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Beer Tools Pro Calibrated for The Electric Brewery

 
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Holter



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 221
Location: Los Angeles, Ca


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:37 am    Post subject: Beer Tools Pro Calibrated for The Electric Brewery Reply with quote


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Everyone-

Ive been using Beer Tools Pro for a year or so now and I love it, its so much better than Beer Alchemy was for me. Pro Mash wasnt (and still may not be) available for a Mac and I was tired of wating for Beersmith to be available for a Mac. Im happy we made the switch.

On my current setup, I have all of the vessels calibrated in Beer Tools Pro and as I will begin transitioning over to the new system soon all of these value's will be obsolete. I was just writing up a recipe for a Belgian Dark Strong Ale and when i got to setting up my schedule and evaporation rate it hit me that i needed to change everything.

So my question is, does anyone have any of their vessels calibrated in Beer Tools Pro yet? I wouldnt mind starting out with some preset values and seeing how close they are on my system, kind of an experiment to see how consistent these builds are across the board. Obviously mine is going to be different because i used different kettles, but we could all use this as a thread to combine our data and give future builders an idea.

Thanks

Holter

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Holter
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omegatke



Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too have been using Beer Tools for a while (about 2 years) and love it. I will be getting my control panel hopefully tomorrow from the super nice UPS man (and Spike Innovations). Once I get it setup I plan on running through all the calibrations. Once I do I will post my results - and would be interested in see others as well!
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WahooBrewingCo



Joined: 25 Oct 2011
Posts: 4
Location: Fort Worth, TX


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive got the warehouse up and turned and going to start calculating my vessels in BTP. You can check out these videos if they help you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GnRlv8YzYs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6mftK1zpxQ

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Holter



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 221
Location: Los Angeles, Ca


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more I think about this the less I think the calibration in BTP is going to matter as much as it used to. It will be nice to understand the speed that we should expect the system to heat water up, but the metric that I like the most was the heat retention of mash vessels. When using a cooler it was more important, but with this system it's not supposed to matter.

So I guess the metrics I care the most about will be heat transfer, heat loss when idle and boil off rate. On our first brew we lost 1 gallon from the end of the sparge through to the end of the boil (60 min boil) which was far better than the 2.2 gallons er hour I experienced on my 13 gallon propane system.

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Holter



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 221
Location: Los Angeles, Ca


PostLink    Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I've had some gripes about Beer Tools Pro and figured i would post about them here because i may just simply be using the software incorrectly.

First one is a simple one, i would prefer the amounts be listed as lbs and oz instead of decimal points for lbs. More times than id like to admit i have filled up 12.8lbs of grain as 12lbs 8 oz, just because i was pushing to get the ingredients quickly. Is there a way to do this? At this point I basically add an extra line. If i need 31.5 lbs of 2-row I add one line that is 31lbs and another that is 8oz just because i know i will be thinking about something else when i measure my grains.

Second, during recipe formulation i would prefer to be able to adjust my recipes based on % points rather than by weight. In a lot of my beers i like to have about 5% carapils and i find myself spending a lot of time adjusting everythings weight to hit %'s. It would be nice to be able to adjust and lock certain ones.

Also during recipe formulation, I think it would be great if the software calculated estimated final gravity based on process and ingredients. For example, if I expect to hit 1.050 with a mash @ say 148F, but on brew day i accidentally hit 154F (not really a problem anymore with this new system) it would be nice to be able to adjust my Sac rest to be 154F and have my estimated FG raise up based on the less fermentable mash. Just the same, if i decided to add 10% Dextrin to the mash I would like to see it adjust for that as well. From what I can tell it is 100% controlled by the apparent attenuation dialogue box, which means I need to brew this beer first to see what I hit for my OG and FG and it will adjust the App. Attenuation to reflect what actually happened. This seems like a feature i like, but i would like to have the software list estimated and apparent.

Does anyone know of ways to do what I would like the software to do within Beer Tools Pro? Ive got ways to calculate outside of the program, but not from within yet.

