How big is big? 1.073 preboil?

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How big is big? 1.073 preboil?

Unread postby jdykes » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:56 pm

We bought BeerSmith 2.2 and have been trying to figure it out. For someone who has never done any all grain, it's a pretty daunting piece of software, but an incredible tool. We're still trying to get the things dialed in - and still don't fully understand the nuances of the software and its limitations, but it's really fun to play with.

We downloaded some recipes, but noticed when you scale them to the BM equipment profile, it isn’t a flawless process – you still might have to do some manual tweaking / scaling. Case in point - my son likes Belgians - so he found a Dubbel to try out. I didn’t review the recipe before brewday, so I thought everything was good to go. BeerSmith said we needed 6.51 kg of grain and 29ish liters of water. I saw the amount of grain, and realized we might be in trouble. I’ve not heard of too many folks that have gone beyond 6 kgs. Regardless, we heated up the water to strike temp and started adding the grain. It didn’t take long to realize that it all wasn’t going to fit. We drained out 3 liters of water and managed to get the entire grain bill in. Final result - 6.51 kg of grain (coarse crush – 1.1 or 1.2mm’ish) with about 26.5 liters of water.

Ran the mash profile with about 4 stirs during pump breaks (with some additional “pause” time added in). At the end of the mash, we took a reading… 23 liters of 1.073.

There was no problems with the mash; it’s as easy as falling out of bed. I was pretty happy with my pre-boil numbers.
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Re: How big is big? 1.073 preboil?

Unread postby Nesto » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:14 pm

Sounds like you didn't sparge? I stopped sparging recently too - there's are long threads about both no-sparge and sparging. 6.5kg of grain is the max I've seen anyone do. What was your mash efficiency? Mine suffers if I've gone more than 5.6kg. You did exactly the right thing drawing off some water before mashing in. Any time I start with more than 28 liters, I draw off a few liters to make sure. Once you have the malt pipe fastened down, you can pour that water back in. The BM will work fine with the malt pipe fully submerged.

As a new BeerSmith user, the biggest hidden variable to dial in in the grain absorption ratio. The defaults don't reflect the BM - I've found .7 fl oz/oz works for me.
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Re: How big is big? 1.073 preboil?

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:19 pm

I recently made my first No-Sparge BM Mash (thanks to Nesto and all the folks), just loved it.

Like Nesto, I've also adjusted grain absortion in Beersmith.

Have a question,
I use Beersmith for a while. I use a batch size of 20L and Brewhouse efficiency 77%.
I regularly reach mash efficiencies (in Beersmith software) 85%. My pre-boil data is quite the same as stated in Beersmith (SG and volume). However, what I found is a 2-3 gravity difference between my OG and Beersmith OG, with equal post-boil volumes and batch sizes. The only way to get a similar data is to delete the cool shrinkage number (4% to 0%, in liters 1L to 0L) and to increase the trub loss for about 1L (from 2L to 3L), respectively. With this, the difference between pre-boil SG and OG is the same in Beersmith and real-life... :?:
Thinking about water loss during boil and chilling... Probably Beersmith overestimate it...

Other thing, the Beersmith pre-boil volume takes into account the mash temperature (78C)?
Last edited by Luis Coentrao on Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How big is big? 1.073 preboil?

Unread postby MattSR » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:04 pm

Nesto wrote: You did exactly the right thing drawing off some water before mashing in.


Can someone explain how this works to me? I'm not sure what the objective is in removing water..
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Re: How big is big? 1.073 preboil?

Unread postby Nesto » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:40 pm

Luis Coentrao wrote:I recently made my first No-Sparge BM Mash (thanks to Nesto and all the folks), just loved it.

I also use Beersmith for a while. I use a batch size of 20L and Brewhouse efficiency 77%.
I regularly reach mash efficiencies (in Beersmith software) 85%. My pre-boil data is quite the same as stated in Beersmith (SG and volume). However, what I found is a 2-3 gravity points lower OG in comparison with Beersmith data, with equal post-boil volumes and batch sizes. The only way to get a similar data is to delete the cool shrinkage number (4% to 0%, in liters 1L to 0L) and to increase the trub loss for about 1L (from 2L to 3L). With these data, the difference between pre-boil SG and OG is the same in Beersmith and real-life.

Other thing, the Beersmith pre-boil volume takes into account the mash temperature (78C)?

Luis, I put up a possible answer to this in another thread in the Software subforum... viewtopic.php?f=11&t=531#p5161
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Re: How big is big? 1.073 preboil?

Unread postby Nesto » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:55 pm

MattSR wrote:
Nesto wrote: You did exactly the right thing drawing off some water before mashing in.


Can someone explain how this works to me? I'm not sure what the objective is in removing water..

I haven't worked out the exact volumes for when you need to do it, but with a huge grain bill like yours you could overflow the malt pipe if you try to pour all the grain in. Once you put the grain in, the level of the water + grain inside the malt pipe rises above the level of the water on the outside of the malt pipe. I'm assuming the equilibrium inside the pipe vs. outside the pipe can't adjust well once you've started the grain bed in the malt pipe. But once you've fastened the top screens down, you can put the extra water back in the BM.
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