Help Support Aussie Homebrewer by donating:

  1. We have implemented the ability to gift someone a Supporting Membership now! When you access the Upgrade page there is now a 'Gift' button. Once you click that you can enter a username to gift an account Upgrade to. Great way to help support this forum plus give some kudos to anyone who has helped you.
    Dismiss Notice

A few questions before my first AG brew attempt

Discussion in 'All Grain Brewing' started by Bob65, 16/2/20.

 

  1. Bob65

    Member

    Joined:
    15/1/20
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Sydney
    Posted 16/2/20
    I have a new Guten 50l.

    Okay, got the gear but no idea.

    I have done the research on how to use it, and will be doing a trial run before hand to see what problems may occur so at this point I am not asking for directions there (maybe later but don't want to overthink it yet).

    Now, from advice garnered from this forum I will be keeping it simple, SMaSH recipe I got from the internet.

    Maris Otter, amarillo, and US-05.

    Now the questions.


    The recipe says it makes a 20l batch. I want to make a 25l batch (mainly because I have a 30l fermenter).

    Do I upscale the quantities for the ingredients proportionately? ie: add 25%


    Next, the hops. It says add at 60 mins, and then more at the end of boil (zero minute hop addition?). I have a hop spider, do I add the end of boil hops into the spider or directly into the wort? If not in the spider wouldn't this add sediment to the wort? If I do add to the spider will it have much of an effect?


    Lastly, how much water should I start with to make the 25l? I understand that it would be different for everyone but would like a starting point to work it out for myself for next time.



    So, help the clueless dude out.
     
  2. MHB

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30/9/05
    Messages:
    5,635
    Likes Received:
    3,051
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Posted 17/2/20
    Its amazing how complex the answer to what appears to be a simple question can be. Which is where we are at!.

    Couple of things that should be clarified first.
    Trub, the crud we leave in the bottom of the kettle is in part hop debris (both bittering hops and late hops), weather or not this ended up in the fermenter is much less important than people think.
    What is very important is that we leave behind the condensed protein that forms in the boil (read the Function of Wort Boiling at end). You will have to leave some wort in the kettle at the end, so unless the amount of hops is so large that it comes up over the tap you can forget about the hop spider. In most system you can budget 5-10% of the wort volume. Don't try and get out more at this stage, keep your first couple of brews really simple and focus on making good beer.

    Next is how much you are really making? You want 25L in the fermenter (called "Cast Wort" or "Knockout" in the US), you are going to leave 5-10% more behind so at the end of the boil so at the end you want (25*1.05) = 26.25 to (25*1.1) = 27.5L
    Its a really good idea to put some water in your kettle, drain down and then measure your leftover so you have a hard number and use that.
    Not trying to over complicate things but that 25L you want is Cold Wort (20oC) if you are measuring it hot it will be 4% bigger through expansion so that well be 27.3 - 28.6L at 100oC.

    During the boil you get evaporation, somewhere around 10% is considered typical (again its worth measuring it so you know your own system). At the start of the boil you will need around 10% more so that gives you 30.03 to 31.46 (Hot volume) Being practical call it 30-32L hot so 28.9 - 30.2L , again practically 29-30L Cold volume

    Grain at the end of mashing is wet, when you lift it out you will be taking some of your water with it, if you let the grain drain, well the standard number is about 0.8L/kg of malt that went in at the start. You haven't said how much grain your recipe calls for (note that from 20 to 25 is 20% more not 25%) but lets say its 6kg. You will be removing (6*0.8) = 4.8kg (call it 4.8L) of you start water.

    Adding that to our start of boil volume means you need 33.7 - 35L at the start!
    Worth thinking for a couple of seconds, Hydrated malt is said to occupy 0.7L/kg, if you used 6kg that's 4.2L.
    Add that to your water volume and we get a maximum of 39.2L so it will all fit in your 50L Guten (can be embarrassing if you don't check).

    If you take a bit of time to measure everything carefully, keep good notes, next brew you should know pretty much exactly what you need to put in to get your targets out.
    Mark
     

    Attached Files:

    Ghostie, Kingy and SKBugs like this.
  3. Bob65

    Member

    Joined:
    15/1/20
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Sydney
    Posted 17/2/20
    Thanks MHB

    I did read through that file you attached. Will probably comprehend it a bit more once I have done a few batches, so it is saved to my computer for later.

    I am trying to keep it simple at the start.

    I am not even sure where on the internet I got that recipe from, but it seems pretty simple to me. It states that you can use any grain and hops that you like for it. At this point I have no idea what difference changing them will make, but I figure that if he is trying to give a simple recipe for beginners then he probably wouldn't give one that tasted bad, so it is a starting point.

    The recipe calls for 5kg Maris Otter and 13l of water, and then using another 17l of water for sparging (30l of water all up) to collect 24l of pre boil wort. Given some evaporation during boil, and then contracting as it cools will end up around 20l and his figures are pretty close to what you were explaining.

    I might just use 6.5kg and 40l and see how that goes.

    As for the 20%-25% thing, my maths were correct, but it depends on how you look at it and what the starting point is.

    If you start with 20 and add 25% you end up with 25, but if you start with 25 and subtract 20% you end up with 20.
     
  4. MHB

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30/9/05
    Messages:
    5,635
    Likes Received:
    3,051
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Posted 17/2/20
    The old is 5% beer 1% or 20% stronger than 4% beer, well it contains 1% more alcohol and is 20% stronger

    If you start with Maris Otter and Amarillo its pretty hard not to make a decent tasting beer, they being among the best malt and hops in the world.
    It's a pretty good rule of thumb that 1kg of malt makes 5L of (standard) wort and uses 6L of water, you could go with that (hopefully you will learn the maths one day), the numbers above show why.
    6.5kg of malt and (6.5*6) = 39L of water, call it 40L, as you said should give you close to what you are looking for.
    Just don't be greedy, looses are part of the cost of doing business and crap is meant to be left in the kettle.
    I assumed you were doing an all in no sparge brew (good place to start), but it really wont matter if you do hot water additions to jump the temperature, save some of the water for sparging... you really will use the same amount of water.

    Lets assume you are using 6.5kg of malt in 40L of water - all in no sparge.
    At the end of mashing you should have (40L - (6.5*0.8)) = 34.8L @ 11oP or 1.044.
    At the end of the boil with 10% evaporation you should have 31.32L at 12.1oP or 1.0485.
    Be interesting to see how close you get on you cherry popper.
    Mark
     
  5. Bob65

    Member

    Joined:
    15/1/20
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Sydney
    Posted 17/2/20
    Thanks mate.

    That rule of thumb (1kg of malt makes 5L of (standard) wort and uses 6L of water) is kind of what I was looking for with the original question, but didn't know how to ask properly.

    I appreciate the input. I may just go without the sparge on this first batch (makes it even simpler) and learn what difference it makes with the next batch.
     
  6. feralbass

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25/4/16
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mech Engineer
    Location:
    Sydney
    Posted 17/2/20
    Bob65 personal email sent
     
  7. eastgummy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    13/12/19
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NSW
    Posted 23/2/20
    Something I learnt the hard way on my second brew ever is that beer recipes don't scale proportionally (a cross multiplication is not enough). Sure it worked and I got a decent beer, but it was far from what I was expecting.
    I strongly recommend you try to use a brewing calculator. The more "professional" is beersmith, but I found it a little un-friendly at first. I use https://www.brewersfriend.com/ but there are many. On this one you have 5 free "recipe-slots" that you can reuse over and over again if you don't want to pay the subscription, I'm a cheap and that's what I've been doing for the last 3 years hehehe

    Things you need to know from the beginning but you will be adjusting until you have a good understanding of your system:
    - boiloff rate: is the amount of water evaporated during the boil, for my 32cm diameter kettle it is 3.9L/hour, bigger diameter higher rate. I'm sure your system will provide this data but I guesstimate it would be around 4.5L/h
    - grain absorption: the amount of water the grain retains after the mash, tipycally 0.8L/kg
    - brewhouse efficiency: this depends on many things, but mostly the sparge method, the grain mill gap and the proportion between mash and sparge water and it varies A LOT. I do BIAB and the first times I didn't sparge, I got the grain milled from the supplier and I got 65%, then I started doing "bulk sparging" (put the bag in other pot with the sparge water) and I got 72-5%, then I started to do something similar to fly sparge (with a hose over the grain, not around the bag) and I got 80%. Eventually I started to look into the sparge water proportion, milling my own grain to 0.6mm and now I'm doing around 85%. With your system and all variables "au point" you can easily get to 90% I guess.

