Author Topic: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...  (Read 1412 times)

Offline Steve L

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Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« on: March 25, 2014, 09:27:57 AM »
I finally pulled the trigger and purchased beersmith in an effort to finally get a rock solid foundation on my brewing process. So far I have 2 questions:

1. When scaling a recipe (I do 2.5 gallon batches) am I correct that I can take any recipe, enter it into beersmith based on it's batch size and then scale it too fit my equipment profile and process? The question I have is how do I know what equipment the author used... or does this matter?

2. When doing an extended boil, say 90 minutes, I am concerned about my sparge amount. For example, I just finished entering a recipe for an American amber using 5.4 pounds if grain for a 2.5 gallon batch. My mash water is about 2 gallons and a sparge of about 2.75 gallons which is OK for me. Then I figure the same recipe for a 90 minute boil my sparge amount is 3.25 gallons and I'm concerned about over sparging and tannin extraction. Is it a good practice to sparge using the 6o minute boil sparge volume and then simply add the remaining water into the kettle pre boil? IE sparge with 2.75 gallons and add the additional 1/2 gallon directly to the kettle to account for boil off. (I have a pretty large boil off for my pot). I suppose the answer may be in trial and error and monitor the gravity of my sparge.

Sorry for being long winded. Thanks for any help.

Steve
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 09:46:30 AM »
Batch sparging? I wouldn't sweat it. Its when you over fly sparge, fresh coming in and decreasing gravity wort going out, and pH changing (going up) as it gets thinner and thinner.  Of course this all depends on your water. In short if your pH is good don't sweat it.

Offline Steve L

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 10:43:08 AM »
Batch sparging? I wouldn't sweat it. Its when you over fly sparge, fresh coming in and decreasing gravity wort going out, and pH changing (going up) as it gets thinner and thinner.  Of course this all depends on your water. In short if your pH is good don't sweat it.
I did forget to mention that I do batch sparge. I try to set up my water profile pretty carefully, My source water is 7.8. I usually cut it with some distilled and adjust my mash PH to the correct range. This recipe in question, my predicted mash PH is 5.3 . Good news, thanks for the info!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 10:46:13 AM »
Sounds good to me. I would confirm the prediction with colorpHast and have some lactic handy. It may be dead on. But it might not be too.

Offline mchrispen

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 10:52:06 AM »
1.) look for recipes that indicate their stats, and efficiency. Ultimately that drives the scaling accuracy... So if the recipe expects 60%, and you average 75%, you adjust for that. Personally, I would just attempt to match gravity, ibu and color as I transcribe into the program for my volume/efficiency - good practice to learn extract potential. Otherwise, you use the scaling tool, adjust for your efficiency and then manually tweak the weights and volumes of ingredients.

2.) this issue is more about mash pH. You could acidify your sparge water such that the mash pH doesn't exceed an arbitrary level, say 6.0. Bru'n Water can help you calculate. Also make sure Beer Smith is using your actual hourly boil off, and not the percentage. That used to throw volume errors, but it may fixed in the latest version. If you are sparging with RO, you are probably fine with the acid.


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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 11:09:47 AM »
Remember that beersmith is just software. It makes assumptions rusty maui not be correct. I have never once taken it's mash or sparge suggestions. It tends to default to a pretty thick mash. You still have to think about what you want to do. Then tell the software. It's just keeping notes for you
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 12:04:09 PM »
Remember that beersmith is just software. It makes assumptions rusty maui not be correct. I have never once taken it's mash or sparge suggestions. It tends to default to a pretty thick mash. You still have to think about what you want to do. Then tell the software. It's just keeping notes for you

Exactly how I feel.  I use it mostly for keeping notes and estimating gravity and BU's.
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Offline Steve L

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 12:23:01 PM »
Remember that beersmith is just software. It makes assumptions rusty maui not be correct. I have never once taken it's mash or sparge suggestions. It tends to default to a pretty thick mash. You still have to think about what you want to do. Then tell the software. It's just keeping notes for you
I did find myself going in and changing the water/grist ratio. I tend to go between 1.25 to 1.5 quart per pound. So far I've only input one recipe and then went in and tweaked it a bit. I am however going to do a boil off test on the kettle I just bought and input a value for my specific pot.
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2014, 12:48:31 PM »
The volume thing is kind of convoluted with the water/grain ratio inside the mash profile. I struggled with it until I got my system profile nailed. Now it works very well.


If I have a peeve with Beer Smith - it is that the desired ratio is not tied to the system profiles.


You make a good point Mort - but I tend to rely on it scaling recipes from 1 or 2 gallon test batches to 10.5/11 gallon full batches. I always have to make tweaks and adjustments for the adjusted recipe to be practical or make sense.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2014, 02:10:24 PM »
There are some imperfections if you are trying to scale from a large commercial recipe to a five gallon batch just because beersmith rounds small numbers which wouldn't matter from one gallon to five gallons but five gallons from seven BBL is a much bigger jump.

Regardless of size you really want to make sure you are adjusting for efficiency.
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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 01:58:15 PM »

If I have a peeve with Beer Smith - it is that the desired ratio is not tied to the system profiles.


I may be misunderstanding your point, Matt, but I think the grist ratio is tied to the mash profile in BeerSmith. You can save multiple individualized mash profiles, so if you wanted, you could have separate thin/moderate/thick mash profiles.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 02:05:55 PM »
If you're worried about oversparging after a long boil (thought with batch sparging you shouldn't be concerned) another option is to add some water at the end of the mash - before sparging. So you'd mash for XX minutes, add water (I use this as a mash out step), drain tun, add sparge water, drain again.
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Offline Steve L

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2014, 01:21:58 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. My sparging worries were indeed not a problem. My PH held steady in the 5.2-5.4 range and my gravity of the last runnings was around 1.015ish.
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Offline sdevries42

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Re: Beersmith recipe scaling and extended boil question...
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 04:02:19 AM »
Remember that beersmith is just software. It makes assumptions rusty maui not be correct. I have never once taken it's mash or sparge suggestions. It tends to default to a pretty thick mash. You still have to think about what you want to do. Then tell the software. It's just keeping notes for you

I had the same problem with beersmith. The recommended mash and sparge volumes were not close to what I actually needed.