Author Topic: Loss of 30 gallons on new 10bbl system  (Read 341 times)

Offline Cisco

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Loss of 30 gallons on new 10bbl system
« on: May 14, 2018, 06:12:04 PM »
I moved from a 3.5bbl system to a new 10bbl system. BeerSmith always worked great on the smaller system and I scaled the recipes up to 10bbl. But on the new system I'm losing at least 30 gallons of finished beer and I can't see how to adjust the software to compensate properly. I adjusted my losses up higher in the kettle/trub and heat exchanger but that has no effect on the number of gallons going into the fermenter - it always stays the same even if I ridiculously raise the kettle loss to 100 gallons. I have the fermentation volume set to 330 with a 10 gallons loss before it goes into the brite tanks but I always fall short on the finished beer. After kegging I only have about a gallon of unusable beer in the brite tank and I still am short two half barrel kegs. To get around this issue the only thing I can think of is to tell the software that my batch size is 330 + 30. But I don't feel that's a  correct solution. Why don't the losses in the kettle/trub and heat exchanger affect any of the calculations? I'm stumped!

Offline Kevin58

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Re: Loss of 30 gallons on new 10bbl system
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 10:04:25 AM »
Just guessing here because I in no way brew on that scale but I would imagine that just like any system you must create a system specific equipment and mash profile if you want accurate results from the software.
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Offline Oginme

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Re: Loss of 30 gallons on new 10bbl system
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 10:35:44 AM »
+ to Kevin58's recommendation

You need to measure and take good notes on your process input, output, and losses: both volume and gravity throughout the system.  From these figures, you can construct an equipment profile which matches your process.  I am sure that one of the pro brewers who are on the forum can comment on the places to make sure you cover in your 10 bbl system.  It is a big jump from 3.5 bbl to 10 bbl and I am pretty sure your boil off rate and losses are not the same between the two.

 
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Offline brewfun

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Re: Loss of 30 gallons on new 10bbl system
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 02:12:07 PM »
I moved from a 3.5bbl system to a new 10bbl system.... on the new system I'm losing at least 30 gallons of finished beer and I can't see how to adjust the software to compensate properly. I adjusted my losses up higher in the kettle/trub and heat exchanger but that has no effect on the number of gallons going into the fermenter....
... Why don't the losses in the kettle/trub and heat exchanger affect any of the calculations?

And it won't because BeerSmith backfills all other volumes based on batch volume (yield to the fermenter). With what you're doing, you should see kettle volumes climb and mash efficiency over 100%.

Quote
I have the fermentation volume set to 330 with a 10 gallons loss before it goes into the brite tanks but I always fall short on the finished beer.

As brewers scale up, the effects of water expansion and CO2 loss become more apparent. You'll find differences depending on when you measure volume.

From post whirlpool to post fermentation crash temp of 32oF, you can see as much as 12 gallons of "loss." The volume change of 4% adds up. Yet, you're not chilling across that whole range between knock out and pre-fermentation. The hot side change is closer to 3%.

My BeerSmith setting is 3.15% to get the appropriate shrinkage going into the fermenter. I measure that volume after WP and settling. I've also added to the boil off volume to account for the steam between the end of boil and beginning of knockout (almost 10 gallons worth).

The molecular weight of ethanol and CO2 are very close. Since ethanol and CO2 are 50/50 products of fermentation, you can calculate CO2 loss as equal to the alcohol by weight number. Just using the weight of water as a base, a 4% abw beer would appear to lose another 12 gallons of volume.

Third, alcohol and water laminate pretty densely. As the beer is chilled, the lamination causes the volume to appear even lower. You shouldn't see it too much at 10 bbl, but it matters at 40.

Additionally, you have loss to the yeast and dry hopping for the beer they hold. You probably already account for those.

The additional 1% of shrinkage, CO2, yeast and other losses all get lumped into the fermenter loss field. BeerSmith will calculate a "bottling volume," which for us is just the brite tank taxable volume.

Quote
After kegging I only have about a gallon of unusable beer in the brite tank and I still am short two half barrel kegs. To get around this issue the only thing I can think of is to tell the software that my batch size is 330 + 30. But I don't feel that's a  correct solution.

You've lost me a bit, here. Are you yielding 9 barrels from 10 barrels going into the fermenter? If so, that's pretty much perfect.

If you're measuring by volume, then you might be overfilling your kegs. If you're wholesale distributing, your most accurate (profitable) fill is by weight. By volume, you could be losing about 5 gallons per batch to overfills. If it's all sold in your tasting room, no harm.

If I average 87% finished beer across all my brands, I'm stoked! For new recipe COGS/labor, I calculate 82% packaged. I'll measure just about 22 bbl in the WP when I start chilling, then yield about 17 bbl at packaging.
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Offline Cisco

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Re: Loss of 30 gallons on new 10bbl system
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 05:19:20 PM »
Thanks for your lengthy and very informative reply brewfun. I have a very bad head cold right now and I shouldn't be messing with calculations until my head clears again. But you're correct that the volumes are back filled now that I looked again. Thanks again. I'll play with it some more in a few days.