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Old 05-08-2012, 02:29 AM   #1
Bennypapa
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Default I'm so new even Brewtarget hurts my head. Can you help me?

I'm doing my first all grain this weekend. I'll have plenty of seasoned help on hand to help and teach me but I'm trying to learn as much as I can on my own so I downloaded Brewtarget with the simplest of goals in mind and entered the recipe I plan on brewing (an irish red). I hoped to be able to tell how much water @ 170 degrees to add to get a mash temp of 153F. So far I have not been able to figure out how to make the software tell me what I need to know.

Is there anyone willing to walk me through this? (will the software even do this?)

Thanks,
Ben

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Old 05-08-2012, 02:50 AM   #2
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I don't know if it will, but I know beersmith will. It's easy to use, tells you everything you will need to know, and it's only $20. No disrespect to brewtarget. I think it's great those guys are offering up all their hard work for free.

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Old 05-08-2012, 03:06 AM   #3
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This link helped me out quite a bit with my last batch (also my first AG.) It definitely put me in the right ballpark for hitting initial temps. That said, I've since purchased a Beersmith license.

http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

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Old 05-08-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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GREAT site but it is a website and I'm looking for a take along program that won't need web access.

I think another complication is that I'm going to be brewing with water that is provided to me at a set temperature. I have no control over that. We get 170 degree water provided to us. Most programs (and the site mentioned above) assume that you have control over the water temp. For me that is a constant since all brewing water is provided.

I'll have to check with the event organizers and see if room temp brewing water is also available. If so I'll just mix my mash water to the right temp, if not I can use my new wort chiller.

Thanks

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Old 05-08-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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Id just roll with the punches and not worry bout it... It sounds like you wont have much control over efficiency or dryness... Just make sure you get anything after the boil super clean. There will be plenty of time to stress smaller details in the future.

FWIW, I didnt remove the hot or cold break from my first ag HefeWeizen and it came out phenomenal. Did I mention I was so wasted I could barely walk?

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Old 05-08-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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There isn't much you can do about the water being at 170. This will be in the ballpark and you will make beer. If you are using a cooler you can adjust a bit by adding cold water or by stirring to cool it down. You should not be too low with the grain bill for an Irish Red IMO.

However, they may also have a heated recirculatory system there, in which case you can add the water and the system will adjust automatically.

In any case, relax and don't worry; it will be fine.

I'd recommend trying several programs and see which one you like. Beersmith gives a free trial period, so you could take that one with you.

Remember that what you are going to go through this weekend is not like what you will be doing at your own home. Just relax and have fun with it. Trust the organizers to have what you will need to make good beer.

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Old 05-08-2012, 10:45 PM   #7
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I use brewtarget. I also found brewersfriend.com to be a great online recipe generator/repository that has all the bells and whistles you would need.

- B916

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Old 05-10-2012, 06:54 PM   #8
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I know this is a little late, but I think you can do this if you use the Mash Designer feature instead of the Mash Wiz. I've never done it, but going back and reading the manual, it looks like you can.

Here's what the manual say: "The mash designer is for more advanced users. It can be used to create pretty much any mash schedule you desire with however many sparges, and at whatever infusion temp or volume you desire."

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Old 05-11-2012, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennypapa View Post
I'm doing my first all grain this weekend. I'll have plenty of seasoned help on hand to help and teach me but I'm trying to learn as much as I can on my own so I downloaded Brewtarget with the simplest of goals in mind and entered the recipe I plan on brewing (an irish red). I hoped to be able to tell how much water @ 170 degrees to add to get a mash temp of 153F. So far I have not been able to figure out how to make the software tell me what I need to know.

Is there anyone willing to walk me through this? (will the software even do this?)

Thanks,
Ben
Yes. The software will do that. The most important thing you need to do is make sure you set up your equipment profile correctly. If you right-click on the "Equipment" in the tree, you can add a new piece of equipment. Give it a name and then double click on the new entry. The important fields are batch size, boil time and evaporation rate. If you can fill those three fields in and then check the "Calculate pre-boil volume", then the rest of the code can do its job. If you don't know your evaporation rate, guess about 4 qt/hr.

On the main recipe screen, select the equipment you just set up from the equipment drop down box, or drag the equipment from the tree to the main recipe window. A pop-up will ask if you want to set the batch and boil size to that requested by the equipment. You do.

The last step then is to click on the mash tab. This is the easiest way to do it. Click on the "Mash Des" button, and enter the temperature of your tun before the infusion. Give a name to the step, like "Conversion" and set the target temp and time -- 153F and 60 min in your case. Click finish. In the main window, click the "Mash Wiz" button and enter your preferred thickness ratio. The software will do the rest of the work to figure out volumes and temperatures based on all of the other information.

hth,
Mik
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:12 PM   #10
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mikfire,

On my last batch I used the Mash Des. I did basically what you said but did not click the Mash Wiz (at least I don't think I did). I ended up with a strike step and a spare step, which is what I wanted. I didn't know you could click both the Des and Wiz buttons while doing a mash. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try that next time and see how that works.

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