Author Topic: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes  (Read 20512 times)

Offline Grumpyowl

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Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« on: June 18, 2011, 01:09:08 PM »
Hello all,
I am still a bit puzzled with the way BS calculates the Boil Gravity.  Because it works "backward" from a desired batch volume, entering a Trub loss will adjust the boil OG accordingly, so as to correctly hit the final OG in the fermenter.
This does not seem to work well for me as I am working "forward" with a preset boil volume.  I feel the amount of trub losses should NOT adjust the boil OG.  But some users might find it useful to calculate the pre-boil SG given a certain trub loss.
Perhaps a hybrid solution could be that when the "Calc Boil Vol" box is checked off (as is mine since I always use the same boil volume), then the "Batch Size" is the variable that becomes adjusted, and turns gray, so that any trub loss will actually impact the batch volume rather than the boil volume.  Thus, the mash efficiency remains unchanged regardless of the trub loss (but the FG would change indeed). This would also allow the users to interactively play with the trub loss amount to match the actual measured batch size in the fermenter, since that is easier to measure than actual trub losses.
Any comments?  Or am I missing something?
Thanks!

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2011, 07:18:34 PM »
Hi,
  I guess I could lock up the batch size, but my concern is that it might confuse a lot of people who certainly think they should be allowed to adjust their batch size!

  If I implemented this I would probably get a dozen emails asking why the batch size is greyed out.

Brad
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Offline Grumpyowl

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 08:23:16 PM »
Hello Brad,
Are there any new development on this item?  i.e. other users demanding similar feature?  I have been using the software for a year and a half now and I feel pretty comfortable with it, but this trub loss item is still getting me.  If I change the trub loss in my system, I feel that it should also change the final batch size.
If the batch size should remain unchanged, perhaps the solution is to calculate the Pre-Boil Volume based on the Batch size Volume only, without accounting for the trub loss as it currently does, so that the user can simply input the desired batch size, accounting for whatever trub loss is expected. 
Currently, to hit my numbers correctly, I would have to increase my batch size to be my actual wort volume in the fermenter + trub loss.  But if I do so it will add the already input trub loss and change the pre-boil volume... of course I can also set my trub loss to 0 for a correct pre-boil volume I suppose... and add my trub losses to my Fermenter loss item.
Sounds like a bit of the dog tying to bite its own tail lol! :P

Thank you for the great software - it really helps me improve my brews!
Cheers,
Olivier

Offline HopRod

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 09:35:24 PM »
I'm running into the same thing.  I recently adjusted the amount of trub loss in the software due to the realization that I was leaving more behind than I was giving credit for, but that did nothing to change my OG.  Whether you have .5 gallons or 50 gallons of trub loss input, the OG stays the same.    The workaround of adding the trub loss to fermenter loss, and using a batch size of the volume into the fermenter + trub loss does seem to work, but if a quick workaround could be incorporated, maybe even the inclusion of a checkbox to control which value is locked, I think it would be a helpful feature.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 04:35:13 PM »
I've been away for a while so forgive me if I'm missing some detail here, but I always viewed trub loss as liquid loss, and as such, very similar to spilling wort on the floor. 

Spills (post boil), trub and other late losses don't change OG, only volumes capable of reaching fermentor.  Batch size is what you want to reach fermentor, and we tell BSmith all the known losses of our system so it can calculate the initial boil volume to start with, right?  We all start with rough estimates and gradually hone in until we think we have it down. 

This difference is also borne out in the different efficiency numbers.  I do well with mash efficiency of 78% b/c I get lots of sugars from the grain, but I choose to "spill" 1.2 gallons by leaving it in the boiler in order to ferment very clean wort.   So my overall efficiency stinks at about 60%. 

