Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brewing Software > BeerSmith Issues
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-20-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
mlevings12
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Posts: 64
Default BeerSmith Issues

So I have been experiencing some issues since switching to BeerSmith. My water volumes always seem to generate more wort than expected. Additionally, my FGs have all been too high.

I am brewing all grain, however I do not have one large brew kettle. I use (2) four-gallon kettles, so I doubled my boil off rate to account for the increased surface level. Everything else is the same as when I was doing the water calculations by hand.

I'm wondering if maybe I'm sparging too quickly. I batch sparge.

Any insight is much appreciated.

__________________
mlevings12 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2012, 03:11 AM   #2
day_trippr
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Stow, MA
Posts: 11,239
Liked 1387 Times on 1119 Posts

Default

How have your OG measurements been running?

Cheers!

__________________
day_trippr is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2012, 03:13 AM   #3
Jsuds
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Northern, CA
Posts: 40
Default

In the equipment profile make sure your lauter tun dead space is correct. You may not have much loss in the system and I think it defaults to one gallon. Are you using a cooler?

As far as the FG, that's most likely a fermentation issue. Was your OG low? With more unexpected water the og would be low and maybe the yeast didn't have enough fermentable sugars to get going to work it all the way out. How long did it ferment?

I've found that doing water tests to calculate the boil off and dead space volumes to be very useful when honing in Beer Smith.

__________________
Jsuds is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2012, 03:22 AM   #4
mlevings12
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Posts: 64
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
How have your OG measurements been running?

Cheers!
Adjusting for temperature, the OG #'s have been right where expected.
__________________
mlevings12 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2012, 03:35 AM   #5
mlevings12
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Posts: 64
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsuds View Post
In the equipment profile make sure your lauter tun dead space is correct. You may not have much loss in the system and I think it defaults to one gallon. Are you using a cooler?

As far as the FG, that's most likely a fermentation issue. Was your OG low? With more unexpected water the og would be low and maybe the yeast didn't have enough fermentable sugars to get going to work it all the way out. How long did it ferment?

I've found that doing water tests to calculate the boil off and dead space volumes to be very useful when honing in Beer Smith.
Thanks for the response.

The lauter tun dead space is set to 0.25 gallons. This seems a bit high, due to the fact that I'm using a braided hose, not a false bottom. I am using a 5 gallon cooler.

Adjusted for temperature, the OG seems to be correct. Once I got to 5.25 gallons in my carboy, I just had to dump out the remaining wort due to lack of room. I use the wet t-shirt method to control fermentation temps. Temp stayed at about 64 and it fermented for approximately 4 days.

I did a water test for the boil off amount. I just boiled 3.5 gallons in one of my kettles for 60 minutes. Then I doubled the boil off volume since I'm using 2 kettles.

When you batch sparge, how long should you let each batch sit before draining the lauter tun? I'm wondering if I'm getting impatient and not letting it sit. I typically just fill, stir and drain. I'm wondering if the short sparge turnaround time is not allowing the grain to absorb the appropriate amt of water, leading to higher water volumes.
__________________
mlevings12 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2012, 03:53 AM   #6
day_trippr
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Stow, MA
Posts: 11,239
Liked 1387 Times on 1119 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlevings12 View Post
[...]
When you batch sparge, how long should you let each batch sit before draining the lauter tun? I'm wondering if I'm getting impatient and not letting it sit. I typically just fill, stir and drain. I'm wondering if the short sparge turnaround time is not allowing the grain to absorb the appropriate amt of water, leading to higher water volumes.
Unlikely a water absorption issue considering by the time you get to sparging the grains should already be totally saturated. But you should let the batch sparge sit for 15-20 minutes to leach as much sugar as possible out of the grain. Your "batch rinsing" is likely driving down efficiency.

All that said, if your OGs are on target in spite of poor sparging and actually dumping wort, I don't see that you have a Beersmith problem

Cheers!
__________________
day_trippr is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2012, 04:58 AM   #7
mlevings12
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Posts: 64
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post

All that said, if your OGs are on target in spite of poor sparging and actually dumping wort, I don't see that you have a Beersmith problem

Cheers!
Ahhhh! The ever present user error issue. Thanks for the input.
__________________
mlevings12 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2012, 05:05 AM   #8
mlevings12
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Posts: 64
Default

So the final question....for now is this:

My current #'s are yielding an est. ABV of 3.8%, a bit low for the style. Do you think I could add some Light DME to kick up the fermentation and get my FG down a little lower?

Thanks again!

__________________
mlevings12 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2012, 05:29 AM   #9
day_trippr
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Stow, MA
Posts: 11,239
Liked 1387 Times on 1119 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlevings12 View Post
So the final question....for now is this:

My current #'s are yielding an est. ABV of 3.8%, a bit low for the style. Do you think I could add some Light DME to kick up the fermentation and get my FG down a little lower?

Thanks again!
Practically speaking, DME should be added no later than flame out. Adding it to cooled wort will result in a lumpy mess. In any case, while added DME will raise the ABV, it won't lower the FG, it will more likely raise it - it's not 100% fermentable...

Cheers!
__________________
day_trippr is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2012, 05:30 AM   #10
Jsuds
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Northern, CA
Posts: 40
Default

What is the gravity now? You said it's been four days, it could sit for a bit longer and you could see if you get a lower fg.
As far as the dme, adding it at this point is a little tricky.

One of my earlier batches was way low on gravity and thought it was going to end up too light, bitter and and dry. It turned out to be a perfectly drinkable beer. No gold medals but I was surprised how well it turned out. I would let it ride and take all your energy from salvaging this batch into making sure the next runs more smoothly.

__________________
Jsuds is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
BeerSmith IBU issues scottyg354 Brewing Software 2 12-10-2011 11:59 PM
Issues with Beersmith 2.0 yeast steven85 Brewing Software 1 06-16-2011 11:24 AM
beersmith issues skyebrewing Brewing Software 6 10-12-2010 07:10 AM
Having some beersmith issues, can't open recipe Coastarine Brewing Software 1 02-14-2009 12:11 AM
Ingredients On BeerSmith Issues Maveric777 Brewing Software 3 01-24-2009 03:49 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS