Author Topic: Equipment Profile - Loss to Trub/chiller not impacting gravity, etc.  (Read 380 times)

Offline cschan80

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 4
I am playing around with my new equipment setup, and was trying to reduce the amount of trub that ends up in my fermenter.  To compensate for this, I was planning to leave around 1 gallon of wort (the heaviest kettle trub-ridden wort) in the kettle after transferring the clearest wort off to my fermenter.

When I updated my equipment profile to increase the "Loss to Trub and Chiller" to 1 gallon - to my surprise the recipe stayed nearly the same (despite the need for ~1 additional gallon of water).  I would have expected that the dilution reduced my gravity - however it did not.

To further test this in BS3, i upped this parameter to 5 gallons (loss to trub and chiller) - and the recipe again stated i would achieve the same gravity (despite the additional ~5 gallons of water added) - and a mash efficiency estimated at 146%..

It seems like there is a bug in there somewhere that this equipment profile setting for Trub Loss is not being factored in properly to the recipe design..

Would appreciate a response if this is a known bug, or if I am changing the wrong parameter here to achieve what i'm trying to achieve..

Thanks,
Chris

Offline Oginme

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2705
  • Goats, guitars, and a home brew; Life is good!
    • Longvu LaManchas
Re: Equipment Profile - Loss to Trub/chiller not impacting gravity, etc.
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2020, 02:30:09 PM »
It is not a bug. 

BeerSmith works by having the user define how much of the sugars from the grains end up in the fermenter (Brew House Efficiency or BHE) in their equipment profile.  It then uses the process losses to determine how much sugar is needed from the mash, and calculates the mash efficiency based upon this number.  Since this is a backward calculation and the program is just a series of equations, it will give you the amount of sugars you specified using the Brew House Efficiency in your equipment profile.

So when you make a change, such as adding more process losses (an additional gallon of wort at the end of the process), it just draws more sugar from the mash and increases the amount of water needed for the recipe to compensate for the volume increase.

The way to make the change you are looking for is to start by applying a ratio of the end of boil volume with and without your added gallon and then multiplying your existing BHE by this fraction.

So if you have a BHE of 70% ending up at 5.5 gallons post boil and wanted to add an additional gallon of loss, then you need to take your 5.5 gallons and divide by 6.5 (5.5 gallons plus 1 gallon of added trub loss) which will give you a ratio of .846.  Multiplying your BHE by this amount, you will get 59.2% for your new BHE.  This will keep your mash efficiency the same and make the needed adjustments to your gravity. 

Now, if you want to keep the same ending gravity and bitterness values, make a separate equipment profile with the changes calculated above.  Go to your recipe and use 'scale recipe' to apply this new equipment profile to your recipe.  If you click on 'match gravity, bitterness, and color', your recipe will be scaled to give you the same ending values as before but with adjustments to your raw materials to attain that value.

Having gone through this, when you make a change such as what you are contemplating you will affect your mash efficiency by increasing the amount of sugars your mash water can draw from the grains.  The change is likely to be small unless you have a very low mash efficiency to begin with.  It may take brewing with this profile a couple of times to get a lock on the actual change, but this ratio method will get you in the ballpark.

Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline cschan80

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 4
Re: Equipment Profile - Loss to Trub/chiller not impacting gravity, etc.
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2020, 02:45:05 PM »
Thanks!  makes perfect sense!  I forgot that as a user I needed to define the BH efficiency.  I appreciate the fast the thorough response.

-Chris

Offline Kevin58

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 396
  • I make beer. Not a style.
Re: Equipment Profile - Loss to Trub/chiller not impacting gravity, etc.
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2020, 07:53:40 AM »
Unrelated to the software... don't be afraid of the trub. I've been dumping nearly all the trub directly into my fermenter with no affect on beer clarity.  If you are not familiar with Brulosophy.com go search out their many trub experiments. The results may surprise you.
If you?re stressing over homebrewing, you?re doing something wrong.
- Denny Conn

Offline cschan80

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 4
Re: Equipment Profile - Loss to Trub/chiller not impacting gravity, etc.
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2020, 11:07:52 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I've also heard many others say this as well, and am a big fan of Brulosophy.

