Using BeerSmith 1.4 with BIAB

Post #1 made 9 years ago
Ok, beersmith is all over the place for me, particularly IBU settings. I use a birko urn.

At the moment my mash profile is Single Infusion, Full body, No Mashout.
Mash type - temperature
Water to add 32litres
Step time 60 minutes.

Unselect 'Set Boil VOlume Based on Equipment' - which sends the IBU down
CHange "Boil volume" to 29 litres - IBU goes sky high.

Mash tun volume 40l
Mash tun weight 5.1kg
Material Stainless steel
Mash tun specific heat 0.120
Select calculate boil volume automatically
Evaporation rate 11%
Loss to trub 2.5L
Top up water 0.00
Final volume 23litres

Anyone got this sorted, particularly for an urn?

Post #2 made 9 years ago
Loss to trub needs to be set to zero for the calculations to work properly. I don't know why, it just does.

I can't help with the IBU, I just tried checking and un-checking 'Set Boil Volume Based on Equipment' and while the IBU's changed, it was only marginal. I'm using a 50 litre keggle.
"It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

Post #3 made 9 years ago
I have a Riggwelter Yorkshire Square ale recipe. With 'Set Boil Volume...' selected, the boil volume defaults at 13 litres, & IBU=26.
Unselected I have to change boil volume to 29 litres, IBU=41.2 (Ok, maybe greater extraction from lower malt density?)
Just for fun, change boil volume to 500 litres, IBU=61.4
Yeah, right. Where's the law of diminishing returns here?

Post #4 made 9 years ago
Hi all,

Yeah I am having the same problems with Beersmith and IBU's when comparing to the Calculator (which I must say is a great and very helpful spreadsheet, very easy to work out what is what)

I have set the Batch size to the figure the Calc gives me (22.68), the same with the boil volume (29.21). I am using Lloydies Krispy Koelsch recipe and have left the efficiency at 81% (reducing it makes my IBU's even worse)

As far as the grain bill goes, it's as the calculator suggests, with the % matching the original.

Mash profile is a single infusion, light body, no mash out etc

Now with the hop additions, the fiqures the calculator gives me are way out to Beersmith's, as well as the colour to a smaller extent.

Is this a grain conversion factor, I have used the same malt profiles as what are listed, or is there just something I am missing in my setup? Or is it just Beersmith does not like BIAB (I am still on version 1.3, am waiting for ver 2 to come out before I upgrade)

Would I be best to trust the IBU's in Beersmith or just flag it all together.


Post #5 made 9 years ago
Hi there guys,

The above problem is very confusing and stems from people being taught the wrong way to use BeerSmith and then passing this incorrect and incomplete knowledge on to others. For example myself, hashie above, PP and countless others on many forums have often told people to set the batch size in Beersmith to the end of boil volume. Currently, "The Calculator,"* even says to do this.

This is the wrong way to maximise the use of Beersmith.

Changing your thinking from using Beersmith the wrong way to using it the right way is like breaking down a brick wall. Brad was kind enough to set aside the time for us to have a video chat so he could break this wall down for me. Doing this in a video call made it much easier as I could see his screens and he could see mine. I don't feel confident at this stage to pass this knowledge on very well in words. When the new version of Beersmith comes out, explanations will be much easier for many reasons. For example, it will include a BIAB profile.

All I can offer you now is the following advice...

For want of better wording, 'The Calculator,' works forwards while 'Beersmith' works backwards so...

1. When using Beersmith, your batch size should be set to what volume you want to get into your fermenter. It should not be set to your desired end of boil volume.

2. When using Beersmith, your efficiency should be set to your 'Efficiency into the Fermenter.' You should not use your End of Boil Efficiency.

If you don't do the above, changing figures such as "Loss to trub and chiller" will have no effect.

Until Beersmith 2.0 comes out I suggest people use this thread for assistance in converting recipes. Questions such as White Rhyno's get answered in detail there.

My advice to all brewers for now, is to become very familiar with, "The Calculator.' Using this tool for say ten brews will allow you to collect some key figures and understanding that will put you in a much better position to utilise far more powerful tools such as BeerSmith.

This way, when Beersmith 2.0 comes out, hopefully there will be several experienced brewers on the forum who will be able to help the newer brewers use and understand more advanced software correctly.


*[EDIT: I have just changed many of The Calculator spreadsheets on the site to correct the previously misleading description used on Line 11 of the Volumes sheet.]
Last edited by Pat on 12 Mar 2011, 18:47, edited 5 times in total.
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Post #6 made 9 years ago
Hey Pat,

Thanks for your detailed explanation, I was getting very confused there for awhile. I can now do my first biab with a little more confidence.


