First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #1 made 7 months ago
I hope this is the correct place to put this question....

First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right? I'm trying to decide on what to use on brew day: Brew Target, Beer Smith, Brewers Friend or something else. I also have the Bru 'N Water spreadsheet, since I use RO water and have to add minerals. I'd like something that is accurate, repeatable and gives consistent results (based on if I don't mess up what it tells me to do) - ie. water volumes, brew steps, timers, accurate OG/FG/ABV/SRM/IBU, etc.

Is there a way to upload the file so others can view it? In case that's a no - I've uploaded it HERE (.ods) http://www.rogerhanson.com/BIABacus - Y ... Stout.ods or HERE (.xlsx) http://www.rogerhanson.com/BIABacus - Y ... rsion.xlsx

I'm in the US, so had to convert all the numbers. I didn't know SRM conversion to EBC, so I found a calculator for that HERE https://www.brewtoad.com/tools/color-converter.

Basically, I went through each section alphabetical and answered things the best I could. I'm not sure where to enter Trub loss in the fermenter though. I guess I have a "guesstimate" built-in when I say I want 11 gallons in the fermenter, that's figuring I might have about 1 gallon of loss due to trub.

You may question some of the numbers on BIABacus, but here's my setup:

eBIAB system.
25 gal Al kettle with 5500w heating element.
A Brew In A Bag brew bag made for my kettle.
Steam Condenser - so I boil with the lid on and the condenser turning steam into water, creating a vacuum and pulling it out of the kettle - to avoid high-humidity, especially since I will brew in the garage in a cold Minnesota winter.
I have a Craftbeerpi temp controller to control mash temp. I have a small pump that recirculates during mash.
I have a homemade CFC that works very well.
I don't have any kegging equipment and have to bottle 10 gallon batches.
I still use a glass carboy or fermenting bucket. Hoping to get a couple plastic 15gal conical fermenters some day.
Last edited by BMWFan on 26 Aug 2018, 10:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #2 made 7 months ago
I forgot to add more info about trying out Brew Target and Beer Smith software and Brewersfriend.com.

The starting water volumes for that same recipe in Biabacus files I linked to gave different results between all of them, as well as different ABV, OG, SRM, IBU. I'm assuming that it's because the equipment profiles are not exactly the same between them.
I was hoping to save some money and use Brew Target, but it was the one that was off the largest amount.

I was hoping that the BIABacus spreadsheet would be a good option, since it was made for BIAB from the start.
Last edited by BMWFan on 26 Aug 2018, 20:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #3 made 7 months ago
BMWFan -
All told, good job on filling out the BIABacus. :thumbs: You must expect to get different numbers when using different programs because the assumptions made are inherently different. I am biased toward the BIABacus. Your equipment is much more complicated than mine so I cannot offer an estimate of KFL losses, just measure what you get.

Check out posts by Pistol Patch from 4 years ago
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2247&p=33405#p33405
https://www.biabrewer.info/viewtopic.ph ... 415#p33415

My look at your BIABacus gives, from the top:
Section B, kettle capacity is filled in properly, but the advice given most frequently on this forum is to boil for 90 minutes. Yes it uses more energy, but it is to evaporate the water used in the full-volume mash that extracted the good stuff from the grains during the 90 minute mash you entered in Section E.

Section C:
You have Chocolate Malt listed twice. Is there an explanation? :scratch:
With flaked oats at 9.1% and flaked barley at 4.6% you will likely get a less-than-clear beer after all is done. That will be fine, as ling as you know it is coming.
You asked about EBC and SRM - someone else will have to help you there. I don’t worry much about color numbers. The BIABacus can be trusted to give approximate SRM numbers. In this case it indicate a fairly dark beer. Some light will get through, but you will not be able to read by it.