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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10673
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holter wrote:
First one is a simple one, i would prefer the amounts be listed as lbs and oz instead of decimal points for lbs. More times than id like to admit i have filled up 12.8lbs of grain as 12lbs 8 oz, just because i was pushing to get the ingredients quickly. Is there a way to do this? At this point I basically add an extra line. If i need 31.5 lbs of 2-row I add one line that is 31lbs and another that is 8oz just because i know i will be thinking about something else when i measure my grains.

Yup. That's a peeve of mine as well. I'm not sure if it's possible today. I basically just work with %'s and then whatever number comes out at the end I multiply the decimal part by 16 to get the number of oz I have to weigh out. Your idea of having a separate line is pretty good however.

Quote:
Second, during recipe formulation i would prefer to be able to adjust my recipes based on % points rather than by weight. In a lot of my beers i like to have about 5% carapils and i find myself spending a lot of time adjusting everythings weight to hit %'s. It would be nice to be able to adjust and lock certain ones.

You can drag the % sliders to get what you want but it's a pain to get it right. I'd like to be able to type in, say, 5%.

Quote:
Also during recipe formulation, I think it would be great if the software calculated estimated final gravity based on process and ingredients. For example, if I expect to hit 1.050 with a mash @ say 148F, but on brew day i accidentally hit 154F (not really a problem anymore with this new system) it would be nice to be able to adjust my Sac rest to be 154F and have my estimated FG raise up based on the less fermentable mash. Just the same, if i decided to add 10% Dextrin to the mash I would like to see it adjust for that as well. From what I can tell it is 100% controlled by the apparent attenuation dialogue box, which means I need to brew this beer first to see what I hit for my OG and FG and it will adjust the App. Attenuation to reflect what actually happened. This seems like a feature i like, but i would like to have the software list estimated and apparent.

I think this would be pretty complex to do but not impossible. Different grains have produce different amounts of fermentable sugars. Crystal may give you mostly unfermentables at any mash temperature while something like 2-row will give you a percentage range of fermentable sugars based on your mash temp. They'd have to include graphs or equations for each grain type. You're right that FG seems 100% based on the attenuation you enter.

You should ask in their forum. I asked to get % for grains displayed on printouts (the same way as on screen) and eventually it got done. Others seemed interested in it too so it got done. I wasn't asking for anything complex: Just the same info on printouts that appears on screen.

The suggestion forum's here: http://www.beertools.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=17

I had posted my request here: http://www.beertools.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6281
I my thread you'll see that someone asked that % based recipes be possible so we're not alone in that request. I don't understand why recipes have weights at all. They're meaningless. All recipes should only have %'s for grain since everyone's efficiency is different.

Kal

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Holter



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 221
Location: Los Angeles, Ca


PostLink    Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:

You can drag the % sliders to get what you want but it's a pain to get it right. I'd like to be able to type in, say, 5%.

Quote:
Also during recipe formulation, I think it would be great if the software calculated estimated final gravity based on process and ingredients. For example, if I expect to hit 1.050 with a mash @ say 148F, but on brew day i accidentally hit 154F (not really a problem anymore with this new system) it would be nice to be able to adjust my Sac rest to be 154F and have my estimated FG raise up based on the less fermentable mash. Just the same, if i decided to add 10% Dextrin to the mash I would like to see it adjust for that as well. From what I can tell it is 100% controlled by the apparent attenuation dialogue box, which means I need to brew this beer first to see what I hit for my OG and FG and it will adjust the App. Attenuation to reflect what actually happened. This seems like a feature i like, but i would like to have the software list estimated and apparent.

I think this would be pretty complex to do but not impossible. Different grains have produce different amounts of fermentable sugars. Crystal may give you mostly unfermentables at any mash temperature while something like 2-row will give you a percentage range of fermentable sugars based on your mash temp. They'd have to include graphs or equations for each grain type. You're right that FG seems 100% based on the attenuation you enter.

You should ask in their forum. I asked to get % for grains displayed on printouts (the same way as on screen) and eventually it got done. Others seemed interested in it too so it got done. I wasn't asking for anything complex: Just the same info on printouts that appears on screen.

