BIABacus Pre-Release - Your First Impressions

Where new site members and/or new brewers can get to find their way to great info and ask any questions they like.
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goulaigan
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Post by goulaigan » 2 years ago

All good points OldGoat and Joshua. Sorry mods for taking this thread quite off topic, how about that awesome BIABacus anyway ?!? There we go hah. Anyway, I think this may have been posted here before but its an interesting read...

http://brulosophy.com/2014/08/12/primar ... t-results/

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Post by OldGoat » 2 years ago

Goulaigan,

That was a good read and gives good points outlining both points of view. With that said, I am going to begin kegging/bottling straight from the primary anyway just due to the time/space constraints I now brew under. I will let you know how this first one turns out.

Thanks again for the link...good info.

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Post by popmedium » 2 years ago

Hey mates

Got a really quick question, which comes from an error I had brewing over the weekend, but which I guess is a much bigger questions overall. I'll skip to the bigger question:

I used to BIAB, but I've recently upgraded my system to a 2 vessel and a bucket system. Without going in to too much detail, I have the option of doing a full volume mash, the same as I would for BIAB, or I can brew like a three vessel brewer, complete with full sparge. I mostly do full volume, or hold back only 2 or 3 litres from the mash.

What I want to know is could I theoretically still use the Biabicus to do more of a traditional brew complete with sparge and recirculation? In theory all the fields are in there for a more traditional brew method via Section W, but I wondered if there are other factors I'm not considering?

I guess I love the Biabicus so much I just don't want to change software. I tried using some of the other commercial options out there and none of them come even close to the Biabicus.

Now the smaller problem that has lead me to asking these larger questions: I brewed a batch of beer over the weekend, and I tried to include 10 litres of sparge water. I'm not sure what went wrong but I ended up 5 litres short on VIK, which has never happened before. When I went back and double checked my calculations, I noticed at the bottom of Section W was a message "Decrease Sparge Water". I didn't notice it before and I guess I was wondering why it would be asking me to do that? And could this have impacted by VIK?
biab q.tiff
Screen shot and recipe attached.

In closing, thank you very much for all the work you guys do. This is an incredible piece of software and I can't wait to see the official release.
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Last edited by popmedium on 16 Mar 2015, 12:03, edited 2 times in total.


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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

Hi popmedium ;),

Glad you've been enjoying your brewing and the BIABacus has been working nicely for you :peace:. There's a few things we need to have a look at here...

1. There is no problem at all using the BIABacus for traditional brewing.
2. A check on your numbers.
3. A check on your new equipment.

Traditional brewers need to use Section W (as you mentioned) - just type in the amount of 'Water Used in a Sparge'. A traditional brewer would also have to use Section X and change 'Adjust Volume Loss from Lauter to:1 l/kg. They might have to play around with that a bit if they also have deadspace in their mash tun. The red warning, 'Decrease Water Used in a Sparge' is there for full volume brewers so traditional brewers would simply ignore that.

As for your numbers, I'm seeing an estimated VIB of 24.56 L and an actual of 22 L so the discrepancy is about 3 L not 5. If you did not add any water, this could well have just been a measurement error as the remainder of your volume figures are quite close to the actuals. As we always say, there is not much you can gather info-wise from measurements on a single brew. You could have mis-measured your starting water, your sparge water and or your kettle height/depth. So, I wouldn't read too much into this one brew.

What is worrying me a lot on this brew is Section P. See how your two kettle efficiencies (EIB and EAW) are both low? Furthermore, they are not very close. Theoretically they should match but in reality, they never do BUT I do expect them to be within 5% of each other. That is the real issue on this brew. Once again though, unless we see this low kettle efficiency on subsequent brews, there is nothing really to read into this single brew.

As for equipment, always make sure that you have a sound reason for adding more equipment. For example, we know that it is very easy to get excellent quality (certainly as good as traditional brewing) with SMS (simultaneous mash and sparge) brewing in a single vessel. Efficiency is higher than batch-sparging and probably equivalent to fly-sparging but with far more 'evenness' and it is less work and equipment. So, just be very careful that you aren't leaning towards traditional brewing for the wrong reasons. This post might help. And remember that crusty dumped his $4,500 high tech rig which took him a lot of time and effort to build to go for pure BIAB because he thinks it makes better beer!

