extract points for specialty malts in BeerTools Pro correct?

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extract points for specialty malts in BeerTools Pro correct?

Postby rrosa » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:02 pm

I have always been an AG brewer and I am about to do my first extract brewing. Then I realized that BeerTools Pro computes the extract points for the specialty malts assuming they are to be mashed. I mean, I understand that highly caramelized crystal malts and roasted malts need not be mashed since whatever starch they originally had has already been converted. Indeed, in the grain list in BeerTools Pro they are listed as "no mash". So, the mash efficiency factor shouldn't play any role, here. However, if I choose one such malt and vary the efficiency the OG changes accordingly. For light crystal malts, the calculation should be a bit more complicated since part of the starch has been converted and part needs mashing and should be dependent on the efficiency.

Am I wrong or BeerTools Pro just ignores this fact? It may not be so important for AG and especially since these malts enter the recipe in small amounts, but it could make a reasonable difference if doing extract and steeping them, especially when steeping light crystal or brown malts.

I am not particularly worried about that since my efficiency has been quite unpredictable so far, but I would feel more comfortable if the software would do the right thing it is supposed to do. Or maybe I don't understand the process and I am saying something stupid, and in this case I apologize for the message but would appreciate clarification.

And despite that, I like the software very much!

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Postby slothrob » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:11 pm

While Crystal malts do not need to be mashed, there is still an efficiency for how well you extract the available sugars from the crushed grain, depending on factors such as degree of crush and sparge volume.

So, efficiency is a factor for non-mashed grains and BeerToolsPro takes this into account.

Efficiency is not a factor for extract and efficiency does not effect gravity from extract additions in BTP.
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Postby rrosa » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:25 pm

I agree, but the efficiencies for mashing and steeping could be different and one needs to be aware of this fact when doing extract brewing with specialty grains, especially when using light crystal malts, for which steep efficiency would be very low, significantly less than 50%. And when steeping chocolate and light crystal malts together, the efficiency would differ dramatically for the two malts. Having said that, I do believe this is a minor point since they will be added in small amounts, and that it could be complicated and confusing to take this all into account in the software.
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Postby slothrob » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:31 pm

It's really up to the individual brewer to determine their efficiency. It is impossible for BTP to take into account all the variables in your brewery and tell you what efficiency you will get, no matter which technique you use.

Like you said, the contribution is such a small proportion compared to your extract that being off won't matter much.
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Postby rrosa » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:41 pm

I know it is up to each of us to determine our efficiencies, but even if I knew precisely my efficiency for steeping crystal and my efficiency for steeping chocolate, which are not the same, I wouldn't be able to compute both contributions in the same recipe because the software has a place for just one efficiency. But as we agree, this is a minor point and I am definitely not asking to have different efficiency variables. I have so many unpredictable variables in my system that this is really pointless. I am in fact happy the way the software is, I just wanted to clarify things and check if my understanding was correct.

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