Beer calc vs beersmith regarding OG

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Pharmguy

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Well, I broke down and bought beersmith. I have been using beer calculus but it is limited. I was playing around just getting used to it and put the same recipe in both. Same everything...boil volume, batch size, malts, hops, ect. So the IBU's were close but the Og was way off. 1.058 vs 1.052. Is this a common issue between the 2 programs?
 

AnOldUR

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Also, things like boil off rate and dead space under the equipment tab will effect your results in BeerSmith.
 

AnOldUR

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Deadspace? Boil off rate?
Just to the right of the box marked "Equipment" are two buttons. The right one is "Details". Click on that. In the pop-up you'll see places to enter things like Evaporation Rate, Lost to Boil Trub, Lauter Tun Deadspace . . . They will have an effect on gravity and hop utilization.





Edit:
You may have to experiment with your system for a while to get these numbers exact.

The numbers in "Brewhouse Efficiency" also have to be dialed in for your system.
 

Weezknight

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Well, I broke down and bought beersmith. I have been using beer calculus but it is limited. I was playing around just getting used to it and put the same recipe in both. Same everything...boil volume, batch size, malts, hops, ect. So the IBU's were close but the Og was way off. 1.058 vs 1.052. Is this a common issue between the 2 programs?
I just found the same things. I've been using BeerSmith and just heard about BeerCalculus. My results were the same, IBU within .1, SRM within .6, but the OG for BeerCalc was 1.050, and 1.044 for BeerSmith. I'm guessing it's a difference in how their ingredients are loaded into their calculations.
 

FlyGuy

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It is unlikely to be a software issue (it is probably safe to assume each calculates gravity correctly). It is far more likely that there is some difference in the way you have your recipes set up in each system (check to be sure the obvious things are all similar, like efficiency).
 
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Pharmguy

Pharmguy

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Yeah, Im sure you are right. I just dont know what I am checking/adjusting in beersmith. I went to the tab AnOldUR suggested and played around but when it comes down to it....Im not sure how much is evaporated and lost to boil trub,deadspace, ect. I am sure it is different for each batch brewed so I will just go with the averages unless someone has a better idea.??
 

Brickhouse

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(it is probably safe to assume each calculates gravity correctly)
;) Oh really? In the three years I used Beersmith it never, ever, accurately predicted my preboil gravity. However, using a pencil and the correct information from the malster I was able to accurately and repeatedly predict my gravity. It may use a formula that with the correct information and variable values, will spit out a number you can use. I was never able to get it to work for me. If someone else has - more power to you and brew on brutha.
 

FlyGuy

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;) Oh really? In the three years I used Beersmith it never, ever, accurately predicted my preboil gravity. However, using a pencil and the correct information from the malster I was able to accurately and repeatedly predict my gravity. It may use a formula that with the correct information and variable values, will spit out a number you can use. I was never able to get it to work for me. If someone else has - more power to you and brew on brutha.
I can get Beersmith to match what my hand calculations or my brewing spreadsheet tell me. So I know it is making the correct gravity calculations -- I don't doubt the software. It also gives me the same gravities from any recipes I have imported from ProMash.

If you were getting the wrong numbers, you probably failed to set up your equipment profile correctly. That's typically the source of error.
 

Malticulous

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Beer calculus works for me. The thing is to get the correct PPG for all your grains and adjust it accordingly.
 

Weezknight

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Beer calculus works for me. The thing is to get the correct PPG for all your grains and adjust it accordingly.
I had a feeling after reviewing everything that it was the PPG that was different. Unfortunately since I'm just starting out and playing around with just extract recipes it is tough to adjust. Most vendors I've encountered are reluctant to give out information on their extracts (other than the lovibond).

ETA: I used generic 36ppg for the extract, and matched everything up between the 2 softwares and there was still a discrepency between the estimated OG's. I'm not overly concerned, but maybe I'll do it the long way with pencil and paper and see what I come up with.
 
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Pharmguy

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Im with ya. Not overly concerned as in the end when you measure the Og it is what it is. I just wish the 2 programs were closer. Now I dont know if my first few batches that were based on beer calc were...off. Whats this pencil and paper talk, crazy!
 

Weezknight

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Im with ya. Not overly concerned as in the end when you measure the Og it is what it is. I just wish the 2 programs were closer. Now I dont know if my first few batches that were based on beer calc were...off. Whats this pencil and paper talk, crazy!
The only concern I would have is when trying to create a recipe using a certain style. One of the programs may put the beer into the proper style, when, in fact, the OG may place it outside of the style guide range.