Post #7 made 9 years ago
No problems Rhyno,

It is a confusing thing to get your head around. About two hours ago, I had three screens and three programs open and actually thought I had found an error in one of The Calculator's formulas so started re-uploading spreadsheets to the forum and writing several, 'ADMIN NOTES,' before realising that there wasn't actually a problem. I have only just 're-corrected' this :roll:.

One positive thing I did manage to do was change the old 'batch size' definition used in 'The Calculator' so as it is no longer misleading.

To know if you have this corrected version, makes sure that The Calculator spreadsheets you download have the following ADMIN NOTE underneath them...

"The above was updated to the latest version of The Calculator on 12th March 2011 to fix a terminology error."

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Post #8 made 9 years ago
Okay, I had a bit of time to look at this hop bitterness discrepancy today. Here's what I did...

1. Double-checked the formula used in The Calculator - all good!
2. Searched the BeerSmith forum for "IBU Calculations" and read a bit there. (You guys are not Robinson Crusoe in this area ;))
3. Played around with many settings in BeerSmith but couldn't get agreement with The Caculator.
4. Opened the Hops Bitterness tool on the left of BeerSmith and was able to get agreement by unticking the 'Adjust First Wort Hop' button at the bottom and then ensuring I made both the Batch Size and Boil Volume equal to the end of boil volume.

The Calculator formula is based soley on the end of boil volume. The current version of BeerSmith seems to place a high importance on both the volume into kettle and the volume into the fermenter. Play around in the Hop Dilution tool and you'll see just how extreme this is.

What I Do when Converting Recipes

Because hop bitterness calculations seem to vary so much from program to program, I tend to focus on the weights any time this is possible. In other words, I will put the original source recipe into The Calculator using original weights rather than any given IBU's. Then I change the figures in red on the first sheet of The Calculator and this scales everything accordingly.

When the next version of BeerSmith comes out, I'll look forward to sitting down and re-examining this issue. Hopefully this area will be a lot easier to get our heads around.

Last edited by PistolPatch on 13 Mar 2011, 15:17, edited 5 times in total.
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Post #9 made 9 years ago
The Calculator formula is based soley on the end of boil volume. The current version of BeerSmith seems to place a high importance on both the volume into kettle and the volume into the fermenter. Play around in the Hop Dilution tool and you'll see just how extreme this is.
That would actually be a mistake in the calculator then,

According to Glen Tinseth, when using the Tinseth equations, which the calculator does, you should use average gravity for the IBU calculations.

Average Gravity is of course, the average of the pre and post boil gravities... which are of course derived from the start and end of boil volumes.

(I told you I had been looking up this stuff for the Maxi-BIAB Calculator ;), in fact, I've already got the Average Gravity calculation in the Maxi calculator ;))
Last edited by stux on 13 Mar 2011, 20:33, edited 5 times in total.
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III


Post #10 made 9 years ago
That is excellent info stux! By the way, next time you or anyone else discover a massive breakthrough like this, make sure you PM me direct!* Knowing this yesterday would have saved me many hours. Looks like I am going to have to re-do those many hours plus more but it will be a pleasure to see the exisiting bitterness formula corrected. It has been annoying me since the site opened so great job stux :clap: .

Would there be any chance of you downloading the exisiting copy of The Calculator and replacing the formula with yours and then posting it up here? This would certainly save me a heap of time and will also benefit those reading this thread.

Very pleased with this stux so many thanks,

*I wish I could but I simply don't have the time to read every thread in detail though I do try my best. My day to day work is very draining so I never have the energy or concentration levels I'd like to devote here sorry.
Last edited by Pat on 13 Mar 2011, 21:25, edited 5 times in total.
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Post #12 made 9 years ago
LOL, I can see exactly where I stopped reading that post...
Utilization can be reduced to a smooth function, as opposed to the tables, which produce many discontinuous lines. The Rager table is presented in the following utilization equation:

%UTILIZATION = 18.11 + 13.86 * hyptan[(MINUTES - 31.32) / 18.27]
Whilst I can have a laugh, the above shows just how much study and hard work goes into making some things simple.

Thanks again stux, this 'average OG' thing you found is something I am sure I never would have discovered amongst the above. And, this is a big discovery.

I have checked The Calculator formulas from two respected sources. I can now see one source is using the formula incorrectly just as 'The Calculator' is currently doing. I have not had time to check the second source's logic as yet.

Your discovery has been a great way to end a tiring weekend :champ:.
Last edited by Pat on 13 Mar 2011, 22:06, edited 5 times in total.
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