Proper way to record dilution water and volumes in BIABacus?

Any method that is not a 'full-volume' mash. Usually, but not always, requires more than a single vessel or heat source. Includes traditional, three-vessel brewing.
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Proper way to record dilution water and volumes in BIABacus?

Post by youngdh » 2 years ago

While brewing my 3rd batch of a Guinness clone recipe yesterday using a new base malt (Irish Stout Malt from Ireland malting Company) I overshot my post-mash gravity by 10 points and undershot my volume into the kettle by about 0.2G. I added 0.8 Gallons of dilution water before the boil to bring my gravity into the kettle in line per BIABacus which brought my pre-boil volume up to 5.71G (0.64G above target pre-boil volume). My questions now are what volume should I record in BIABacus for VIK, what gravity into kettle should I record (the overshot SG or the corrected SG)? Where should I record my dilution water in BIABacus? I looked at entering it in section W, but, that subtracts that same amount as mash water held back. I didn't hold back any mash water and did a full volume mash. I want BIABacus to properly calculate my efficiencies and corrections so the next time I brew this recipe with the same grains I can make the appropriate corrections. Previous batches of this recipe I've used Maris Otter as my base and got pretty close to BIABacus' numbers. I've since read that Irish Stout malt tends to have a higher diastatic power from typical base malts.
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Be sure to download the latest BIABacus, VIK has been replaced with VIB.

Post your file here.

Fill out Sections L-O with what you KNOW (actuals) and we will try to reconstruct your VIB/GIB figures.

MS


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Post by youngdh » 2 years ago

Here's my recipe in an older version of BIABacus and what drove my brew day yesterday and then laid into BIABacus PR1.3T. As mentioned in original post I had to dilute the wort pre-boil to get SG down and want to account for that addition correctly in BIABacus. I did a full volume mash, so, didn't hold back mash water.
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

I overshot my post-mash gravity by 10 points and undershot my volume into the kettle by about 0.2G. I added 0.8 Gallons of dilution water before the boil to bring my gravity into the kettle in line per BIABacus which brought my pre-boil volume up to 5.71G (0.64G above target pre-boil volume).
If you did this to make the GIK 'match' the BIABacus target gravity of 1.042, why do you have in Section M GIB 1.053? Did you measure a 1.053 before adding the 0.8 gallons? You would enter the actual gravity in Section M, after dilutions.

You have your efficiency set to 65%, you used 2 more pounds of grain than needed, producing at least 7 points more at the pre-volume gravity. A full volume BIAB like you did here normally gets about 83% efficiency.

I recommend leaving that efficiency field blank.
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 26 May 2015, 05:19, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by youngdh » 2 years ago

Mad_Scientist wrote:
I overshot my post-mash gravity by 10 points and undershot my volume into the kettle by about 0.2G. I added 0.8 Gallons of dilution water before the boil to bring my gravity into the kettle in line per BIABacus which brought my pre-boil volume up to 5.71G (0.64G above target pre-boil volume).
If you did this to make the GIK 'match' the BIABacus target gravity of 1.042, why do you have in Section M GIB 1.053? Did you measure a 1.053 before adding the 0.8 gallons? You would enter the actual gravity in Section M, after dilutions.

You have your efficiency set to 65%, you used 2 more pounds of grain than needed, producing at least 7 points more at the pre-volume gravity. A full volume BIAB like you did here normally gets about 83% efficiency.

I recommend leaving that efficiency field blank.
Thanks!

You just answered one question I had which is "which gravity to enter pre-boil". From your response it should be my GIK post dilution or 1.042. As for why I've set my efficiency to 65%, my first 5 or 6 batches using BIABacus I was regularly getting 62-65% EIK based on BIABacus' calculations with the efficiency field left blank resulting in my O.G.'s falling way short of target. Once I forced BIABacus to 65% I was getting much closer to the expected O.G. including two previous batches of this Guinness clone with the exception of this batch. The only difference with this batch was I substituted Ireland Stout Malt from Ireland Malting Company in place of Maris Otter. I've read that Ireland Stout Malt converts very well as evidenced by this batch.

