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-   -   Help setting up Beersmith 2 (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f84/help-setting-up-beersmith-2-a-351498/)

grathan 09-01-2012 04:43 PM

Help setting up Beersmith 2
I tried posting on the Beersmith Forums, but they seem pretty empty as far as help for newbs go.

I brew a batch of beer. Ambient temp is 80*F i use 12.75# grains. I use 14 qts of 173*F strike water and hit 152*.

I want to use those numbers to set up Beersmith 2.

I watched the video tutorials on equipemnt setup on the Beersmith support page, but ended up with my recipe telling me to use 165*F water.

I figure I need to tweak something called mash tun specific heat to dial in for my temperature adjustment?

So I open the Infusion Tool and punch in my numbers and tweak the specific heat until I get 173* strike water temp, BUT when I try to use that number in my equipment profile the strike temperature is completely different. Shouldn't I be able to use the Infusion tool to calibrate my equipment?

Here is my numbers;

Settings for infusion tool:
Calculation: Initial Strike
Target: 152
water to add: 14qt
Initial mash temp 80
grain weight: 12.75
mash tun weight 5
mash tun specific heat 0.83
infusion water temperature: 174.2

settings for My Equipment:
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Mash Volume: 12.00 gal
Boil Volume: 5.70 gal
Mash Tun Weight: 5 lbs
Evaporation Rate: 8.8 % Mash Tun Specific Heat: 1.76 cal/g-deg C
Boil Time: 60 Mash Tun Deadspace: 0.00 gal
Top-up for Boiler: 0.00 gal Equip Hop Utilization: 100.00 %
Losses to Trub/Chiller: 0.00 gal Cooling Loss (%): 4.00
Top up water for Fermenter: 0.00 gal

Mash Profile:
Single Infusion, Light Body Batch Sparge
grain temp, mash tun temp: 80
Mash steps: Mash In Add 14qt water @ 174.1 step temp 152 for 60minutes
adjust temp for equip = yes

my recipe
12.75 lbs of grain

Should I just go with the 1.76 in my equipment profile and trust everything will turn out ok ?? I wonder if it could be as simple as the equipment profile takes into account mash tun volume and the infusion tool does not?

RiverCityBrewer 09-14-2012 09:49 PM

I'm trying to follow what is happening here... so when you say "I brew a batch of beer. Ambient temp is 80*F i use 12.75# grains. I use 14 qts of 173*F strike water and hit 152*." This is your real life measurements right? If that is true then I'm actually rather puzzled how you are losing 21 degrees on a strike when the mash tun only weighs 5 lbs... what kind of mash tun are you using? My guess is that the weight measurement of your mash tun is off. For comparison my old 5 gallon orange cooler weighs 7.75lbs and my 15 gallon SS pot weighs 32lbs. Hope that helps.

grathan 09-14-2012 11:25 PM

Thanks for taking the time to read my dilemma. It's true that I didn't get an accurate weight measurement on the mash tun. I will try changing that to something heavier. I do find that tweaking the Mash Tun Specific Heat also brings the strike temperature up to 173. I wonder if there isn't much difference between using either that or the weight to dial in the profile.

ajf 09-14-2012 11:48 PM

I don't have Beersmith 2, but I do have 1.4
If you are using 14 qt strike water for 12.75 lb grains, you have a mash thickness of 1.1 qt / lb.
Beersmith defaults to a mash thickness of 1.25 qt / lb.
Try weighing the MLT to get an accurate weight, and adjust the mash profile to use your mash thickness. (You may have to update beersmith to do this, as early versions didn't allow the mash thickness to be adjusted.)
One of the problems with software is that if you input inaccurate data, it returns inaccurate results (especially when it multiplies the mash tun specific heat by a guessed weight).


grathan 09-17-2012 11:12 AM

Ok, so I weighed the Mash tun. 12#

I made that change and also lowered the Specific Heat from I think 1.76 down to 0.66 which still isn't the 0.33 Beersmith says to use for plastic, it should get me closer to the calibration numbers that I posted above.

But the next batch resulted in failure...

17.64# of grain, 22.05 qt of strike water(Beersmith suggests 160.2*F) grain temp 80* tun temp 72*. Target 152*

I know 160* sounds pretty low so I went with instinct and brought the strike to 165*F, dumped that in the Mash Tun which brough the water down to 160* dumped the grain in and only hit 149*? If I had used 0.33 specific heat it would have been even worse...

So what should I tweak? I am thinking specific heat.

Ok, somehow 'Adjust temp for equip" wasn't checked on this recipe and the mash step reverted from 152 to 150. When I change these back to where they should be the recipe calls for strike water of 172.4 which may in fact be correct.

RiverCityBrewer 09-17-2012 08:51 PM

That sounds about right if beer smith was not taking into account that you needed to heat your mash tun up, just need to make sure that check box stays checked.

grathan 09-20-2012 03:30 PM

Ugh. :confused:

SO I brewed another batch with the adjustments and things went well. The mash hit its temp perfectly. So I decide to take a few numbers recorded while brewing and add them to the software to get an idea of what my efficiency might be like. The numbers changed were:
Meas Pre boil gravity
Meas Pre boil volume
Measured OG
Measured Batch size

I also changed the boil off rate in the equipment profile and reloaded it into the recipe.

And now the recipe calls for a strike temp 7*F hotter than what worked when I brewed it. Any idea what caused the mash strike water temp to raise? Changing all of these numbers a 2nd time seems to have no effect on mash temps.

RiverCityBrewer 09-22-2012 05:00 PM

That is strange... you didn't accidentally change one of the temp values for grain or mash tun temp (under the Mash tab) right? That's all I can think of that would have made it shift like that without adjusting other parameters.

grathan 09-22-2012 05:36 PM

Thanks again for looking. It appears my problem is the way Beersmith handles saving changes. If I change up a recipe, or make deductions from Inventory, or change profiles without explicitly saving or closing the program and another person in my house logs onto the computer while I'm out in the garage brewing and shuts the computer down, my changes are never saved.

grathan 09-23-2012 02:48 PM

today another batch = more confusion...

setting up my recipe i choose the same mash profile I used last time. Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch sparge. Last recipe it had me drain the tun and then add the sparge water. But this time it has me adding 0.89G of water, then adding 3.01G in 2 seperate steps? I would prefer a single sparge addition after draining every time, but not sure why this changes. There is plenty of room in the mash tun.

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