Partigyle Mash Designer Request

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Partigyle Mash Designer Request

Postby wottaguy » Thu May 31, 2007 7:24 pm

I posted this in the beta section for BTP but i need others to see this so here goes!

Of all the features that have been requested, I would like to see the addition of a partigyle mash designer. A partigyle mash is where you mash a bunch of base grain to allow you to create more than 1 kind of beer at the same time. For instance, a 1.066 OG IPA and a 1.048 OG Pale Ale in 2 different kettles and 2 separate runnings. The splits can be either 50/50, 1/3 - 2/3 or even 25/75. I have worked up my next brewing session (by hand and pencil and paper) to be a 1/3 - 2/3rds batch (5 gall/10gall) and will be brewing an IPA (the 1/3) and a Pale Ale (2/3) from the same mash. 2 boil kettles are requierd as are 2 different hopping schedules. I have calculated that the mash will take a total of 30 lbs of grain, and that will give me a total mash gravity of 1.051. The first runnings will be 7 gallons and should come in at a pre-boil gravity of 1.061.
Would a partigyle mash designer be in the future of BTP? I sure hope so! Any comments?
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Re: Partigyle Mash Designer Request

Postby billvelek » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:27 am

wottaguy wrote:snip ... Of all the features that have been requested, I would like to see the addition of a partigyle mash designer. ... snip

I'll certainly second that request. As it is, some of you might have read my very recent message -- "A mishap that led to a big blunder" that was posted in the 'Brewing Problems, Emergencies, Help' forum -- in which I mentioned that I had done a triple-batch partigyle, but that I had used BTP only for the purpose of determining strike and infusion water volumes and temperatures. I really couldn't figure out how else to use it, and since I do partigyles periodically, it would be great to be able to use BTP. Of course, it would probably be a bit complicated, but I've given this some thought and have a suggestion for Jeff and Lathe as to how I think it could be implemented.

First, under 'File | New' on the menu bar, the choices would be 'New Recipe' and 'New Partigyle'; the other commands, including 'Open' and 'Open Recent' would open a 'Partigyle' session, if such a saved session is selected by the user rather than a single recipe.

The 'Partigyle' session panel, or window, would look a little bit different than a regular recipe session. Mainly, it would have room to add three different recipe names and corresponding 'styles', 'final volumes', and 'final gravities', and the beer glass would be removed; I say "three" because that is not an unreasonable number, and I've never heard of anyone doing more than that. The 'Partigyle' session panel would essentially summarize the common or relevant portions of the 'partigyle' -- total water needed for all batches combined, the grain bill, the O.G. from each running, etc. It would also need a function to permit mixing or blending of the runnings, as I've generally found it necessary to exchange a portion of the first runnings with the final runnings to reach target gravities -- usually to boost the final runnings a bit.

Now, on the _regular_ 'Recipe' sessions page, there needs to be a field added to indicate whether it is part of a partigyle, with a button or link to click to call up the 'Partigyle' session panel. The print command, when used for each recipe, would print the 'Partigyle' session panel along with all other info as is currently printed.

Obviously, the O.G. fields would be able to be edited to add the actual gravity readings and actual volumes pre-boil.

As for calculations, I think the 'runnings' data -- from the 'separation' step ... or from a completely new 'partigyle' step in the schedule section -- should be stored temporarily in the still planned inventory database; that way, they could be used in separate recipes instead of trying to fit two or three batches onto one recipe page, which would be very complicated. While the grain bill is the same, the hop schedules are likely to be different, plus any other adjuncts and special ingredients.

Now, I think that the current 'Separation' step in the mash schedule could be changed to add a button or check box to select 'partigyle', or a brand new 'Partigyle' step could be added to the drop-down menu, as mentioned above. In either case, it would permit the user to identify _different_ 'collection vessels' for each running/sparge, instead of just one vessel selection at the top of the edit screen as it is now. In addition, a 'Save to Inventory' button would be added to permit info to be saved for use in different recipes.

For example when doing a triple-batch partigyle, in the 'Schedule' section I would choose 'partigyle' after my final rest or mashout; that edit panel would allow me to name a vessel for each running -- so I could name them 'Heavy', 'Medium', and 'Light' ... or 'First', 'Second', and 'Third' ... or whatever I want, and I would also have the ability to enter and change a bit of extra data -- for instance gravity, which isn't currently on the separation edit page, and even more specifically -- the gravity for each particular running, as well as some volume adjustments if needed. Then I would hit the 'Save to Inventory' button before working on my individual recipes.

