Im a BIABACUS convert

Post #1 made 3 years ago
Tried beersmith a few years ago and wasn't impressed. Really just use it for putting recipes together. Anyway, I've always brewed by the seat of my pants and made some great beer. Until recently, I never even measured my starting water, just knew approximately what was going into my kettle.
I recently used the BIABACUS for the first time and I intend sticking with it as I'd like to achieve some consistency and predictability. Ive attached the file.
Had a couple of problems with this brew.
Firstly my mash temp fell through the floor! I was brewing outside(lagged buffalo 40L boiler) and it was about 2degC. I've brewed outside before and haven't had this problem. Ive always used brewheads.com to target strike water temp and been pretty accurate. I notice it gives me quite different temps from the biabacus. Anyway, I doughed in and temp was a little low but it dropped fairly rapidly after that to about 63degC. Im wondering was the temp dropping due to ambient temp or was it just stabilising as I had doughed in too low?
Secondly was my boil off rate. Ive been feeling for some time that my buffalo doesn't boil as lively as it used to. I believe the element is fine as verified by multimeter. Im wondering if using a rolled up cable drum extension lead is reducing the voltage at the boiler? I'll have to test that separately, but it should be easy to verify.
Anyway, Ill be using BIABACUS for all future brews as I'd like to nail down my process and get it a bit more predictable.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Post #3 made 3 years ago
Lars

It's in the low 40deg C range here at the moment. Makes getting to strike temp fairly easy.

I would try a few more brews to see if your temerature drop was an aberration or not. Sometimes the brewing gods do strange things.

As a side note in section D enter either The Volume Of Ambient Wort (VAW) if you are copying a recipe and the author has given that value or enter a desired IBU if you are designing or changing a recipe.

The boil off rate is, I believe, very weather and location height dependant.

Majorphill

Post #4 made 3 years ago
Hi lars, I too use a Buffalo and have found my Evap rate is very consistent at approx 3.6 litres per hour. (has been consistent over around 15 brews now) Which is a bit lower than the BIABacus default. I now have modified the BIABacus to allow for that in Section X. One of the other Brewers on here from the UK has a similar Evap rate so keep that in mind as it seems to suit those urns, although local conditions will also play a part I brew in my garage so wind is not a factor for me.

I found with 1.3T my strike temp was a little low also, for me I have adjusted up a bit to 4 in the advanced section X for that also. Again all dependant on location but as Pat has pointed out not such a bad thing to have a low strike as you can always add a bit more heat once you dough in. A lot harder to cool down if you are too high though.

Hope that helps and good brewing to you.
    • SVA Brewer With Over 50 Brews From Australia

Post #5 made 3 years ago
Lars wrote:Tried beersmith a few years ago and wasn't impressed. Really just use it for putting recipes together.
I started brewing with the Biabacus about a year ago, and use it exclusively with excellent results. This Christmas, my son, who also brews, gave me a copy of Beersmith. Since Beersmith requires fixed numbers for efficiencies, I find that it has no value beyond what Biabacus provides in creating recipes. The only thing I see that it offers that Biabacus doesn't is the ability to track inventory, which is a valuable feature. Are there others that use both programs? If so, what value can Beersmith add?
bundy wrote:I found with 1.3T my strike temp was a little low also, for me I have adjusted up a bit to 4 in the advanced section X for that also.
I think that there's an error in 1.3T. I haven't done a direct comparison with 1.3K with the same recipe, but 1.3T has been telling me that my strike water temp needs to be ~1-1.5°F above the desired mash temp, whereas 1.3K typically reported ~4.5-5.5°F, which is what I have found to be accurate. Since switching to 1.3T, I just ignore the strike temp and set it to 5°F above the desired mash temp. My grain temp is typically 59-77°F (15-25°C) depending on time of year.
Last edited by cwier60 on 05 Jan 2015, 08:56, edited 1 time in total.
    • SVA Brewer With Over 50 Brews From United States of America

