Beer tools newbie questions

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Beer tools newbie questions

Postby rgreene » Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:38 pm

Hi everybody,

I'm doing my first all grain brew tomorrow and I picked up BTP to help me make sure I'm doing everything properly. I have a few questions though:

1. In the ingredients list, does it automatically assume that your grain is going to be mashed if you have setup your mashing schedule? I ask because the stage selector that lets you choose boil or mash (among other choices) is grayed out, with boil selected. Does this matter?

2. I'm trying to get a handle on how the sparging calculations work. I'm going to be doing fly sparging so I selected to use the single infusion preset, but right off the bat I had negative values in the sparging line item, and it was red. After a little tinkering, I figured out how to make it not be red, which I presume means an error, but I'm little fuzzy on how the math is supposed to work out.

I would like to have 100% of my pre-boil volume come from my mash, which means I should try to get my Total Runoff equal to my pre-boil vol? For some reason the numbers always want to come out a little lower than I'd like (I would like to hit 7 gallons pre-boil, yet the tools are generating 6.86 for the total runoff). What exactly does the residual value mean? That is the amount of volume left over after taking into account the dead space of my mash tun, grain absorbtion, etc? If so, I'm not sure why anybody would ever want that value anything other than zero.

Thanks in advance for anybody able to help me get my head around some of these issues.
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re: questions

Postby slothrob » Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:17 am

1) You should have two choices available under Stage for grain: mash or steep, which would be your only 2 options for a grain.

2) I'd guess that the residual volume field is there to give you the option of not collecting all your wort. I'd doubt many use it and it can be a bit of an annoyance to have to keep setting it back to '0'.

Same with the negative numbers, I'd prefer that it simply not allow you to put a collected value greater than the available volume, but I suppose someone might get less absorption than they expected and want to have a negative number there. For me it's mostly a minor annoyance.

The volume shortage may be the result of volume changes you bring the wort to a boil. The Kettle Volume is measured at boiling, while the runoff is going to be the temperature of the mash or sparge. Typically, about 6.86 gallons of runoff will give you 7 gallons at boil.
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