Author Topic: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG  (Read 9645 times)

Offline KnowItAll

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Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« on: August 27, 2012, 05:45:09 AM »
BeerSmith is not using trub loss correctly, especially for extract recipes.

If you build the same extract recipe (same ingredients and amounts) for the same batch size on two different equipment profiles, one with any trub/chiller loss you prefer, and one with 1 gallon more, the OG (in BeerSmith) will be the same for each recipe, even though 1 gal of extra water is added (by BeerSmith), and 1 gal is left in the kettle.

There are at least two ways to fix this, the best being to start using the correct definition of brewhouse efficiency and calculating things accordingly.  Any other fix will make for some interesting conditionals in the code, and keep the current inaccuracies in all grain calculations.

Edit: I edited only to remove 'preboil' as the water addition descriptor, as I think it may have been 'top up' water.  I can't remember, since I don't do extract, and was just testing.

More interesting is that one of first 3 readers already dinged my karma, which I don't give a GD about, for pointing out an obvious bug that is affecting extract brewers.  This is a group which is likely the least capable of being able to figure out for themselves what is going wrong with their brews.  Get over it, BeerSmith has some fundamental flaws.  They can either be fixed properly, or rationalized away.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 07:15:56 AM by KnowItAll »

Offline jomebrew

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 09:31:24 AM »
Is the problem the 1 gallon (in your example) is lowering the OG by diluting the batch?

Offline KnowItAll

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 09:48:54 AM »
Is the problem the 1 gallon (in your example) is lowering the OG by diluting the batch?
I don't know what you mean by problem.  The bug in BeerSmith is that it tells you to add 1 gallon of extra water to the kettle to account for 1 gallon extra trub loss, but, in BeerSmith, the OG displayed remains the same as when the same recipe with the same extract amounts (total sugars) is created using equipment with 1 gallon less loss to trub/chiller (and 1 gallon less water added by BeerSmith).

In the real world, the problem would be that the OG would not be the same, because, as you stated, the batch has been diluted by the extra gallon of water that BeerSmith tells you to add to account for the extra gallon of trub loss.

I am fairly certain what is causing it in the code.  It is related to another issue that also affects all grain recipes, but in a less significant, though still incorrect, way.  I know a single fix that would resolve the problem properly for both extract and all grain, but there is an easier fix for just the extract error.  The extract only fix would make for problematic maintenance of the code base. 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 10:12:00 AM by KnowItAll »

Offline jomebrew

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 10:31:19 AM »
Bug or problem is just semantics.  You are saying that BS is doing wrong and that is a problem that could be a bug or a design issue. At least, that is how I see it.

To work around the issue, would you recommend changing your recipe volume, increasing the batch size, to accommodate the trub loss and scaling the recipe to the desired OG?  Lets not get into the confusion of scaling recipes and saving and opening again to be sure the calculations are based on the current recipe.

Personally, I have never used trub loss and configure the recipe based around a volume that includes what would have been lost to trub.  That is what is easiest for me.  I am all about less complicated brewing and use software to archive my brew days and recipes and to set some metrics for the brew day.

I am a firm believer in knowing your system then configuring the software accordingly.  There are more variables in your brew day to miss your OG than there are ways Beersmith to lead you astray. 

I am not defending Beersmith.  I am advising other brewers who read these messages about calculation discrepancies to pick a process and brew with it.  Know how you and your system work.  Then adjust beersmith to align your process.  All brewing software is a guideline of metrics for a batch of beer.   Yes Mr KnowItAll, I have seen your opinion on that too :)

Cheers!

Joe







Offline BeerSmith

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 11:20:24 AM »
Hi,
  The problem is related to the use of brewhouse efficiency for all grain recipes - the program uses the "into fermenter" volume for OG calculations including for extracts.  For all grain recipes this is fine since the total brewhouse efficiency includes all losses by default.  For extracts, I agree that I should change the code to include the trub loss in the calculation as it does carry away some points of extract, and should reduce the OG proportionally.

  I apologize - this has been the same for the last 8 years and this is the first time it was raised as an issue.  I'll make sure the fix gets into the next release.

