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Old 12-08-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
Jun 2009
South Carolina, lowcountry!
Posts: 91

Hello All,
I am a realtively new brewer, extracts and partial boil only at this point. I have a quick question with regards to the BeerSMith software. What is the difference between setting my boil volume based on equipment vs. setting batch size and boil volume?
I have a 5 gallon pot, but I would be hard pressed to ever boil 4.25 gallons in it successfully, with no boil-over. Generally, I just boil 3 gallons of wort and add to my carboy of water (after cooling) to make 5 gallons. Should I set BeerSmith to calculate my efficiencies etc based on a 5 gallon batch, 3 gallon boil OR should I set it based on my equipment, which is non-realistically, a 5gallon pot (with a 4.25 gallon boil)? Seems like if I were to set it based on equipment, I should set my equipment based on a 4 gallon pot, which leaves a workable boil volume of 3.25 gallons.
I guess I am just not sure what the difference is, between setting batch size/boil volume in BeerSmith or setting it based on equipment.
Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-08-2009, 12:21 PM   #2
big beers turn my gears
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May 2008
Podunk, VA. Not far from the NC line.
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Boil volume based on equipment takes into account equipment loss and gives a warning if your equipment wont handle desired batch size. I'm sure there is a way to set beersmith to calculate partial boils but I couldn't seem to find it. It might need to be manually set. It would be a lot simpler to get a bigger boil pot do do full boils. Your beer would improve also. Either way I recommend the use of fermen-cap or infant gas drops to reduce the chance of boil overs. Both work quite well and don't affect the flavor or head retention of your finished beer.
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:13 PM   #3
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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You can do either- either manually set the boil size to your boil size, and leave the batch size at 5 gallons, or use the "boil volume based on equipment option". One of the options is a 5 gallon pot, which I think gives you a boil volume of 4.08. If you chose a 4 gallon pot, the boil size is 3.25 gallon.

Whatever size boil you do is what you should have chosen, whether you do it manually or not. That helps you figure hops utilization.
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