So, do I account for the 0.8G dilution water in my measured VIB as I've done in the two files attached previously? I'm thinking this will throw off actual EIK since BIABacus is going to think I got 0.7G more liquor at the target GIK out of the mash then I actually did. If enter the dilution in Sect. W BIABacus assumes I held back mash water which I didn't.
Last edited by youngdh on 26 May 2015, 06:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

So, do I account for the 0.8G dilution water in my measured VIB as I've done in the two files attached previously? I'm thinking this will throw off actual EIK...
Was your VIB 21.62L? Then that and the 1.042 is your efficiency into boil.
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Post by youngdh » 2 years ago

Mad_Scientist wrote:
So, do I account for the 0.8G dilution water in my measured VIB as I've done in the two files attached previously? I'm thinking this will throw off actual EIK...
Was your VIB 21.62L? Then that and the 1.042 is your efficiency into boil.
After adding the dilution water it was 21.62L. Coming out of the mash and after squeezing my bag it was 4.9G.

Perhaps I'm asking the wrong questions in my original post. When I brew this recipe again in a year and look at this batch in BIABacus how should I record my volumes and gravities so I know next time I overshot my GIK by 10 points and had to add 0.8 gallons of water to dilute down to the target GIK given my malt bill?

Thanks for your help on this :-).
Last edited by youngdh on 26 May 2015, 07:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Your 21.62 L is the mash volume after squeezing at boil, at mash temp it was 2% less volume.

I don't know what the 4.9 gallons is.

On your next brew, copy this file, remove all numbers in Section L-R, and set your efficiency to 76%.


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Post by youngdh » 2 years ago

Mad_Scientist wrote:Your 21.62 L is the mash volume after squeezing at boil, at mash temp it was 2% less volume.

I don't know what the 4.9 gallons is.

On your next brew, copy this file, remove all numbers in Section L-R, and set your efficiency to 76%.
Ok, thanks! :thumbs:

As I think through what the actuals represent in BIABacus and to also properly reflect actual evaporation for this batch for when I brew this recipe again I should record the VIB with the dilution water added (5.71G) and the GIK after dilution (1.042) which yields a BIABacus calculated EIK of 73.3%

If I had not added dilution water going into the boil my VIB would have been 4.9G and GIK would have been 1.053 with an EIK of 79.4%, but, as noted above BIABacus would have calculated my boil evaporation of 0.11G which was not the case (actual evap was 0.94G).
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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

You got 76% efficiency on this brew, but I wouldn't dwell too much more on this brew. The next brew will likely be different.

As a matter of interest, your sugars matched, that is to say, your recorded measurements from beginning to end of boil did.

5.71g * 42p eq 239
4.6g * 52p eq 239


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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

Henry, I haven't read all the above but I noticed what I quoted below the other day and it's been a while here since we emphasised how little respect should be given to pre-boil volume numbers despite what you might hear and read elsewhere. Here you go...
youngdh wrote:While brewing my 3rd batch of a Guinness clone recipe yesterday using a new base malt (Irish Stout Malt from Ireland malting Company) I overshot my post-mash gravity by 10 points and undershot my volume into the kettle by about 0.2G. I added 0.8 Gallons of dilution water before the boil to bring my gravity into the kettle in line per BIABacus which brought my pre-boil volume up to 5.71G (0.64G above target pre-boil volume)...
Never adjust your brew pre-boil.

1. Pre-boil readings are notoriously unreliable and hard to take so the best info they can give ever give you is to confirm later checks.

2. The BIABacus aims so as that you should actually exceed your targets. (It is much easier to dilute a wort than strengthen it post-boil).

3. You never know on any day what your evaporation rate will be. Other books/sites/software/magazines etc, etc, will make you believe that evaporation is a constant. It is not. It can vary dramatically from one brew day to the next so pre-boil adjustments are never advisable. (And yes, I am fully aware that many of the most listened to home brew experts often mention to do this. It is incorrect advice, no two ways about it).

The above is why the BIABacus does not actually allow pre-boil dilutions, 'after the fact'. If you have not pre-planned them, then they should not be done.