Another great thing about BIAB is that when you see a number problem such as you have in this brew, it is far easier to analyse when you are pure BIAB'ing. Were you getting any low efficiency readings in Section P when you were pure BIAB'ing? If so, then we might need to investigate why. If not, I'd just treat this last brew as an aberration.

;)
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 16 Mar 2015, 18:47, edited 2 times in total.
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popmedium
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Post by popmedium » 2 years ago

Hey PP,

Mate, thank you so much for taking the time to give me such a detailed reply.

I'll try and be succinct so I'll use headings :)

Why upgrade my system?
I upgraded to an Electric Brutus 20 (https://byo.com/videos/item/1933-counte" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... ing-system. For a few reasons: 1) I was getting tired if lifting hot bags of grain 2) My efficiencies were pretty low 3) I wasn't able to maintain a consistent mash temp, or easily to multi step mashing. All of these issues could have been solved within BIAB I know, I just figured while upgrading I might as well build a system that would allow me to still do full volume mashing, but that I also had some flexibility with. Brutus 20 was a good fit.

VIB looks like 3 litres loss, not 5?
Yes sorry, I forgot to mention it, but I added 1.4 litres of water to the boil to try and compensate. I wasn't so worried about effecting my bitterness as I mashed slightly higher than 68 and I was expecting a slightly sweeter wort.So in total I was about 4.6 litres short. The remainder of then numbers aren't so far off because I adjusted my boil strength and boil length to try and get an extended boil (I had planned for 90 minutes) that didn't evaporate as much wort. As you can see I was doing a lot of adjusting on the fly, which in of itself I guess could all have contributed to my wonky numbers.

Why was I off on this batch?
I think you were right, most likely it was to do with a mistake in my measurements. Perhaps my sight glass was out? Perhaps I miscacultated sparge water? Lots of things could have caused it. I was only curious about the message I received as I hadn't seen it before and I wondered if BIABacus might not be set up for traditional brewing. Thanks for this tips!

What happened with my efficiencies?
Yep, they are pretty bad. To be honest, I don't totally understand those numbers. Are EIB, EAW, EIF a combination of volume efficiency AND extract efficiency? I looked back over my past three or four brews and it seems if I start messing around with sparging, my efficiencies go bad, which doesn't make sense to me - especially as my version of sparging involves heating up the sparge water, pumping it on to the grain and recirculating the entire mash continuously while ramping up to mash out - it isn't a complicated method and if anything I would expect my extract efficiencies to improve after sparging/recirculating. I know there are probably a million reasons, but in your opinion what are some of the key reasons my efficiencies would be this bad?

Thanks again PP, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions like this. I'm going to become a donor right now :)

Joel

Joel
Last edited by popmedium on 17 Mar 2015, 06:51, edited 2 times in total.


PistolPatch
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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

Joel, thanks very much for the above. I've only read through it once as I have had another ridiculously long day today (14 hours) but that single read through was really enjoyable (rather than just more work) for me.

I really want to write more in reply but your reply needs more concentration than I can give it today.

Two things for now though....

1. Can you check and see if anything in Some Common Reasons for a Low Efficiency Reading rings a bell? i reckon there is something not sitting right there.

2. I love it when I see people become a Donor or an Enthusiast. Not many people do this. I think, in the excitement of starting a new hobby, very few people realise just how extraordinary this forum is. The individual attention that brewers get here can easily be seen as normal whereas, in reality, there is nothing else like it. (Any money that is donated is saved up with the hope of being able to pay site costs, code the BIABacus properly, make the site look a lot better and easier to navigate and lastly, maybe give a return to idiots like me who spend too much time answering questions :)).

Can you let me know of No 1 above? It might take me a little while to get back to you but not too long.