Offline brew shepherd

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 09:18:13 AM »
I’m new to Beersmith.  I have the trial version right now but have a copy on order.  I’ve been playing with the equipment to try and get my recipes to match my equipment.  I’m seeing the same thing.  The program seems to treat Trub loss in the boil kettle like water being evaporated and not like spilling wort.  If I run a test and put in 20 lbs of American 2 Row Pale using the default stainless keg system, the OG is 1.052.  That has a Trub loss of 1 gallon.  If I change the Trub loss to 10 gallons the OG is the same at 1.052.  That doesn’t seem right.  If I change the Trub loss to 0 and make the batch size 20 gallons the OG changes to 1.026.   It seems like the OG should be calculated from the post boil volume and not the final batch size volume.  Am I missing something?  Is this different in the purchased version vs. the trial version?  Is there a help section that explains the volumes calculations?

This is seems to be great software so far and I look forward to using it.
 
Thanks,
Rick

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 12:51:25 PM »
........put in 20 lbs of American 2 Row Pale using the default stainless keg system, the OG is 1.052.  That has a Trub loss of 1 gallon.  If I change the Trub loss to 10 gallons the OG is the same at 1.052.  That doesn’t seem right.  If I change the Trub loss to 0 and make the batch size 20 gallons the OG changes to 1.026.   

Trub left behind is a liquid, with the same SG as the clear wort you put into the fermentor.  See the attached pic.  It's not a solid, above which all the sugars mix into the remaining wort.  Trub volume consumes wort.   If you chase efficiency, then you'd try to minimize losses and put every drop into the fermentor. 

That is why there are two measures of EE%:  one for how well we rinse sugars from grains, and another of how well we get every drop into the final wort. 

Once you measure your deadspace/trub loss and tell BSmith what that is, it should seldom change.  If you spill a gallon one day, the SG of the clear wort saved, spilled, and the trub will not change due to that new loss, it only changes the volume that reached the fermentor. 

Changing to double the batch size logically reduces the SG to 1.026, also half.  Same sugars in twice the water equals half the SG. 


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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 08:26:00 PM »
MaltLicker,

Thanks for the reply.   I agree that the SG of the stuff left behind in the kettle is the same as SG of the wort going to the fermenter. So, if I make a 10 gal batch and tell Beersmith 10 gallons of trub loss then the total batch is 20 gallons and the SG (OG) should be half of one with zero trub loss and a 10 gallon batch.   It doesn’t do that.   It does however change the mash efficiency to 156% so it can hold the OG.  You say to chase the efficiency so I’ll try that but something just seems off to me.
Thanks again,
Rick

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 12:02:12 PM »
So, if I make a 10 gal batch and tell Beersmith 10 gallons of trub loss then the total batch is 20 gallons and the SG (OG) should be half of one with zero trub loss and a 10 gallon batch.   It doesn’t do that.   It does however change the mash efficiency to 156% so it can hold the OG. 

I'm not following your example.  I would enter the desired batch size first, then the various losses, and BSmith will tell you what to start with so that you're left with the target batch.  I 'think' that batch size is the source point for many BSmith calculations, so it has to be your goal.

You cannot tell BS the batch size is ten gallons, and that you also have ten gallons of trub loss.  That's not logical, and I would expect an illogical calculation.  A typical starting point would be 5.25 batch, 0.75 loss, 1.0 evaporation/boil off, so start with 7.0 gallons.  You should be able to measure your losses pretty well, and dialing in on typical evaporation may take a few batches, and then you're done.  And the losses and evaporation should not change dramatically, so if you wanted an extra gallon for a dry-hop experiment, change batch to 6.25 and it should be close. 


You say to chase the efficiency so I’ll try that but something just seems off to me.

I said "IF" you chase efficiency, meaning that some people seem driven to maximize their EE%.  To maximize that, you'd have to collect every possible drop of wort in the fermentor.  I ignore efficiency and focus on wort quality, so I waste a lot of wort that others may capture. 

Offline brew shepherd

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2012, 08:47:38 PM »
I believe you are right.  Beersmith is using the batch size for the calculation.  The 10 gallon example was ment to be extream.  If you don't follow, try it for yourself.  Put in a typical batch for you and then adjust the Trub loss.  Maybe adjust trub loss by a number that makes sense to you like 0.25 gal increments.  You will see how the OG does not change but the Est Mash eff does change to keep the OG the same.  I think you agree, the SG in the final boil is the same as what goes into the fermenter.  In my mind, if we add volumes to the kettle in the way of Trub loss but dont change the grain bill, then the OG should change.