Make sense?
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 30 May 2015, 20:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by youngdh » 2 years ago

PistolPatch wrote:Henry, I haven't read all the above but I noticed what I quoted below the other day and it's been a while here since we emphasised how little respect should be given to pre-boil volume numbers despite what you might hear and read elsewhere. Here you go...
youngdh wrote:While brewing my 3rd batch of a Guinness clone recipe yesterday using a new base malt (Irish Stout Malt from Ireland malting Company) I overshot my post-mash gravity by 10 points and undershot my volume into the kettle by about 0.2G. I added 0.8 Gallons of dilution water before the boil to bring my gravity into the kettle in line per BIABacus which brought my pre-boil volume up to 5.71G (0.64G above target pre-boil volume)...
Never adjust your brew pre-boil.

1. Pre-boil readings are notoriously unreliable and hard to take so the best info they can give ever give you is to confirm later checks.

2. The BIABacus aims so as that you should actually exceed your targets. (It is much easier to dilute a wort than strengthen it post-boil).

3. You never know on any day what your evaporation rate will be. Other books/sites/software/magazines etc, etc, will make you believe that evaporation is a constant. It is not. It can vary dramatically from one brew day to the next so pre-boil adjustments are never advisable. (And yes, I am fully aware that many of the most listened to home brew experts often mention to do this. It is incorrect advice, no two ways about it).

The above is why the BIABacus does not actually allow pre-boil dilutions, 'after the fact'. If you have not pre-planned them, then they should not be done.

Make sense?
PP
Thanks Pistol Pete for the additional insights.

My rationale for doing pre-boil dilution to hit target pre-boil SG was 2 fold: 1) to not worry about having to do a 10 min sanitizing boil of my dilution water at knock-out as it would get sanitized during the main boil :-) and 2) to attempt to hit my hop utilization (IBUs) based on hop bill calculated by BIABacus for the pre-boil SG calculated and of course boil time. I guess I could recalculate my hop bill by entering actual pre-boil SG assuming I have enough of the appropriate hops available.

I've had previous high gravity, high IBU beers where I came up 10 or more points short of my OG at knockout even though I hit the pre-boil gravity. I attributed this to my post boil volumes being higher than calculated (didn't reduce the wort down enough) and hops absorption due to large hop bill. This was based on feedback I'd received over at homebrewtalk.com where the advice was to "mind your volumes and take accurate measurements". To mind my volumes I felt I need to make note of my volumes throughout the process for a given recipe to make appropriate adjustments next time I calculate the grain/hop bill for that recipe which is what prompted this thread on how to appropriately account for the fact I had to add dilution water and how much :-). Next time I brew this recipe with the Ireland Stout Malt I can throttle back my base malt amount :-).
Last edited by youngdh on 31 May 2015, 00:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

Yep, you'll read a lot of advice elsewhere that is based on the myth that every brew day will behave the same. (The truth is that even the largest breweries are constantly adjusting each batch because nothing is the same from brew to brew.)

I think my last answer covers all the reasons for why you should not adjust pre-boil bar one (and it is one more myth)...

IBU formulas are very primitive and most of them are actually incorrectly written even in major software. On the rare occasion that the formulas are correctly written (such as in the BIABacus), you will find that IBU's are not affected by any dilutions made before flame-out.

The rule is, plan your brew and then follow the plan until you reach pitching. By that point, you should have gained enough measurements above to know what you need to dilute by. (The BIABacus aims to set you up so as you end at this scenario.)

Finally you wrote, "...is what prompted this thread on how to appropriately account for the fact I had to add dilution water and how much :-)." If the BIABacus does not allow an easy way for you to record something then it is going to be a very good sign that you have adopted a poor (but probably quite common) practice.

That last sentence is really important.

I know I asked above but I'll ask again specifically, "Does all this make sense?"

:think:
PP
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Post by youngdh » 2 years ago

PistolPatch wrote:Yep, you'll read a lot of advice elsewhere that is based on the myth that every brew day will behave the same. (The truth is that even the largest breweries are constantly adjusting each batch because nothing is the same from brew to brew.)

