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Old 02-27-2009, 05:23 PM   #1
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So, I spent a significant amount of time yesterday trying to figure out how to use beersmith so I can have a successful brew day this weekend. It will be my first all grain brew. My main problem is how much water to put into my HLT to reach my desired pre-boil volume of six gallons.

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beersmith says to mash in with 3.13 gallons according to the mash profile. I have no idea how much runnings this will produce. Which makes it nearly impossible for me to figue out how much water to sparge with. Other info: 5 gallon rubbermaid tun and 8 gallon kettle for equipment.

Im also looking to find target OG. I have not even found the "preview brew sheet" that I keep hearing about on Beersmith. Is it because I am using the trial version?

Thanks for the help guys...
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:29 PM   #2
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Assuming you're batch sparging?

Don't be so concerned with a software program dictating your volumes.

I'd do a double sparge.
  • Mash in with your 3.5 (ish) gallons.
  • Vorlauf.
  • Drain slowly to get first runnings.
  • Sparge in 170(ish) degree water...probably about 2.5 - 3 gallons.
  • Stir, vorlauf and drain again.
  • Sparge in another batch of 170(ish) degree water...probably about 2.5 - 3 gallons.
  • Stir, vorlauf and drain again, but this time only until your preboil is at 7 - 7.5 gallons.

 
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:36 PM   #3
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I have some experience with this.

OK, take your time and learn the whole format. There is no hurry. Trial is the same as purchase-it just expires.

'Preview Recipe as Brewsheet' is at bottom of dropdown, under the 'View' menu heading at the top left.

Set batch size to 5.50 gallons.

Have you set up your equipment, yet? 'My Equipment' This helps with many aspects of the process.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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thanks for the reply. I figure after I do it once, I will get a good idea of how much water to sparge with. Its just a little tricky on the first go.

The highest volume I want to boil with my kettle is 6.5. I'll just double sparge with less water I guess?
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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It will be pretty close to that when you get done; you can make changes to get what you want later. you will boil off about a gallon in an hour.

Have you selected your desired 'Mash Profile'?
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:43 PM   #6
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I find that it helps to set the kettle size in the equipment page a couple of gallons smaller than it really is. Then I have no problem using the sparge sizes that beersmith says to use.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:45 PM   #7
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In order to get Beersmith to accurately calculate volumes, you really do need to take the time to get your equipment settings right.

That said, I don't actually use Beersmith's water calculations. I use it as an _estimate_ of how much total brewing liquor I'll need, but I generally pad it by 1-2 gallons, just to be sure.

What I do is the following:

Mash as normal, collect first runnings in a graduated bucket. Subtract first runnings number from total preboil volume desired, and divide by 2. Voila! That's how much water to add for each batch sparge. Easy peasy.

I use Beersmith, and like it, but I think the methods for setting it up to accurately calculate batch sparges could be more intuitive.

 
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:50 PM   #8
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A good starting point estimate of grain absorption is 0.1gal/lb. So, for 10lbs of grain at 3.13gal of strike water, on MY system (0.12gal/lb) i would get:

3.13gal - (10lbs x 0.12gal/lb) = 1.93gal as my first runnings.

After that, you can assume your grain is saturated, and any liquid you put in for sparging you will get out (minus your dead volume).

So if Iwere shooting for 6gal pre-boil:
Strike vol = 3.13gal
Estimated first runnings = 1.93gal
6gal - 1.93gal = 4.07gal
Therefore i would perform 2 batch sparges of 2.035gal each.

I have beersmith, too, but i find that for batch sparging, the excel spreadsheet (which incorporates this type of info) gets me exactly where i wanna be with strike, sparge, estimated runnings volumes.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Hill View Post
It will be pretty close to that when you get done; you can make changes to get what you want later. you will boil off about a gallon in an hour.

Have you selected your desired 'Mash Profile'?
Yeah: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge

my brew sheet option is greyed out for some reason which suggests that the program has no info to work with. This is where I get lost.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:03 PM   #10
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Have you set up 'My Equipment'?
Have you set 'Batch Size'?
-Brewhouse Efficiency to 75%
-Boil Time to 60mins
-Do you show a Mash In step in the big box under Mash Name?
-Do you show a OG, color, IBU's?
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