Is 'carbonation' working correctly?

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Is 'carbonation' working correctly?

Postby billvelek » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:43 am

I hope this hasn't been covered yet; I reviewed all thread titles here, and didn't notice it. No point in having two separate threads about it.

I have BTP v.1.0.14 running on WindowsXP SP2. Regarding the 'Carbonation' tab at the bottom portion of the session screen, with "Natural Conditioning" selected, I seem to be encountering at least one problem, and maybe more unless I'm just confused as to what is happening here.

The one problem I certain of is that when I select any of as the priming agents, such as 'Sucrose', and then try to adjust the 'Priming Agent Rate', my selection of type of agent goes blank; it should remain displayed, shouldn't it?

POSSIBLE problems from my experimentation is that I set my 'Final Volume' at an even number of gallons; now, since you don't know how much trub I'd have or how much waste from blow-off, I'd assume that 10 gallons of Final Volume means 10 gallons of beer going into the bottling bucket; or, if we assume what I think is an even more logical approach -- resetting the Final Volume after siphoning into a bottling bucket if it can be accurately measured -- then if I have 10 gallons of beer to carbonate and I select a 'Priming Agent Rate' of 1 oz./gallon, then shouldn't the "Priming Agent Mass' be a total of 10 oz., regardless of 'Temperature' and regardless of 'Volumes of CO2'? Mine isn't. For example, with 'Final Volume' set at exactly 10 gallons, this is what my carbonation table shows:
Select: Natural Conditioning
Beer Temp: 70 F
Priming Agent: 1 oz./gal.
Priming Agent Mass: 11.6535 Ounces
Volumes of CO2: 2 LOCK
By the way, I tried to highlight and right-click/copy the above 11.6535 figure on the session screen so I could paste it in here, and the right-click is disabled. Unless there are plans to use the right click for some other purpose, I'd like at least 'Copy' and 'Undo' on there. Also, I found that I have to click each time on the up/down arrows to adjust the quantities/values for carbonation; it would be nice if, after holding the mouse button down for awhile, if the values would start moving up or down automatically. But that's just polish for later.

Another thing that didn't make much sense to me is that when I adjust the priming rate up or down while the 'Volume CO2s' is NOT locked, then the 'Priming Agent Mass' remains the same while the 'Volume CO2s' changes -- but in the OPPOSITE direction. In other words, as the rate of primer goes up, carbonation goes down and primer mass remains the same, and the only way for that to happen is for the 'Final Volume' to change on the screen, but it doesn't. And it just seems logical that 'Final Volume' should be locked-in, and that increasing the rate of carbonation should INCREASE both the primer mass and the volume of CO2, shouldn't it? I thought more primer meant more carbonation, all other things being equal. Now I can see being able to lock either the Final Volume or Volume CO2, and adjusting the other to see how much primer to add -- both rate of primer and mass; it seems to me that that would be the ideal procedure.

Just some more of my two cents. Darn, I had no idea it is so late; I've got to get some sleep.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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Re: Is 'carbonation' working correctly?

Postby jeff » Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:05 am

billvelek wrote:The one problem I certain of is that when I select any of as the priming agents, such as 'Sucrose', and then try to adjust the 'Priming Agent Rate', my selection of type of agent goes blank; it should remain displayed, shouldn't it?


It goes blank because the priming agent rate does not match the selection in the menu. Since these rates are constant, it would be inappropriate to allow the priming agent selected to remain with a rate that does not match.

billvelek wrote:then if I have 10 gallons of beer to carbonate and I select a 'Priming Agent Rate' of 1 oz./gallon, then shouldn't the "Priming Agent Mass' be a total of 10 oz., regardless of 'Temperature' and regardless of 'Volumes of CO2'?


I think there may be some confusion of what priming agent rate is. It is the volumes of CO2 produced by a given mass of priming agent. For example, lets say you decide to use corn sugar. It has a rate of 4.02 grams of sugar to produce 1 liter of CO2.

billvelek wrote:Another thing that didn't make much sense to me is that when I adjust the priming rate up or down while the 'Volume CO2s' is NOT locked, then the 'Priming Agent Mass' remains the same while the 'Volume CO2s' changes -- but in the OPPOSITE direction. In other words, as the rate of primer goes up, carbonation goes down and primer mass remains the same, and the only way for that to happen is for the 'Final Volume' to change on the screen, but it doesn't.


