Trying to get my gear set up - Help Needed

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Brewer #237587, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. 1atom12

    1atom12 New Member

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    A bit of background. I have been a stovetop extract brewer for 7 years. I am finally making a quantum leap forward to all grain. I just purchased a complete turn key system from Spike (20 gallon). I have finally got everything set up and working, no leaks. I have decided to start with Brewer's Friend for my brew software. I have been building my equipment profile and think I have everything pretty close. I have confirmed that I get exactly one gallon of boil off in 60 minutes. I have also tested the amount of loss I get when transferring out of the boil kettle into my conical. 1.5 gallons. This loss is due to the pump, hoses, counterflow chiller. My plan is to get 11 gallon batches into the fermenter. By the data I provided above, you can see I need to be at 13.5 gallons into the boil kettle before the start of the boil. Simple so far. However, my grain bill looks huge as well as my water schedule.

    Are my equipment inputs way off? Why so much water? I realize my system has a lot of waste with the pumps, hoses and HERMs, but it still seems like a lot...

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    This was just a test recipe I picked from the database.
    Biermuncher's Centennial Blonde scaled to 12.5 kettle gallons

    adam grain total1.JPG
    adam water1.JPG
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    "Brew" a batch using only water exactly as you would brew if grain were involved. That'll show you your losses fairly accurately.
     
  3. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    You have 12.5 going into Fermenter showing.
    Isn't that 1.5gal more than you were wanting?
    I brew 10gal most of the time and use from 18 to 25# of grain.
    With around 20# it takes approx. 15 gal of total water per batch for my system. You do have more loses so if you correct the into fermenter entry you should be pretty close. It usually takes a few batches to get it right so some extra water left when sparging is not a big deal.
     
  4. 1atom12

    1atom12 New Member

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    Pulling my hair out here. I have everything I need to brew my first batch. I put 12 gallons in for the finish of the boil. That would be the volume left in the boil kettle after the boil is done. Below are two pictures. One is with Brewer's Friend calling for over 10 gallons of strike water and the other is Beersmith calling for almost 7 gallons of water. I have 19.6 pounds of total grain to mash. I obviously am setting up something wrong as Beersmith is dead on with every mash water calculator I have found on the internet. I like the Brewer's Friend interface much better that Beersmith. I would like to get it sorted so I can use it instead of Beersmith going forward.

    Total water needed is almost identical in both programs, but Brewer's Friend is calling for much more strike water.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    BF Water Requirements.JPG BS Water Requirements.JPG
     
  5. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    The difference is you are using 2qts/lb (approx 40qts with aprox 20 #s grain) with BF, and a little under 1.3qt/lb (approx 27qts with 20#s of grain) with BS for mash ratio from what you are showing.
    You are comparing calculators with different input. I would advise you pick one, brew with it, then use your info from notes you have taken to compare it to the other one. I have never brewed with beersmith and since you are asking for advice on a brewers friend forum try sticking with just brewers friend for now. 2qts/lb mash ratio is on the thinner side but with a RIMS or HERMS set up it will be fine. The volumes of water you show are reasonable. Brew it!:)
     
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  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried this? The only thing this won't show is grain absorption and that is a fairly constant factor.
     
  7. 1atom12

    1atom12 New Member

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    Wow! Thank you. That was it. I am going to do this first brew with the 2qts/lb ratio and see how it goes.

    Thanks again to everyone who helped me understand this. I am literally learning something new about this hobby every day!

    Adam
     
  8. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Glad to help. Brew on!
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I have. I did it to set up the new system. Factor out the grain absorption by subtracting 0.5 qt/lb (about 1 l/kg), calculate as if you're brewing a pretty standard batch - 12 pounds of grain on my system. Then run only water through the system as if you were brewing, same times, same steps, same procedures. Measure what went in and what came out and you'll have a good idea, at least to start, of what your losses are.
     
  10. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I wasn't very specific, I was directing your post to the OP. What you spelled out is a great way, actually the only way to get a true starting point for figuring losses. I have done enough 10gal batches now with my system that with around 20lb of grain i just prep 15gal in hot liquor tanks and then after first run is transferred to kettle, just add the proper amount to batch sparge that will top off my preboil volume. It's usually real close to calculations but sometimes say with a wheat it may need a bit of adjustment.
     
  11. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    How about a little show and tell? Would love to see your setup, and would love to see how your maiden brew goes!
     
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