Section D: Willamette is one of my favorite flavor/aroma hops, but I do not use it for bittering. At its common 4.8% AA, as you entered on the left side, it is on the weak end of the AA% spectrum. You have entered 8.9 as the AA% on the right side - pretty potent Willamette hops you have there. If that is correct, it explains why you will be using a little more than half of the original recipe (left side). Why are there three entries of 8.9 on the right side with only one named hop on the left? If you intend to add Willamette hops more than once, enter the name on the line on the left (you don’t need to enter it on the same line on the right after that). Hops change from year to year in their AA% and more.

Section E: 68.9 ºC is on the high side for a Mash Temperature. It will provide for lots of body* in your beer, if that is what you want. You will not get as much fermentable sugars as you would with a lower Temperature like 66.5 ºC. Whirlfloc at 5 minutes is great. Mashout at 78 ºC for zero minutes :think: - what do you hope to accomplish here? Mashout does a couple of things -the heat denatures the remaining active beta and alpha amylases and supposedly reduces viscosity to aid in draining of the bag when lifted. Pull the bag from the hot liquid before you go above 78 ºC no matter what. If you just ramp up to a boil without pause, the difference will be negligible - again, make certain that the bag of wet spent grains is out of the hot liquid by 78 ºC. Your bag is going to be heavy when first lifted and draining back into the kettle. Have you got that covered? No rinsing required, just drain it and the liquor drained goes back in to be boiled.

Your entries show 22.41 lbs (10.165 kg) in Section C going into TWN of 14.37 gal (54.41 L) in Section K, putting you in the right range with no water held back in Section W (no need to enter zeros, just leave it blank). Other brewing recipe builders will have different numbers, guaranteed. Let BIABacus handle the efficiency numbers based on your upcoming results. Don't base an early recipe on a guess about efficiency. It will take you more than a few brew days to get an idea of your own efficiency on your own equipment.

Good luck an let us know how things go. :interesting:

*I may be guilty of perpetuating a myth regarding body and high mash temperatures. See http://brulosophy.com/2018/08/13/mash-t ... t-results/ for results from one case (a Helles, for what itis worth) where the correlation is disprovend
Last edited by ShorePoints on 11 Sep 2018, 01:51, edited 1 time in total.

Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #4 made 7 months ago
Thanks for the input.
I have used Whirlfloc tablets and plan on using them again.

Chocolate malt is there 2x because there is 2 different kinds, 2 different SRM levels.
About the hops number - I didn't set it to 8.9% - but really forgot to change it from the previous stock recipe (which is why the other entries are there, but no hops shown. I used the already-filled-out spreadsheet with the sample recipe. Thanks. I'll change it down to 4.8% and remove the others.

I do have a pulley above the kettle that I use to lift the bag and let it hang and drain. I also have some rubber insulated gloves that I squeeze the bag with.

There should not be any mashout. I think there were a lot of entries already filled in because I used the sample spreadsheet to start out. I'll clean it up. If you'd like to see it after I get it cleaned up, I can upload it again.

This is based on this recipe at homebrewtalk.com:
Yoopers Oatmeal Stout (this is a 5-gal recipe that I doubled everything)
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 1335
Yeast Starter: Yes!
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.016
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
IBU: 32
Color: 33.5
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 21 at 64
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): none
Tasting Notes: Wow- smooth, rich, velvety, not too roasty, not too dry! GREAT beer.
7 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 63.64 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 9.09 %
12.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 6.82 %
10.0 oz Chocolate malt (pale) (200.0 SRM) Grain 5.68 %
8.0 oz Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 4.55 %
8.0 oz Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 4.55 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 4.55 %
2.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 1.14 %
2.00 oz Williamette [4.80 %] (60 min) Hops 31.6 IBU

1 Pkgs British Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1335)


Water was
Ca: 84
Mg: 26
Na 9
SO4 45
Cl 62
HCO3 228

Mashed at 156, with a thin mash (1.75 quarts per pound) to keep the pH in range.
Last edited by BMWFan on 27 Aug 2018, 07:05, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #5 made 7 months ago
BMWFan - I guess you can tell that I missed the SRM difference in the two different Chocolate malts because I failed to pay attention to color. :blush:

The recipe has unusual elements; High mash temperature, >13% flaked grains, >11% black/chocolate grains and one dose of Willamette hops at 60 minutes, but they will work together. The link you included has discussions about astringency where it balances out. Take good notes along the way during brew day.