    Then you start thinking about the recipe...
    The first approach is to get a good recipe from a reputable source, scale it for your system and your ingredients (mind the Alpha Acid % your hops have!) using the brewing calculator and brew it. Write down EVERYTHING and analyse the result with your notes. Then adjust your recipe and procedure and eventually brew it again (or something similar) trying to apply the lessons learnt.

    When you are confident with your system and your procedure then you can start making your own recipes based on the styles you like, which for me is the fun part of the hobby.

    If you just want a lot of cheap beer, follow the instructions of your brewing robot step by step and boom! beer!
     
  8. eastgummy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    13/12/19
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NSW
    Posted 23/2/20
    P.S. If when you transfer the wort to the fermenter your gravity was too high (you got better efficiency than expected), you can choose between:
    - add water until your target OG -> the final % ABV will be the one you wanted
    - don´t do anything -> the final %ABV will be higher

    In both cases the bitterness will be a little off, but unless you go extreme it won't be very noticeable

    If your OG is too low (you got worse efficiency than expected) the only thing you can do is boiling longer which is a pain in the ass (raise to boiling temp and chilling twice) and it will probably mess with your hopping schedule big time, so... in my opinion it's better to be conservative with the efficiency when you make the recipe if you're not sure about it
     
  9. Kea

    Member

    Joined:
    23/2/20
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Posted 24/2/20
    I would highly recommend looking into Brewfather software for your water/grain calculations. It’s much more user friendly than Beersmith (what I used to use) and free.
     
    eastgummy likes this.
  10. Bob65

    Member

    Joined:
    15/1/20
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Sydney
    Posted 25/2/20
    Thanks eastgummy.

    I looked up the brewers friend calculator. Added everything as best I could. Not really sure I did it right but tried. For some reason it didn't calculate the mash pH so I don't know what I have done wrong there.

    End result is confusion. Mainly because at this point I don't know what I am looking at or what I should be aiming for or how to change things up to get there.

    It might take a batch or two but I will learn it as things become more relevant to what I am doing.

    So for now I am going to stick with plan A, follow the robots instructions and make beer.


    Out of curiosity, does everyone use internet based recipe calculators, or is there a stand alone one that you keep on you own computer?
     
  11. eastgummy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    13/12/19
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NSW
    Posted 25/2/20
    Yes, well, sorry, it is a little bit too much to digest for the first time...
    At this stage I wouldn't worry too much about the water adjustments (pH and minerals) , that's a little over the top, leave it for the next one. In fact I prefer to use ezwatercalculator for that, it's easier.

    You can use brewersfriend (or other general calculator) just to calculate the amount of water, grain, OG (original gravity) and IBU (international bitterness units).

    There are many calculators online and others you can download and keep in your computer, even excel pages to fill up.

    The one most people use is beersmith but the first time I saw it I had the same experience as you just had with brewersfriend, hehehehe
     
  12. eastgummy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    13/12/19
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NSW
    Posted 25/2/20
    yep
     
  13. Schikitar

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    26/3/17
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    347
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Posted 26/2/20
    I used BrewersFriend for a while but have now moved over to BrewFather, it's much nicer, I've ponied up for the subscription! I still use some of the BF calculators etc., which are super handy but for recipe/brewing I think BrewFather is a much stronger product..
     
  14. eastgummy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    13/12/19
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NSW
    Posted 26/2/20
    I'm looking into the brewfather app and it looks awesome, i'll give it a go...

    also it provides 10 free slots for recipes!
     
    Schikitar likes this.
  15. eastgummy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    13/12/19
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NSW
    Posted 27/2/20
    I just exported my last recipe from brewersfreind to brewfather and ...

    EDIT: more or less it matches everything.

    But I compared the OG calculated and in my original recipe in brewersfriend it was 1053 for brewhouse efficiency of 85% in brewfather to get the OG 1053 I have to lower the brewhouse efficiency to 70% (mash efficiency 83.3%).

    what am i doing wrong?

    EDIT: might be the brewhouse efficiency in brewersfriend is mash efficiency in brewfather?
     
    Last edited: 27/2/20
  16. MHB

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30/9/05
    Messages:
    5,635
    Likes Received:
    3,051
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Posted 27/2/20
    Bitterness calculations are all Voodoo, none of them give you a "Right" answer, that's why there are a bunch of different calculators and none of them ever agree.

