My second BIABacus plan

Post #1 made 1 month ago
Hello. I have entered information int a BIABacus spreadsheet for another brew, a Stout this time. If anyone would like to look it over and give me feedback I would appreciate it. I still am confused why using a hopsock would reduce the grain bill, but will follow the numbers on the spreadsheet at any rate. Also, there is my primary mashing malt and then my steeping grains. This is my first time using steeping grains. I have only mashed malt before. Do I include all together, the only difference being the nature of the grain, or do I handle the steeping grains differently, (like, steep first drain and then mash with primary malt, or vice versa, or???) Thank you!
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Re: My second BIABacus plan

Post #2 made 1 month ago
Brian - It's me again. If I have not steered you wrong yet, then you can proceed. Or you can wait for somebody else to chime in here (Hint) :whistle:

Your BIABacus file for the stout looks good but I have a few questions. In Section C there are EBC and SRM values for some, but not all grains. You can refer to Section Y where you can enter specific values if you have them and leave those fields blank in Section C - the BIABacus makes some assumptions and takes care of it for you. To fill in some and leave others out can make it so that the sums are not meaningful. Either way, SRM or EDC values are somewhat subjective. They can be quantified but I don't want Tyndall beams, spectrophotometers and APHA color charts in my life. :geek:
A hopsock will retain particles from the hops and allow them to be lifted clear of the wort, leaving much less matter contributing to trub. That means you get more wort into your fermenter (VIF) and less KFL. You have specified a desired VIF in Section B that generates both the grain weights and the total water needed (TWN). If you leave all the hops-related matter in the kettle (no hopsock), you will invariably leave wort behind with it. Hence more water and more grains would be required to get the same Specific Gravity and volume that you want. The amount of wort retained in the pulled hopsock is much less than the KFL amount of wort that would be left in the kettle with the increased trub if there was no hopsock employed. [if there are those who transfer the entire kettle contents to a primary fermenter, the trub and wort balances/costs will come later]
In Section D I would recommend entering Kent Goldings in the blank field for time zero addition simply because it makes it unambiguous.

Good job Brian.

Re: My second BIABacus plan

Post #3 made 1 month ago
Ah, the time zero addition. That's just me not deleting the entry from the previous beer; i didn't start with a clear spreadsheet but re-used a previous one. I don't know how to download an empty one.

I don't know where to get the EBC and SRM values for the grains, so I did not enter them.

My neighbors use a spectrophotometer and go the full sparge route, and make very fine beer. Someday I will show them the BIAB method, so long as I don't drop the malt onto the pavement in front of them.

I have some confusion about water volumes. In section K, Total Water Needed is different from Strike Water Needed. One of these is the amount of water that I begin with, including the water that I have steeped the specialty grains in. I don't understand what the difference between TWN and SWN is.

I expect that Mash Volume is water plus malt, and thus VIB is liquor remaining once the bag of malt has been removed.

Is VFO higher than VAW because of crud left in the kettle? If so, why is there a further loss (KFL) separate from the VFO VAW loss?

I use a siphoning wand with a hole near the bottom to reduce drawing up too much junk, so my transfer has been pretty clean. I just am confused by the intermediate volume differences that I mentioned.

Finally, how do I measure the volumes VIB and VAW accurately? My kettle does not have volume marking on it. I think I will put a yardstick into the kettle with the VIB and VAW of water in it prior to actually starting the beer making, and write down where on the yardstick these volumes fall. Is this a standard practice for home brewers?

Sorry for so many questions. I want to get my measurements straight and my systems down.
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Re: My second BIABacus plan

Post #4 made 1 month ago
Brian, you are doing fine. Keep asking questions, too.
I don't understand what the difference between TWN and SWN is
TWN is what it indicates - the absolute Total Water Needed as an ingredient for the recipe. SWN can be different due to the fact that one might be holding water back in Section W, BUT if Section W is blank, SWN will be greater than TWN because water expands as it is heated. I am not sure how to answer your question if you are steeping grains in some of the TWN outside of the mash in the kettle. I don't steep grains separately.
I expect that Mash Volume is water plus malt, and thus VIB is liquor remaining once the bag of malt has been removed.
You are correct - the mash volume is how full the kettle will be for the time of mashing. VIB is to be measured at the start of the boil. The bag was pulled well before this at a lower temperature. This can be a little fuzzy because foaming sometimes occurs at the same time as boiling starts and it makes measuring difficult (especially if you are brewing solo). Move the spreadsheet on your screen to see Sections U and V over on the right. Section U is the height of the liquid in your kettle according to the dimensions you entered in Section B. Section V is the headspace, or the empty part of your kettle from the top of the liquid to the rim. I prefer to measure without sticking anything other than a thermometer into the liquid, so a metal tape measure works well to measure the headspace*. VIB can also vary according to the spent grain holding different amounts of liquid depending on the recipe or the brew day, or squeezing.
Is VFO higher than VAW because of crud left in the kettle? If so, why is there a further loss (KFL) separate from the VFO VAW loss?
VFO / VAW difference is really due to the volume difference related to temperature. The difference between VAW and VIF is KFL. The KFL in my experience is variable because the amount of trub and how much of it gets transferred from Kettle to Fermenter is both recipe dependent and related to my transfer technique on that day. I am not very picky about keeping all the trub out of my primary fermenter. This also entails having accurate marks on fermenters, or measuring headspace prior to fastening the lid down.
Finally, how do I measure the volumes VIB and VAW accurately? My kettle does not have volume marking on it.
I'll have to look for a link on how to scribe long-lasting markings on a kettle wall, it was a long time ago that I saw it. I chose to not do that because of resulting scratches or bumps in my kettle wall. However, you can mark the outside with a sharpie. It is not super accurate, but it may help. Sections U and V again (see above).