One great thing about the BIABacus is that you can enter the original recipe on the left side and it will convert to the scale you have set with your kettle dimensions and desired volume, OG and IBU targets. You do not need to "double" anything.

Looks good. Please let us know how it turns out!

Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #6 made 2 months ago
This beer turned out FANTASTIC. Awesome!

I'm going to brew again and have a question about the BIABacus spreadsheet -- and boil-off rates. I'd like to change it because it's calculating way too high for me.

I use a Boil/Steam condenser, which gets me about 2 qt per hour of evaporation/boil-off.
The spreadsheet is calculating 2.4 gallons for a 1-hour boil. That's way too high for my setup. Thus, it's telling me I need way too much water.

Can I correct this somewhere in the spreadsheet? I don't see where.
Last edited by BMWFan on 05 Jan 2019, 06:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #8 made 1 month ago
I've been meaning to write a few things to this thread for ages and I have a question too! Firstly...
BMWFan wrote:
2 months ago
This beer turned out FANTASTIC. Awesome!
Great to read that :salute:
BMWFan wrote:
2 months ago
[BIABacus] boil-off rates. I'd like to change it because it's calculating way too high for me.
I use a Boil/Steam condenser, which gets me about 2 qt per hour of evaporation/boil-off.
Great to see you found that answer on your own in Section X of the BIABacus. Well done :peace:

Why BeerSmith, Brewer's Friend etc Don't Match BIABacus.

You were wondering, quite rightly, about the difference between software like BeerSmith, Brewer's Friend and the BIABacus. It's a tricky area to explain and one best done with analogies and I've just thought of another one...

Imagine an electric clothes dryer. We all know that we can throw one towel in the dryer and it will probably be dry in 45 mins but, if we throw 5 towels in the dryer, then it will probably take 120 mins for them to dry. BeerSmith, Brewer's Friend and all other mainstream software are based on a fiction that one towel will be just as dry as two towels in the same amount of limited time. Another analogy is assuming that a dirty towel can be cleaned just as well with a limited amount of water e.g. one bucket, as it can with two.

Instead of the above fictions, easy to see with the above analogies, the BIABacus works on a far more realistic scenario. The BIABacus knows that in the brewing world, it is impossible to extract every bit of sugar from the grain as we are limited by many factors, the main one being that we are severely restricted as to how much water we can use to wash and rinse the grain... pretend you only have one bucket.

The current version of the BIABacus (PR 1.3T) solves that problem to a massive extent. A future iteration aims to solve it even further. The following diagram may help to distinguish things although the advantages compared to mainstream, even of PR1.3T, are not adequately shown...

BIABacus vs Mainstream.jpg


My question for you

I'd love to hear more about your "Boil/Steam Condenser." It sounds fascinating BMW. Can you post some more info on that? Would love to see some pics as well.
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Last edited by PistolPatch on 08 Feb 2019, 20:25, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #9 made 1 month ago
Here's some more info on the Boil Steam Condenser from a different brewing forum: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/thre ... ed.636955/

I live in a cold climate in the winter and brew in my cold garage. Boiling makes way too much steam with the kettle lid off.
With the boil condenser, I can keep the cover on when boiling and lower the power of the electric element way down, saving power.

The main benefit is reducing the humidity in my non-heated garage in the winter, keeping it off the sheetrock walls common with the house.

I really like the chart you provided. Can't wait until the next version of BIABacus comes out.

Here are some pictures of my steam condenser.
Image
Image
Image
Image
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #10 made 1 month ago
Thanks for the link and pics BMW - much appreciated :salute: . I hadn't seen the condenser before. We'd probably get in trouble using one here due to water restrictions :think: . Enjoyed reading the link. Shame the waste water can't be used for cleaning. That would be perfect!

