Calculating Mash Water Volumes

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Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby hambrook » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:41 am

I've just done my second brew in my new 2015 BM 20L and managed to get the gravity spot on and increased the calculated efficiency to 78% by stirring the mash 3 times.

However, I am baffled by the water required for the mash; when I punch my recipe into Beer Smith 2; my first recipe had 5.5kg of Grain and Beer Smith asked for 23.57L of water for the mash for a 25 litre batch. Yesterday I did a 23 litre batch with 3.9kg of grain and Beer Smith 2 asked for 16.33 litres only. Frankly I added about 24 litres then sparged up to an estimated 27 litres pre boil. Again; spot of luck that 23 Litres was squeezed out the BM into the FV.

What / how is mash water volumes calculated for a BM ? My experience yesterday seems to show that even with much more water than Beer Smith 2 calculated (24 litres vs 16.33 litres) with a stir of the mash every 30 mins in a 90 min 66 degree mash; and another stir prior to sparging seems to have still hit both the pre-boil and Original Gravity right on the mark. Or what's the grain to water ratio I need to set in Beer Smith to calculate the correct mash water volume? Baffled.
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby Avispartner » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:18 am

hambrook wrote:What / how is mash water volumes calculated for a BM ? My experience yesterday seems to show that even with much more water than Beer Smith 2 calculated (24 litres vs 16.33 litres) with a stir of the mash every 30 mins in a 90 min 66 degree mash; and another stir prior to sparging seems to have still hit both the pre-boil and Original Gravity right on the mark. Or what's the grain to water ratio I need to set in Beer Smith to calculate the correct mash water volume? Baffled.

I don't have an answer but would like to join you asking the same question... Thanks for some enlightenment. :?
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby Cervantes » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:04 am

I don't have Beersmith in front of me at the moment, but have you checked you grain absorbtion setting?
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby bruulog » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:25 am

Are you sure your mash profile has correct numbers in "Mash Properties" and do you sparge?

164-snap.png
Default: Temperature Mash, 2 Step, Light Body
164-snap.png (19.13 KiB) Viewed 4522 times
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby Dicko » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:16 pm

Speidel recommends that you mash with 25 litres of water in the 20 litre model. (Fill to the top mark)

Beersmith software is not designed, written or even offers any consideration to a Speidel Braumeister piece of equipment and the figures produced for mash volume should not be followed because those figures may, in some circumstances, cause the element to be exposed when recirculation happens.

By all means have beersmith calculate the amount of water needed for the entire brew, with consideration to accurate grain absorption figures (usually close to Beersmith BIAB quantity) then dough in with the 25 litres recommended by Speidel and then sparge the balance of the volume recommended by Beersmith.
Or as some do, just use the entire volume in the mash and then there is no need to sparge at all.

Stirring during the mash can help with efficiency at times as can extended mash out times.

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Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby Nesto » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:03 pm

hambrook wrote:I've just done my second brew in my new 2015 BM 20L and managed to get the gravity spot on and increased the calculated efficiency to 78% by stirring the mash 3 times.

However, I am baffled by the water required for the mash; when I punch my recipe into Beer Smith 2; my first recipe had 5.5kg of Grain and Beer Smith asked for 23.57L of water for the mash for a 25 litre batch. Yesterday I did a 23 litre batch with 3.9kg of grain and Beer Smith 2 asked for 16.33 litres only. Frankly I added about 24 litres then sparged up to an estimated 27 litres pre boil. Again; spot of luck that 23 Litres was squeezed out the BM into the FV.

What / how is mash water volumes calculated for a BM ? My experience yesterday seems to show that even with much more water than Beer Smith 2 calculated (24 litres vs 16.33 litres) with a stir of the mash every 30 mins in a 90 min 66 degree mash; and another stir prior to sparging seems to have still hit both the pre-boil and Original Gravity right on the mark. Or what's the grain to water ratio I need to set in Beer Smith to calculate the correct mash water volume? Baffled.

Hambook, if you post these pages from your BeerSmith recipe we can probably help more specifically: Vols Tab, Mash Tab, and the Advanced Options Tab.

Or take a look at a thread started by Dicko and a specific example of volumes from me.

Also know that BeerSmith has a known issue on volumes and gravity - volumes off by a little depending on when you measure and pre-boil vs. post-boil gravity has a 3-4 point problem as well.
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby hambrook » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:40 pm

Nesto wrote:
hambrook wrote:I've just done my second brew in my new 2015 BM 20L and managed to get the gravity spot on and increased the calculated efficiency to 78% by stirring the mash 3 times.

However, I am baffled by the water required for the mash; when I punch my recipe into Beer Smith 2; my first recipe had 5.5kg of Grain and Beer Smith asked for 23.57L of water for the mash for a 25 litre batch. Yesterday I did a 23 litre batch with 3.9kg of grain and Beer Smith 2 asked for 16.33 litres only. Frankly I added about 24 litres then sparged up to an estimated 27 litres pre boil. Again; spot of luck that 23 Litres was squeezed out the BM into the FV.

What / how is mash water volumes calculated for a BM ? My experience yesterday seems to show that even with much more water than Beer Smith 2 calculated (24 litres vs 16.33 litres) with a stir of the mash every 30 mins in a 90 min 66 degree mash; and another stir prior to sparging seems to have still hit both the pre-boil and Original Gravity right on the mark. Or what's the grain to water ratio I need to set in Beer Smith to calculate the correct mash water volume? Baffled.

Hambook, if you post these pages from your BeerSmith recipe we can probably help more specifically: Vols Tab, Mash Tab, and the Advanced Options Tab.

