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Old 10-01-2012, 05:18 AM   #1
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Default BeerSmith Head Scratcher Of A Problem

I just posted this on the BeerSmith Forums, but I'm posting it here too so I can see what people have to say:

So I'm going to try and explain this as best I can and hope I've done a good job.

On the design recipe tab there is a field where you enter in your batch size that will go into your fermenter, in my case I've been entering in 10 gallons.

When I enter in 10 gallons on the design recipe tab, that then is also shown in the fermentation tab as what is being entered into the fermentor and based of of this 10 gallons, the software calculates your estimated OG. This is all fine and good until...

I bring my final boiling volume up to 10.92 gallons after my boil to account for the .92 gallons of wort I lose in my boil kettle and hoses on the way to the fermenter. I've been putting in my final volume into the fermenter in the design tab as 10.92 gallons even though only 10 actually goes in. So here's my problem I just came to find out...the software is basing it's IBU's, SRM, ABV, OG, etc. off of 10 gallons, but what I've been taking my readings at 10.92 gallons which means all of my IBU's, SRM, ABV, and OG the software has been calculating are off...i.e. at 10 gallons not 10.92 even though only 10 gallons go into my fermenter.

What I believe I have to do is put my batch size in the design tab as 10.92 gallons as if that's what's going into the fermentor even though it's only 10 gallons actually going into the fermentor so that it calculates the IBU's, SRM, ABV, OG, etc. at the level I take my measurement. Thoughts on this would be very helpful. I hope I've explained this well enough.

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Old 10-01-2012, 05:25 AM   #2
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I would think your final boiling volume would be the post boil volume so I would agree with your assumption that 10.92 would be your design volume ending with the 10gallons as your final boiling volume.

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Old 10-01-2012, 05:45 AM   #3
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So if I'm understanding you, I should have 10.92 gallons as what's going into the fermenter even though it is truly only 10?

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Old 10-01-2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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Sorry if I was confusing. I would set the 10.92as your estimated boil volume and the 10gallons as your batch size. Sorry at work on the phone so I can't check beersmith for e correct terms. I can check in the morning when I get home or if someone else is around with the program handy for all the exact terminology.

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Old 10-01-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVilleggiante View Post
So I'm going to try and explain this as best I can and hope I've done a good job.

I've been putting in my final volume into the fermenter in the design tab as 10.92 gallons even though only 10 actually goes in.

What I believe I have to do is put my batch size in the design tab as 10.92 gallons as if that's what's going into the fermentor even though it's only 10 gallons actually going into the fermentor so that it calculates the IBU's, SRM, ABV, OG, etc. at the level I take my measurement.

So here's my problem I just came to find out...the software is basing it's IBU's, SRM, ABV, OG, etc. off of 10 gallons, but what I've been taking my readings at 10.92 gallons which means all of my IBU's, SRM, ABV, and OG the software has been calculating are off...i.e. at 10 gallons not 10.92 even though only 10 gallons go into my fermenter.

I hope I've explained this well enough.
I would suggest rereading this yourself, and see if it makes sense to you, even my edited version.

I know exactly what issue you are dealing with, but that explanation is contradictory and confusing. I will try to explain the issue a bit in this post, and in a follow up post, I will give you a method for an easier way to use BeerSmith. If it doesn't suit you, try restating your issue and your goals more clearly, and I can try again.

Brew House Efficiency:
BeerSmith uses batch size and 'Brew House Efficiency' as 'to the fermenter'. All people/programs do not. YOU CAN NEVER FORGET THIS. (Yelling was on purpose). For example, Mr. Malty recipes, and most magazine based ones, will be stated as 'in the kettle' for both batch size and eff. This is because system losses to trub/dead space are different for everybody, and using an eff number that includes those losses (like BeerSmith's 'Brew House Eff') makes it very confusing to share recipes.