I should have mentioned with the pic above that yellow/orange scenarios can be fixed easily (e.g. dilution) whereas red scenarios can't be fixed easily. Also just noticed that one of the Low's under BIABacus PR 1.3T was coloured yellow instead of red - fixed now. The diagram probably doesn't do justice to the differences though... If we forget about volume, you'll see that mainstream only scores 1/9 brews as ok versus BIABaci's 9/9 if that makes sense.

Next version requires adding in a few fairly complex calculations which will require some pretty fierce concentration or a lot of beer, not sure which yet :)
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #12 made 1 month ago
This is a very hard question to answer Scott and a very good one to ask. I started replying shortly after you wrote your question, had just finalised my reply, hit Enter and I was logged out and lost all I had written :)

Here is what I remember writing...

"I actually started writing an answer to your question before you even asked it. I also spent a lot of the last week on the BIABacus as tizoc has expressed an interest in coding it and has, actually, already started work on it. I know nothing about coding but I strongly suspect he is capable of coding the current version.

Even the current iteration has many hidden layers to it. I have one more version up my sleeve but it will take some days for me to test. The version after that is far more complicated to write/program/code. I'm not sure if it is even possible yet."

I finished my post with something like the following...

"In fact Scott, I'll probably email you and some other key members here before replying further in this thread as the BIABacus, even to date has come at an immense personal cost. Further versions will require the same intense blocks of concentration (hundreds of hours), so to continue that is pretty crazy. Especially as I haven't even had the resources to post the new site structure up!"

:smoke:
Pat
Last edited by PistolPatch on 16 Feb 2019, 23:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #13 made 2 weeks ago
I'm giving BIABacus another go and plan on making a Belgian Tripel.

Here's a link to the original recipe: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/thre ... st-2179248

Here are a couple screenshots of my BIABacus data:
Image
Image
I'm wondering if everything converted and entered on the BIABacus looks correct, including the suspected end-results...... except for section O. where I forgot to remove a previous actual OG number.....

Also, I wasn't sure how to modify the Candy Sugar in section Y.

Thanks.
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #14 made 5 days ago
Sorry your post has gone under the radar @BMWFan . It's going to be easier to answer if you can post your BIABacus file up and then I can make the right changes for you. Hopefully we're not too late??? :think:
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #15 made 5 days ago
Not too late.
Here's my spreadsheet. Attaching both .ods and .xlsx

BIABacus PR1.3U - Dragonmead Final Absolution Triple Clone.xlsx
BIABacus PR1.3U - Dragonmead Final Absolution Triple Clone.ods
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #16 made 2 days ago
Answer - Part 1*

Thanks for you outstanding patience @BMWFan . Nothing worse than having to wait days and days for an answer (sorry about that). I've just finished a big job so I should be more reliable from now on. Mind you, I might need some practice as I was half-way through writing my answer to you and lost the lot! (Not the forum's fault.) Let's see if I can remember what I wrote...

Okay, always save your files as .xls even when using LibreOffice or OpenOffice. The reason for this is that lots of people only have Excel and if you save your BIABacus as an .ods, they will, unfortunately, get a message saying that your file is corrupt. It won't open. If they do have LibreOffice installed they'll be able to open the file but heaps of people don't so best to play it safe and stick with .xls. (In hindsight, I wish we'd written the BIABacus in LibreOffice. Maybe later.)

Anyway, before we even go looking at BIABacus files, the thing to look at closely is the recipe you are trying to copy. If the original recipe says, "Chuck a pinch of salt in here and a couple of buckets of flour in here and then two handfuls of hops," you're not going to have much chance of copying that recipe. Unfortunately, there are many recipes floating about that can't be copied. In this thread, you'll find a recipe for a gold medal beer published in a respected magazine. But, it's impossible to copy as the recipe lacks critical definitions resulting in a recipe of no integrity. Yikes! But, it happens all too often. Let's have a look...

The Original Recipe - Dragonmead Final Absolution Triple Clone
I've deleted non-critical info below. Full original recipe can be found here though.