Next, I would start my first recipe; for ingredients, I would go to inventory and select 'Heavy' runnings instead of a grain or extract; the inventory database would already know the volume and gravity to start the recipe with, and from that point it would function just like a regular 'recipe' session, with my addition of hops, etc. I presume that the inventory database would also have some proportionate value in there to represent the color. Naturally, the schedule could not be tampered with if the runnings have been drained already, but could be displayed and printed for future reference. I would then do my second and third recipes in the same fashion.

Finally, what would be really cool would be to have BTP be able to generate a scaled grainbill based on the total grain bill and the gravity and volume of the runnings used for that recipe. That would permit a user who really likes the results of the second batch from a partigyle to be able to replicate it without doing the partigyle itself. For instance, if my 'second' runnings has a measured gravity of 1.055 from a grain bill with a maximum potential gravity of 1.110 and I usually have an efficiency of 80%, then it seems to me that BTP would be able to scale all the ingredients to 62.5% of the original grain bill.

I never suggested a partigyle feature because I thought it would be too difficult to do, but now I'm convinced that it is _very_ possible to do this, and it would really make BTP even more of a kick-axe program that ROCKS.

Thanks.

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RE: Partigyle Mash designer

Postby wottaguy » Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:52 am

Hi Bill,
And thanks for your support of this new feature request and your ideas on how to implement it.
I just wanted to post a link that offers ways to calculate the total grain bill for partigyle mashing. I used some of this information to formulate my next brewing session. I based my recipe technique not on the desired starting OG's, but rather on what I should be getting for my Pre-Boil gravities and pre-boil volumes. Other than that, I used the formulas that appear in the article, which was written by Randy Mosher. The link is below:

http://brewingtechniques.com/library/ba ... osher.html

Thanks Again!
Ron
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Thanks

Postby billvelek » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:30 am

Thanks, Ron (Wottaguy). I checked the link and the formula does essentially what I was doing already; it bases the total grain bill on the weighted average of each batch'es gravity. In my last post, where I think I was speaking about O.G. for the different runnings, I meant the gravity of the runnings when drained rather than after the boil before pitching yeast. I hope I don't confuse things too much, and I figure Jeff and Lathe can sort out what I mean.

I wasn't trying to tell them how to do this; just share an idea that, to me, helps simplify it a bit.

And if I did not make it clear what I meant about scaling the recipe for each partigyled recipe, let me take a second stab at it and use just two runnings as an example. According to Table I in your cited Brewing Techniques article, using a 1/3 and 2/3 split, if the grain bill is sufficient to give 15 gallons with a gravity of 1.060, then the first third (5 gallons) will have a gravity of 1.090 and the remaining two-thirds (10 gallons) will have a gravity of 1.045. The first batch uses one-half of the extracted sugars, even though it is only one-third of the total volume of beer being brewed; the individual recipe session for that batch would scale the partigyle grain bill to show one-half of the grain. Now depending upon whether I use the remaining 10 gallons -- which represents the other one-half of the grain bill -- in either a single large recipe or instead divide it in half to make two more recipes, those respective recipes would show either half of the partigyle grain bill, or one-quarter of it if divided. I hope I'm not making this sound more complex than it is in my head.

Finally, I don't know how popular partigyles are, so I don't know how much incentive Jeff and Lathe have for adding it as a feature, but I will say this: I like to do them for the simple reason that set-up and clean-up are the two most labor intensive portions of my brewing day. Measuring and weighing water, grain, and hops, and then watching the boil, etc., aren't that hard. So when I brew, I usually like to get at least a double brew done, and a partigyle makes it a whole lot easier. Using that logic, you'd think it would be done much more often by the homebrew community, but I'm thinking that many don't do it because they don't know HOW to do it; a feature like this on BTP will make it easy and could become a selling feature for the program. Do any of the other brewing programs have a partigyle feature? If not, then that adds a big plus to BTP when comparing programs; if other programs _do_ have it, then BTP needs to implement this just to stay up with the competition.

Thanks for listening.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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capping a parigyle

Postby slothrob » Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:03 am

The option should probably also be available to "cap" a partigyle.

This is when additional grain, typically a small amount of specialty grain but sometimes base grain, is added on top of the grainbed prior to the second runnings.

This is sometimes done to up the gravity, but more often to replace the depleted specialty grain or to change the nature of the beer that will come from the second runnings. For example, you could make a Special Bitter and an Ordinary Bitter, perhaps replacing some Crystal Malt to maintain body, or a Small Brown as the 2nd beer, instead, by adding Crystal and Chocolate Malts.
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Re Partigyle Mash Designer

Postby wottaguy » Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:55 am

I like slothrob's idea about "capping the mash" as well, as it gives the brewer a chance to change the characteristics of subsequent wort run-offs thus changing the beers characters. That would probably be an easy option to include with the feature as a second and 3rd grain addition.

