Author Topic: From an email  (Read 4044 times)

Offline UselessBrewing

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From an email
« on: January 22, 2009, 08:03:05 AM »
I got an email here on the forum and I thought I would share. These are good questions and I thought everyone could benefit from them.
Thanks for hearing me out.
I know the forum is import and believe me, I will be using it!

My single infusion, light body, batch sparge went well, at least as far as the steps go.

I'm sure my issues are with equipment and the settings in BeerSmith.
I still have some confusion on some of this.
And I figured out the export, but that still doesn't give all the info that I might want to pass along to you or Brad or whoever.  Stuff like equipment settings, etc.  There should be a way of sending all pertinent info for troubleshooting (sort of like some software on the computer;  Sends info about the computer, settings, etc.).  Anyway ...


Steps listed in BeerSmith.  I actually use the mash profile that you had set up.  It shows a Mash In and a Mash Out step.  It shows the amount of water and temp on the main BeerSmith screen for each of the two steps.  And I am fine with that.
When I print off the brewing steps, its shows those two steps, Mash In and Mash Out.  It then shows the Batch Sparge step with volume and temp of water. And that is fine.  I understand that.
Why does the Sparge not show up as a step in the profile, or somewhere on the main screen?  I cannot find where is shows the sparge amount without having to go to the brewing steps print preview to see that?  Or do a print of the main screen, then it shows up there.  Am I missing something?  I have played with the Batch Sparge options, but still don't see the volume and temp on the main screen.  Maybe it just doesn't show up there.  Maybe I just don't see it.  I think I want to see or know that amount.
If I add a sparge step in the Mash Profile, then it messes it all up.

On my last AG session, I had some problems with temps.  I used the temps suggested in BeerSmith, but they were low.  I was planning on a Mash In temp of 152*, but ended up with 148* or so.  I added some hot water, but didn't quite get up to 152*  Next time, I will have some hotter water ready.  The volumes of water all came out pretty close.  I ended up with just over 7 gallons for my boil.  My Mash Out water did not heat the grain up to 168* like it was supposed to.  Was closer to 162-164*.
I'm guessing that the lower temperatures will be OK, my efficiency may not be as good, but the beer will probably be OK!
So, I'd like to figure out what to do.  I'm guessing that it probably has to do with equipment settings.
I have a 7.5 gal brew pot and a 48 qt cooler.  What might I do to up the infusion temps. You might have to ask me specific questions about my settings to help me.  Let me know.  I have a screen print of my equipment panel.
Tell me what you can, when you have some time ...
No rush ...

Thanks ...
Hi ______
As I said before the good part is each recipe is independent. So your equipment settings mash profile and any changes will be in the individual recipe. As an experiment, do the following:
1 Make a duplicate copy of a recipe by right mouse clicking on any recipe and choose duplicate
2 Open the new recipe in recipe view.
3 Choose the equipment Details Button and add test to the end of the name.
4 Zero out a few of the settings so you will see the changes and click ok.
5 Export the recipe to your desktop as a BeerSmith file.
6 Delete the duplicated recipe
7 Open the exported recipe and look at the equipment details button
Next go look at your equipment settings and you will see there is not an equipment profile named test but in the recipe there is.

All Information should come across with the recipe. I have yet to find a case that has proved otherwise.

Quick question. When you say "main screen" are you referring to the recipe view when you open up a recipe for editing? I will be making the assumption that this is the case for you questions

1. The sparge is a result of a couple different things and will vary. This setting is not a user setting and is calculated by the following.
       a. Weight or amount of grains X .125 for water absorption
       b. Equipment settings like: dead-space, evaporation, any losses, and final volume
       c. Mash profile: Number of steps and the amount of time
       d. Your boil time
    I say its not a user setting, but in reality all these settings are adjustable and any changes to them will vary the sparge volume. Because of this there is no need to add this as a step in your mash profile.

2. "How to nail your temps". The issue is this: make sure all your settings are set before you brew. 2 deg will compound itself at Mash Out to 4 deg very easily.
   In the Recipe View, Is there a check in the Mash Profile box for Adjust Temp for Equipment? If so, Remove this check.
   Take a temperature reading of your "dry" grains. Open the Mash Profile Details, and add this temp to the grain Temp box.
   If it is 60 deg in your garage where your MT is, Add that temp to the Mash Tun Temp and click ok to save these settings.
This should get you much closer to your numbers for "Mash In"
   2.1 The "Mash Out" is a different mater and is a setting you will have to play with to get correct (Trial and error). I use a plastic Igloo cooler like most for my Mash Tun (MT). Not all Igloo coolers have the same heat dissipation. In the equipment settings I had to change the MT material from plastic (.300) to Aluminum (.215) to get in the ball park. I am not saying you should make this change. What I am saying is you need to adjust this to what works for you.
         With the MT Material set on plastic I did the following. I knew what my Mash In temp was (154F). After 1 Hour I was at 150, a 4 deg loss. (Hint: To compensate use the Adjust Mash Temperature tool to get the correct temp until you get the settings corrected). When I put in my Mash Out water addition, I was about 2 deg off. I was not worried about 2 deg so I kept going. But if I was way out, I could have used the Strike/Infusion Temp tool to make the adjustments as necessary.
         For the next batch, I changed the MT material to Aluminum, took all my readings and I was on temp. When I added my Mash Out I was much closer, Granted it was still off by about 1/2 a deg. But it made a difference.
         166 is still fine for a Mash out temp. I'm not so sure how important the temperature of the Mash Out setting is. I don't claim to know more than Palmer or Papazian, they have been at this a lot long than I have. They say it is important to not go over 180 where you will start extracting tannins off the grain hulls. I'm just not sold on that one. Question everything, don't take the anything for granted! After all they were doing Decotion mashing way before infusion. Granted I'm still to chicken to try a mash out over 180, LOL. So there you have it!

For me, if I miss a step, or temps, or what ever, It's never a disaster! After all, how bad can it be, I'm making beer. And that's a GOOD THING!  ;D

The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!