Batch Size (Gal): 5.00 Wort Size (Gal): 5.00 This line tells us we are going to have to do some work.
Total Grain (Lbs): 16.00 Should be 14.4 as Candy Sugar is not a grain.
Anticipated OG: 1.094
Anticipated SRM: 5.4
Anticipated IBU: 35.3 Garetz, Tinseth or Rager is not specified so, it rally has no relevance.
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75% This line also tells us we are going to have to do some work.

One good thing is that the original recipe contains a lot of info about each grain, sugar and hop addition....

Grain/Extract/Sugar
% Amount Name Origin Extract SRM
80.0 12.80 lbs. Pilsener Belgium 1.071 2
10.0 1.60 lbs. Munich Malt(2-row) America 1.008 6
10.0 1.60 lbs. Candy Sugar 1.015 0

Hops
Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
1.80 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfruh Whole 4.50 29.7 60 min
0.40 oz. Styrian Goldings Whole 5.25 3.9 30 min
0.80 oz. Czech Saaz Whole 3.50 1.7 3 min

So, I think we can sort this.

Let's get The BIABacus to Help Us Fill in the Grey Areas

First we need to correct some typos. (I'm not happy with that 60 mins in Section B and in Section E by the way but we can talk about that later ;) ). The 1.084 at the start of Section C should be 1.094 if we want to copy the original recipe.

In Section C, I have also typed a B beside Candy Sugar as it goes only in the boil. What you have done in Section Y for Candy Sugar I thought was correct but I have changed it to Beersmith defaults. Research that though as I think you are right :peace:.

That gets the fermentables sorted, sort of....

Section X is out of control. You've over-ridden the BIABacus default adjustments and you've typed in totally unrealistic scenarios. For example, you won't get only 1.9 litres of Kettle to Fermenter trub when you are brewing 44 litres into the fermenter of a hugely high gravity brew (any gravity brew as a matter of fact) so...

Don't over-ride the BIABacus defaults. The defaults prevent you from trying to do impossible brews which is exactly what I'm seeing here.

So, I'm going to remove the 1.9 KFL and the 0.7 from Section X. I'll leave the 1.9 evap rate as I know you have the exhaust set-up.

A Quick Look at Efficiencies

We have the fermentables sorted now and this is nearly always straight-forward. One thing you might note now though is that in Section P, we have three efficiency figures with the highest being 67.2%. If you look at your original recipe, they have something called 'Brewhouse Efficiency," at 75%. What you'll find if you look for any other recipes published by this person, they will have the same Brewhouse Efficiency whether they are brewing a beer with an OG of 1.094 or 1.034. And, that, is the major problem with all brewing software (BIABacus excepted), they assume that "efficiency" which is set by the program user, is a constant on every brew and that, is totally incorrect.

* That's taken a few hours to write and I've been working all day (and it's a Sunday) and I think I am getting old. In reality, I suspect I am getting wiser because I know how long the next part of the answer will take to write. I'll come back in a day or two with Part Two. Make sure you research on why I am unhappy with the 60 min boil and 60 min mash and I'll research on why I keep losing what I type. So annoying! :smoke: :peace:
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Last edited by PistolPatch on 24 Mar 2019, 22:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First try at using BIABacus - can I get another set of eyes to see if I did this right?

Post #17 made 2 days ago
Hi Pat,

This is great stuff... It is awesome to read a post with so much thought put into it!!! :thumbs:

I had questions as well on when using sugar (I’ve done this one time in my 55 BIAB batches), what changes if any does one make with the BIABacus file? I see you left his file adjustment with a change in the original file for that section. (Or does putting it in B for “boil only” do that automatically)?

Anyhow, some clear info on if/when sugar is used, what to change with the BIABacus file and how that changes things would be appreciated.

My one time I put it in like a regular fermentable and made no other changes. Think I added at the start with the mash. But at the end my OG was way high and I had to add water to dilute.

Thanks,
Scott
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