Post #7 made 3 years ago
cwier60 wrote:I think that there's an error in 1.3T. I haven't done a direct comparison with 1.3K with the same recipe, but 1.3T has been telling me that my strike water temp needs to be ~1-1.5°F above the desired mash temp, whereas 1.3K typically reported ~4.5-5.5°F, which is what I have found to be accurate. Since switching to 1.3T, I just ignore the strike temp and set it to 5°F above the desired mash temp. My grain temp is typically 59-77°F (15-25°C) depending on time of year.
Short on time atm but, just to let you know, that in PR1.3T, the default was lowered to '1' to be on the safe side. It's muich better to strike cold than hot. If you have a thin urn, change the default to 4 or 5 as in the pic below.

;)
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by PistolPatch on 06 Jan 2015, 07:24, edited 1 time in total.
If you have found the above or anything else of value on BIABrewer.info, consider supporting us by getting some BIPs!
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Australia

Post #8 made 3 years ago
PistolPatch wrote:[If you have a thin urn, change the default to 4 or 5 as in the pic below.
Thanks PP. I have a pretty heavy kettle, 1.2mm 18/10 stainless with 3-ply 5mm sandwiched Al on the bottom. However, it looks like I need to change the value to ~3.5 to get closer to my actual. I'll try that for my next brew.

I wouldn't think that the kettle mass would have a huge impact though, since the thermal mass of the water is still much higher. For example for my last brew, I used ~40L TWN, which has a weight of 40kg, and my kettle weight is ~10kg, so the kettle is only 20% of the mass. My grain weight was ~6.4kg.
Last edited by cwier60 on 06 Jan 2015, 10:08, edited 1 time in total.
    • SVA Brewer With Over 50 Brews From United States of America

Post #9 made 3 years ago
Having a 'Strike Water Adjustment Factor' is just one more original and very important BIABacus feature. Every set-up is different.

Your thinking above is definitely along the right lines. Kettle weight and material have a part to play but that is far more important in three vessel brewing (3VB) where water from a Hot Liquor Tank is dropped into the Mash Lauter Tun. In full volume mashing, the kettle is already heated.

There are many other factors though that are relevant to strike temperature. Some are more relevant to 3v brewing and some more to full volume brewing (FVB). Here's a few off the top of my head in no order of importance...

1. Ambient temperature.
2. Type of heat source.
3. Type of kettle stand/base.
4. Kettle weight and material.
5. Air movement/insulation.

4 above is about the only thing that can be measured easily but it's no more of a major player than the other factors in FVB (and to a large extent in 3VB). This is why the BIABacus has the 'Strike Water Temperature Adjustment Factor'. If you have a heavy base kettle, a heavy kettle stand, a heavy burner, a still environment, high temps and FVB, you might strike at the same temperature as your desired mash temperature but three minutes later, find the mash temp has risen!!!!!

Lots of variables here. The only thing we know for sure is that it is much easier and safer to add heat than lose it.

;)
PP
If you have found the above or anything else of value on BIABrewer.info, consider supporting us by getting some BIPs!
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Australia

Post #10 made 3 years ago
Thanks, PP, for yet another detailed response. As you know, this is just another case where getting a Help file completed would remove the burden of so many questions. I'll add that to the All the best for 2015 thread.
cwier60 wrote:If so, what value can Beersmith add?
Bump. I'm still looking for some input here.

Conversely, I have been trying to explain the immense value of the BIABacus in this HomeBrewTalk thread. Feel free to chime in supporting arguments why this is the best brewing software available.
Last edited by cwier60 on 10 Jan 2015, 06:22, edited 1 time in total.
    • SVA Brewer With Over 50 Brews From United States of America

Post #11 made 3 years ago
[I don't have time atm to condense the below sorry. If anyone else does, please go for it!]

Charles, thanks for your efforts on HBT in explaining the BIABacus. That can be a hard thing to do because we've never really written anything up here on that as yet. Like so much stuff, there's a piece here and a piece there which is still being tied together behind the scenes. Let's have a crack at some of your questions though...