Brad
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Offline KnowItAll

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 12:16:04 PM »
Bug or problem is just semantics.  You are saying that BS is doing wrong and that is a problem that could be a bug or a design issue. At least, that is how I see it.
Or, it could be a feature or a 'non-issue'.  That is how the fanboys see it.
Even allowing for it being a design choice of how brewhouse efficiency is defined, it doesn't function properly as designed.  It could be fixed with some fairly sophisticated math, but a design change would be a much simpler solution, as well as being more functional.

To work around the issue, would you recommend changing your recipe volume, increasing the batch size, to accommodate the trub loss and scaling the recipe to the desired OG?  Lets not get into the confusion of scaling recipes and saving and opening again to be sure the calculations are based on the current recipe.
The only work around for extract, and one also used by many all grain users, is to set trub/chiller losses to 0; increase the batch size in BeerSmith to account for kettle to fermenter losses; and then manually notate them for reference.  That way the 'brewhouse efficiency' in BeerSmith aligns with its normal definition used everywhere else.  This facilitates recipe sharing within and outside BeerSmith, as well as making equipment/ingredient changes (think pellet vs. leaf hops) easier to adjust for.  It also makes BeerSmith calculate things correctly, which, no matter how much wishful thinking is applied, it currently does not do.  Glaringly so for extract recipes.

Personally, I have never used trub loss and configure the recipe based around a volume that includes what would have been lost to trub.  That is what is easiest for me.  I am all about less complicated brewing and use software to archive my brew days and recipes and to set some metrics for the brew day.
Unless you specifically changed trub loss to 0, it probably has some value in it.

I am a firm believer in knowing your system then configuring the software accordingly.  There are more variables in your brew day to miss your OG than there are ways Beersmith to lead you astray.
That would be fine if there weren't a configuration field in BeerSmith that you know for your system, and assume it uses it properly.
There is no reason not to fix this issue, or at least admit to it.

I am not defending Beersmith.  I am advising other brewers who read these messages about calculation discrepancies to pick a process and brew with it.  Know how you and your system work.  Then adjust beersmith to align your process.  All brewing software is a guideline of metrics for a batch of beer.   Yes Mr KnowItAll, I have seen your opinion on that too :)

Cheers!

Joe
The process to pick, if you use BeerSmith, is to set the trub loss to 0, so that you start off with proper estimates, and can intelligently share recipes.  That is the only 'aligning' that can be done to make BeerSmith behave correctly without iterative tuning.

Better, like if I knew there was a hole in my floor, is to fix the issue instead of putting a note on the wall to not fall into it.  Fixing the issue would not be that difficult, but getting it considered an issue sure seems to be.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 05:15:53 PM by KnowItAll »

Offline jomebrew

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2012, 01:23:04 PM »
I still say the brewer needs to now what they are doing and not assume the software is the great oracle.  If I make some beer on my system and find I am a gallon short into the ferementer then go look in my kettle and see a gallon of stuff in there, then I know how to align the software to my system.   If I add a gallon of water because the software told me to and I don't really understand why or what it will affect, then that is a brewer problem.  If I follow my Garmin and drive into a lake, it is not the Garmin's fault.

Offline KnowItAll

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 01:31:32 PM »
Hi,
  The problem is related to the use of brewhouse efficiency for all grain recipes - the program uses the "into fermenter" volume for OG calculations including for extracts.  For all grain recipes this is fine since the total brewhouse efficiency includes all losses by default.
The root of the problem seems to lie in how mash efficiency is determined based off brewhouse efficiency, which includes transfer losses to the fermenter.

For all grain, it seems like BeerSmith factors in trub loss twice.  Once for their actual losses, and a second time, to a much smaller degree, due to its inclusion in 'brewhouse efficiency'.  At least that is what my reverse engineering seemed to show.  The effect is small, but seems to be there.

For extracts, I agree that I should change the code to include the trub loss in the calculation as it does carry away some points of extract, and should reduce the OG proportionally.
For all brew styles, I think a better solution is to define brewhouse efficiency as 'to the kettle', and have trub loss and kettle efficiency be the numbers user adjust iteratively, since they are easily estimated beforehand, and actually determined on brew day.  It would be the great unified theory of brewing- one set of rules for everyone.