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 09:13:33 AM »
With a given system and process, deadspace, trub, evaporation, etc., are fairly fixed.   They are certainly "fixed" during the next brew day b/c they will each be a discrete number you cannot change once you've brewed.  Trub loss is meant to be your estimate of what gets left in the pot EVERY time you brew.  As such, BeerSmith is expecting trub loss to be a constant. 

The way to dial in BeerSmith so that it provides you the best possible forecast of your brew day is to tell it all the "known" losses and your typical/expected EE% of the system. 

So the task is to calculate those items are precisely as possible and enter them into BeerSmith once

Then you specify the batch size you want when done, and add ingredients to reach your OG, IBU and SRM targets.  Pick the yeast that will give the target FG. 

After the brew,  enter the outcomes and compare estimates with measured.  Adjust as necessary, repeat. 


In my mind, if we add volumes to the kettle in the way of Trub loss but dont change the grain bill, then the OG should change.

Experimenting with various trub losses "on the fly" is the same as spilling wort on the floor.  You are suddenly telling BSmith that more wort got left (spilled), but the brew did not change, so the SG would be unchanged.   Since trub loss is a liquid in the boiler, trub loss is a deduction from only volume and not total gravity.  It's all the same gravity, as we agreed. 

Offline KnowItAll

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2012, 05:14:11 AM »
In my mind, if we add volumes to the kettle in the way of Trub loss but dont change the grain bill, then the OG should change.

Experimenting with various trub losses "on the fly" is the same as spilling wort on the floor.  You are suddenly telling BSmith that more wort got left (spilled), but the brew did not change, so the SG would be unchanged.   Since trub loss is a liquid in the boiler, trub loss is a deduction from only volume and not total gravity.  It's all the same gravity, as we agreed.

You are very dismissive of this being a valid issue, and I can confidently say it is a valid issue after having encountered it while trying to account for additional losses from using leaf hops.  I suggest you carefully read both my post and previous posts.

Using the "edit equipment setting for this recipe" to increase trub losses causes BeerSmith to adjust (increase) the mash water volume, but neither the OG or the grain bill changes.  This is blatantly incorrect.

There are more fundamental problems as well.  Modifying the current equipment profile directly has no effect on the current recipe.  Scaling to a new updated profile seems to trigger adjusting the grain bill correctly, but scaling back and forth seems to continue to increase the grain bill.  Scaling to another equipment profile, then back to the original updated profile also seems to trigger a recalc.  Same ratcheting grain bill though, when switching back and forth.

I did not bother to reverse engineer what the exact fault is, since it would be much easier to look at the code.  I do have a hunch, though.

I can think of several fixes/enhancements that would improve things.  At the very least, when using the "edit equipment settings for this recipe" functionality to adjust the trub loss, BeerSmith should reflect the change to the OG, color, IBUs, etc.; resulting from the change it makes to the mash water volume.  Asking if the recipe should be scaled would be better.

While we are on the topic, how about adding a leaf hop loss/retention calculator.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 11:59:16 AM by KnowItAll »

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2012, 07:46:27 AM »
Yes I will agree there is an issue here but its not what you think.

Quote
I did not bother to reverse engineer what the exact fault is, since it would be much easier to look at the code.  I do have a hunch, though.

Lmao a hunch eh, why not come out and say it if you know.

-it recalcs the mash eff when you enter a super high loss in one area because nothing else is being changed.

ex-It sees a 8 gallon boil with 8 gallon of loss to trub its going to increase your mash eff to keep your recipe the same.