ANYONE, FEEL FREE TO COPY AND THEN ADD TO OR EDIT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING...

What the BIABacus Can't Do in Spreadsheet Form

In spreadsheet form, after many attempts at trying to get macros to work cross-platform, we have chosen to make the sheet totally macro-free. This means the the BIABacus can't do things like the following...

1. Automatically change units from metric to US or vice versa although both are displayed.
2. Separate information into different tabs. (In the spreadsheet form, all the major information is on one tab and this has actually been done purposefully.)
3. A recipe has to be transmitted as a whole spreadsheet file.
4. No tab order can be set so you usually have to click and type.
5. Drop-down lists for grains/hops etc

Gimmicks and/or Features Not in the BIABacus

1. Colour Scaling - In my view, this should not be in any brewing software. (Reasoning is #3 here.)
2. Colour Picture - This is another debatable feature as colour looks vastly different on any computer screen.
3. Hop Age Tool - Available in BeerSmith2. This looks fine to me as long as you know the AA% of the hops you are buying.
4. Water Adjustment Tools - Available in BeerSmith2 although I have not checked it over.

Most other tools I can think of are actually already and intuitively built into the BIABacus

What the BIABacus Can Do
(Also see below, What the BIABacus Does that Nothing Else Can Do.


Besides the above, pretty much anything other software can do, faster, safer and more accurately.

For a safety example, a recipe can be scaled in the BIABacus in a matter of seconds with no or as little loss of integrity to the original recipe as is possible. In another popular program, a recipe can be scaled accidentally in many way. Only one of these ways is correct (will not destroy the integrity of the original recipe) and that way is not intuitive.

An example of speed is when you copy a recipe and have a different AA% of hops than that of the original recipe. In real life, this happens on almost every recipe. The BIABacus, with it's left and right sides in Section D make the substitution adjustment immediate. In other programs, it will take a minute or two (a game of twenty questions) and a pen and paper to do the substitution correctly.

An example of accuracy is in the IBU estimate formulas. The BIABacus matches those of Glen Tinseth and work off the Volume and the Gravity of the Ambient Wort (see Clear Brewing Terminology). A lot of brewing software, including the most popular, have errors in this formula.

Concepts Developed Here and Used by Some Software (Without Acknowledgement :))

The following originated from myself or this site...

- BIAB Liquor Retained by Grain Ratios. (Beersmith has been the only program given permission to use the ratio.)
- Evaporation Rate Estimate based on kettle diameter.
- Depth and headspace measurements to determine volumes. (Depth developed by me. Headspace subsequently by stux.)

Limitations of Other Software/Sheets/Calculators

There is a proliferation of sheets that are written to only suit one scenario or are just incorrect in their concepts. For example, the author of this calculator mentions here mentions that the calculator is designed for people buying a kit (fixed amount of ingredients). So, for a start, this calculator only suits one scenario. It then asks the new user to be estimating many numbers they would have no idea on. [As for the comment in the post about "multiple heights", see above section :think:. Wow! Just noticed a link from the pricelss site that lead to an HBT article originally written by me but no acknowledgement!!! It's a copy of my first BIAB guide written back in 2006 from memory.].

Other software is generally limited by their lack of transparency, help, 'safety', flexibility, speed, and/or accuracy.

[center]What the BIABacus Does that Nothing Else Can Do[/center]

Well, there's a lot. The BIABacus is a paradigm shift in many areas...

Speed of Learning: Even in spreadsheet form, the BIABacus is relatively fast to learn. It just requires looking at each section in order. A new user can actually scale/copy an existing recipe, in most cases, by simply changing a few fields in Section B.

Safety: The BIABacus has been carefully designed so that it is difficult to screw up. If you do screw up, a warning will be thrown at you in red. In the BIABacus main release you will be able to find info/help on that warning easily.