If there is no 'brewhouse efficiency' input for extract recipes, yet trub losses are considered part of 'brewhouse efficiency' for all grain, this creates an inconsistency.  It makes no difference whether extract or all grain was used to get to the post boil stage when trub losses occur.  It also makes no difference whether extract or grain was used on whether sugars are lost in the trub.  I don't see why there would need to be any difference in the equations/algorithm post mash to account for trub losses.  It seems like an unnecessary branching that will cause code maintenance issues down the road, and possibly immediately depending on how your recipe converter is coded.  The more important side effect is the impact on the user experience for guys switching from extract to all grain.  If current all grain guys are already confused by how BeerSmith handles trub loss and brewhouse efficiency, those switching from extract to all grain will be doubly so, since they will be accustomed to trub loss being handled as one would expect by decreasing OG or scaling the recipe appropriately.

Using only a 'to the fermenter' input for tuning results in a loss of information since the source of the losses isn't identified when the software is tuned by only adjusting 'to the fermenter efficiency' over multiple batches.  While it does get things 'close enough' eventually, I don't see any reason to not do it correctly, and possibly save an iteration or two.

Accounting for 'to the fermenter' volume issues would be much easier with an actual volume field, directly related to losses between the kettle and fermenter, that could be adjusted with some hard numbers.  Just what could it possibly be called so everyone would immediately understand what the field meant?  I know I have seen it somewhere.

The 'to the fermenter' definition further complicates things when an equipment or ingredient change (like whole hops vs. pellet) results in a trub loss change.  Without some fairly complicated hand calcs, which most people buy BeerSmith to do for them, picking a new efficiency number is a bit of a crap shoot for the first brew post-change.  The BeerSmith definition of brewhouse efficiency also confuses many first time users, and increases the learning curve.  There are many threads on other forums where this issue has been brought up, usually ending with some harsh words when the root of the problem is explained.

There could always be another efficiency calc for 'to the fermenter', or 'to the bottle', for the guys who want to know for pricing, final product volume, OCD, anal retention disorder, etc.  For most of the rest of us, we are concerned more with getting the OG, IBU, SRM, etc. in the kettle correct.  I think it would even be useful to allow for user input of predicted mash efficiency as an advanced option.

I apologize - this has been the same for the last 8 years and this is the first time it was raised as an issue.  I'll make sure the fix gets into the next release.

Brad
While this may be the first time the extract bug has been identified (and one I found only while trying to more clearly define the effect of trub loss for all grain brews), the issue of brewhouse efficiency and trub losses causing confusion and making recipe sharing difficult has been raised many times.  The only indication that anything is amiss after a trub increase (without a corresponding guess at the new 'to the fermenter' efficiency), is in the fine print in the form of a magical jump in mash efficiency (even over 100%).

Kai, of www.braukaiser.com fame, has commented similarly about the design choice of 'to the fermenter' for brewhouse efficiency; but only in regards to recipe sharing, and not about the correctness of the implementation.  I think this is only because he has not heard of the issues with it.  I think he would come to the same conclusion as I have regarding the implementation, if he looked at it closely.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 05:05:10 PM by KnowItAll »

Offline KnowItAll

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2012, 02:33:00 PM »
I still say the brewer needs to now what they are doing and not assume the software is the great oracle.  If I make some beer on my system and find I am a gallon short into the ferementer then go look in my kettle and see a gallon of stuff in there, then I know how to align the software to my system.   If I add a gallon of water because the software told me to and I don't really understand why or what it will affect, then that is a brewer problem.  If I follow my Garmin and drive into a lake, it is not the Garmin's fault.
I don't think you fully understand the problem.
This is more like you putting in a destination into a Garmin, even giving it the exact route, then having it give you a mileage total that is off by 25%, and steering you to a city 100 miles to the West- all because you didn't remember to add in the offset due to the effects of atmospheric aberration on the signal path length and refractive index of air that day.  Silly user for expecting so much out of a GPS unit.  Just remember to add it in next time, and hope nothing else changed in the meantime.