Not only does BeerSmith's Brew House Eff (to the fermenter) cause confusion when sharing, it also makes your own life difficult. Any adjustment to trub loss (using the trub loss field) requires an compensatory adjustment to 'Brew House Eff'. Recipe specific adjustments for losses, like high hop losses for an IPA, using the trub loss field requires the same compensatory adjustment to BHE. When dialing in your numbers based on observed mash/lauter eff (to the kettle), similar adjustments need to be made to BHE (to the fermenter) as well.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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How to make BeerSmith less of a PITA to use:
Set 'trub losses' to '0', always.
Set your boil off rate accurately, and use 'vol rate', not %.
Check the 'calc boil volume' checkbox.
Whenever adjusting the batch size (like for trub loss), always use the 'scaling tool' and check the 'keep numbers the same' box.
Set your Batch Size to what you want in your fermentor + your trub/transfer losses to the fermenter. (You can notate your trub loss in the 'fermenter loss' field for book keeping purposes.)

Your Brew House Eff is now effectively "to the kettle". This makes checking and adjusting your numbers much easier. It also makes importing and scaling recipes easier.

Be careful of using other 'features' of BeerSmith. There are many that are notoriously buggy. For instance, you mentioned 'adjusting' your pre-boil volume, do not do this. If you follow the guidelines above, BeerSmith will do everything for you. If you choose to manually adjust any fields, all bets are off with the numbers BeerSmith generates.

Instead of trying to manually adjust things, accurately set and use the tuning parameters like boil off rate, lauter/mash dead space, BHE and Batch Size (once they are converted to kettle based), grain temp, tun temp, specific heat, etc.

This will get you very close for fly sparging. Due to an error in how BeerSmith handles other sparge methods like batch/no sparge and BIAB, you will need to reduce your BHE (now mash/lauter eff) for brews with a higher grav than what you use for your baseline BHE, and lower it some for brews with a lower grav. Essentially you will have a (slightly) different BHE for different grav brews. There is no way around this, and it happens whether you use 'to the fermenter' or 'to the kettle' for BHE. This is an issue that every current brewing software package has, but is not well known.

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Old 10-01-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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I'm not explaining myself well, which is what I though might happen. I'll try and take some screenshots later today and post them with a second try and what my problem is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwi View Post
I would suggest rereading this yourself, and see if it makes sense to you, even my edited version.

I know exactly what issue you are dealing with, but that explanation is contradictory and confusing. I will try to explain the issue a bit in this post, and in a follow up post, I will give you a method for an easier way to use BeerSmith. If it doesn't suit you, try restating your issue and your goals more clearly, and I can try again.

Brew House Efficiency:
BeerSmith uses batch size and 'Brew House Efficiency' as 'to the fermenter'. All people/programs do not. YOU CAN NEVER FORGET THIS. (Yelling was on purpose). For example, Mr. Malty recipes, and most magazine based ones, will be stated as 'in the kettle' for both batch size and eff. This is because system losses to trub/dead space are different for everybody, and using an eff number that includes those losses (like BeerSmith's 'Brew House Eff') makes it very confusing to share recipes.

Not only does BeerSmith's Brew House Eff (to the fermenter) cause confusion, it also makes your own life difficult. Any adjustment to trub loss (using the trub loss field) requires an compensatory adjustment to 'Brew House Eff'. Recipe specific adjustments for losses, like high hop losses for an IPA, using the trub loss field requires the same compensatory adjustment to BHE. When dialing in your numbers based on observed mash/lauter eff (to the kettle), similar adjustments need to be made to BHE (to the fermenter) as well.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVilleggiante View Post
I'm not explaining myself well, which is what I though might happen. I'll try and take some screenshots later today and post them with a second try and what my problem is.
Try the above method of using BeerSmith, and see if it doesn't fix your problem. It is the preferred way to configure BeerSmith for most advanced users. If that way doesn't work, screen shots may help, but all the fields are scattered among several pages.

I don't think manually adjusting the boil volume will ever do what you are wanting. Playing with manually adjusting fields can cause a cascading effect on other numbers.
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