Intelligence / Auto Estimates: The BIABacus is intelligent software. It looks at your situation and auto-adjusts for your situation. A new brewer does not have to do anything complicated to get underway on their first few brews as the BIABacus auto-estimates, extremely well, the 'grey' areas for you. For example, the BIABacus does the reverse to all other brewing software - it intelligently auto-estimates what kettle efficiency you can expect on any recipe whilst other software asks you to tell it what kettle efficiency (or, even worse, fermentor efficiency) you should expect from all your recipes. It is simply impossible to get the same kettle efficiency on a low gravity recipe as a high gravity one.

Chilling & Hop Management Methods

The four simple lines of Section G in the BIABacus contain a wealth of information on how the chilling process has been conducted. No other software goes near the area of chilling methods and when they are employed. (Yes, one or two have 'no-chill' adjustments but these do not consider the wide array of 'passive chilling' scenarios and, in fact, are even more primitive than the existing IBU estimation formulas.) IBU estimation formulas are really not that important for flavour and aroma hops. Section G allows a whole new focus on flavour and aroma hop management.

Versatility: In fact, even though BIAB is intended to be 'full volume brewing (simultaneous mashing and sparging)', it also can handle three vessel brewing and anything in between. Section W 'Full Volume Variations' handles perfectly, many scenarios that no other brewing software attempts to approach.

Transparency/Education: The design and lay-out of the BIABAcus, even in spreadsheet form, is aimed at transparency and education. That is why we chose to put all critical information is on one tab. No other software can come anywhere close to this design. Change one thing on the first sheet of the BIABacus and you can see what it affects.

Terminology/Definitions/Clarity: Like the BIABacus design, several thousand hours of thought have been put into terminology and definitions and clarity. In my view, Clear Brewing Terminology is essential to anything that should one taken seriously. If a brewing program is written that, for example has fields called "Batch Size" and brewers subsequently publish their recipes where batch size can mean anything from 'Volume into Packaging' right up to 'Volume at Flame-Out', who is to blame? The brewer or the author of the software? In my view, it is the latter and this leads to...

Excellent Help: The main release of the BIABacus will allow you to click on the ? of any section of the BIABacus to get help. That is unique for a start. You won't get such thorough, easy to access help in any other program. The forum lay-out to come is also aimed at being fast to find great info. And, if that fails, as any reader here knows, someone will look after you really well if you have any question.

I'm sure I have missed lots so please add anything I have missed above whether it be positive or negative.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 11 Jan 2015, 20:04, edited 1 time in total.
If you have found the above or anything else of value on BIABrewer.info, consider supporting us by getting some BIPs!
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Australia

Re:

Post #12 made 3 years ago
cwier60 wrote:
Conversely, I have been trying to explain the immense value of the BIABacus in this HomeBrewTalk thread. Feel free to chime in supporting arguments why this is the best brewing software available.
Good luck. Many of us have tried but failed to get thru to the masses on HBT
Last edited by Lumpy5oh on 12 Jan 2015, 13:02, edited 1 time in total.
Some people are like slinkies. Not good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

Weehoosebrewing.ga
    • SVA Brewer With Over 20 Brews From Canada

Post #13 made 3 years ago
Short on time but was wondering if anyone copied or referred my last post here to the HBT thread? It took ages to write and I would hope that there are some readers there who would like to read a long post rather than a short one.

No one has commented on it here either so I am assuming it's not well-written, a bit left-field or something is wrong with it??? On a fast re-read, I can't see anything obviously wrong :scratch:. I really don't have time to re-read thoroughly anything I write here but, if anything I do write here is crappy, or needs correction, please send me a PM and I'll make it a priority to fix it.

[EDIT: I have three more open tabs here where I could have written detailed answers but I'm really sick of only getting a few hours sleep each day. bundy once asked me, "Why do you do it?" I replied, "I can't stand seeing new brewers getting exposed to the same poor advice I was exposed to."

That was a really nice question.

It beats the attitude of, "Well, I never asked him to spend so much time on me." (In other words, it is my fault if I answer your question well.)

I'm out of energy but if the above reads badly, can a mod please tidy it?
PP
If you have found the above or anything else of value on BIABrewer.info, consider supporting us by getting some BIPs!
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Australia

Post #14 made 3 years ago
[MODNOTE: link has been changed in PP's post.]

