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Old 08-06-2013, 05:02 AM   #1
EasTexan
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Default First time using all grain and BeerSmith

Okay, Im new to all grain brewing and I am having trouble understanding beersmith and how to properly use it. I am entering all the info I know, but it still comes up with weird numbers when looking at the mash tab. I know as a rule I can use 1- 1.25 gallons for the mash and .50gallons for the sparge, but I'd like to get precise with brewing. Can I use any of the mash options for any brew? Why is the volume of water I am calculating for the mash and sparge not coming out to a reasonable level for a 5 gallon batch to account for evaporation?

For instance, I put in the info for a 5.0 gallon Citra IPA all grain recipe. I selected the single infusion, full body mash option. Its saying I should mash with 17.69 quarts, mash out with 5.80 quarts, and fly sparge with 3.5 gallons. Thats roughly 9.37 gallons. Does this seem high? The overview of the recipe estimates that the pre-boil volume should be 7.24...?


Thanks for any and all help...

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Old 08-06-2013, 01:01 PM   #2
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How many lbs of malt are you dealing with? I have an IPA recipe I'll be trying soon where the grain will absorb over 1.5 gallons. That at least gets you a bit closer to your mark. Also what is the deadspace in your tun? That could get you another half gallon right there which would get you very close indeed to your pre-boil volume.

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Old 08-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #3
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Play with the settings - the default profiles are just ballpark estimates. Measure your evaporation rate and mash tun deadspace and adjust those settings first.

Here are a couple of my recent brews, just for reference (using a 5 and 10-gal Igloo mash tun, respectively). Single infusion, batch sparge. Batch size: 5.5 gal.

#1
Total Grain Weight: 9.956 lb
Mash In Add 16.000 qt of water at 159.6 F (149.0 F 60 min)
Sparge Water: 4.73 gal
Pre-Boil: 7.28 gal
Post-Boil: 6.08 gal

#2
Total Grain Weight: 12.750 lb
Mash In Add 20.005 qt of water at 162.2 F (151.0 F 60 min)
Sparge Water: 4.06 gal
Pre-Boil: 7.28 gal
Post-Boil: 6.08 gal

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Old 08-06-2013, 06:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCoy View Post
How many lbs of malt are you dealing with? I have an IPA recipe I'll be trying soon where the grain will absorb over 1.5 gallons. That at least gets you a bit closer to your mark. Also what is the deadspace in your tun? That could get you another half gallon right there which would get you very close indeed to your pre-boil volume.
The recipe calls for 13.50 lbs of malt.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:05 AM   #5
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My BeerSmith has me losing 1.62 gallons to grain absorption with 13.5 lbs of grain. Like I said before, if you add another 1/2 gallon loss to dead space in your mash tun, that means that of the 9.37 gallons your start with, you'll only end up with 7.25 gallons of wort, which is more or less right on the money.

That said, ArcaneXor has a point in that you should play around with the settings. The estimates that come out of BeerSmith are only as good as the data you put into it.

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Old 08-11-2013, 05:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
Here are a couple of my recent brews, just for reference (using a 5 and 10-gal Igloo mash tun, respectively). Single infusion, batch sparge. Batch size: 5.5 gal.

#1
Total Grain Weight: 9.956 lb
Mash In Add 16.000 qt of water at 159.6 F (149.0 F 60 min)
Sparge Water: 4.73 gal
Pre-Boil: 7.28 gal
Post-Boil: 6.08 gal

#2
Total Grain Weight: 12.750 lb
Mash In Add 20.005 qt of water at 162.2 F (151.0 F 60 min)
Sparge Water: 4.06 gal
Pre-Boil: 7.28 gal
Post-Boil: 6.08 gal
I'm new to AG, and I don't understand why post boil volumes are higher than the target batch size. Could someone explain?
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:24 AM   #7
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big step my man \o/ !!

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Old 08-11-2013, 05:26 AM   #8
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I'm new to AG, and I don't understand why post boil volumes are higher than the target batch size. Could someone explain?
Boil off. When boiling your wort you lose volume to evaporation
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:39 AM   #9
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I'm new to AG, and I don't understand why post boil volumes are higher than the target batch size. Could someone explain?
You will lose some volume to trub in the boil kettle, you won't be able to siphon it all out due to the pile 'o crap that collects as it chills and settles hence the difference in volume. As stated earlier, the volume is only an estimate.
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:56 PM   #10
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Also the wort literally shrinks as it cools. That's the reason your hydrometer reports a lower SG at higher temperatures.

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