Accurate Volume Measurements

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by CyberOddity, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. CyberOddity

    CyberOddity New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I was hoping to get some pointers on measuring volumes both during brew and after. I also want to make sure that I am not missing any important volume measurements. At the moment I measure at the following stages,

    Initial volume

    Volume after mash (pre boil)

    Volume post boil

    Volume going into the fermenter

    Volume after fermentation (transfed to secondary to condition)

    Volume after filtering before I bottle

    I need to take accurate measurements during my brewing in a way that doesn’t affect the brew (sterile, no affect to temp etc.). My main issue is that I am using a speidel braumeister and I mash and boil in the same vessel so I need to measure without any transfer. I also brew small batches (usually 30 liters) so I’m finding accuracy difficult as there is very little change in the wort level at different stages of the brew.

    I was hoping people could share their techniques on how they measure volumes so I can improve my practices. Also if there are any Braumeister users out there I would love to hear your techniques. Looking forward to hearing people's ideas and thanks in advance for any posts.
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I do BIAB, 5 gallon batches. My only real concern on volume is to make sure my post boil volume is 6.5 gallons, so I can have a true 5 gallons of finished bottled product. I usually boil off .75 gallons, so I start my boil with 7.25 gallons. I do like to see what my true post boil volume is so I can determine efficiency. That lists my entire concerns with volume during different stages of my process.
     
  3. CyberOddity

    CyberOddity New Member

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    Yea thats the type of thing I have been reading but I really need more accuracy thank that. Ill keep doing my research. Looks like I'm going to have to be the one to come up with it :D Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    just like every home brewer and most are different, you will just need to do a trial and error on your system with the same beer over and over then put your readings in the profile
     
  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    My measurements are quite accurate! :D
     
  6. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Can you clarify what you mean by "volume after filtering before I bottle?" I'm curious how you filter.
     
  7. CyberOddity

    CyberOddity New Member

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    Yea thats the plan alright. I was just hoping to speed up the process using ideas from experienced brewers but I reckon I'll just try it with a dipstick a few times and keep researching while I do. Thanks for the reply.
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    sorry but your measurements are only accurate on your system and every system is different
     
  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I took an old copper pipe scrap piece that's taller than my pot. I scored it with a copper cutter at 1 gallon increments. So it is essentially a dipstick. I labor the scores with a Sharpie. And yes, it only works with my boil pot.
     
  10. CyberOddity

    CyberOddity New Member

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    I understand that they would be quite good but I just hate doing things analogue or by eye. I just love being able to predict thing exactly, the more accurately the better. I will keep looking and see what I can come up with. Sometime I find useful methods outside of home brewing processes so I might start looking at general volume measurement to see if I can get inspired :D

    By filtering I simply use a cloth filter to remove sediment. I usually only do this on my beers that are heavily hopped to insure the bottled beer does not contain a crazy amount of sediment. I use this one https://www.thehomebrewcompany.ie/cloth ... -1207.html
     
  11. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious if there's another way to measure volume other than a dipstick or a graduated container. I can't think of another way.
     
  12. UgliestLemming

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    Weight can be used. 1 gram of water == 1cm^3 of water, but I only think this would be useful pre-brewing.
     
  13. surfmase

    surfmase Member

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    flow meters can also be used, but its not likely that anyone here will be using one.
     
  14. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Weight is not a particularly good way to measure liquids.

    I thought about flow meters, but like you said, I doubt many homebrewers use them. And a flow meter wouldn't measure any volume that didn't or couldn't flow through it.
     
  15. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I use a weld less site glass, works great for me
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Sight glasses, dipsticks and graduated containers is about all you can do, really, to measure volume. And really, unless you're using calibrated equipment, it's best to identify a standard - mine is my one-quart measuring cup - and calibrate everything else to that standard. You'll never know exactly how much your output will be at all those stages (the important measurements to me are mash liquor volume, sparge liquor volume, initial wort volume, post-boil chilled wort volume, fermenter volume, secondary fermenter volume and volume to be bottled) but you will at least be measuring them consistently. The small errors simply don't matter as homebrewers. I miss my gravity by a couple points, who cares.
     
  17. CyberOddity

    CyberOddity New Member

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    I'm actually leaning towards weight believe it or not. Im thinking of using a 200kg postal scale that will measure in 50g increments. It would allow me to measure my volumes accurately to 50ml. My plan is that I pre weigh all my equipment and then take weights at all the relevant times. I can then negate the equipment weight to get the exact weight of the water. If i am weighing water I will simply factor for thermal expansion. For wort I can also factor for thermal expansion and use the current gravity readings to compensate for the sugars weight. I reckon I will get the exact details for thermal expansion online and put together a speadsheet to automate everything. I reckon I will also graduate my equipment so that I can compare the two methods. You guys reckon that could work?
     
  18. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Im guessing you're an engineer? :D
     
  19. CyberOddity

    CyberOddity New Member

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    Haha I'm a software engineer if that counts :)
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm a mechanical engineer by training. That 50 ml? It doesn't matter, dumb precision trumping accuracy and ease of use. I use measuring cups and a dipstick for my kettle, works fine. Everything is calibrated back to the one-quart measuring cup. In brewing, precision is necessary for hops. Everything else, off a few grams or milliliters? You'll never know because the ingredients you're using are variable. My advise? Measure hops to the gram. Get everything else close. But hey, if you want that kind of your precision in brewing, go for it! Just be aware that in the end, it won't matter.
     
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