Calibrating 'vessels' and 'heat sources'

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Calibrating 'vessels' and 'heat sources'

Postby billvelek » Wed Dec 27, 2006 2:00 am

Are we supposed to calibrate the kettle as a 'vessel' before we calibrate the 'heat source'? ... I mean, using the same method as calibrating a mashtun, including checking the temp after an hour?

Thanks.

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Postby Brant » Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:38 am

Yes, because the kettle's "Heat Capacity" is one of the fields you have to fill in when calibrating your burner. Okay, I guess you don't really have to do the temperature check after 65 minutes, since it only affects the Heat Transfer Coefficient, but you should at least do the 5 minute calibration check, which is what sets the Heat Capacity. And really, after going to that trouble, you've already done the hard part, so just set a timer to alert you when 65 minutes is up, so you can go out and recheck the kettle's temperature and have it completely calibrated, too. By the way, notice on the Heat Source calibration window there is a drop-down menu next to the Vessel Heat Capacity line. Your kettle will appear in that list after you have entered it as a vessel.
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Heat Source Question

Postby Nate-O » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:08 am

:?: I've been searching around the forums for posts that might help me on my quest to begin calibrating my heat sources and this was the closest I have come.

My question is this... How does one set up, calculate BTU/Hr? My system has three 100,000 BTU burners. However, when I enter that number, my mash schedules get wacked out! For example, BTP calculates the infusion time from my 145 degree rest to 156 to be about 3 minutes!

What part of the whole BTU thing am I not getting here?!

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated...

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Re: Heat Source Question

Postby jeff » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:52 am

Nate-O wrote:My system has three 100,000 BTU burners. However, when I enter that number, my mash schedules get wacked out! For example, BTP calculates the infusion time from my 145 degree rest to 156 to be about 3 minutes!


Your burners may be rated at 100,000 BTU, but BTP needs to know how much of that heat actually gets transferred to the vessel. When using a burner, a large proportion of the heat gets lost to the atmosphere.

The solution is to run a calibration test. The heat source editor has 4 fields to fill in to calculate heat transfer.

[list]Environment is your ambient air temperature at the time of the test.
Calibration Volume is the volume of water used in the vessel to run the test.
Vessel Heat Capacity is the vessel's ability to store heat.
[b]Time to Heat 18
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Re: Heat Source Question

Postby Nate-O » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:37 pm

jeff wrote:Your burners may be rated at 100,000 BTU, but BTP needs to know how much of that heat actually gets transferred to the vessel. When using a burner, a large proportion of the heat gets lost to the atmosphere.

The solution is to run a calibration test. *SNIP*


Hey Jeff,

As I was brewing today and thinking about calibration issues, I realized that the specific BTUs per hour are almost irrelevant if you can time how long it takes to heat a given volume from temp. X to temp. Y. BTP will be able to calculate the rate.

So, imagine my pleasant surprise when I came home to find your X to Y equation!

Many thanks for an amazing brewing tool and your BTU solution. I'll be doing some calibration next week for sure!

Much appreciated!

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Re: Heat Source Question

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:19 am

jeff wrote:
Nate-O wrote:My system has three 100,000 BTU burners. However, when I enter that number, my mash schedules get wacked out! For example, BTP calculates the infusion time from my 145 degree rest to 156 to be about 3 minutes!


Your burners may be rated at 100,000 BTU, but BTP needs to know how much of that heat actually gets transferred to the vessel. When using a burner, a large proportion of the heat gets lost to the atmosphere.
Additionally your burners may not be producing the BTU's that they're capable of. It depends on your regulator. I have burners that are are advertised to produce 170K BTU. However, because of my regulator they only produce 55K BTU. Since I only brew five gallons batches it's not a problem.

With that said, I'm familiar enough with my system that I know how long it will take to heat my strike water or bring the sweet liquor to a boil. So I just don't get the point of calibrating heat sources. Am I missing something? Does the software use this data to calculate other things?
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More re heat

Postby billvelek » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:57 pm

Yes, I don't get it either, and I've said this before without a satisfactory explanation. It would seem to me that heat sources should only matter if one is using a RIMS or HERMS or is doing decoctions. The first thing I do on brew day is start my HLT and then I blend my water to get the temp that I need, so I pretty much have whatever temp is needed immediately. Moreover, the 'Mash In' edit screen in the Schedule has 'Heat Output' (the lowest it can be set is .1%) and 'Heat Duration' fields which I don't understand, either, since my mash tun can't be heated and applies no heat; other than it being a bit confusing, I just ignore it now since I just set my 'Heating Vessel' and 'Heating Source' at "None". The Wiki has improved immensely (my compliments to Lathe, since I think he probably did most of it), but the 'Mash In' screen, which describes the various fields (note to Lathe: you skipped 'Heat Source') just says "Add content here" for those two fields ('Heat Output' and 'Heat Duration'). Well, I can easily figure out what 'content' goes in there -- time for ''duration" and a percentage value for "Output" -- but percentage of WHAT?? ... and WHEN should those fields be used? Maybe the answer is somewhere else in the Wiki, since I haven't had a chance to meticulously go through the entire thing. Still a GREAT improvement though, so I hate for it to look like I'm complaining. I'm not; I'm just pointing out what still needs to go in there.

Cheers.

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Re: More re heat

Postby jeff » Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:11 pm

billvelek wrote:The first thing I do on brew day is start my HLT and then I blend my water to get the temp that I need, so I pretty much have whatever temp is needed immediately.


Don't you have to heat the water you use to blend?
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Re: More re heat

Postby billvelek » Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:47 pm

jeff wrote:Don't you have to heat the water you use to blend?
I put two 5-gallon pots with about 3 gallons of hot tap water on two burners on the stove. By the time I need to add my strike water, it is more than hot enough. I add more hot tap water to each pot to replace what I've used (I like to always be sure to have plenty of hot water), and by the time I need to add an infusion, or mash out, or sparge, it is hot enough. I still don't understand the need to input 'heat source' and 'heating vessel' in the mash-in schedule. Maybe some folks need that. BTP is working for me now just fine, and I'm not suggesting that those fields should be removed. I just don't understand what they are there for. If it's for the purpose of me doing some sort of 'race' to see how fast I can brew, from tap water to boil, ... well, some might need that, but I don't. It's just a lack of understanding on my part, I'm sure.

Cheers.

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Re: More re heat

Postby jeff » Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:49 pm

billvelek wrote:I put two 5-gallon pots with about 3 gallons of hot tap water on two burners on the stove. By the time I need to add my strike water, it is more than hot enough. I add more hot tap water to each pot to replace what I've used (I like to always be sure to have plenty of hot water), and by the time I need to add an infusion, or mash out, or sparge, it is hot enough.


I do things a little different, so the fields help me more than they do you. My brew day begins with heating my strike water and I like to know how long that will take. I have to buy my brewing water so I can't be liberal in how much water I prepare and keep hot. If I were to use a picnic cooler for a mash tun, then I would use the heat source and vessel fields to determine how long it would take to heat my strike water before pouring it in the cooler to combine with the grist. Since you don't use those fields, there is no harm leaving them blank. Your brewing session begins with the strike instead of the heating of cold water.
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Postby jctull » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:35 pm

I find these things useful as well. My situation is similar to Jeff's, although I have good tap water these days. But like Jeff, I heat my hot liquor tank and knowing how long I have before I need to have all my grains measured and crushed is quite useful. I'm still waiting for the alarm to tell me to go check the temperature though. :wink:
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