Missing water volumes

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Missing water volumes

Unread postby Fritzkellerbrau » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:44 pm

Hi all

Have again read through the various posts on water volumes, boil off rates, etc. Still confused.

Did my second brew today and have some big gaps on water volumes.

Used the short malt pipe in my 50l BM. Was targeting 20l bottle volume (Beersmith software used). Filled with 24l, sparged with 4l and added 2l end of boil (because of low level). Grain bill was 4.25 kg (2.22kg Pilsner and 2kg Wheat malt). Boil was for 90 minutes (altitude here in Johannesburg is 1650m above sea level - boil is at 95C). Got out 15.5l (tilting the BM to extract maximum) wort to fermenter.

So simple calc: 30l in less 4.5l grain absorption less 5l boil off less 1.5l dead space = 19l. Therefore 3.5l ( plus minus for estimated grain absorption, dead space and boil off) missing???

Where are my basic assumption errors? Is the boil off much higher because of altitude and dry air (humidity < 50%). Inputs welcome (will do a pure water boil and measure when I have some time).
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby paulg » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:20 am

I get about 5 litres per hour boil off on my 50 litre bm with short malt pipe @650 metres above sea level, so maybe 2.5 litres of your loss is there and what about loss to hop absorbsion 0.5 - 0.7 litre/100 grams leaf hops pellet hops is less.
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:52 pm

Hi Paul,

Beersmith takes into account hop absortion?
In fact, when I use musseline bags with pellets inside the bags are really full at the end of the boil!
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Nesto » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:19 pm

Walking through your volume equations...
Mash in with 24 liters... how did you measure it?
Sparge with 4 liters... assume you measure this outside the BM somehow
Top off with 2 liters... also assume you measure this outside the BM
Total in was 30 liters, and here are the losses...
Grain absorption 4.5 liters... I think you're off on this one. Most of us see closer to .76 fl oz / oz grain (I use Beersmith, I think that translates to .79 liters / kg grain). So that should be more like 3.5 liters
Loss to trub 1.5 liters... did you measure this? Sometimes I get .7 and sometimes up to 2 liters. Depends how much trub I actually have.
Evaporation 5 liters... probably in the ballpark, but you'd have to measure to make sure.
Hop absorption... is not accounted for separately if you use Beersmith. You have to estimate it yourself and put it into loss from trub and chiller. For most beers its not going to be significant - that 1.5 liter loss for trub probably covers it, but you should let your hop bag or spider drain fully if you use one. As Luis mentions, it can really fill up with wort.

So it's hard to guess where your phantom loss is unless you do some measurements to confirm assumptions. I have a BM20, so my calibration won't work for you, but I measure boil off during each brew with a meter stick and have calibrated so I know from depth how much volume I have... basically its about 1 liter per cm for me. So I know my boil off is 3.4l per hour because I've measured it dozens of times. Folks here have reported widely differing boil off rates, so you might vary greatly even with two BM50s. I measure a few times during the boil so I can see if I'm tracking my boil off rate ok.
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Fritzkellerbrau » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:05 am

Hi all

To answer Nesto I use a measuring container for water that I fill in / sparge with etc.

Did a boil of test last night and measured this morning (cold water in to cold water): boil off 4l for 60 minute boil (and it did not seem as vigorous as during brew). So definitely I have underestimated the boil off rate. Secondly where I guessed was the remaining trub / dead space. Certainly seems quite a it more when I was measuring what came out today than what I estimated when brewing. Will do actual measure on next brew. [re hops absorption I used pellets so assume that this is minimal]. So we learn :)
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:55 pm

Have you ever noticed that Beersmith wort pre-boil volume is the "real" volume inside the kettle and not the "apparent" volume we measure? In other words, taking an example:
- Beersmith software says 27L pre-boil volume
- We measure the height of the BM at beggining of boil: it should be 30cm height (measured from the bottom) which corresponds to an "apparent" volume of 28L and a "real" volume of 27L. This is because we are measuring at 80C and not at room temperature.
-Probably this is the reason why I am getting always 19L of wort into the fermentor when I've planned a 20L batch.

Other thing, I'm getting a grain absortion of approx. 1L/Kg of grain.
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Nesto » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:33 pm

FKB, I know what you mean. It's amazing how the same base system can have such different behavior in different brewer's setups.

Luis, I actually have setup a calculation so I can know depth at 22C, 77C and 100C depending at what point in the process I am measuring depth/volume. IIRC it's 4% increase from 22 to 100.

I wonder if the crush used affects grain absorption? I just use the mill at my LHBS, which is mediocre, but acceptable. 1l/kg seems high, but not sure what else would affect it other than how long you let the malt pipe drain.
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:38 pm

Hi Nesto,

That's right!
I've seen your Files here in the Forum, brutal :beerbang:

Regarding grain absortion, how do you usually proceed after the mash?
1. Lift the malt pipe on a single step?
2. Stir the grain or just let it quite?
3. For how long do you let the malt pipe draining above the BM? The time interval between end of Mash and Boil start?

I'm thinking in the next brewday to settle Sparge volume to a maximum of 1L/Kg of grain and to start with a mash water volume determined by Beersmith software. Until now I was fixing Mash water to 25L and the Sparge volume was determined by Beersmith (usually 7L). I think 7L maybe to much for 5Kg of grain (my Pilsner recipe), reducing Mash efficiency (although I'm getting 83%, not bad). What do you think?
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Nesto » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:28 pm

I lift, don't stir the grain and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I've become convinced by the BIAB folks to mash with the full volume of water - no sparge anymore for me :)
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Victor Coelho » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:40 pm

Nesto wrote:I lift, don't stir the grain and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I've become convinced by the BIAB folks to mash with the full volume of water - no sparge anymore for me :)


Interesting!
With your BM20, how much water do you start with and how much wort you take to fermenter doing no sparge, to brew a 1048 OG, 5 kg malt?
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:06 pm

Hi Nesto,
Wonderfull. I also came from BIAB and I'm seriously thinking on the same issue.

Ola Vitor,

Although the question was for Nesto, let me guess:
- Considering a batch size 20L and 5Kg grain: grain absortion 5L, boil off 4L plus cool shrinkage 1L, trub loss 2L, we'll need 32L.

Nesto, agree?
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Victor Coelho » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:59 pm

Luis Coentrao wrote:Hi Nesto,
Wonderfull. I also came from BIAB and I'm seriously thinking on the same issue.

Ola Vitor,

Although the question was for Nesto, let me guess:
- Considering a batch size 20L and 5Kg grain: grain absortion 5L, boil off 4L plus cool shrinkage 1L, trub loss 2L, we'll need 32L.

Nesto, agree?


Olá Luis!
If that's so, how do you do BIAB on a BM20 with 32 liters of water plus 5 kg of grains?
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:03 pm

No experience.
Go to the post "No Sparge". Some folks are doing successfully with such a volume
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Victor Coelho » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:38 pm

Luis,
I use tapatalk and I'm not finding the thread "No sparge".
Do you have the link?
Thanks
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Re: Missing water volumes

Unread postby Victor Coelho » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:41 pm

Luis,
Just found it.
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