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joejkd82

Missing OG, hitting pre boil

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Hey all. I've had the title problem creep up 3 times now. Not sure what the deal is. I'm brewing all grain BIAB. Yesterday my recipe was:

5.5lb pale 2-row
.5lb crystal 40L
.5lb table sugar
.25oz Chinook 60min
.5oz centennial 15min
.5oz Columbus 15min
.25oz Chinook 15min
.5oz Centennial 10min

I use Beersmith 2 for my recipes. Estimated pre-boil gravity was 1.046 and I came in at 1.045. I mashed at 151F for 90 minutes. The mash was 149F when time was up. I did a mashout at 168F and held that for 10min.

My boil-off and volume were right on target with this one also, hitting 2.5 gallons (batch size is 2.13, but I allotted for .4 gallons of loss to trub for this recipe on account of the large amount of pellet hops).

Beersmith put OG at 1.072 (at an assumed total efficiency of 60%). I came in at 1.067.

I brewed a Hefeweizen last week and was dead on with my OG. I'm starting to thing it has something to do with the table sugar additions. The first brew this happened to me on I put the .5lb of sugar in at flameout. I figured maybe it didn't full dissolve so this time I put it in at the beginning of the boil. Same result.

Any ideas why my efficiency is so low? Is it possible my hydrometer just isn't reading accurately because of all the hops or something? I tested the hydro in 60F water and it is accurate.

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What do you have for the efficiency in Beersmith? I believe it's set at default at 72% or 74%.

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I have run into this with both Beersmith and BrewTarget. It can be a little confusing and maddening at first. I did the same as you: set the batch size to 2.13 while setting the "loss to trub/chiller" to .5 gallons. The problem is that both software packages will set the estimated OG based on the batch size (amount into the fermenter) of 2.13 gallons and not the actual real wort volume of 2.63 gallons. That extra .5 gallons of water is going to make the OG lower. With AG recipes, this can easily be countered by adjusting the efficiency. However, I do not like this approach, because now your pre-boil gravity will probably be off. Unfortunately, the same problem occurs with extract batches where you have "loss to trub/chiller" set to an amount. And with the extract, you cannot adjust efficiency to counter this. It was with an extract only batch where I finally figured it out. So what I do now is set the batch size to actual wort volume and put "loss to trub/chiller" back to zero. Try this in Beersmith with your last recipe. The estimated OG will be closer to that 1.067 you registered.


Rick

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Thanks rickbray66. I too have been off a point or 2 myself with the Beersmith numbers. I am usually coming up high. This I believe is due to my rig, and the last few brews have had table sugar in them (correct to style). I am starting to think that 100% ferment-ability of the sugar is coming in to play some how.

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NICE! This did the trick. I set the batch size to 2.5gal, and was able to adjust efficiency to where it belongs (65%) for my BIAB set up. Can't wait to brew my next batch up and see if I can finally hit my numbers!

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Good deal!! Glad I could help. This drove me nuts for a few days a couple of months ago. On the plus side, it did get me to download and try the trial version of Beersmith to see if it did the same thing as BrewTarget. Even though I did encounter the same thing, I liked Beersmith so much that I went ahead and purchased a license.

Some might say that bumping up the batch size and setting losses to zero causes an invalid "Brewhouse Efficiency". That is a valid point. For me, I don't care about "Brewhouse Efficiency". I care about mash efficiency, pre-boil gravity and OG. And given that this same flaw occurs with extract recipes where you can't adjust efficiency settings, I decided to remove the "Loss" setting and account for it in the batch size. I didn't want to have to remember different variables for AG vs extract.


Rick

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Have you contacted Brad with your findings?? I am sure he will be interested in this point. It is a bit of a flaw in my not so humble opinion

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"haerbob3" post=378968 said:

Have you contacted Brad with your findings?? I am sure he will be interested in this point. It is a bit of a flaw in my not so humble opinion

Brad is supposedly working on cleaning up the bugs in BeerSmith and this issue is one of those that is definitely on his list. No idea how the fix will work (see: the Law of Unintended Consequences, causing one problem while fixing another), but FWIW, a fix is supposedly coming in a few months.

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"haerbob3" post=378968 said:

Have you contacted Brad with your findings?? I am sure he will be interested in this point. It is a bit of a flaw in my not so humble opinion

I haven't. Since I ran into the issue with two separate software products, I chalked it up to "this achieves true brewhouse efficiency" or some other reason beyond me. Although, the logic just seems flawed to me.

"Crazy Climber" post=379005 said:

"haerbob3" post=378968 said:

Have you contacted Brad with your findings?? I am sure he will be interested in this point. It is a bit of a flaw in my not so humble opinion

Brad is supposedly working on cleaning up the bugs in BeerSmith and this issue is one of those that is definitely on his list. No idea how the fix will work (see: the Law of Unintended Consequences, causing one problem while fixing another), but FWIW, a fix is supposedly coming in a few months.

That's good to know. While I may not go back to using the "Loss" setting, it will be nice that others aren't bitten by it either.

"haerbob3" post=378907 said:

Thanks rickbray66. I too have been off a point or 2 myself with the Beersmith numbers. I am usually coming up high. This I believe is due to my rig, and the last few brews have had table sugar in them (correct to style). I am starting to think that 100% ferment-ability of the sugar is coming in to play some how.

Trying to ascertain the correct yield % for adjuncts can be frustrating. I pretty much left the settings for table sugar and corn sugar to their defaults of 100%. Booster, on the other hand, seems to be closer to about 87%.


Rick

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Tried you changes with the batch I am brewing next week. After additional research some it maybe due to the HERMS rig itself. When I first started using it I was often 8 to 10 points higher. Which was giving me a mash efficiency of 90%. I reedited my equipment and mash profiles and it came in at a more realistic 72%. Most published recipes seem to be based on a mash efficiency of 65%

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Trying to ascertain the correct yield % for adjuncts can be frustrating. I pretty much left the settings for table sugar and corn sugar to their defaults of 100%. Booster, on the other hand, seems to be closer to about 87%.
Rick

Rick have you used the grain percentage button to keep your grain ratios correct? I have found this quite helpful. Several of my recipe books the recipes are given in grain percentages.

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Indeed. I use that quite often, especially if I scale a recipe. Even then I will almost always tweak the weight of the said grain afterwards. Don't want to go measure out 1.039 lbs of grain. LOL

The grain ratio feature is ultra handy.


Rick

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I can't believe the depth of the program and the price. The cloud feature is great. A year ago my netdrv took a dump and I lost almost 200 recipes!!

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