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Lost 10l To Grain, What's Going Wrong?

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vortex

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Finished my second AG brew today. First one I missed all my numbers and didn't worry, just went with it, so I didn't over-complicate things. Today I looked at the numbers, and I'm a bit worried.

I put a DSGA recipe into BeerSmith 2, using the supplied grain quantities and amounts, and then scaled to suit the batch size I wanted to make today (25L into fermenter).

It told me to mash the grain, 5.3kg, with 15L of water (give or take 100mL), I went with this. Mashed fine, drained probably 6 or 8L from the mash tun. BS2 suggested I then batch sparge with 5L, and then 15L. I assume the 5L is for mash out, but I combined it with the 15L and went for a 20L batch sparge. Let it settle for 15min, vorlauf and then let it drain. Sparge didn't get stuck, and I was left with 22L in the boil kettle @ 1040SG. I know efficiency isn't everything, but BS2 says 54% efficiency which could be improved.

BS2 thinks I should have had only 5L of water absorbed into the grain, but I had more like 10L. When I emptied the mash tun it was quite dry, not a lot of free water at all, so doesn't appear to be a stuck sparge.

Measured the mash water with a pot that has 3L graduated marks on it, 5 of those into the pot for heating the mash water. Simply filled the small pot for the batch sparge water, 18L... Pretty sure my numbers would be close enough within a litre or two. No way are they 10L out.

So, i'm at a loss as to what is going on. Would my crush affect the water absorption of the grain? My mill gap is 1mm. Is BS2 just that bad at getting it's grain absorption calc right that it needs a 3rd batch sparge perhaps? Do I need to hack around in BS2 and tell it to expect 10L of absorption perhaps?

Obviously there was no leak, pretty sure I would have noticed with the japanese army boots on :)
 

manticle

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I would suggest at least 1 litre per kilo, possibly slightly more + some liquid losses that didn't come through the tap. Tun may have looked dry but there would be some liquid still remaining - possibly another 2 litres or so.

Not sure about 10 L but 7 or 8 litres makes it seem a little less out (+ your possible error margin of 1-2 litres).

Fill the esky with said amount of water, drain as you drained and see what is left beneath the tap. Add that to your next calcs along with grain absorption. Beersmith v2.0 does not know your system - it is an estimate/calculation only.

Run a couple of brews through it, get the numbers and then YOU tell beersmith what the numbers should be , rather than the other way around.
 

raven19

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grain, 5.3kg, with 15L of water

batch sparge with 5L, and then 15L

I assume the 5L is for mash out, but I combined it with the 15L and went for a 20L batch sparge. Let it settle for 15min, vorlauf and then let it drain
Hmmm...

5.3kg = roughly 5L absorbed water, and 10L first runnings.

Then batch sparge with 2 x 10L lots to get your final kettle preboil of around 30L.

As you combined the second and third batch sparge water additions, you may have not washed the sugars out of the mash as much as planned. I tend to do two single 10L batch sparges in lieu of combining them.

This could be your issue.

Edit - maybe double check things like your volume markings, etc...? Did you get on the beers early? ;)
 

keifer33

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Beersmith 2 seems to have a mind of its own with mash tun deadspace. I have set it to zero and measured how much water is left behind after I drain it on a test run and add that to my volumes. Do as manticle suggests and dry run it and put those into Beersmith and see what difference it makes.
 

SJW

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Yep +1 on Beersmith 1 & 2. I have always set kettle loss and mash tun dead space to 0. and just worked on what I want left in the kettle after the boil. Just keeps it simple.

Steve
 

vortex

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I would suggest at least 1 litre per kilo, possibly slightly more + some liquid losses that didn't come through the tap. Tun may have looked dry but there would be some liquid still remaining - possibly another 2 litres or so.

Not sure about 10 L but 7 or 8 litres makes it seem a little less out (+ your possible error margin of 1-2 litres).

Fill the esky with said amount of water, drain as you drained and see what is left beneath the tap. Add that to your next calcs along with grain absorption. Beersmith v2.0 does not know your system - it is an estimate/calculation only.

Run a couple of brews through it, get the numbers and then YOU tell beersmith what the numbers should be , rather than the other way around.
Yep there was some water left in the mash tun, but it wouldn't have been more than 2L. That certainly accounts for some of it; Deadzone could certainly be a couple of litres.

Hmmm...

5.3kg = roughly 5L absorbed water, and 10L first runnings.

Then batch sparge with 2 x 10L lots to get your final kettle preboil of around 30L.

As you combined the second and third batch sparge water additions, you may have not washed the sugars out of the mash as much as planned. I tend to do two single 10L batch sparges in lieu of combining them.

This could be your issue.

Edit - maybe double check things like your volume markings, etc...? Did you get on the beers early? ;)
LOL I didn't even touch the beers :) I do need a consistent way of measuring when adding to the mash tun (though what I did today should have been close enough), and also the kettle volume. Interesting that 2 x 10L sparges may work better.

Thanks for the suggestions; i'll give it another go in 2 weeks time (stout time!), sounds like I just need to sparge some more, tweak BS a bit and factor in my deadspace.
 

Thirsty Boy

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to be honest, you probably just miscounted the number of pots of water you tipped in, its easy to do (done it plenty of times)

Better to have some way to measure your volume, so a mistake stands out. Marks on the mash tun, a dip stick - that sort of thing.
 

kelbygreen

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yes beersmith I work on minimal deadspace as I think it screws it all up if anything. But once you have dialed it in with your system (exact amount will not be what beersmith says) but after a few brews you will be able to dial everything in. Your only looking at a average any way as every brew will be different in the efficiency but as long and you work out your average and I aim a tad lower so if I do go lower I aint stressing out to add more fermentables.
 

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