Beersmith Water Volume Calculations - Home Brew Forums

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03-19-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
ultravista
Recipes

Mar 2007
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I have a few questions about how Beersmith calculates mash water and sparge water to result in the end result batch size.

For example. When looking at Yoopers Dead Guy Ale clone, the total step-mash volume is 6.25 gallons (12.5 # grain) and the sparge water is 2.21 gallons.

If figuring .12 gallons absorbtion per pound of grain, the post-mash volume (-1.5 gallon) would be 4.75 gallons.

4.75 mashed gallons + 2.21 sparged runnings = 6.96 pre-boil gallons.

If figuring .11 gallon loss per hour, the post-boil volume for one hour is 6.96*.11 or .77 gallons (3/4 gal) lost to evaporation resulting in 6.19 gallons post-boil.

Considering the target volume is 5.25 gallons, where did the other 0.94 (let's call it 1 gallon) of water go?

03-19-2011, 07:40 PM   #2

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Sep 2007
Apex, NC
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If you go into the Equipment tab, take a look at what is filled in for "Lauter Tun Deadspace" and "Lost to Boil Trub and Chiller." The first is any wort that doesn't make it out of your mash tun -- space under the false bottom or below the ball valve, for example. The second is how much liquid & gunk is left at the bottom of your boil kettle. I find that with my keggle and using pellet hops I need to leave just under a gallon in there if I don't want hot break and hop sludge in my fermentor. There is also the cooling percentage loss. Hot wort takes up more space than cold wort. On a 5-6 gallon batch that's about a quart's worth of volume. My boil off is higher than you calculate as well. I generally lose about a gallon over the course of the boil.

So for a 5 gallon batch on my system, which is usually 10.5 to 11lbs of grain, I generally figure on preparing 8.5 gallons of water. That works out to:

5gal wort in the fermentor
+
1.4 -1.5gal lost to absorption
+
1gal lost to evaporation
+
.75gal of hop sludge in the kettle
+
.25gal of shrinkage
+
a small margin for error

That means I need to get 7 gallons into the kettle pre-boil in order to hit my numbers correctly.
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03-19-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
ultravista
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Mar 2007
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I mashed in a bag and had zero wort remaining in the mash tun (10G Rubbermaid cooler) and also used a fine mesh bag for the hops. I drained all but a few ounces off the bottom of the keggle.

Very little if any trub, maybe a little protien, but the mash running were clear.

The boiled wort was gravity fed through a 30 plate chiller.

This is my typical setup. Should I zero out trub loss and also chiller loss? There is really only a few ounces lost ....

03-19-2011, 11:09 PM   #4

Recipes

Sep 2007
Apex, NC
Posts: 1,028
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts

That's what I'd do. If your brewing rig allows you to capture all but a couple of ounces from the kettle, put that information into the Equipment setting in Beersmith. That way you start with the right amount of water for your system.

One thing to note: You'll want to change the master Equipment setting from the menu tree on the left. However, that doesn't flow through to previous batches or recipes you might download in Beersmith's .bsm format. Those will have the numbers from the previous setting in your copy of Beersmith (for your recipes) or the settings in the uploader's copy of Beersmith. Just something to check.

New recipes -- or recipes in which you manually re-choose the Equipment from the button in "Recipe View" -- will have the new settings.
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