Pushing the BM50 to the limits

How to get most out of brewing with your Braumeister? Help others and share your tips/best practices.

Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby TheWoods » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:44 pm

Hi, i did a little experiment with my braumeister to know its limits for future recipe design. I started with a recipe of black IPA I done before and decided to do an imperial black IPA out of it. The test consist of using the more grain and less water possible. I use the beersmith software but for this brew I needed to change some parameter in the software during the entire brew day. I started by decreasing my efficiency to 70% instead of 80% I am used to. I put 15kg of grain and a batch size of 30 L. Beersmith call an OG of 1108 and a preboil at 1088. I came to that batch size because I knew that starting the mash with 42l could be possible because I am use to mash with 45l and there is enough water above the element. 11l of grain absorption and 90 minutes boil with a boils off of 7.5 l. I decided to do a 8.5l rinse of the grain just to get a little more efficiency. Plus my 2l trub loss.

First I was more interested in the preboil gravity because I wanted to know how much sugar I can collected from that mash. When I first pour the grain in the malt pipe I realized that I could add a little more grain because there was still 2cm under they'd the wing nut and the top plate filter was on the right side( I heard that we can flip it upside down to put more grain but it wasn't the test I wanted to do). I would say 30% of the grain wasn't in the water so I decided to do 120minute mashing at 68C since when the pump is pausing these grain wasn't infusing.

When I lift the malt pipe I had 32l of wort at 1077 sg. I "sparge" with my 8 liter and ended with 40l of 1073sg. At that time I decided to decrease my efficiency to adjust to the estimated preboil gravity from beersmith. It take me to 60% brew house eff. Now beersmith called for 1094 OG. And the measured mash eff at 65%

My boil off was a little less then expected and ended with 31.5 L of wort in my fermenter at 1092.

In conclusion we can probably mash 16.5 kg of grain with 41l of water and sparge with less than 8 liter and end up with a 1.100 OG beer with a single mash on the BM50. Who told us that the braumeister can brew "big" beers. :beerbang:

Cheers :beer:
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby flemming » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:25 am

I've only done this once so far to make an Imperial Stout, but here's how my numbers played out:

Starting Volume: 49L
Grain Weight: 12kg + .2kg rice hulls
Mash: 90min @ 66C, 15min @ 76C

No Sparge, but I squeezed the pipe a bit by pressing the top plate down. I didn't want to add more water when I was already planning on a 2 hour boil. I probably could have gained a bit more efficiency at the expense of time.

Collected: ~39L @ 1.064 (68.7% Efficiency, ~10L lost to absorption @ .85L/kg)

I was hoping for 1.068 so I just lengthened the boil a bit to compensate.

Boil: 2.5 hours (5.36L/hour evap)
Final: 25.5L @ 1.097 (overshot my target of 1.095)

More grain would have allowed me to have a bit less water or maybe a small sparge to pick up a couple points. One option I've heard others toss about is to disconnect the outer heating elements so you don't have to worry about having them covered. That'll knock off quite a few required liters. I haven't tried it yet though.

Robert
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby MattSR » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:12 am

Seems like it can be done, just the final volumes are lower - I.e 25L and 31.5L. I guess there's always the option of double mashing too.
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby BrauTim » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:26 am

flemming wrote: One option I've heard others toss about is to disconnect the outer heating elements so you don't have to worry about having them covered. That'll knock off quite a few required liters. I haven't tried it yet though.

Robert


Uncplugging is simple and I reckon it could reduce the volume by around 10l if not more! I've not mashed myself this way yet.
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby Twonky » Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:34 pm

I also tried to lower the amount of water and found that that introduced circulation problems because the pumps have to 'lift' the difference in height between the outer and the inner level... so if the inner level is lower, and the malt pipe is filled to the brim, then the pumps have to work really hard... this could require a lot of manual stiring of the mash....

just my two cents worth...

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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby niels » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:06 am

Did you stir your grains during mashing? This would bump the extraction efficiency a bit too.

- Niels
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby Twonky » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:08 pm

Something else I just remembered, a while back a BM50 was for sale on a local web site, and they claimed they had it converted for 70l brews...

So I sent an email to inquire what the conversion entailed. The reply was that they had a filter plate that exactly fit the inner diameter of the outer vessel, so you did not use the wort pipe. And just filled up the whole BM, then they attached an extra pump to circulate the wort via the tap...
Not really practical, but the technique helped me when my wort pipe seal got loose during a brew, I also circulated the wort via the tap (regretfully without a pump, and just by hand using a 3l jug) But it got me through the brew day!