I ran this test and it changed my mash water amount, kept my gravity the same but changed my mash eff. I entered a 10 gallon batch and 10 gallons of trub loss. It automatically added more water but shot my mash eff up to 1600%. Seems wierd but it isnt because your forcing BS to make a mistake. The problem is it automatically figures and changes your est mash eff. It should keep this the same and drop your gravity (or display a red dot indicating a problem) because trub loss has nothing to do with mash eff, it has to do with you total brewhouse eff. This is what Brad should change if anything. In fact Ive never encountered this problem before running the test today. So I agree with MaltLicker that its not an issue with beersmith. The issue is the lack of knowledge of how to set up equipment profiles and stumbling onto what seems to be a programming error. Its like having a calculator in math class. Yeah the calculator gives you the answer but if you dont know the fundamentals or how to solve the problem by hand or show your work its a meaningless tool.

What I think is your having problems setting up your equipment because you are assuming volumes and such.

-I went from mashing in a 5 gallon gott and boiling in a 8 gallon kettle to a 10 gallon gott and a 15 gallon kettle. I used the same #s that I used for my 5 gallon system (just doubled everything) but was consistently coming up short on gravity. This is because I assumed the losses were the same % (twice the losses due to twice the size of batch). I was dead wrong. My kettles diameter was larger than the preset calc in BS and my old kettle, I had more loss in the new kettle due to its wider diameter and more boil off losses. Also I had a larger deadspace in my mash tun.

Here is the boil off tool I used and a previous post by Pat that will explain equipment set up.

http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,5140.0.html

http://sigginet.info/brewing/tools/boil-off-calculator/


As far as a hop loss tool goes most brewers know to add an extra qt per gallon on average when using whole hops. Yeah it would be a nice addition but I dont think its needed.

Offline KnowItAll

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2012, 11:54:50 AM »
Yes I will agree there is an issue here but its not what you think.
So, to summarize your post, there is an issue, and the issue is me?
This is feeling like a Apple/Mac fanboy forum.  There is an obvious issue with BeerSmith.  Why is there so much denial and resistance?

Quote
I did not bother to reverse engineer what the exact fault is, since it would be much easier to look at the code.  I do have a hunch, though.
Lmao a hunch eh, why not come out and say it if you know.

I had a longer reply, including the mash efficiency effect, but it disappeared when I tried post due to a forced re-login.
Also, root cause of faults is very hard to determine without knowing the code or doing lots of repetitive tests.  Neither I nor you can know for sure exactly what is happening without seeing the code, or doing many more tests/use cases to be certain.  Many software problems are not what they appear to be externally.

-it recalcs the mash eff when you enter a super high loss in one area because nothing else is being changed.

ex-It sees a 8 gallon boil with 8 gallon of loss to trub its going to increase your mash eff to keep your recipe the same.

I don't know for certain what is causing it, but I did identify the repeatable issue-
Using the "edit equipment setting for this recipe", the amount of trub loss increase entered causes a corresponding increase in the mash water volume, but does not scale the recipe- either by 'diluting' everything or 'scaling up' the recipe.  All that happens is the efficiency is increased to compensate.

Are you saying that is a feature and not a bug?  Now I will 'lmao'.

I ran this test and it changed my mash water amount, kept my gravity the same but changed my mash eff. I entered a 10 gallon batch and 10 gallons of trub loss. It automatically added more water but shot my mash eff up to 1600%. Seems wierd but it isnt because your forcing BS to make a mistake.
Ah yes, just like an Apple fanboy, the user is at fault for making the software break.
Try adding even a reasonable amount of loss, like 1 gallon, and your mash water volume will increase, but no change to the OG or batch size.  You are saying this is the proper way for BeerSmith to behave, and I am supposed to manually account for it?  BeerSmith should either scale the recipe, or decrease the batch size.  There is no other way to do it correctly.

The problem is it automatically figures and changes your est mash eff. It should keep this the same and drop your gravity (or display a red dot indicating a problem) because trub loss has nothing to do with mash eff, it has to do with you total brewhouse eff. This is what Brad should change if anything. In fact Ive never encountered this problem before running the test today. So I agree with MaltLicker that its not an issue with beersmith.
This is like reading Chinese propaganda.  In one sentence you admit that for valid user inputs BeerSmith displays values that are incorrect, and in the following one you say the problem is not with BeerSmith.  Whose fault is it?  You agreeing with MaltLicker doesn't make it correct, it makes you both wrong.