Crap! There I go again! I just get way too involved in nearly every question I read on this site :lol:,
PP

P.S. Joel, your post above is succinct to me. My reply above isprobably a bit of a ramble sorry :roll:. Tired!
Last edited by PistolPatch on 17 Mar 2015, 21:55, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Scott » 2 years ago

On the BIABacus, for me, it would be nice to have a larger memo field where to type in notes about the brew session, actual temps during mash...notes about fermentation, days at X temp - actual, etc. notes about ingredients that you may want to keep somewhere. Just little things that I write down but a larger memo field somewhere would be nice to have if possible, somewhere in the record so the info can be easier found later. (If not something desired by others, not a big deal...).


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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

Scott, this may not be of Help.

At the bottom is a tab called 'ChaulkBoard'

It is in Spread Sheet Format, But, works for my note taking.

JMHO.
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Post by Scott » 2 years ago

Thanks Joshua. If there is a Chalkboard tab where you can put whatever you want in the BIABacus, that should take care of it... Will look closer. Thanks!


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Post by jdean2002 » 2 years ago

Just a quick question. I''m trying to design a recipe and can't get BIABacus to make any adjustments to my hop bill. I set my desired IBU's to 17 and entered the information for the Hops - Name, AA%, Mins. I was expecting the amount of hops to be calculated to match me desired IBU's. Am I missing something? I even tried using an external calculator to approximate how many grams to use and entered that amount on the left under the "original hop bill". If I try to enter a substitution on the left with a different hop or AA% it does not calculate any adjustment. Everything else is calculating correctly - I feel like I must be doing something wrong when it comes to section "D".


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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

Jdean2002, could you post the BIABACUS.xls??

It would help to see what your Trouble is.
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Post your file here, preferably over on the, "use this thread to convert your recipe", is better.

MS


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Post by jdean2002 » 2 years ago

Thanks for the help. Here is the file.
Blue Moon Clone.xls
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Last edited by jdean2002 on 29 Apr 2015, 09:45, edited 2 times in total.


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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

JDean2002,

Place the number "1" in the "Grams" Column in the 1st Hop section, or 10000 grams.

This will set the Amount of Hops to be Used for the IBU's you Choose.

Also set the Volume of ambient wort into Section "D"
Last edited by joshua on 29 Apr 2015, 09:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jdean2002 » 2 years ago

Thanks that did the trick.


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Post by paulbigelow » 2 years ago

I have hit a corner case with hop substitutions. I'm trying to use up a collection of random hops in my freezer, and the original APA recipe on which I'm roughly basing this batch, calls for high alpha hops as the 0 min aroma hops. When I substitute a low alpha hop for the 0 minute addition, BIABacus shows no change in IBUs (which makes sense), but still tries to triple the amount of substitute hops being used to match the original hop AA%.

If this 0 minute hop substitution was to be special-cased in what I assume is already a complex formula, I guess the best thing would be to just leave the grams at the original recipe amount. Leave it up to the brewer to check if the substituted hop has the same amount of aroma compounds. I suppose that would also open up a can of worms of what to do with 5 minute or 10 minute additions, but I think that a 0 minute addition occurs so commonly in recipes that one case may be worth special treatment.

And as someone just now switching from the Calculator to BIABacus, let me join the others in praising a very impressive tool.

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Brewing certainly is an art form, breweries figure flame out hops too. How long does it take to chill after flame out? Today I brewed and my flame out hops I entered 9 minutes in the BIABacus to calculate, someone else does 12 minutes. Both of us let the hops steep for about 20-30 minutes.

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Post by Rick » 2 years ago

Mad_Scientist wrote:Brewing certainly is an art form, breweries figure flame out hops too. How long does it take to chill after flame out? Today I brewed and my flame out hops I entered 9 minutes in the BIABacus to calculate, someone else does 12 minutes. Both of us let the hops steep for about 20-30 minutes.

I like to use 12 minutes, but I think M_S' 9 minutes is actually more accurate. I will eventually go through all my recipes and adjust for this. The only reason I haven't, is that have become used to dealing with this calculation (read: I'm lazy). In the long run, I like accuracy ... as well as adjusting to use numbers that are agreed upon across the boards.

