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Calculating how much should I have Post-boil?

 
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Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:05 pm    Post subject: Calculating how much should I have Post-boil? Reply with quote


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So I've been trying to figure out how to calculate my post-boil amounts using Kal's brew day as a sample.

I also use BeerSmith so I'm also trying to figure out where to plug in my losses and to fully understand all the math so I can work with the sheet Kal uses and the software.

I'm also trying to determine if my kettle losses are normal with the Hop Stopper and if I should aim for a higher pre-boil amount, or if there's an issue.

I have a 20 gallon "to spec" Electric Brewery using Blichman 20G kettles.

I brew mostly 5 gallons of beer at a time.

I guess my first question - hope you can jump in here Kal - is whether the 12 gallons post-boil that is being aimed for in say, the sample Blonde Ale recipe, is chilled.

So in effect, what "should" actually be in the kettle at 212F right after the boil is 12 gallons plus 4% to account for shrinkage (so 12x1.04=12.48) or in my case, if I'm aiming for 6 gallons to make 5 gallons of beer, 6.24 gallons.

My other question is losses in the boil kettle. I just made a Flanders Red and finished with roughly 6.2 gallons @ post-boil temp (which would actually be 5.75 at 68F...which could explain why I'm not getting my batch amount right there).

Used about .13 ounces of hops. I started slow, did not pull any air at all, and still only got 4.75 gallons chilled into my fermenter before I lost siphon out of the boil kettle. I'm using a counterflow chiller, a pump, and 3 5ft hoses.

I pulled off the hop stopper, put in the regular dip tube, and was able to pull out another .5 gallons into my fermenter for a total of 5.25 (I lose .25 gallons generally to the fermentation vessel).

There was a fair bit of break and material in this last .5 and after I got it out, .19 gallons were left in the kettle. So, by my math, there was .69 gallons left in the kettle, plus whatever in the 15 feet of hoses and chiller when the hop stopper....stopped.

Is this normal losses for the hop stopper and as such, should I account for it in my math (particularly beersmith) or is something up with the stopper?

Some of my math (in this instance, I said 6 gallons...if I account for the 4%, should I have actually used 6.24 gallons for my initial volume?):

10.82 lbs of grain. 1.5 qt/lb mash thickness.
Strike water = (10.82 x 1.5)/4 = 4.05 gal + 0.72 gal (deadspace/hoses/HERMS) = 4.78 gal.
Loss to grain absorption = 10.82 x 0.12 = 1.3 gal.
Sparge water = initial kettle volume@68F (pre-boil) + grain loss - strike = (6 gal + 1.5 hr boil x 1.85 gal/hr boil off) + 1.3 4.78 = 5.29 gal. (Beersmith Says 6g at 168 degrees check!)

Pre-Boil was: 6 gallons + (1.5x1.85) = 8.775

I figured 6 gallons would account for my boil kettle, chiller, tubing and fermenter losses...maybe I need to up this?

And a picture of what I was left with:



Thanks for any help!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
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: Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:54 am    Post subject: Re: Calculating how much should I have Post-boil? Reply with quote

Topdollar wrote:
I guess my first question - hope you can jump in here Kal - is whether the 12 gallons post-boil that is being aimed for in say, the sample Blonde Ale recipe, is chilled.

Yes, chilled.

Quote:
So in effect, what "should" actually be in the kettle at 212F right after the boil is 12 gallons plus 4% to account for shrinkage (so 12x1.04=12.48)

Correct. 0.5 gallons more at 212F when it's 12 gallons at room temp

Quote:
I pulled off the hop stopper, put in the regular dip tube, and was able to pull out another .5 gallons into my fermenter for a total of 5.25 (I lose .25 gallons generally to the fermentation vessel).

You're draining too fast when the hop stopper's exposed to air.

Quote:
Is this normal losses for the hop stopper and as such, should I account for it in my math (particularly beersmith) or is something up with the stopper?

You shouldn't loose anything more. Slow down the flow.

Kal

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Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:57 am    Post subject: Re: Calculating how much should I have Post-boil? Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Topdollar wrote:
I guess my first question - hope you can jump in here Kal - is whether the 12 gallons post-boil that is being aimed for in say, the sample Blonde Ale recipe, is chilled.

Yes, chilled.

Quote:
So in effect, what "should" actually be in the kettle at 212F right after the boil is 12 gallons plus 4% to account for shrinkage (so 12x1.04=12.48)

Correct. 0.5 gallons more at 212F when it's 12 gallons at room temp

Quote:
I pulled off the hop stopper, put in the regular dip tube, and was able to pull out another .5 gallons into my fermenter for a total of 5.25 (I lose .25 gallons generally to the fermentation vessel).