This makes sense because if you increase the priming agent rage, this is, in effect, saying that more sugar is required to produce the same amount of CO2. Thus we expect the volumes CO2 to drop because the same amount of sugar produces less CO2 if the priming agent for such sugar increases.
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More thoughts on this carbonation

Postby billvelek » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:24 pm

Thanks, Jeff. I understand what you are doing there now, although I'm not sure I understand why you are using that particular approach. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that most brewers -- certainly most brewers without much experience and even many of those with a lot of experience -- are going to intuitively assume that when you are talking about adding primer to a bottling bucket (few add directly to the bottle), that you are wanting to know how many grams or ounces of primer per liter or gallon of BEER -- and NOT per unit of gas that will be produced. If you doubt me, you might start a poll to find out. And while your help file does clarify that point, it never even occurred to me to look in the help file for something I would never have guessed could possibly have meant anything else; this is one example of how I think your program could be a little more intuitive, and if nothing else, add a note directly on the carbonation screen next to the primer-rate and explain that it is per unit of "gas" and not per unit of "beer".

So, Jeff, my suggestion is that you take a second look at this, and if you still feel that your approach is appropriate, i.e., that brewers will want to use that approach instead of mine, then I suggest that you ALSO include, in the blank area on the right side of that carbonation window/panel, my suggested approach, i.e., units of beer, type of primer, rate of priming expressed in units of primer per units of beer, mass of primer (rate x units of beer = total amount of primer going into bottling bucket), and then the Volumes of CO2. That way you will keep everyone happy. And to add real polish to your program, you could also have a warning pop-up or flash any time the Volume of CO2 exceeds the amount that is recommended for most glass bottles. I don't know what that amount is, but you wouldn't want a novice using your program to add 2 pounds of sugar to 5 gallons of beer that's going into bottles, right? This is all just constructive criticism, Jeff. You are doing a great job, and I love most of the program so far.

Cheers.

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priming agent question..

Postby wottaguy » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:25 pm

I have a quick question...if I change the Volumes of CO2 to say like to 2.9, shouldn't that in turn change the Priming Agent Rate and vice versa? Currently changing either of these does not affect the other..it does affect and change the Prining Agent Mass box however.
Good eyes Bill!

Thanks!
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I see it now..

Postby wottaguy » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:35 pm

Nevermind...I see how it works now...sorry to chime in..LOL!! BUT....If the Priming Agent Rate box represents a pre-calculated rate of carbonation in grams per liter, and is essentially a constant, then why allow the poor user access to change the setting? Maybe you should remove the toggle arrows on that box....just an idea..!

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Re: I see it now..

Postby billvelek » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:30 pm

wottaguy wrote:snip ... If the Priming Agent Rate box represents a pre-calculated rate of carbonation in grams per liter, and is essentially a constant, then why allow the poor user access to change the setting? Maybe you should remove the toggle arrows on that box....just an idea.
I agree; in fact, the primary variable shoud be 'Volume of CO2', and then, based on the volume of beer to be carbonated, the program will tell us the total 'Priming Agent Mass' that we need to add to our bottling bucket. Although there might be rare instances when we might want to run through this in the reverse order, nearly everyone, most of the time, just want to know how much total primer to add to their batch to achieve a certain level of carbonation.

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Problem with BTP updating carbonation after change in volume

Postby billvelek » Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:14 pm

Jeff, aside from my complaints about your approach and what I think is less intuitive in this area, I have discovered an actual problem. Using a 5 gallon Final Volume and Natural Conditioning with sucrose as a primer, I entered 6.0 ounces as the "Priming Agent Mass"; that is equal to the often recommend "3/4 cups per 5 gallon batch". Then I went up to my Final Volume and, using the arrow keys, changed the volume to 4 gallons, but the priming agent mass did not change. I repeated this and BTP consistently ignores the FIRST incremented change and then continues to lag behind one increment. This could be dangerous. For instance, if I happened to make a 2 gallon batch with the correct ratio of sucrose primer, I would add 2.4 ounces Priming Agent Mass. If I go to the Final Volume and reduce it to 1 gallon and the Priming Agent Mass still indicates 2.4 ounces, then that's TWICE the amount of primer that I should be using. For further illustration, when I jump from 5 gallons to 6 gallons total volume, the Priming Mass remains at 6.0 ounces. When I go back down to 5 gallons, the Priming Mass jumps up to 7.2 ounces, which is what it should have been when I was at 6 gallons, When I then go to 4 gallons, the Mass drops down to 6.0, which was the correct amount for the previous increment of 5 gallons. It always lags behind one increment. I hope I've made myself clear. Thanks.

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Thanks

Postby jeff » Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:27 pm

Sounds like a bug, I'll look into it. Thanks.
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