As M_S states, 0 minute additions in the BIABacus do not provide a calculation at all, so you have to manipulate the numbers a bit if there will be an ensuing steep above isomerization temps. My initial 12 minute experiment for a 30 minute hop stand was all but an arbitrary number based on utilization % estimations from pro-brewers. After many brews, and comparing notes with my tongue ... the IBU's seem less than what the 12 minute calculation predicts.

It's a difficult concept to grasp here, because we all likely have a differing preconceived notion of what "60 IBU" should taste like.

Another thing, if you want to override the auto scaling of the hop totals, simply put your recipe's VAW from sec. K into Sec. D. Be aware that any volume changes will stuff this ratio up, so make sure these numbers always match.

Do not use the "I'm designing a recipe set my IBU's to XX". Maybe I'm a weirdo, but I never liked using that for designing recipes, for exactly the reason you are experiencing.
Last edited by Rick on 13 Jul 2015, 22:09, edited 2 times in total.


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Post by paulbigelow » 2 years ago

Mad_Scientist wrote:breweries figure flame out hops too.
That got me curious, so I searched on "isomerization temperature" and skimmed a few articles. With huge volumes, long whirlpool times and long cooling times it certainly does make a huge difference for the pros. Apparently one brewery only adds hops at flame out, and still gets sufficient bittering.
Mad_Scientist wrote:How long does it take to chill after flame out?
I tried timing my brew the other day and with cold groundwater my immersion chiller takes less than 5 minutes to get below 79C. It's the rest of the way down that seems to take forever.
Rick wrote:0 minute additions in the BIABacus do not provide a calculation at all, so you have to manipulate the numbers a bit if there will be an ensuing steep above isomerization temps.
So for for those striving for accuracy they shouldn't be using 0 in the addition timings at all...

Since I wanted to base my flame out quantities purely on flavour/aroma, I first tried changing the 0 minute additions to be dry hopped instead. That still tried to match AA% and gave triple amounts. In the end I left out the AA% for the substitute hops and the results were only a gram or two over.
Last edited by paulbigelow on 19 Jul 2015, 01:21, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

paulbigelow

You use a chiller, so I thought you would be interested in this.

This is from PistolPatch; http://biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=5 ... ill#p31460

MS


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Post by popmedium » 2 years ago

Hey guys!

Just wondering how the full version of Biabacus is coming along? Pre - Release has been on T for a while now. Hanging for the full version!

Keep up the great work! We all appreciate it lots :)

Joel


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Post by Kangarooster » 2 years ago

Hello! :drink:

I noticed that with The Calculator, you can put in the desired IBU and it will calculate the weight of the hops. However it seems that with BIABacus you have to provide the weight, i.e. you can't do the other way around, or am I missing something?

Also, how do I change the evaporation rate? I've measured the evaporation rate for my kettle and it's not the same as what is calculated.

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Post by mally » 2 years ago

Kangarooster - Are you using PR1.3T?

That is the latest release, and if you look at section "D" there is an entry for !I'm designing my own recipes..."

Not that I would recommend it, but if you are sure of your own setup; the evaporation rate can be adjusted in section "X" - "change evaporation rate to..."
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Post by Kangarooster » 2 years ago

mally wrote:Kangarooster - Are you using PR1.3T?

That is the latest release, and if you look at section "D" there is an entry for !I'm designing my own recipes..."

Not that I would recommend it, but if you are sure of your own setup; the evaporation rate can be adjusted in section "X" - "change evaporation rate to..."
Yes I am using that version. I guess I didn't read it carefully, thank you for your help.
Last edited by Kangarooster on 24 Sep 2015, 21:12, edited 2 times in total.


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Post by chesl73 » 2 years ago

I'm a newbie but have a suggestion for the BIABacus.
I wanted a simple automatic checklist that I can print out on the day and follow to make sure I cover everything off and the existing BIABacus doesn't have this.
So I've created a new worksheet that does this and it uses some basic formula's to populate the values from the main BIABacus sheet.
The checklist is based on some other spreadsheet I found on this site.

See attached to show you what I mean (new worksheet is called 'Metric').

It would be good if something like this could be 'properly' incorporated.
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