Looks great to me, but the hyperlink within this line is not working for me. It says that I do not have permission to view that forum. Fix that, and I'll head over and drop it in that thread.

'Gimmicks and/or Features Not in the BIABacus

1. Colour Scaling - In my view, this should not be in any brewing software. (Reasoning is here.)'
Last edited by Rick on 15 Jan 2015, 21:19, edited 1 time in total.
    • SVA Brewer With Over 20 Brews From United States of America

Post #15 made 3 years ago
Nevermind, I found #3 in this post that I can link to instead.


[MODNOTE: link has been changed in PP's post.]

viewtopic.php?f=67&t=2071&p=29920&hilit=colour+scaling#p29920
Last edited by Rick on 15 Jan 2015, 21:35, edited 1 time in total.
    • SVA Brewer With Over 20 Brews From United States of America

Post #16 made 3 years ago
I thought it was an awesome post PP :champ:

In fact I linked to it on the New Members - First Post thread for one of the folks starting out and said he was using beersmith...

Great detailed write-up that I am sure took you ages - I really had/have nothing useful to add to this thread as it was all already there in black and white, but I will be sure to link anyone to that post who is questioning brewing software on this site or on the Canadian home brewers forum I frequent (I bring up this site and BIABacus pretty often over there - they are probly going to start thinking you guys pay me pretty soon lol (altho the awesome beer I've made with the help of BIABacus is better than payment)).

I don't have a membership on HBT and frankly find that place sort of depressing most of the time...
    • SVA Brewer With Over 50 Brews From Canada

Post #17 made 3 years ago
Thanks Rick and Goul. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it when people pass info on or do let me know that it reads okay/makes sense :salute:.

Excuse my last post here. The last few months has been really annoying as I expected I would have had all the BIABacus help written and released but haven't been able to spend a single minute on it, even over the Xmas / New Year period. Long story :roll:.

Thanks again :peace:,
PP

Just quickly, I will add the following section into Post #11...

Chilling & Hop Management Methods

The four simple lines of Section G in the BIABacus contain a wealth of information on how the chilling process has been conducted. No other software goes near the area of chilling methods and when they are employed. (Yes, one or two have 'no-chill' adjustments but these do not consider the wide array of 'passive chilling' scenarios and, in fact, are even more primitive than the existing IBU estimation formulas.) IBU estimation formulas are really not that important for flavour and aroma hops. Section G allows a whole new focus on flavour and aroma hop management.
Last edited by PistolPatch on 18 Jan 2015, 19:54, edited 1 time in total.
If you have found the above or anything else of value on BIABrewer.info, consider supporting us by getting some BIPs!
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Australia

Post #19 made 3 years ago
Hey there priceless :peace:,

There actually won't be a hop 'IBU' adjustment formula. As you said above, any existing formulas are over-simplifications that will usually lead into poor territory. Basically, there is little to no experimentation done on flavour and aroma hops. Have a read of this post and pay particular attention to the wisdom offered by Alex Tronsky towards the end of that post. Some things just can't be quantified at this stage BUT...

The BIABacus does an excellent job of concisely saying, "To get this beer, I used this or that type of chiller and employed it in the following manner." Nothing else addresses chillers used or when employed and this is critical information. (Also read Chilling Myths - Asking the right questions)

The HBT Thread

Rick ended up copying my long post #11 above to the HBT thread and in your reply, you wrote, "I'll also post this on BIABbrewing.info for good faith," but I can't find your reply posted. We probably don't need to re-post your reply here as I can go through it and respond to anytihnng that needs responding to. Let me have a crack :)...

1. Remember, there is no such site as BIABreweing.info :P. Please make sure credits go to BIABrewer.info ;).

2. Liquor to grain absorption rates should match the BIABacus as that rate is based one of the 'pioneer' threads where figures were collected from many brewers and averaged out. Any other default is not based on a collection of data.