The suggestion forum's here: http://www.beertools.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=17

I had posted my request here: http://www.beertools.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6281
I my thread you'll see that someone asked that % based recipes be possible so we're not alone in that request. I don't understand why recipes have weights at all. They're meaningless. All recipes should only have %'s for grain since everyone's efficiency is different.

Kal


Done and Done! I didnt know you could drag the slider bars, that is at least an improvement over what i had been doing. Id love to be able to lock down %'s once i acheived my desired number.

I started a thread in the suggestions forum over there - i didnt realize that they had a forum so thanks for that. I think some of the features I am asking for are a bit complex and probably will not be addressed, but you never know. I always worry about coming off ungrateful when asking for features, but they seem to be pretty responsive seeing as they addressed your request.

Holter

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225



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 99
Location: Asheville, NC.

Drinking: NEIPA

Working on: Bohemian Pils


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about we share the recipes we have with BTP on here?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10673
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a recipes & ingredients section of the forum here. Feel free to share your recipes and tell us why you like them, how they turned out, etc.

Kal

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Holter



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 221
Location: Los Angeles, Ca


PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey everyone, just thought i would share a small procedure I follow for using this software. Nothing clever in here, just my procedure. The friend I brew with and I share a drop box (acts like cloud storage) that syncs from both of our cpus. Because of this we are both populating our respecitve Beer Tools Pro databases. This is handy for me because I can work on recipes at my place and on brew days I dont need to bring my cpu over to his place to update the notes section with brewday updates. Because of the shared situation though, we had to come up with a method for adding new folders, etc to our database so that our system maintained some level of organization. I thought i would share this procedure for any of you who are new to BTP.

Procedure for adding a new recipe folder and recipe to the database.

For reference, here is a screenshot of how we organize recipes:



Procedure:
1. Click on the folder of the subcategory you want to make your recipe live in. For example, if this recipe is a new recipe it is probably going to go into the PDB Experimental category. Click on the folder called "PDB_EXPERIMENTAL" inside of BeerTools Pro.
2. Add your new folder. To do this, click on the folder icon in the top left that has a plus symbol on top of it. This will add a new folder within the folder that you have already highlighted in step 1.
3. Name your folder. Once you press the folder + button you will be prompted to name your new folder. Name it in ALL CAPS.
4. Add your new recipe. To do this, select the folder you just created. In the top center of the application interface click the new document icon with a plus symbol on top of it.
5. Preset the name and brewhouse conditions of your recipe. To do this, update the following criteria:
__a. Name - Type the name of the beer recipe.
__b. Author - Put your name in this field.
__c. Date - Deselect this window. We should only put dates in this field if we are actually brewing on that date so that our records are clear.
__d. Efficiency - Our target efficiency is always set to 80% for beers with a target OG of 1.090 or lower. For beers 1.090 or higher set your target efficiency for 65%. This is kind of a ball park figure. Higher OG beers have historically been more difficult for us to hit our 80% target, we seem to average around 65%. If your recipe sits in the 1.080 - 1.090 range it might be best to set your efficiency somewhere in between the two - that is a judgement call for the brewer.
__e. Attenuation - This is the most difficult one to predict because it is baseda number of criteria. For our purposes we are going to focus on your mash profile, fermentation profile and yeast strain. My practice is to look through old recipes of ours. I look for other beers that use the same yeast strain. I then look to see what our mash temp was. I then check the notes to see if I noted any brew day anomalies like adding DME to spike the OG up to the 80% mark or water dilution to get down to 80%. As long as we are diligent about recording our final gravity of fermentation into this program we should be able to get a good idea of how particular strains of yeast ferment.
__f. Evap/Hour - With our system set to boil at a Manual number of 90 - 94 depending on outside temps (I use 90 in the summer, 94 in the winter) we average about 1.8 gal/hr.
__g. Final Volume - Set to your target final volume. We use increments of 6 to account for fermentation loss, loss of volume to hops soaking up beer and general loss of volume left in the fermenter. Once you have entered this volume select the lock button next to it.
5. Save your recipe.
6. Add ingredients.

Everyone has their own way. Sometimes its fun to learn how someone else does it.

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