I think my last answer covers all the reasons for why you should not adjust pre-boil bar one (and it is one more myth)...

IBU formulas are very primitive and most of them are actually incorrectly written even in major software. On the rare occasion that the formulas are correctly written (such as in the BIABacus), you will find that IBU's are not affected by any dilutions made before flame-out.

The rule is, plan your brew and then follow the plan until you reach pitching. By that point, you should have gained enough measurements above to know what you need to dilute by. (The BIABacus aims to set you up so as you end at this scenario.)

Finally you wrote, "...is what prompted this thread on how to appropriately account for the fact I had to add dilution water and how much :-)." If the BIABacus does not allow an easy way for you to record something then it is going to be a very good sign that you have adopted a poor (but probably quite common) practice.

That last sentence is really important.

I know I asked above but I'll ask again specifically, "Does all this make sense?"

:think:
PP
Thanks PistolPete. It's good to understand how the tool (in this case BIABacus) was designed to be used for planning and during the brewing process.

With regard to deferring any dilution until the fermentor, in BIABacus PR 1.3T section W, any value entered in the field "water added to fermentor" also enters that value in "water held back from mash". As mentioned earlier my dilution water wasn't a mash water hold back. Where would I account for the dilution water being in addition to TWN BIABacus calculated so it's not considered a mash water hold back or at that point in process does it matter?

Based on this thread I've got some more questions around best practices using BIABacus and refining one's process:

Assuming that BIABacus might under-predict my OG would you recommend having a gallon of dilution water pre-boiled/sanitized to save time on brew day?

For the times I've under-shot my OG I believe I have one of two options: 1) continue the batch knowing I'll have a lower ABV and hope I can adjust future batches based on measurements taken or 2) calculate amount of DME to bring gravity up, bring wort back up to a boil for another 20 min. For option 2 I would think I'd need to do the DME add prior to any late hop additions so I don't turn my late addition hop into a mid boil hop addition boiling off the flavor/aroma affects.

As for Section X adjustments;

1. My evap rates have been fairly consistent both winter and summer hovering around 1G/hour. Should I continue to force this in section X or clear it and let latest edition of BIABacus do it's magic?

2. My EIK from roughly 10 batches using BIABacus runs around 65%. Should I set that in section X or continue to let BIABacus use it's auto-efficiency?

3. KFL and FPL losses for a given beer style/recipe, should I continue to set that for my equipment and a given recipe for future batches of same recipe or clear these entries let latest version of BIABacus do it's magic?

Thanks for your's and Mad Scientist's help :-)
Last edited by youngdh on 31 May 2015, 23:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

Good questions Don :clap:,
With regard to deferring any dilution until the fermentor, in BIABacus PR 1.3T section W, any value entered in the field "water added to fermentor" also enters that value in "water held back from mash".
The BIABacus can handle a lot more scenarios than any other brewing software at present. In other words, it can handle extract brewing, traditional all-grain brewing and all the dilution scenarios in between however, it's current design works from an initial presumption that most users be doing pure BIAB...

Pure BIAB (the original purpose of BIAB) is to "SMS" brew. SMS means "simultaneous mash and sparge" which also means "full-volume brewing in a single vessel". In other words, pure BIAB is the best way to go if you can so...

When you do any sort of dilution you are actually holding that back from the mash.

If you do intend to do any full-volume variations (section W), you just enter your planned dilution amount there and the BIABacus does the rest for you. There is one trick though and we can't design it any better in spreadsheet form sorry and that is in Section K...

If you do any full volume variations in Section W, then you do not fill your kettle with the TWN of Section K. Instead, you fill it with TWN less the 'Water Held Back from Mash" in Section K. When you heat that amount to mash temp, it will be equal the SWN figure in Section K. Go and have a beer and get that clear in your head ;). It will take a beer and a bit of slowing down for it to make sense / sink in but I think you are at that level.
Assuming that BIABacus might under-predict my OG would you recommend having a gallon of dilution water pre-boiled/sanitized to save time on brew day?
Yes, I think it is best practice to do as you say and have dilution water pre-boiled/sanitized. The sanitisation isn't that important though if pitching yeast straight away. (Remember nearly all kit brewers just use tap water). The boiling though will help remove chlorines and, if you can't pitch straight away because your wort is too hot as is often the case, then that boiling will be another bonus.
For the times I've under-shot my OG I believe I have one of two option
You have no options. Those brews are done and dusted and you aren't going to let yourself get in a position of high OG again are you? :interesting:.