How would you 'align' the software to the gallon of wort left in your kettle- put it in the 'trub loss' field?
Seems like a fair enough assumption, and this is exactly what most do, because it seems correct.  Especially given the the common perception of what 'trub loss' is.  However, this is only part of the solution.  The 'to the fermenter' efficiency also needs to be decreased, either by hand calculating it (there is no tool in BeerSmith); or leaving it as is and iteratively homing in on what the new decreased efficiency number is by brewing several times.

Even if you actually understood the impact increasing the trub loss had on your 'to the fermenter' efficiency, you would still need to do some moderately hard/tedious math to get close, and some 'new fangled' math to be accurate.  Trub loss is also part of 'to the fermenter' brewhouse efficiency used by BeerSmith.  This causes a infinite series type of relationship.  It can be solved a variety of ways, none of them easily done by hand, especially by the average homebrewer.

If you are using BeerSmith for the first time, and know your efficiency 'to the kettle', and your trub losses, you would need to hand calculate an efficiency accordingly to get 'to the fermenter' efficiency.  A simple 'to the fermenter' efficiency hand calc is beyond the abilities of most homebrewers.  The issue is you have to calculate a new 'to the fermenter' efficiency that has already factored in the transfer losses entered in 'trub/chiller losses' (see infinite series above).  This is a more complicated calculation that virtually all homebrewers are incapable of.

Granted, the series effect is not that great, and a simple 'to the fermenter' calc adjustment will get close enough.  The bigger issue is that most people don't even understand they need to bump 'to the fermenter' efficiency down when trub loss is increased due to an equipment/ingredient change.  The issue is compounded when BeerSmith keeps the displayed OG the same by magically increasing mash efficiency to make the numbers work, with no notification.

The more straightforward approach, as I have mentioned previously, is to set trub losses to 0, and scale the batch size to account for increase transfer losses.  Although, this seems like a odd solution to the issue.  There could even be an argument made to set mash tun lossed to 0 as well to allow for accurate calcs after equipment modifications that affect mash deadspace, since those are included in the only adjustment input- 'to the fermenter' efficiency.  It would be a bit harder to adjust batch size to account for that, though, and I am most concerned with ingredient/process changes that affect trub loss in the kettle.

If the guidance is to set losses to 0, and scale the batch size to account for transfer losses- which is some very common advice given in this very forum, and most who do use 'trub loss' don't even know/bother to decrease the 'to the fermenter' efficiency  -, shouldn't the trub loss field just be done away with if 'to the fermenter' is going to remain the only user efficiency input? 

If the 'to the fermenter' efficiency is going to be used, the pitfalls need to be accounted for with appropriate warnings from the software for it to be user friendly.  That seems like a lot more work than using 'to the kettle' and 'trub loss', and avoiding the minefield to start with.  Especially since it makes sharing recipes, adapting to equipment changes, and accounting for ingredient differences, etc. much easier.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 03:59:22 PM by KnowItAll »

maddspoiler

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2012, 08:02:41 PM »
Quote
If I follow my Garmin and drive into a lake, it is not the Garmin's fault.
LMFAO!

Offline KnowItAll

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 11:15:55 PM »
Quote
If I follow my Garmin and drive into a lake, it is not the Garmin's fault.
LMFAO!
You are easily amused.
I takes a bit more to amuse me, like you fanboys, including the author of that little gem you quoted, always making excuses for shortcomings in BeerSmith, even to the point of completely contradicting the main premise of using brewing software.

See if you can recognize some of these tag lines:
Why Calculate By Hand?
Brew great beer the first time, every time without the guesswork.
BeerSmith - take the guesswork out of brewing!

It continually becomes more apparent that you lack the faculties to comprehend the issue at hand.

What happened to your 'head in the sand defense' of putting me on your ignore list?  That seemed like a winning strategy, for both of us.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 01:51:45 AM by KnowItAll »

Offline jomebrew

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2012, 11:12:52 AM »
Mr. KnowItAll, you clearly have a strong opinion and will defend that opinion at great length.  That is great.  Passion for excellence is noble.  However by defending your position with personal attacks you are crossing the line to offensive and will be censored.