I'll have to look into it more. I was able to pencil and paper the BeerCalculus recipe and I matched the OG perfectly. Now I'll have to work and see if I can figure out how BeerSmith is doing things.
 

FlyGuy

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Why don't you guys post a recipe that we can all try, including the numbers you come up with using each method. We can compare notes and see where the discrepancies occur. Might speed up the Beersmith learning.
 

Weezknight

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Why don't you guys post a recipe that we can all try, including the numbers you come up with using each method. We can compare notes and see where the discrepancies occur. Might speed up the Beersmith learning.
There are some good examples in this thread, where I first encountered the variances in OG.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/building-irish-red-ale-110340/

This is the recipe I was using:
6.0 lbs. Pale LME (8L)
1.0 lbs. Caramel/Crystal (40L)
.25 lbs. Biscuit Malt (23L)
.12 lbs. Roasted Barley (500L)
1.0 oz. Cascade Hops (60 min.)
0.5 oz. EK Goldings Hops (15 min.)
0.5 oz. Fuggles (5 min.)
Wyeast Irish Ale

Estimates:
OG: 1.044
FG: 1.012
SRM: 15.6
IBU: 21.3

All of these were based off of BeerSmith (5 Gallon Batch, 3 Gallon Boil).
Same recipe in BeerCalculus shows OG of 1.050.
 

bull8042

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There are some good examples in this thread, where I first encountered the variances in OG.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/building-irish-red-ale-110340/

This is the recipe I was using:
6.0 lbs. Pale LME (8L)
1.0 lbs. Caramel/Crystal (40L)
.25 lbs. Biscuit Malt (23L)
.12 lbs. Roasted Barley (500L)
1.0 oz. Cascade Hops (60 min.)
0.5 oz. EK Goldings Hops (15 min.)
0.5 oz. Fuggles (5 min.)
Wyeast Irish Ale

Estimates:
OG: 1.044
FG: 1.012
SRM: 15.6
IBU: 21.3

All of these were based off of BeerSmith (5 Gallon Batch, 3 Gallon Boil).
Same recipe in BeerCalculus shows OG of 1.050.
I put it in BeerSmith and got this:
OG - 1.050
FG - 1.014
color - 15.6 SRM
IBU - 26.9

Make sure you select "Partial Mash" for the type, otherwise it won't use the potential of the grains you are steeping. You are probably using "Extract" as the type, which is throwing you off.
 

Weezknight

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I put it in BeerSmith and got this:
OG - 1.050
FG - 1.014
color - 15.6 SRM
IBU - 26.9

Make sure you select "Partial Mash" for the type, otherwise it won't use the potential of the grains you are steeping. You are probably using "Extract" as the type, which is throwing you off.
Interesting. So if you are using steeping grains with BeerSmith you should set it up as a partial mash, even though you're technically not "mashing?"
 

bull8042

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Interesting. So if you are using steeping grains with BeerSmith you should set it up as a partial mash, even though you're technically not "mashing?"
That seems to be the case with my experience. Since I do AG, I don't fool around with PM or extract recipes much, so I can't tell you much more than that.

Actually, steeping IS mashing in a way. Just a little less involved since you aren't relying on it for all your fermentables.
 

Weezknight

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So I guess the follow-up question would be is the OG of 1.050 correct? If you are just steeping the grains, and not mashing them for the fermentables would this affect the gravity? If it is affecting the gravity than 1.050 would be correct, but if the steeping grains are not affecting the gravity, then the 1.044 number would be correct.
 
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Pharmguy

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You will get fermentables from some steeped grains. Crystal is one of them so it makes sense. I will try my recipe when I get from work and will input it as a PM.
 
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Pharmguy

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Yep, that did it. Partial mash it is when you steep. Its right on now.
 

Weezknight

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I just wanted to resurrect this thread briefly because I just got done brewing a recipe that I created. I was a little worried about the OG because I wasn't sure about the fermentables from the steeping grains and how BeerSmith was calculating this.

Using BeerSmith and setting up the recipe as "extract" gave me an estimated OG of 1.038. If I converted to "partial mash" it became 1.044.

When I brewed on Saturday the OG measured at 1.044. Very interesting. I'm glad we had this thread (and some experiments to back it up) since I probably would've went ahead using "extract" and then wondering why my beer was coming out heavier than expected.
 
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