:)

If you ever were caught with a low OG again (and were positive about the low OG reading), just leave it. A decent recipe will still produce a great beer even if you are 20% out on your OG. Adding DME prior to your flavour and aroma hops won't work because there is no way yo can no for sure that you actually are dealing with a low gravity brew at that point. Hot samples are just too unreliable to give much weight to. DME is often a very poor quality ingredient. (Many extracts are old etc and will actually taint your beer.)

...

If your evap rates are fairly predictable, then sure force the BIABacus but don't play with....

Auto-Efficiency. You mention you are getting 65% EIK. Two things. On very high gravity (gravity into kettle) brews you should get low EIK and on very low gravity brews you should get high EIK's.In other words, unless your ten batches had the same OG (and dilutions) then the ten batches mean nothing.

I want to talk more about this 65% EIK you are getting but I would want to see several numbers from these ten batches and I've also run out of steam now :dunno:.

KFL and FPL are quite unpredictable on most systems and recipes I think and don't understand why. For example, I have had more trub on a low hopped beer than a high hopped beer I brewed the next day (or side by side) on the same (or identical) system - figure that out :think: :) . The main purpose of KFL and FPL though is to make sure that you allow enough wastage to achieve your desired amount of packaged beer. KFL and FPL do not affect the quality or taste, just the amount of initial ingredients you use. Just be sensible with these. Whilst the next version of the BIABacus fine-tunes these numbers a little, I, personally, don't put much store in KFL and FPL predictions.

;)
PP
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Post by youngdh » 2 years ago

So, to attempt to recap what I've gleaned from this thread and how to leverage BIABacus to dial in my process I should record my volumes pre/post boil, gravities pre/post boil, VIF, GIF. Any gravity adjustments should be into fermentor and only to lower gravity (dilute) recording that addition in section W. I can then use the calculated EIK after several batches to make any adjustments to future batches.
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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

Sort of dh but you missed one important thing. I wrote above about 65% EIK. I don't have time to re-read the whole thread but you should only be getting 65%EIK if you are doing a very high gravity beer or lots of dilutions.

BIABacus calculates/guesses all this quite unpredictable stuff a lot better than you can. No other program even attempts this.

Your job should be to follow the BIABacus instructions as planned and then look at things like Section P (after several/many brews) to see if there are any major variances.

Dialling in your process is a myth. No craft or commercial brewer can do it. They adjust each and every single batch post-boil.

Yep, you'll read elsewhere in forums or mags or hear on some podcast about dialling in your process but, they must know something more thatn the brewers using far more controlled equipment and far more accurate instruments and far higher quality control.

Does that make sense?
PP
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Post by youngdh » 2 years ago

PistolPatch wrote:Sort of dh but you missed one important thing. I wrote above about 65% EIK. I don't have time to re-read the whole thread but you should only be getting 65%EIK if you are doing a very high gravity beer or lots of dilutions.

BIABacus calculates/guesses all this quite unpredictable stuff a lot better than you can. No other program even attempts this.

Your job should be to follow the BIABacus instructions as planned and then look at things like Section P (after several/many brews) to see if there are any major variances.

Dialling in your process is a myth. No craft or commercial brewer can do it. They adjust each and every single batch post-boil.

Yep, you'll read elsewhere in forums or mags or hear on some podcast about dialling in your process but, they must know something more thatn the brewers using far more controlled equipment and far more accurate instruments and far higher quality control.

Does that make sense?
PP
Yes, it makes sense.

Thanks!
Last edited by youngdh on 05 Jun 2015, 02:55, edited 1 time in total.
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