Keep asking questions! :salute:

*Technically, the headspace measured also depends on the temperature of the liquid and the expansion associated with it when hot. How precise does one need to be? TWN @ STP?
Last edited by ShorePoints on 27 Oct 2018, 03:12, edited 2 times in total.

Re: My second BIABacus plan

Post #5 made 1 month ago
This was something I wrote a long time ago.
BEGINNERS GUIDE (3).pdf
It may help with understanding terminology & why we do it?

It is buried in a thread on the site somewehere, showing how it evolved. Give it a quick look and see if it helps.

Cheers
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I've stopped drinking, but only when I'm asleep
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Re: My second BIABacus plan

Post #6 made 1 month ago
Hello all. Status report on this stout: Brewing went mostly fine. I did a 90 minute mash, with the specialty grains steeped for the first 30 minutes, as per Palmer's NEW revised version. Mash out to 173. I had 2 thermometers that registered differently by 6 to 8 degrees, so I was nervous about that... Irish moss in 15 minutes before end of boil.
I rigged up a rope over a branch to help in removing the grain bag before the boil. Then I did a 90 minute boil, hops added after 30 minutes (for a 60 minute hopping, as per the original formula). That worked well. BUT my hop sack opened up resulting in a lot of trub. AND I dropped my hydrometer onto the patio, so...

Volume was a little less than intended, so I added in about 4 cups of boiled and cooled water.

Cooling was about 20 minutes using an immersion chiller. I tried to pour the wort off of the trub, but could not keep them very separate, so a lot of trub into my primary carboy. I poured back and forth between a sanitized bucket and the boil kettle to aerate, then through a sanitized funnel into the carboy, then pitched at 72 degrees (provided the thermometer was correct) and attached a blow off hose into a gallon jar of water.
That was in Sunday evening. There was a lot of foam and junk on the top of the fermenting beer, and vigorous fermentation, but by Wednesday morning the stuff on top had largely settled and the bubbling stopped. THEN I decided to transfer to my secondary (5 gallon) carboy. I know this is early, but I wanted to take it off that huge pile of trub so my questions are:
Was that a bad thing to do so early?
Provided my gravity is where it should be (new hydrometer), how soon can I bottle?

Thank you.
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Re: My second BIABacus plan

Post #7 made 1 month ago
Another Brian - Congratulations! :salute:

Two thermometers - one cannot be sure which one is correct. Calibration suggestions are welcome, I hope others can help. Boiling water = 212 deg F or 100 deg C at sea level, lower T at higher elevations; methanol and water do not give an azeotrope, so windshield washer fluid with MeOH as the anti-freeze component will show first sign of boiling (stalled temperature rise on your thermometer) at 60 deg C (140 deg F) Keep your volume down, don’t breathe the fumes, etc. You will have to cope with your thermometers somehow.

Irish moss at 15 min is OK but some say that it (or whirlfloc tab fraction) at 5 min. Is just as good or better.

Adding water will change the Specific gravity. That will be OK as long as you know, measure the impact, and it is in keeping with the style you are making.

Do not worry so much about getting trub in your primary fermenter. It doesn’t’ hurt. Your aeration method will work. Kudos to you for good pouring technique. Your pitching temp could be lower (below 68 deg F, 20 deg C) but the yeast will survive and go to work. Keep track of temp on at least a daily basis. Racking to a secondary fermenter after three days is a good thing if you worry about trub. It does more than get the beer off that trub. It re-aerated the liquor; some say that’s bad but if your yeast is still reproducing, it is not entirely bad.

As for when to bottle - be patient!
With a new hydrometer (ironic how gravity destroyed the instrument used to measure ‘gravity’) take as small a sample from your secondary fermenter as required to float your hydrometer. Write down the number, wait three days and repeat. If those two numbers are the same, then proceed to bottling. Do not return any samples to the batch, you can drink them. If the beer is too cloudy for you, read up on cold crashing. When bottling, you will leave behind some more crud at the bottom of the secondary fermenter and still have sediment in your bottled beer. It’s good, just don’t dump the entire bottle into a glass served to a guest.

After bottling - be patient!
Mind the storage temperature. :party: :drink:
At two weeks you will want to have a taste. Go ahead and waste a bottle to learn that you should have waited out the third week.

Congratulations - you will get beer.

Re: My second BIABacus plan

Post #8 made 1 month ago
Thank you for the response, Shore Points. I will check gravity in the morning. Long day at work just ended. if it is where I want it I may bottle tomorrow. I took a reading a few days ago, and it was around 1.017, which is right on. I tasted the runoff from the thief. Dryer than expected. Maybe because of so much yeast/attenuation?

This beer moved so quickly, but there were THREE yeast packs.

I checked both thermometers today in boiling water, and the nice glass one was 6 to 8 degrees higher than the electronic one. I did rely on the electronic one when boiling and mashing, so that is a bit of a relief. I do like the floating one, so off to my shop. Again.

I can store at around 66/67 F. or around 72/74F. Two zones in my house.

As far as serving crud to a guest, they get what they pay for. So far everybody has been happy with my gifts.

Thanks again. More later.
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