    Looking at you carbonation, There is a equation (probably known to everyone that writes brewing software - and brewers)
    1g sugar + 0.005g amino acid gives 0.05g Yeast growth, 0.488g of Alcohol and 0.468g of CO2 + some heat
    Given 1 Volume of CO2 is the same as 1.97g/L
    If you wanted to condition your beer to 2.5 Volumes that is ~5.1g/L (5.0629)
    Pretty clearly you are going to need to add 10.81g/L of sugar, for a 330ml bottle you would need to add 3.57g.
    The above assumes you are using a 100% fermentable sugar (sucrose, maltose...) and that your beer has no CO2 in it. This is where I suspect you might be having problems. Most brewing software takes into account the amount of CO2 already in solution then works out how much extra you need to add to reach your target.
    Unless you have gone in and told the software otherwise it will make some "Standard" assumptions - like that your beer was at 20oC so it will have something like 1.7g/L, it will then adjust your sugar addition accordingly.
    Default may be to assume you are using Dextrose (corn sugar) that is only 91% fermentable or LDME that is about ~65% fermentable, pretty clearly the different assumptions will give very different outcomes.

    I think you would need to spent a bit of time with the software and play around with the settings before you rip them a new one.
    Mark
     
    eastgummy likes this.
  17. eastgummy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    13/12/19
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NSW
    Posted 27/2/20
    Thank you very much, Mark.

    Yep, I played a little more with it and I found what I was doing wrong with the priming. Now it matches exactly the other one as you explained that's why I edited the post.
    About the IBUs, you're also right, but honestly, the difference is 11.1 vs 11.3, not really a big deal. Which one is right? I don't know and I don't care too much anyway...

    It's true in general brewfather is easier to read , easier to work with and more practical, but... What about the efficiency?
    I entered 85% in Brewhouse efficiency and the mash efficiency went over 100% which doesn't make sense at all. What am I NOT understanding here? :S

    70% Brewhouse efficiency is 83.3% mash efficiency and gives me OG1053 which was the calculated one on brewersfriend with 85% Brewhouse efficiency, so... White in a bottle
     
  18. MHB

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30/9/05
    Messages:
    5,635
    Likes Received:
    3,051
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Posted 27/2/20
    Mash efficiency and Brewhouse efficiency aren't the same thing at all.
    Mash efficiency is well basically how much of the potential extract you got into solution, it pays no attention to losses.
    Brewhouse efficiency is the percentage of extract you get into your fermenter, or quite often home brewers call it on the kettle volume, arguably because its the one place we all get to (I think its often because they like claiming bigger numbers).
    When I brew commercially I like to see 80-82%% in the fermenter (Brewhouse). The mash efficiency is in the low 90% range (crappy sparging on the system) the missing 10% is in the bottom of the kettle with the trub, in the pump, hoses, heat exchanger... between the kettle and the fermenter.

    These days I do nearly all my calculations on a bit of paper, so I'm not all that familiar with the ins and outs of the modern brewing software. I do wish they would all write good tutorials to go with their products.
    Mark

    PS
    I would recommend you not go back and rewrite earlier posts, there was a lot of trouble around here a couple of years ago with people doing that, often quite maliciously.
    Sure go back and fix spelling... add a note, whatever, but rewriting history is frowned on especially by older (long term) members.
    M
     
    Chappo666 likes this.
  19. eastgummy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    13/12/19
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NSW
    Posted 27/2/20
    About the edit: I put EDIT and removed the parts where I was talking about the differences I found at first. Later on I realised what was happening and nobody had answered, so it didn't make sense, I just thought it could create confusion to people half-reading... No malicious-ness.

    A part from that, thank you for your explanation. I think I'm missing some parameters on the configuration as I don't have any losses between the mash and the fermenter a part from the grain absorption and boil off. I do BIAB and Chuck everything in the fermenter, no whirlpool, no lines, no pump, etc.
     
  20. Kea

    Member

    Joined:
    23/2/20
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Posted 27/2/20
    I’d imagine the irregularities are more likely due to user error than any bug in the software. Have you set it up correctly and made sure all of the brew house settings are correct and measured to your system? Even using a pre-programmed set of variables (eg for the Grainfather) it may not match what you are doing 100% and so the calculations will not be correct. Make sure you have measured everything on your system yourself and use these numbers, or better still measure multiple times and take an average. Only then will the calculators be correct for you and how you are using your system.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder