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-   -   BCStyles Book vs BeerSmith2 vs Brewer's Friend. Odd results. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f84/bcstyles-book-vs-beersmith2-vs-brewers-friend-odd-results-382128/)

jeremydgreat 01-17-2013 02:10 AM

BCStyles Book vs BeerSmith2 vs Brewer's Friend. Odd results.
 
Hey all. Tonight I'm trying to make sense of a couple beer recipe calculators, Beersmith2 and Brewer's Friend (website). I know both are pretty widely used.

Recipe: Hoppiness Is An IPA
(Standard IPA recipe from the book Brewing Classic Styles)

It's a straightforward 5 gallon extract recipe and here's what Jamil says the results should be:

OG:1.065
IBU: 64
Color: 7 SRM
ABV: 7%

I popped the recipe into both calculators and some pretty crazy stuff came up.

BeerSmith2:

http://dropbox.jeremyricketts.com/beersmith2_88f5.png

Here's what my equipment list reads like for this batch:

http://dropbox.jeremyricketts.com/equipment_262c.png
  • Why are the IBU's from each hop so low? In the end, BS2 says the beer will be 38.9 IBU's. I double checked the boil time, the volume of water, the amounts of hops, the AA%, etc and still couldn't figure this out,
  • Equipment profile. Do I have this right? Basically I'm trying to match what the book prescribes here... 7 gallon boil with a 5 gallon yield.
  • The SRM says 11.6. Jamil says it should yield a 7 SRM beer.
  • The OG is .015 different! Not sure why. I have the same amount of fermentables. And this is extract brewing and I'm using the extract defaults in BS2.
  • Overall I find BeerSmith's menus, descriptions, and layout pretty darn confusing. I guess that's not a questions- more of a complaint.


Brewer's Friend:

http://dropbox.jeremyricketts.com/br...riend_5435.png
  • OG reads what BS2 reads, so at least it's consistant. Maybe Jamil is just off on this?
  • IBU's are closer to the book, but still higher. The book reads: 1oz 13% AA = 49.7 IBU. 1oz 9% AA = 6.9 IBU. 1oz 12% AA = 7.6

--

So, my goal isn't to debug everyone's calculators... it's to learn. I'd like to start doing all grain soon and I feel like I'm confused on how the recipe software works.

itsme6582 01-17-2013 03:20 AM

It's hard to say without seeing the recipe. There are a lot of settings in Beersmith and it's easy to miss something. Have you followed the tuturial in the help files? That might give you a little insight into making sure your equipment is set up right.

My guess is the recipe finishes with 5.5 gallons to the fermentor. That pretty much fixes OG and would yield about 5 gallons to bottle with.

Not really sure about the bitterness.

There are several ways to calculate color and extract tends to result in a darker beer than expected. You can avoid some of this darkening by adding some of your extract late in the boil. You can't withhold it all though. The sugars need to be there for the hops during the boil.

jeremydgreat 01-17-2013 03:26 AM

I didn't post the full recipe because it's all there screenshots.

thisoneguy 01-17-2013 04:15 PM

I believe that BCS assumes you will have 6 gallons into the fermenter (so you need to change batch size to 6 gallons in BS@, instead of 5). Also, I think BCS does IBU calculations with the Rager formula, and BS2 defaults to the Tinseth formula. You can verify the things about the BCS recipes by reading through one of the early chapters in the book (I'm at work right now, so I don't have my copy of the book or the software in front of me). It will take a bit of playing around in BeerSmith to get all of your settings right, especially once you move to AG.

KurtB 01-17-2013 05:03 PM

It looks like your BS profile is out of whack.

The three basic questions are "How much are you boiling? "How much ends up in the fermenter?" and "Are you adding any water to the fermenter after the boil?"

Based on the BeerSmith profile screen shot that you posted, here is what I see:

You are telling the software that you start your boil with 7 gallons, boil off 1 in your 60 minute boil time, lose another 1/4 gallon to cooling (left hand column items), leave behind 3/4 gallon in the kettle as trub/chiller loss, then add 2 more to make the fermenter have 5 gallons of beer at the start of fermentation (right hand column items).

When I run the numbers, that doesn't work (7 - 1 - 0.25 - 0.75 + 2 = 7 not 5). Something is out of whack.

If you aren't adding any water to the fermenter, remove the 2 gallon top up water in the right hand column and see if that helps your numbers. If you are adding water, then you probably aren't actually starting with 7 gallons as your boil volume.

One thing I wish BeerSmith did better was flag a situation like there where the math simply does not add up. Checking the "Calculate Boil Volumn Automatically" option may help also.

jeremydgreat 01-17-2013 06:05 PM

Thanks for the comments all. KurtB what you're saying makes sense, though I'm not sure on a few things:

http://dropbox.jeremyricketts.com/bs45678_69de.png
(This is a freshly copied equipment from "Pot and Cooler (5 Gal/19L) - Extract/Partial Mash" profile where I haven't edited anything yet.)
  1. Why does BS even mention a Mash/Lauter Tun for an extract recipe? Does editing any of this do anything for an extract recipe?
  2. Does the Brewhouse Efficiency matter for an extract recipe? Does this need to be adjusted for an extract recipe?
  3. Mash Tun Volume (again, not sure if this setting even matters since there is no Mash Tun in an extract recipe)
  4. Boil Volume of my kettle is 6 gallons. But I can only edit this field if I de-select "Calculate Boil Vol Automatically"
  5. Why would someone use "Top Up" water in a kettle? Do they mean adding hot water to the kettle AS it's boiling? Also, adjusting the "Top Up Water for the Fermenter doesn't effect the "Bottling Volume." How can that be?

Sorry for all the questions! BS2 is making me feel like a friggin moron.

My system is so simple: 6 gallon boil kettle, which boiles down to about 4.5 gallons when all is said and done, which I top off with 1 gallon of water in the fermentor. When I keg, I leave behind about .5 gallons of troub which brings me to 5 gallons of beer.

weirdboy 01-17-2013 06:15 PM

1. Because what you are editing is an Equipment Profile, which is separate from any recipe (I think).
2. Not really, no. *maybe* there is some small influence due to specialty grains, but I wouldn't worry about it.
3. Don't worry about it.
4. DO worry about it. You need to make sure that your equipment is set up correctly with the right size of your kettle, and that you have the correct size for your batch, and that your boil-off rate is dialed in correctly and agrees with the numbers in BeerSmith, and that your boil time is correct in the recipe.
5. There are many ways to skin a cat. If you have a 6.5 gallon kettle and are trying to make a 6 gallon batch, for example, assuming you boil off one gallon per hour, one way to do that would be to boil for 30 minutes and then top off with another half gallon of water.

As to the second question, I suspect what it means is that the Batch Size and Losses in Fermenter (or whatever it's called) is what affects bottling volume, and that it is assumed you will top off to whatever is necessary to hit the correct batch size. I could be wrong, though.


What is the actual size of your boil kettle? That should be the first thing to get straight.

KurtB 01-17-2013 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeremydgreat (Post 4796032)
Thanks for the comments all. KurtB what you're saying makes sense, though I'm not sure on a few things:
  1. Why does BS even mention a Mash/Lauter Tun for an extract recipe? Does editing any of this do anything for an extract recipe?
  2. Does the Brewhouse Efficiency matter for an extract recipe? Does this need to be adjusted for an extract recipe?
  3. Mash Tun Volume (again, not sure if this setting even matters since there is no Mash Tun in an extract recipe)
  4. Boil Volume of my kettle is 6 gallons. But I can only edit this field if I de-select "Calculate Boil Vol Automatically"
  5. Why would someone use "Top Up" water in a kettle? Do they mean adding hot water to the kettle AS it's boiling? Also, adjusting the "Top Up Water for the Fermenter doesn't effect the "Bottling Volume." How can that be?

Sorry for all the questions! BS2 is making me feel like a friggin moron.

My system is so simple: 6 gallon boil kettle, which boiles down to about 4.5 gallons when all is said and done, which I top off with 1 gallon of water in the fermentor. When I keg, I leave behind about .5 gallons of troub which brings me to 5 gallons of beer.

Weirdboy already answered most of these questions...

1. You assign equipment to a recipe. What you are editing is your equipment not your recipe (if that help you to keep things clear). You can ignore the MLT section completely if doing extract.
2. Not really because nothing is being mashed for extract. Partial mash recipes may use it for some of the calculations.
3. See #1
4. If you set your batch size correctly and get the other numbers in place, the boil volume should work itself out. More on that below.
5. I have never actually seen this used. The only thing I can think of is either what Weirdboy already mentioned, or possibly for an All-Grain brewer that cannot mash/sparge enough so they top up with water directly in the boil kettle.

Answer a couple of questions, and I can probably walk you through the process of what numbers need to go where:

1. How big is your boil kettle?
2. How many gallons do you want to bottle/keg?
3. How much, if anything, is anything left behind in the kettle when you transfer to the fermenter?
4. How much liquid boils off in a one hour boil?

itsme6582 01-18-2013 01:01 AM

1. That screen is set up to handle all brewing situations. It's not specific to whether you have a mash tun or to match your brewing style. This is where you define all this.

5. is simple
BIAB with no sparge is very common
No sparge or even batch sparge could need this if the mash tun was small relative to batch size.

larrybrewer 01-18-2013 03:04 PM

Hi, this is Larry from Brewer's Friend.
It is all based on exactly matching the ingredients, amounts, and equations used.
If you click the more button on the recipe editor, and it will expand open so you can pick which equations you want.

The biggest material difference is the IBUs. So, it could be a different IBU equation. In our system pellet hops get a 10% IBU boost. Could also be a difference in boil gravity and the way that factors into utilization with the equation you selected.

As for the SRM, compare the lovibond values for the LME, I bet that is where the difference is on color. Click the 'down all' button in the fermentables section to see ppg/lovibond details for each fermentable.

FG in BF can be fine tuned by editing the yeast attenuation value.

ABV difference is likely advanced vs standard ABV equation (and the FG, which factors into ABV).

Please share the recipe in BF so we can all look (recipe editor -> share button at top).

Would like to narrow this down some more. Let me know how I can help!


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