Or take a look at a thread started by Dickoand a specific example of volumes from me.

Also know that BeerSmith has a known issue on volumes and gravity - volumes off by a little depending on when you measure and pre-boil vs. post-boil gravity has a 3-4 point problem as well.


I think this screen is the issue:
Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 21.38.43.png

If I raise the mash volume to 25L it seems to shoot the grain ratio up just under 7l/kg....

Here is the mash profile;
Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 21.52.46.png
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby Nesto » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:35 am

Ok, a few comments. First, the water to grain ratio really doesn't really matter much when you mash with the BM, so don't worry too much about what that ends up at.

On the Mash page, I suggest that you check the box "BIAB Mash with Full Boil." If you leave this unchecked, BeerSmith will calculate the amount of water to fly sparge with - I think this might be messing you up a bit and BeerSmith plays best with the BM when you treat the process like BIAB.
Screenshot 2015-04-09 20.17.40.png
Mash


Then on the equipment profile, check both of these boxes - "Calculate Boil Vol Automatically" and "Use boil off as hourly rate." These two mean you can change things in your recipe and it will recalc automatically.
Screenshot 2015-04-09 20.08.14.png
Equipment profile


On the advance settings tab, set both the "Grain absorption" and "BIAB Grain Absorb" to 0.7000. The settings you have now (0.96/0.586) are off for the BM. I set both just in case I uncheck the BIAB box on the mash page.
Screenshot 2015-04-09 20.11.18.png
Advanced settings tab


If you do these things, when you set the batch size on the Design page, the volumes should all be automatically calculated. If you want to sparge, you can add that as a discrete mash step, like this.
Screenshot 2015-04-09 20.16.24.png
Sparge step


So try those things out and post your Volumes tab after and we can see what that looks like...
Screenshot 2015-04-09 20.20.31.png
Vols 1

Screenshot 2015-04-09 20.20.41.png
Vols 2

Your Batch Size from the Design tab gets put in here and you can check back up to the initial volumes.
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Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby judgecc » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:27 am

@Nesto..
Thx a million. That was exactly what I needed. Awating my Bm50 and are reading up on beersmith togheter with Bm.. Was struggeling with sparge water and if I do like you im back to how I did while Biab brewing.. Landed my numbers each time. So hopefully this will get me close with my Bm..
Thx
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby paulg » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:49 pm

+1 to nestos explaination
As explained beersmith is best used treating the BM as biab and if sparging then subtract the sparge amount from the recommended mash in amount for your model BM.I have recently gone no sparge and have not found any decrease in efficiencies.

It has been stated many times there must be a market fr a BM specific software ,just waiting for someone brighter than me to write it.
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby hambrook » Tue May 19, 2015 11:58 am

Thanks Nesto; here's my vols based on one of my favourite recipes;
Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 12.56.07.png
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby hambrook » Tue May 19, 2015 12:45 pm

Something still not right here as Beer Smith is suggesting I mash with 29.09L which is way beyond the top of the malt pipe....... Should I just mash with 25 litres then sparge with the delta of 34 litres?

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 13.43.33.png
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby eli.donald » Tue May 19, 2015 1:22 pm

Do you think it would be more useful to use something like the brewinabagaccus rather than beersmith?
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby bruulog » Tue May 19, 2015 3:39 pm

If you do not see Temperature Mash (multiple different versions) under Profiles > Mash, you probably need to download those from "Add-ons"
Those can be easily adjusted to BM.
You can also install "official" Braumeister 50 and 20 l equipment profiles from the "Add-ons" menu.
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Re: Calculating Mash Water Volumes

Unread postby Nesto » Tue May 19, 2015 5:15 pm

hambrook wrote:Something still not right here as Beer Smith is suggesting I mash with 29.09L which is way beyond the top of the malt pipe....... Should I just mash with 25 litres then sparge with the delta of 34 litres?

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 13.43.33.png

That's one way to do it, so start with 25l and sparge with 9 liters (the 5 you already have plus 4 more).

One question: Do you really want your batch size to be 25 liters? I notice you only have 1 liter of bottling/fermenter loss and 0 trub loss. my guess is your losses will be more than that.

I also use 0 trub loss due to a Beersmith issue, but my bottling/fermenter loss is higher. When you add trub loss, Beersmith adjusts the volumes of water; holds OG the same, but does not increase your grain bill; and assumes increased mash efficiency - not the way I like to calculate things. Because of this "feature" in Beersmith, it is better to set your loss to trub to zero and put all your losses into bottling/fermenter loss. I keep track of the losses "in my head" (i.e., 1.5 liters loss to trub, .5 liter loss in fermenter, .5 liter loss in bottling, etc.) to end up with the bottling volume that you want (bottling volume is batch size minus the losses you put in for bottling/fermenter losses). So I typically use 3 liters loss in bottling/fermenter.

So back to the question, if you adjust your batch size up or down, then Beersmith will adjust from batch size back up to total mash water.

Finally, you can also do a no sparge mash. Follow Lylo's procedure:
Fill the BM with the volume of water I calculate I will need.
Heat to dough in temp.
drain down to about 25l.
Dough in.
[Check flow before adding water back]
Refill the BM with water with the water that you drained off. This will be close to the top of the vessel
Mash as usual.
Carefully remove the hold down nut and bar.( I use silicone glove for this)
Remove malt pipe and set aside to drain.
Start ramping to boil.
Pour draining into boil and proceed as usual.


No sparge works great, with excellent efficiency. This weekend I did a mash with 34.5 liters of water!
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