And Bill, I do not think that any other brewing software program out there has the capability to calculate any kind of partigyle mash schedules. Having this feature added to BTP would very much likely improve the selling points of BTP to any brewer that is shopping around for their brewing needs.
I wonder what Lathe and Jeff has to say about all this?
Anyone else?

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'Capping' a partigyle

Postby billvelek » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:37 pm

Great idea re 'capping' the mash in a partigyle. Also, it goes without saying that if BTP were set up like I suggested, with the runnings temporarily going into inventory and treated more or less like an extract and then entered into an individual recipe session, that the recipe would also be able to have other supplements added, including a separate mini-mash, or whatever. Seems like all of this is very 'possible'.

I guess the first question is whether Jeff and Lathe are inclined to add a partigyle feature. I SURE HOPE SO.!!! :D I also hope to hear from Jeff and/or Lathe to express their interest. Until then, I won't spend any more time discussing this except to encourage other users to express whether they would like this feature. And if any of you have not done a partigyle, you really do need to try it. It makes the use of your brewing time much more efficient, in my opinion.

Cheers.

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Postby just-cj » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:38 pm

I've only done one partigyle, but having it as a feature of BTP would probably encourage me to give it a try again. If it is added, however, it will definitely need clear instructions to make it understandable for people who've never done it before. (Lack of built in help is still one of the weakest points of BTP, and makes the program less attractive to me -- I don't want to have to connect to the net and slog through a wiki to find out what to do. I hope built-in help is added sometime soon! )
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(Un-)Popularity of partigyles

Postby billvelek » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:06 pm

Partigyles are not hard, particularly if you aren't picky about getting too exact on your pre-boil gravity; I like to try to hit close to a style's range whenever I brew, but I don't brew for competitions -- the beer is for me to drink, so I don't sweat it much. Assuming that partigyles are _relatively_ unpopular, I would imagine that it is not the difficulty in understanding the process or hitting the exact gravities that would make it so, but rather the fact that it is a double (or even triple) batch. Unless a brewer happens to have two kettles and burners so that they can do boils simultaneously, it does make for a rather long day. And when brewers move up to a converted keg as a kettle so that they can do 10 gallon batches, they're probably not particularly interested in partigyles, either. But all things considered -- including a longer brew day -- I'd rather do a double-batch partigyle than either doing two consecutive mashes or a single batch brew day. But everyone has their preferences.

Anyway, whether popular or unpopular, I think having the ability to plan partigyles with BTP will give it an advantage over other software because lots of brewers who have never done it might think: 'Hey, I just might decide to give that a try someday, and BTP will help me while these others won't."

I really do hope that Jeff and Lathe will decide to implement this eventually, but I'd give a lot more priority to the inventory feature that many of us have been patiently waiting for for quite a while now. I'm hoping that it will be done sometime this summer. And there are other planned features, too, that I'd give priority to. I'd sure like to hear a comment from Jeff or Lathe as to progress on the major upgrade, and also whether they think adding a partigyle feature is a possibility.

Cheers.

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Partigyles, re: Capping the Mash

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:19 am

Although I've known about partigyles for several years, I never really given them much thought. But this thread has me rethinking the issue. Especially in light of the fact that brew days have been few and far between lately with the result that I always seem to be running out of homebrew. So partigyles seem like an obvious way to up my production with minimal effort.

What really has me intrigued is slothrob's suggestion of capping the mash. Has anyone out there done this, and if so how do you calculate the amount of grain to add? Or is it just a SWAG?

Edit: Another question about capping I forgot to ask. Is the new grain mashed for 60 minutes, or since the majority has already been converted is it just mashed for a few minutes? Say 15-20 minutes, for example.
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Re: Partigyles, re: Capping the Mash

Postby billvelek » Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:04 pm

ColoradoBrewer wrote:What really has me intrigued is slothrob's suggestion of capping the mash. Has anyone out there done this, and if so how do you calculate the amount of grain to add? Or is it just a SWAG?

Edit: Another question about capping I forgot to ask. Is the new grain mashed for 60 minutes, or since the majority has already been converted is it just mashed for a few minutes? Say 15-20 minutes, for example.