The problem I'm running into is one of flavor, not clarity.  My pale lagers have been coming out brilliantly clear, despite the fact I'm putting a lot of trub into the fermenter. There is just a problem with an off flavor that I can't identify through any other part of my process. It's kind of a soapy flavor. I'm wondering if it's a result of a lot of the hot break ending up in my fermenter.

Anyway, it's my next thing to try as part of my troubleshooting. I'm going to try and limit some of the break in my fermenter, and see if I can eliminate that flavor.

Thanks,
Chris

Offline merfizle

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 463
Re: Equipment Profile - Loss to Trub/chiller not impacting gravity, etc.
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2020, 07:07:36 PM »
Good idea. There's more than protein in trub. Protein can affect body as well as taste. Lipids are also present and can make beers seem "fatty". My $.02.

Mark
Primary: Lambic base for solera barrel
Kegged: Bavarian Weissbier, N. English brown, Roggenbier

Offline brewfun

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2214
  • STAND BACK! I'm going to try Science!
Re: Equipment Profile - Loss to Trub/chiller not impacting gravity, etc.
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 08:02:45 AM »
There is just a problem with an off flavor that I can't identify through any other part of my process. It's kind of a soapy flavor. I'm wondering if it's a result of a lot of the hot break ending up in my fermenter.

Maybe. When yeast isn't able to run through the aerobic phase completely, it'll start budding and fermentation in other ways. One of the ways is the breakdown of fatty acids found in hot break, which create inferior cell walls and fermentation itself can stall. It's like junk food for yeast. When your pitching rate and oxygenation are in line, the yeast is less likely to use much of the trub.

Later, as yeast looks to biuild sterols and go into stasis, again, the ease of breaking down hot break can be another cause, which is where timely racking at the end of fermentation (about 4 or 5 days in, typically) can prevent flavor effects.

Alittle hot break isn't going to hurt things. Often, neither is cold break. However, I know a lot of award winning lager brewers who rack off of all trub before oxygenating and pitching.

Personally, I'd rather sacrifice a pint of trub and wort for great beer than let that last bit make everything mediocre.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline cschan80

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 4
Re: Equipment Profile - Loss to Trub/chiller not impacting gravity, etc.
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 05:53:39 PM »
thanks for the feedback.  On the batches in question i've been overpitching a bit beyond what BeerSmith had recommended.. thinking that it shouldn't hurt because it was a lager.. thinking it might keep any esters low.

I have been oxygenating as well with O2 - bubbling for 60 seconds prior to stashing in my fermentation chamber.

I've never had fermentation stall - and in fact the FG of my beers tends to be a point or two lower than i'm planning usually.. but i'm wondering if the yeast are using the hot break in someway and producing this strange off-flavor i'm getting.  Hard to describe.. and I sometimes find myself describing it as metallic, phenolic or soapy.. though all to describe the same common off-taste.

I've read or listened to some brulosophy articles/podcasts as well where Marshall described a taste as "flubber" - and while i admit i have no clue what this means.. it could be a descriptor i might use for this flavor.

I always taste my wort as well - including as a last step before pitching - and there is absolutely no trace of this flavor until after the beer has completed fermentation.

Anyway, my latest theory is that maybe the combination of overpitching and having a lot of trub in the fermenter created an environment for this off flavor to present itself.  We'll see if this holds any water in my next batch..

Thanks for the feedback from you all.  Wish me luck.

-Chris

Offline brewfun

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2214
  • STAND BACK! I'm going to try Science!
Re: Equipment Profile - Loss to Trub/chiller not impacting gravity, etc.
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2020, 08:12:42 AM »
but i'm wondering if the yeast are using the hot break in someway and producing this strange off-flavor i'm getting.  Hard to describe.. and I sometimes find myself describing it as metallic, phenolic or soapy.. though all to describe the same common off-taste.

It sounds like the yeast are creating the flavor after fermentation is complete. Consider racking off the trub pile right after high krausen. You might get a little diacetyl note, but it'll fade as the yeast finishes attenuation.

Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.