devious. It does this by magically increasing your mash efficiency, even over 100% at times. No warnings, no popups, nothing. Normally you don't even care about mash eff pre-brew anyway, so it is hidden in the fine print until your brewday goes haywire, and you see the trap you fell into. This is just a side effect of how BeerSmith's algorithm tries to reverse engineer all the numbers for a recipe. It could definitely be improved, but this seems to be what they are sticking with.

The best way to use BeerSmith, is to set trub loss to 0. (some even advocate setting all losses to 0) You then just increase (use the scaling tool to do this) the batch size to account for any losses. This makes adapting to equipment changes and ingredient differences much easier (think leaf vs. pellet). The efficiency number is then 'to the kettle' (which is a more useful number anyway). The batch size includes the trub, so you have to remember/notate that somewhere, since you sure as F can't put it where it is supposed to go.


None of that is correct. You can change equipment settings, for the recipe only, or to the equipment's profile, and BeerSmith will change the recipe. If you change the profile itself, I believe you have to pick it again. If you change it locally (there is a button), it changes automatically. For trub changes, you would have to hand calc, or trust someone elses calculator, to get your new efficiency number due to trub losses.

Previously entered recipes contain all information from the equipment profile used to create it. No changes to existing recipes will occur, unless you go to edit them and pick the equipment profile again from the drop down, which triggers a reload.
Since you seem so hell bent on Beer Smith not only here but in other threads I thought I would post my Equipment profile as I have it set. I have been using this set up for over 20 batches and I have not experienced one issue in my brewing process. All of my numbers are spot on for gravities and required volumes in all phases of my process.
eqprofile.jpg  
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by duboman View Post
Since you seem so hell bent on Beer Smith not only here but in other threads I thought I would post my Equipment profile as I have it set. I have been using this set up for over 20 batches and I have not experienced one issue in my brewing process. All of my numbers are spot on for gravities and required volumes in all phases of my process.
Here are some snippets from one of my posts that explains my position. It boils down to not being able to post any more in depth information, without a horde of people posting about how 'it works perfect for me, so there can't be any issues'. That is not how furthering knowledge works.

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Originally Posted by cwi View 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.

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.

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, 05:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cwi
Here are some snippets from one of my posts that explains my position. It boils down to not being able to post any more in depth information, without a horde of people posting about how 'it works perfect for me, so there can't be any issues'. That is not how furthering knowledge works.
Then in all fairness to your insight into this issue and depth of knowledge, in reviewing my equipment set up how would you propose I make changes to reflect the actual settings I should use to avoid the pitfalls that you feel are inherent with the software so I may be enlightened?

Mind you I am not arguing the validity of your statements as I have honestly never run through the actual
Math involved in the calculations to verify BS's numbers, I have simply noted my process, losses, volumes etc and entered them accordingly and my results have always matched up.

Looking forward to what you come up with. Feel free to PM me if more convenient
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:35 PM   #10
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Then in all fairness to your insight into this issue and depth of knowledge, in reviewing my equipment set up how would you propose I make changes to reflect the actual settings I should use to avoid the pitfalls that you feel are inherent with the software so I may be enlightened?

Mind you I am not arguing the validity of your statements as I have honestly never run through the actual
Math involved in the calculations to verify BS's numbers, I have simply noted my process, losses, volumes etc and entered them accordingly and my results have always matched up.

Looking forward to what you come up with. Feel free to PM me if more convenient
I couldn't read your equip profile, even when scaled, so I am not sure if anything is amiss. The only number that matters is 'losses to trub and chiller', which needs to be 0 for the 'in the kettle' eff method. Then you use your 'in the kettle' eff (same as your 'actual mash eff' in BeerSmith), in the 'brewhouse eff' field ('total eff' everywhere else in BeerSmith, apparently just to confuse people).

The method is outlined fairly well in my first post in this thread (which you just quoted in its entirety 3 posts back). I explain both what the pitfall is; and what to do to whether you just want to avoid falling into it, or eliminate it altogether.

Also here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-...ml#post4370174
And in a few of my other recent posts, but you would have to wade through some vitriol to find it.

Without reading the linked thread, and its links, which contain more information than is needed; the only other information you might need, in addition that what is in this thread, is how to deal with trub losses. This is done by simply scaling the batch size (using the scale tool, always) by the exact volume of your expected/experienced post-boil kettle losses. Batch size is "Batch size + trub loss" using this method, and your "tot eff" is 'in the kettle' eff. I find this a much easier way to deal with BeerSmith, as do many others, especially for equipment tinkerers and leaf hoppers.

If you have a specific question about how to use BeerSmith in an 'in the kettle' eff mode, I may be able to give more detail.
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