I did _essentially_ that -- once -- awhile back, but then again I guess it technically was not a partigyle, or at least it wasn't originally intended to be one. I was doing a regular batch and messed up on my water additions (this was pre-BTP) and ended up with nearly a full kettle just from first runnings, so I barely needed to sparge it to finish gathering what I needed. I figured that there was still plenty of sugar in there that I hated to waste, but probably not enough to give me a full gravity beer, so I left the old grain in there and just added some more 2-row (a smaller amount than normal) and some specialty malt and mixed it up and remashed it. The beer was good, and I wasn't worried about style guidelines so that part didn't matter. But as I said, it really wasn't a partigyle per se, but I don't know what you'd call it except being cheap and lazy. :mrgreen:

Anyway, having thought a bit about your question and what 'capping' does, here are a few thoughts that occur to me. First, if you are just adding a bit of crystal or some dark malt for coloring, you won't need to mash; the starch in the crystal has already been converted, and the amount of potential sugar from conversion of starches in the dark malt is probably too little to worry about, although I don't know how much color (or how accurate it will be) if you just cap your grain bed and then begin sparging right away. Seems to me that the dark grains need to at least steep for awhile to extract the color. But if you add some base malt, it _will_ definitely need to be mashed, and that gets you into the area that I tried, as discussed above, which is a bit of a short cut only in that you don't have to rinse your tun between mashes -- but you still need to spend time mashing. And what complicates matters even more, with that technique, is that a substantial portion of your wort is already done and ready for mashout, but instead you are continuing to allow the enzymes to continue to chew away at it at the same time that they're chewing on your 'cap'.

Now, what might be a better appoach IF you need to mash a second small quantity of base grain is to do a mini-mash simultaneously with your regular mash -- which is exactly what I'll try next time. The advantage is that you can do it simultaneously with your regular mash to save time but don't need a large tun equiped with a bazooka or false bottom for lautering. I can't see any reason why, after draining your first runnings from your partigyle mash, that you can't just dump your mini-mash from a very small ice chest on top of the grain bed in your larger tun. In fact, if you don't disturb the grain bed when doing it, you might even avoid the need to do another vorlauf unless you are batch sparging. In effect, all you are doing is using the partigyle mash tun as a lauter tun for the mini-mash.

As for how BTP could deal with that, again using my previous suggestion that runnings go into inventory and then be treated as extract for individual recipes, that would free up the schedule section for the mini-mash ... and I'm assuming that BTP only considers grains in the schedule rather than any extracts precisely for when they have extract brewing with a mini-mash. If it doesn't keep them separate, it _should_ be unless the extract is truly added to the mash tun; this is because the addition of extract during the mash is going to expose it to further conversion by the diastatic power of the mini-mash malt.

Doing a combination like this does present some problems with my original partigyle suggestion, like the inability to enter a 'clean' gravity reading for the second runnings because it would not be measuring the residue from the original mash but rather a combo of it and the minimash, ... but even that should not be insurmountable. For instance, BTP can calculate the maximum sugar available for the original partigyle grain bill using 100% efficiency, and then subtract from that the sugars draining in the first runnings based on a known volume and known gravity reading. Then just add the maximum potential sugars from the mini-mash, or something like that. You'd still need to be able to enter into the second recipe the actual pre-boil gravity reading.

Just my thoughts on this. And have Jeff and Lathe gone on vacation? With as little traffic as BeerTools.com forums are having lately, this thread can't possibly have escaped their attention, and a simple short reply wouldn't take very long. They haven't given up on this project, have they? When is the last time anyone saw a post from either one of them?

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Partigyle suggestions

Postby jeff » Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:02 pm

I'm not trying to ignore this thread; but I have to keep my head clear for current tasks. Thanks for all of the feedback.
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Understood ... and thanks, Jeff, for the reassurance

Postby billvelek » Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:52 pm

Understood ... and thanks, Jeff, for the reassurance.

Cheers.

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Re: RE: Partigyle Mash designer

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:29 pm

wottaguy wrote:...I used the formulas that appear in the article, which was written by Randy Mosher. The link is below:

http://brewingtechniques.com/library/ba ... osher.html

Thanks Again!
Ron
Thanks for the link, Ron. I just read the article and it answered a lot of my questions. I'm really getting fired up about doing a parti-gyle now. I understand that Jeff and Lathe have more pressing matters at present, and rightfully so, but I hope that someday BTP will accommodate parti-gyles.
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Follow-up re the 'Brewing Techniques' article re partigyles

Postby billvelek » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:52 am

I know this is off-topic for the BTP forum, but since this has been discussed a pit, I thought it essential to add the following link:
http://brewingtechniques.com/library/ba ... html#steam

Cheers.

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