You're draining too fast when the hop stopper's exposed to air.

Quote:
Is this normal losses for the hop stopper and as such, should I account for it in my math (particularly beersmith) or is something up with the stopper?

You shouldn't loose anything more. Slow down the flow.

Kal


Hi Kal,

I would put my flow rate as 1 gallon a minute or less. For my one fermenter, it took about 5 minutes to get up to the 4.75 mark.

I do find that priming my pumps is a bit troublesome. I've found that I have to ensure the hose on the outlet side is not connected to anything ensure priming occurs. Even then I do find that there is a bit of air in there - maybe from the dip tube - that needs to be released before the flow really gets going from the kettle.

Almost wondering if I should bleed the dip tube after the sparge and prior to the boil? Or after the boil and before I connect the hose to the boil kettle outlet?
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David_H



Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 139
Location: Savannah, GA

Drinking: Dry Irish Stout, Electric Pale Ale, American Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale


PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So in effect, what "should" actually be in the kettle at 212F right after the boil is 12 gallons plus 4% to account for shrinkage (so 12x1.04=12.48) or in my case, if I'm aiming for 6 gallons to make 5 gallons of beer, 6.24 gallons.

Some of your losses will not be divided in half. If you start with 12 gallons to get 10, you will need more than 6 to get 5. The shrinkage is scalable and the the amount of trub is mostly scalable, but the amount in the lines and not picked up by the Hop Stopper / Dip Tube will tend to be a constant no matter what the brew size is.

Quote:
I would put my flow rate as 1 gallon a minute or less. For my one fermenter, it took about 5 minutes to get up to the 4.75 mark.

That's pretty fast. That might be okay early in the process, but near the end it should be closer to 5 minutes per gallon.

Quote:
I do find that priming my pumps is a bit troublesome.

Make sure the inlet to the pump is below the outlet from the pump. You can disconnect the discharge hose from where ever it is going, hold it up above the liquid level and open all of the valves and let the hose and pump gravity flood. Then reconnect you discharge and go.

You will need to continue to record all of your volumes and feed that information back into BeerSmith to get all of "your" losses figured out. To get 5 gallons bottled, I think you are going to need more than 6 gallons post boiled and cooled. Feed the numbers you just got back into BeerSmith and the next time you brew, record all of your losses again and adjust again until you get it configured for your system.

Al the best, David
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
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: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Calculating how much should I have Post-boil? Reply with quote

Topdollar wrote:
I would put my flow rate as 1 gallon a minute or less. For my one fermenter, it took about 5 minutes to get up to the 4.75 mark.

Too fast. Pump as fast as you like while the Hop Stopper's submerged. Once exposed to air, slow it WAAAAY down.

Quote:
I do find that priming my pumps is a bit troublesome. I've found that I have to ensure the hose on the outlet side is not connected to anything ensure priming occurs. Even then I do find that there is a bit of air in there - maybe from the dip tube - that needs to be released before the flow really gets going from the kettle.

Make sure the vertical distance between your pumps and kettles is maximized. Follow the valve opening procedure/steps in my BREW DAY STEP BY STEP guide.

Quote:
Almost wondering if I should bleed the dip tube after the sparge and prior to the boil? Or after the boil and before I connect the hose to the boil kettle outlet?

You shouldn't have to bleed anything if you build to my design and follow my BREW DAY STEP BY STEP guide. I don't have to bleed anything. This was done purposely to avoid extra work/valves/etc.

Kal

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Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys - I'm going to fidget with the numbers a bit to see what I end up with next time. Though next time will be a 10 gallon batch so, hopefully it'll be more or less paint by numbers!

In terms of BeerSmith, going to try for a 5.5 batch size, .72g losses on the mash side of things, and .5 g loss to trub and chiller. According to the software, that will 6.24G post boil. If I can't hit my volumes next time around, I'll bump things up a bit.

End of the day my first batch, a pumpkin ale, which was kind of complicated turned out great. So I need to worry less and drink more!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
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: Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup. No need to make things overly complex too with the exact losses you get at each step. If you don't find yourself with enough beer at packaging time, simply make a bit more next time.

I like to have exactly 10 gallons to keg at packaging time so that I get 2 kegs full right to the top.

With my heavy hopped/dry hopped beers I therefore try and have about 12 gallons post boil (at room temp). This gives me some extra as I'll loose some in the kettle due to hop absorption and then later due to dry hopping .

If it's a really light hopped beer like a blonde ale or american lager (anything with only an oz or two in the boil and no dry hopping) I'll sometimes just make 11 gallons post boil.

Kal

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