Water volumes... my inefficiency or Brewers Friend's!?

Discussion in 'Recipe Editor' started by greggreg66, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. greggreg66

    greggreg66 New Member

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    I thought I had things down until I delved into water volumes a little further and now can't seem to understand how the recipe editor works!

    I'm attempting to make a 23l batch of beer... specifically 23l in the fermentor. The recipe I'm using calls for a pre boil size of 27L, with a total hop bill of 68g and boil length of 70 minutes. When I type in the pre boil size of 27L it automatically says post-boil of 20L...... but this is 3L LESS than the desired 23l?? So I could up the pre-boil size (which goes against the Greg Hughes recipe), but.....

    ... if I put in 1,000g of hops to the recipe, this has zero effect to the post & pre-boil calculations..... what about hop absorptions!?

    To make matters more confusing, within the mash guidelines section, this seems to have no affect on the post and pre boil section either. Even if I enter 1,000,000l of sparge water, Brewers Friend will still let me enter 27l or post boil.

    I'm using new equipment and have concerns about my efficiency, but with Brewers Friend seemingly being inefficient I now have no idea what's going on and have become really confused by it all as none it appears to have any effect?

    : (
     
  2. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    #2 Blackmuse, Aug 15, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
    Here: These videos may help! I'd start with the video on setting up your Equipment Profile and then view the one on Water and maybe the one on scaling a recipe...

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/forum/forums/brewing-videos-and-tutorials.30/

    If you already have an equipment profile set up, or once you do, if you still have the water dilemma then you have no choice but to adjust things to fit your set-up. No big deal really. - Take a screen shot of the recipe you want to make and all of it's "stats" so to speak - then make a copy of that recipe and scale it to fit your set-up. Yes, you'll have to adjust things to meet the same "stats" but that is brewing and is exactly why the same beer made in two different places can taste slightly different: there are LOTS of variables!
     
  3. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    You can sparge as much as you want and still only boil 27L of what you collected.... The gravity of the wort would change in some fashion though... With a 1,000,000L of sparge water you'd be watering your wort down and end up with a very low starting gravity.

    Watch the videos and see if they help. If you still have questions then I can try and find a way to help you achieve what you are looking for.

    - Your boil off rate will effect the volume of your post-boil. If your's is higher than the recipe owner's boil off rate then you simply need to start with more or shorten your boil... This goes back to "you will need to copy and adjust the recipe to fit your equipment profile" piece I mentioned earlier. It can be done here on the program - you may just need some help getting the kinks worked out. The videos should seriously help though.
     
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  4. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you need to scale the recipe. Different systems have different volumetric losses. Also, if you haven't already, you need to produce an equipment profile that closely represents your system and fine tune it after brewing a few batches.
     
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  5. greggreg66

    greggreg66 New Member

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    Thanks guys for the comments / suggestions. I’ll do what you suggested and hopefully will work it out from there. I used to brew a lot but have had a 5 year gap and using different equipment. Funny thing is I never paid so much attention to water volumes as a calculated effort, rather I always knew if my pan was filled to a certain level (ie if the water reached between the bolts for the handles haha!) I’d generally get the volume I wanted.

    Thanks again. G
     
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  6. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Certainly!
    What is your new set-up like? Someone here might have a similar one that can help you build your equipment profile... I have found that it helps tremendously to have one established and as accurate as possible (which honestly comes with consecutive brews and solid notes).

    You'll find that BF works well once you've learned its ins and outs.

    Welcome back to brewing BTW! What types of beers do you think you'll make most? - I'm a Lager guy myself and mostly make German styles. There are quite a few Pale Ale / APA / IPA brewers here
     
  7. greggreg66

    greggreg66 New Member

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    Thanks!

    It's a Robobrew Brewzilla v3.1.1. Only used it 3 times.... my last set up was DIY with two large pans, which I always somehow managed to get by with. Putting some figures into the equipment profile has already made some changes I can see on the auto pre & post boil calcs. I've been nabbing some figures from online already. I'm planning a beer next weekend and I plan to weigh the hops post boil to see if I can measure the absorption.

    Never really brewed a lager before. I used to always brew Pale's, stouts, IPA's (black, rye and occasionally err 'normal') and wheat beers.

    g
     
  8. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Sweet! I too am a robobrew (brewzilla) user! recirculating with the pump during mashing helps keep temps where you want it and also really helps to achieve nice clear beer! I absolutely love the system! I use it right in my basement near the window with a fan helping to blow the steam out and have had zero issues thus far!

    Feel free to create recipes and put 'em up on the recipes for feedback thread! You'll be sure to get some solid feeback and tips!

    Brew on my friend! Be sure to post pics of your results! We love seeing those beer pics!
     
  9. greggreg66

    greggreg66 New Member

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    Awesome. I'm definitely still finding my way with it. Massive stuck mash on first one, second was better and third brew yesterday was the best so far. I gave the mash a stir every 20 mins or so which appeared to help. It drains really slowly though when sparging. I'm also not sure I'm a fan of the top screen during mashing as it almost feels like it's compressing the grains too much? Last prob is that the false bottom rises up during the boil and lets hop matter under it, which in turn block the pump... so to that end I'm ordering a hop spider to contain the leaf hops I use.

    If I can settle my anxiety with these "issues" then I know I'll like it. It's super quick and easy to use which is great.
     
  10. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I recommend picking up 5-10 lbs of rice hulls to keep on hand. I usually add .5-1 lb for each batch. It helps the sparging for sure. The constant circulation during the mash helps with clarity but the cost is that it can compact the mash too... I typically use the tops screen but if the sparge is struggling I will usually take it off and shift things around as needed to avoid a stuck sparge.

    Let me know if you find the videos helpful or if you have an idea for a new video.
     
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  11. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I use a Digiboil, which is much like a Brewzilla without the internal pump or programable controller. When I first switch from a 3 vessel system to the Digiboil, the first thing I noticed is that I needed to add 2 gallons to my strike water volume due to the dead space under the malt pipe. Unless you've considered that. it may be causing the bulk of your problem. While this is recoverable dead space, it makes a big difference in strike and sparge water volumes.
     
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