I encourage your continued contribution and detailed explanations to topic and advise against further personal attacks.

On this topic, Brad has advised he will address this issue in an upcoming update.  Until then, Beersmith users can take note of this current problem and work around it.  I think you helped with both.

Offline KnowItAll

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2012, 05:31:25 PM »
On this topic, Brad has advised he will address this issue in an upcoming update.  Until then, Beersmith users can take note of this current problem and work around it.  I think you helped with both.
I really don't care about the extract issue, except as it relates to the all grain issue, which no one, including Brad, seems to want to face up to.

Mr. KnowItAll, you clearly have a strong opinion and will defend that opinion at great length.  That is great.  Passion for excellence is noble.  However by defending your position with personal attacks you are crossing the line to offensive and will be censored.
That is fair, as long as nonsense comments that contribute nothing, like "LMFAO!" comments, are also censored and admonished.  I have run into that poster in other threads, and he, like you, derails discussions with ridiculous similes and comparisons to dismiss issues.

This is evidenced by your comment about following a Garmin into a lake.  While it isn't even a legitimate comparison, it is especially untrue given given the many tag lines promoting BeerSmith.  Your comment suggests not to trust BeerSmith, have a pile of books with formulas, double check every calc BeerSmith does...

To wit:
Design Great Beer!

    Brew great beer the first time, every time without the guesswork. Download a free trial of BeerSmith or purchase it here!

   
Why Calculate By Hand?

    You once needed a pile of books and dozens of laborious calculations to accurately design beer recipes.  Now you can build one in minutes.

   
Imagine Your Best Beer Ever!

    Get step-by-step instructions for any recipe
    Build recipes in minutes, not hours
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Brew with Confidence

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    Take the guesswork out of brewing with BeerSmith!

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Re: Trub Loss + Extract Recipe = wrong OG
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2012, 11:02:25 PM »
Wow,
  Not sure what to say here - this the thread seems to be taking on a bit of heat.

  All I can say is that I do my best to address issues as quickly as I can - I post frequent updates to the program for that reason.  I'm cleaning up some work on the beta of our new mobile version (lite one) at the moment but will make sure this fix goes into the next BeerSmith update.

Thanks,
Brad
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maddspoiler

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!
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2012, 08:28:22 AM »
Im sorry but I cant be nice to this guy or ignore his bs anymore.
Quote
I have run into that poster in other threads, and he, like you, derails discussions with ridiculous similes and comparisons to dismiss issues.
I have done you how you have done everyone else in here since you joined! Jome is also one of the best/experienced brewers on here and can explain things better than most and you just slapped him in da face!
The funniest post I saw from you was when you said this..
Quote
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.
THIS WAS IN YOUR VERY 1st POST ON HERE! What a troll!
If you could post without flaming others and being rude than maybe others would treat you and your posts with more respect. Oh sounds just like real life. Treat others how you would have them treat you. But no your parents never taught you how to be a good person just how to always blame others for your own inadequacies and play the victim. I wont be treating you with any respect though because you have already crossed that line. If I get banned for treating you like crap I dont care I will set up a different proxy with a different IP and just make a new name and do it again and again and again. You have flamed everyone who has posted on any of your threads.

We all have learned alot from this site (and each other). None here tries to derail any topic. We are simply reacting to the rudeness and sarcasm in your posts.

 Yes we know there are bugs in the software. There will always be problems that need to be addressed. We all have tried to help work around these problems until they are taken care of but you choose flame others for their posts/opinions and say we are dismissing these issues because we didnt type what you wanted to read. Who cares if what someone post isnt correct or differs from your opinion. Leave the flame under the kettle and the troll under the bridge. If you know someone is wrong use a little more tact when bringing it to light and sources dont hurt your case either.

If you think BS2 is sooo wrong tell me why are you using it? You should just quit brewing and sell all your stuff on ebay or craigslist.
If you think everyone on here is full of crap why are you still on here MR -16 Karma and STILL counting?
Dont flame or you will get rolled!