3. Your Calculator assumes the brewer has already bought the ingredients (or a kit). I know you have only been brewing for a short period and. like many others, will have been lead to believe that if you buy the same weight of ingredients as another brewer, you will get the same results whereas that is not correct. For example, your calculator assumes that you will have the same kettle efficiency as the original brewer which isn't correct. The BIABacus approaches things from a different angle and says, "To duplicate this person's brew, this is what you need to buy."

4. The BIABacus is an intimidating spreadsheet at first glance but it isn't that hard if worked through slowly for twenty minutes. There are virtually no decisions a new brewer has to make whereas in all other software, a lot of complicated decisions have to be made (and terminology grasped) that a new brewer has no idea on (kettle efficiency, fermentor efficiency, evap rate for example). The BIABacus auto-estimates these. When officially released will still be an intimidating spreadsheet at first glance but the clear terminology and ? help will still make it faster to grasp than anything else out there.

5. The intimidation factor would also, of course, become irrelevant if the interface was programmed. This has been already thought through in detail. For now though, spreadsheet it is :smoke:.

6. No other software does account correctly for sparging and dilutions. In a simplistic manner some of them do, but none of them look at the effects on kettle efficiency and how this subsequently affects many sub-factors. As you mentioned, most brewing formulas are black and white. The BIABacus however addresses the dynamic nature of a batch. For example, the more dilutions, the lower kettle efficiency. As a matter of interest, even without worrying about the effect on kettle efficiency, when we I was assisting in beta testing BeerSmith2, I was unable to develop a profile that could handle what we called Maxi-BIAB back then. (Now called Full Volume Variations for clarity.)

7. We addressed the Hop Adjustment Tool above (there isn't one ;)).

8. As for headspace and depth etc not being developed by anyone besides Archimedes, there are several things here...

a) No one knows who developed the volume of a cylinder but it wasn't Archimedes :).
b) Applying known things in a practical way may be obvious in hindsight but no one else has used this formula in brewing.
c) No other program also allows for odd shaped vessels such as kegs.
d) No one else has bothered to collect and devise an evaporation formula based on the surface area of the vessel.
e) No one else uses this maths to throw up warnings based on a complex array of inter-relationships.

So, I think this applying of some basic maths (and physics) shouldn't be too easily sneezed at. Simple though they might seem in hindsight, they have taken a long time to develop, apply and capitalise on.

...

Okey dokey, I think that is enough for now.

Can you or Rick copy my reply above to the HBT thread so it all balances?

Thank ye :salute:,
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 21 Jan 2015, 18:57, edited 1 time in total.
If you have found the above or anything else of value on BIABrewer.info, consider supporting us by getting some BIPs!
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Australia

Post #20 made 3 years ago
PistolPatch wrote:
Can you or Rick copy my reply above to the HBT thread so it all balances?

Thank ye :salute:,
PP
Done.
Last edited by Rick on 22 Jan 2015, 03:37, edited 1 time in total.
    • SVA Brewer With Over 20 Brews From United States of America

Post #21 made 3 years ago
Thanks Rick. Didn't see a response/reply here or there but I've just written a post here which explains why software working on fixed amounts of ingredients and efficiencies (something the most simplistic of spreadsheets can do), can be very incorrect and cause so many problems.

If anyone thinks this post is unfair or incorrect in any way, as with everything I write, I am most happy (would love, in fact) to be corrected*.

:peace:
PP

* From my personal point of view, I really think we need to be getting on with the job of finding a great team who are over-excited about educating, programming, designing, communicating or contributing in any way - there are so many ways. If any member has been lurking here and sees themselves being able to help with any of this, please PM myself or Pat (don't post).
Last edited by PistolPatch on 06 Feb 2015, 19:18, edited 1 time in total.
If you have found the above or anything else of value on BIABrewer.info, consider supporting us by getting some BIPs!
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Australia
Post Reply

Return to “BIABrewer Old Hands”

Brewers Online

Brewers browsing this forum: No members and 2 guests

cron