So if you leave out the top filter plate, or invert it.... Circulate the Wort via the tap, to ensure the heating elements are covered, you should be able to reduce your boil volume drastically (and without the top filter plate, it is easy to stir the mash) And even further increase the amount of grains...

Just a thought!

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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby TheWoods » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:32 pm

niels wrote:Did you stir your grains during mashing? This would bump the extraction efficiency a bit too.

- Niels


I did not stir the grains but I should have done. That day I was busy with my kids and bottling my previous batch.

Twonky wrote:The reply was that they had a filter plate that exactly fit the inner diameter of the outer vessel, so you did not use the wort pipe. And just filled up the whole BM, then they attached an extra pump to circulate the wort via the tap


Yeah I already thought about that... Using a false bottom big enough for the whole BM and use it as a MLT. But I think we bought BM because of its design I would do a double mash before doing this.

flemming wrote:I was hoping for 1.068 so I just lengthened the boil a bit to compensate.

Boil: 2.5 hours (5.36L/hour evap)
Final: 25.5L @ 1.097 (overshot my target of 1.095)


I tried to keep the boil time to a normal length. For sure if I want to do something bigger I will boil for 2.5Hr.

BrauTim wrote:Uncplugging is simple and I reckon it could reduce the volume by around 10l if not more! I've not mashed myself this way yet.


I don't really like to change the way things work. If I really need to go with an OG of 1.120 I would try with 16Kg of grain and 35L of water (outer element disconnected) during a 150 min mash with stirring during the mash and a 2.5Hr boil. But I think I will try the double mashing before.

My 2 next batch will be more sessionable batch but I'll keep you post on my next experiment for my barleywine.

Thanks guys Cheers :beer:
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby bruulog » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:10 pm

Interesting read

Can you post your mashing schedule?
I have agreed to brew Imperial Stout with my bro but I never used BM for high gravity beers.
I have a 50 l BM
I make my own copper/ss chillers (immersion) - 20l & 50l and counterflow (cfc)
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby BrauTim » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:57 am

TheWoods wrote: If I really need to go with an OG of 1.120 I would try with 16Kg of grain and 35L of water


16Kg of grain in the 50 malt pipe, is that possible? I thought we were pushing it over 12Kg ?
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby TheWoods » Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:23 pm

BrauTim wrote:
TheWoods wrote: If I really need to go with an OG of 1.120 I would try with 16Kg of grain and 35L of water


16Kg of grain in the 50 malt pipe, is that possible? I thought we were pushing it over 12Kg ?


I uses over 13kg of grain since the first brew and did 15kg of grain 2 times with success. There is still space under the wing nut and that is with the top filter plate in normal position.

I think an OG of 1.120 is pretty optimistic but for 1.100 beer it is very realistic with a single mash.
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby TheWoods » Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:39 pm

bruulog wrote:Interesting read

Can you post your mashing schedule?
I have agreed to brew Imperial Stout with my bro but I never used BM for high gravity beers.
I have a 50 l BM


My mash was very simple :

Add 42L of water and bring at 50C
Add 15Kg of grain and then
15minutes 52C
120minutes 68C
10minutes 78C

I didn't stir the grain, during 3 hour I let the BM by itself. I could have get a little more point by stirring though.
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby bruulog » Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:38 pm

TheWoods wrote:My mash was very simple :

Add 42L of water and bring at 50C
Add 15Kg of grain and then
15minutes 52C
120minutes 68C
10minutes 78C

I didn't stir the grain, during 3 hour I let the BM by itself. I could have get a little more point by stirring though.


Is there a specific reason for 120 min @ 68C? I usually stay there only about 60 min.
I make my own copper/ss chillers (immersion) - 20l & 50l and counterflow (cfc)
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby TheWoods » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:31 pm

bruulog wrote:
Is there a specific reason for 120 min @ 68C? I usually stay there only about 60 min.


I usually stay there 60 minute also but because 30% of the grain are above the level of the water and the BM sometimes paused the pump, I wanna make sure to have at least 60 minutes of pumping through all the grist.
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Re: Pushing the BM50 to the limits

Unread postby Twonky » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:36 pm

TheWoods wrote:My mash was very simple :
Add 42L of water and bring at 50C
Add 15Kg of grain and then
15minutes 52C
120minutes 68C
10minutes 78C

I didn't stir the grain, during 3 hour I let the BM by itself. I could have get a little more point by stirring though.

What gravity did you get?

(Or did I miss this in an earlier post? Sorry if I did)

Cheers
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