Mash Complete log entry now very confusing

Discussion in 'Brew Sessions' started by Roger Vaughn, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. Roger Vaughn

    Roger Vaughn New Member

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    I see that the Mash Complete log entry now takes strike and full mash volumes, where previously it only took one or the other. (When did this change? I don't see any mention of it in the changelogs.) But I no longer understand how it's calculating efficiency, and the FAQ is absolutely no help. Previously it calculated based on first runnings or full mash, depending on what numbers you entered, but now it takes two volumes but only one gravity reading, so it's not clear what BF is doing with the numbers.

    In my most recent brew session (https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/brewsession/303289, it's private) I have entered both strike and full mash volumes, and the final mash gravity, and BF tells me I have a conversion efficiency of 65%??? That's definitely not right. I exceeded my numbers with this batch, so I know conversion is well over 90%. If I remove the strike volume, BF tells me I have a conversion of 91%. Low, but believable. If I leave the strike volume in but remove the full volume, BF won't calculate an efficiency at all and tells me I need a log entry for it. This is a regression - it's apparently no longer possible to calculate conversion based solely on first runnings.

    Efficiency calculations have always been a sore spot with me in BF, but I could always rely on conversion efficiency at least. Now, I have no idea what BF is doing. Please help!
     
  2. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    We are looking into this!
     
  3. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I agree and ran into the exact same thing on my last brew day.
     
  4. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Yooper
    Between this issue, the base malt issue, and the pre boil, post boil, fermenter volume deal, this site is approaching unusable.
    I need to do a workaround for just about everything related to brewing a batch of beer.
    I mean no disrespect. I know that you work hard, and are trying to make it better.
    Seems to me though that the best course of action is to revert the software back to its state 6 or 8 months ago.
    Craigerrr
     
  5. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    #5 thunderwagn, Sep 26, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
    ^^ Truth^^
     
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  6. Roger Vaughn

    Roger Vaughn New Member

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    I can't disagree with Craigerrr. Recent improvements seem rushed at best.

    I've long had three main problems with the efficiency calculations, even before this change.

    1) Most of all, I can't reproduce them. I've tried. I've used all of the numbers I plugged into BF, ran the math manually, and I can't even get close to the same results. The FAQ has never been very helpful. Sure, the diagram explains the concept well enough, but doesn't indicate how BF is doing calculations. The FAQ has long said that "The equation the system uses comes from Braukaiser's article on Understanding Efficiency." But which equation? There are many on that page. I can't tell which one contains the magical third term that the FAQ mentions.

    The short story is, I can't improve my BF numbers if I can't tell where they're coming from. All in all it would be a big help to simply show the exact formulae in the FAQ.

    2) I can't help my water losses. They're inherent in brewing and are built into my system. As a homebrewer, I'm more concerned with loss of potential sugars than my water losses. So while brewhouse efficiency as calculated by BF may be the truest measure of system efficiency, it's a bitch to use for recipe design. Most notably, water absorption by grain has a big effect on it, so recipes with different size grain bills are going to get different efficiencies. It's hard for a small-scale brewer to predict that. Sure, we could work backwards and find it: "X lbs of grain absorbs Y qts of water, which will account for Z% loss of efficiency..." but that's what we have software for. To calculate such things for us. (And again, we would need to know BF's formulae to do so accurately.) Personally I would much rather design from conversion efficiency, and deal with water losses separately.

    3) I have never understood where BF gets its ppg numbers. When I use ppg, and when I've seen it used anywhere else, it's as a measure of wort concentration independent of volume. It's a different expression of gravity, in other words. That means it should not change unless the wort is either diluted or concentrated. But it does in BF. For example, in my latest brew, my ending kettle measure is 24.9 ppg, but my brewhouse measure is 21.6 ppg. That's simply not possible if it's actually measuring concentration. I lose a couple of quarts transferring to my fermenter, but I'm certainly not diluting the wort. My only guess (again, missing formulae) is that BF is counting the final volume of retained sugars against the total volume of water used throughout the brew day. And that, as in point #2, is a thoroughly useless measure to me in my brewing.

    I really appreciate Brewer's Friend and would not want to use anything else. As Craigerrr said, I know you guys are working hard to improve it, but lately it's becoming harder to use rather than easier, when there are longstanding issues like this that haven't been addressed.
     
  7. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I typically hit 94+ on conversion. Now, anywhere from mid 60's to mid 70's. What the hell is going on here and why is this so jacked all the time?
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    From my brew session Friday I admit I wasn't feeling too confident with what the outcomes were going to be in the kettle from predictions in was getting from BF recipie editor.

    The only anomaly that I encounted straight up was the conversion efficiency log here so in just entered the same volume numbers twice and it kept that in check (Yooper I thought youse were getting rid of that second field for .total volume)?

    Screenshot_20190929-065633_Samsung Internet.jpg
    But the rest lined up with previous predictions from the editor so I'm happy.
    I think when these changes.get.made it's just a.frustration trying to figure out what and where the software wants you to enter the data
    Screenshot_20190929-065647_Samsung Internet.jpg
     
  9. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    If you really want to pull your hair out, go use the conversion calculator and get yet another number.
     
  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    For me the brew session now mostly serves to relieve my inventory. I could probably do this manually too...
     
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  11. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but we're paying for a service...that used to work.
     
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  12. FPMBomb

    FPMBomb Member

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    Why on Earth would a brewer need two volume measurements for Mash Complete? By default it should be the volume of the strike water + the volume of the grain. Only an idiot would need to enter an amount of strike water different than the amount specified in their recipe. And who measures their Mash Volumes to an accuracy of anything less than the nearest 8oz.?
     
  13. Roger Vaughn

    Roger Vaughn New Member

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    I can see why you would want two volumes - for first runnings vs. total mash (or sparge) efficiency - but you need two gravities to go with it. Two volumes plus one gravity makes no sense. Two log entries with one volume plus one gravity each makes much more sense.
     
  14. Pricelessbrewing

    Pricelessbrewing QA Software Tester
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    @Roger Vaughn, @thunderwagn

    There is an update to correct this now on the beta site, and a discussion being posted in the beta forum if you have access.

    The update has removed the "total mash volume" input all together.
     
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  15. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mark! I'm brewing this weekend and will be interested to see how BF performs for me now.
     
  16. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Planning to stick with brewfather for my next batch, but I am very interested to hear how things go for you TW
     
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  17. Pricelessbrewing

    Pricelessbrewing QA Software Tester
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    Hello all, just wanted to let out know that the mash complete log entry changes went live today and the user input for total water volume additions description has been clarified.

    Hope it's clearer! Let us know if there's anymore questions or things to improve!
     
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