The issue is the lack of knowledge of how to set up equipment profiles and stumbling onto what seems to be a programming error. Its like having a calculator in math class. Yeah the calculator gives you the answer but if you dont know the fundamentals or how to solve the problem by hand or show your work its a meaningless tool.
I understand the fundamentals, and that is why I know that I would not increase mash efficiency to account for trub losses.  I would recalc for the lost volume by either upping the ingredients, or decreasing the batch size.  This is what BeerSmith already does when 'scaling', and is what it needs to do in this case as well.  It is blatantly wrong for BeerSmith to simply change efficiency when trub losses are added.

What I think is your having problems setting up your equipment because you are assuming volumes and such.
I am not assuming anything, I updated trub losses for that specific recipe by using a tool provided by BeerSmith, and it quite obviously is 'doing it wrong'.  Changing to another equipment profile with the same changes resulted in what appears to be proper ingredient scaling, but when switching back and forth multiple times between equipment, there was errant behavior with the grain bill ratcheting up, without any batch size change or OG change.  I guess that is just more operator error.

-I went from mashing in a 5 gallon gott and boiling in a 8 gallon kettle to a 10 gallon gott and a 15 gallon kettle. I used the same #s that I used for my 5 gallon system (just doubled everything) but was consistently coming up short on gravity. This is because I assumed the losses were the same % (twice the losses due to twice the size of batch). I was dead wrong. My kettles diameter was larger than the preset calc in BS and my old kettle, I had more loss in the new kettle due to its wider diameter and more boil off losses. Also I had a larger deadspace in my mash tun.

Here is the boil off tool I used and a previous post by Pat that will explain equipment set up.

http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,5140.0.html

http://sigginet.info/brewing/tools/boil-off-calculator/
So I need to use other tools, and hand calcs, to make sure I don't confuse BeerSmith into giving me bad numbers?
Sounds like Steve Jobs' fix to the Iphone antenna issue- "Don't hold it like that!"

As far as a hop loss tool goes most brewers know to add an extra qt per gallon on average when using whole hops.
What do you think I was trying to do when I discovered the problem with BeerSmith?  Although your equation is all wrong.  The correct way to account for hops is liters wort/gram hops.  Compensating by adding volume wort/volume wort is beyond incorrect, it is idiotic.

There is no other place to account for this except 'trub loss', which is the appropriate place, except BeerSmith doesn't scale the recipe or reduce the batch size appropriately.  The only other way would be to up the batch size to account for the hop absorption, but there would be no indication of why it was done, and would make sharing recipes difficult.

Yeah it would be a nice addition but I dont think its needed.
The reason why an integrated hop absorption calculator is absolutely needed is this- If I increase the batch size to account for absorption, the hops will increase, and I would need to increase the batch size again.  But then the hops will increase and I need to increase the batch size again.........  Do you see the problem?

These concepts are not that difficult, just complex, and architecting the software and data to handle it properly can be done.  I have coded similar solutions that were much more complex.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 01:33:17 PM by KnowItAll »

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Re: Trub Loss and Boil SG / Batch volumes
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 01:56:39 PM »
The way MaltLicker is explaining it is correct. Kettle trub loss is a geometry issue. That is, the relationship between the racking port and the kettle bottom are constants. Or assumed to be when dialing in the system you use.

If you're tilting the kettle, or have enough hops to clog things up, you're adding a variable no program anticipates. For the program to be consistent, you have to approach your process consistently.

SG will not be affected because the trub came from the grain to begin with. It, along with hops displace some wort, but since the proteins came from grain, they are exactly the same as clear wort, for gravity to volume ratios.

Therefore, it is the amount of protien from the grain that makes the clear wort losses different, from recipe to recipe. Hops add some displacement, but don't change SG.

No matter what, the brewer is in control, not the program. BS is a tool, not a doctrine. Its up to the brewer to sharpen the tool, not the other way around.
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