Batch Sparge

Suggestions and discussion about upcoming features in future BeerTools Pro releases.

Batch Sparge

Postby river water brewing » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:44 pm

I would like to see the batch sparge element of the schedule tell you when you are adding more water than your mash tun can hold
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Postby jawbox » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:52 pm

Don't you refer to the "In Vessel" column in your schedule? This gives you the volume in kettle/mash tun at each stage of the mashing process.
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here is an example

Postby river water brewing » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:36 pm

Jawbox,

please check out this screen shot link below

http://screencast.com/t/MDJmNjU0ZmQt

The "Vessel" changes from the mash tun to the collection vessel which is the boil kettle. You will notice that in the mash out rest line the volume jumps from 10.58 to 16.88 on the batch sparge line. the 16.88 number represents the volume collected via all batch sparge steps @ the mash out temp.

what would be great is if in the batch sparge editor (see screen shot link below) there was an in vessel field that represented the mash tun. i think the limitation is that the batch sparge editor only give you the ability to select a collection vessel and nothing to select the mash tun equipment.

it would be great if the same equations were available in the batch sparge editor as are available in the mash steps above it, so that one could figure the space taken by the grains and water they hold. so that you knew the max amount of water that could be added in each of the batch sparge steps.

http://www.screencast.com/users/joshgib ... 3788901f2b

just my thoughts.....
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Postby jawbox » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:51 pm

I see what you're talking about. Looking at your schedule your first run-off is 4.94 gals, all your subsequent sparges are less than that volume so you should be ok.

I agree the mash schedule editor should alert you if you are going to exceed your mash tun capacity.
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I agree, too

Postby billvelek » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:41 pm

Now that I've recovered from my intense envy (you apparently have either a RIMS or HERMS with capacity for 15 gallon batches), I'll add a few comments.

First, I agree that it would be nice if BTP would either actively warn a brewer whenever the proposed additions would exceed the capacity of a vessel, including the mash tun, or alternatively, add an additional column to the mash schedule display to show both the tun and kettle volumes at the same time or else have the batch sparge editor display the actual total volume (including grains) contained in the mash tun at each stage. This would be a great convenience which shouldn't be hard to implement. In addition, one of the harder hurdles for me in learning to use BTP was to grasp what was happening with volumes on the mash schedule, and I think showing both tun and kettle volumes simulaneously would probably help users understand it more quickly and easily.

Having said that, I presume you know that you can basically figure out the same thing yourself on the side using BTP data. What I mean is that when you plan a recipe, just check the 'In Vessel' volume after dough-in to see that your volume doesn't exceed your tun capacity; then keep a tally, subtracting the volumes you drain and adding the volumes you add (sparge). Of course, you want to do that in advance with the expected or anticipated volumes so that you won't run into any surprises. However, it would be nice if BTP included that on its display. And by the way, I very frequently run to the limit of my tun since I almost always do a partigyle of at least two and sometimes three batches (last session two weeks ago was a triple partigyle).

Second, I'm not questionning your brewing wisdom because you might have particular reasons for doing so, including the limited capacity of your tun, but I did notice that you use three batch sparges (initial runnings plus three rinses). I just want to point out to all users that if efficiency is the only reason for doing additional batch sparges, Denny Conn has a web-page ... (I don't have the link right now but it shouldn't be hard to find) ... that demonstrates that the most efficient method is just a single sparge after the initial runnings; for instance, if you want to put 6 gallons in your kettle, you would have enough water in your tun to drain 3 gallons of first runnings, and then add 3 gallons of sparge water. That seemed counter-intuitive to me when I had always been sparging twice -- even for a single batch -- but then I did the math and it appears that he is correct. So when I do just a double partigyle, I can usually do it that way with only one sparge which saves time and trouble, but because of the limited capacity of my tun, I have to do an extra sparge for any triple partigyles. I have a 48 quart ice-chest mash tun, and my limit is about 28 pounds of grain which requires two-sparges after initial runnings. I guess if I were to try making 15 gallons from much more than that, then I'd need to add a third sparge. Just my two cents.

Cheers, and happy brewing.

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Thanks Bill

Postby river water brewing » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:21 pm

Hi Bill, Thanks so much for your feedback!!!

1st my system is not that complex, but thanks for the props :D i dont even know if it would be considered a HERMS or RIMS, i have a 40qt cooler that i use a merch pump to pump the wort from the cooler through 25' of coiled copper (much like an immersion chiller) the coiled copper sits in a 7 gal kettle full of boiling water. it works great most of the time, wheat based recipes require a lot of rice hulls. This recipe should have had some rice hulls as well, the cereal mash (6lbs of polenta and 1.5lbs of 6 row) made for quite the sticky mash. but this system has made it very easy to do multi step mashes without watering down my mash with water infusions.

regarding figuring out my max capacity in my mash tun, you are right i should be able to figure this out on my own, but i just started batch sparging and no historical data to go off off, and because of my stuck mash i still dont LOL. But i think i can figure it out in the future. But this feature sure would make it much simpler.

regarding your thoughts on multiple batch sparges, because i had no historical data, i just put in the extra sparges thinking i may or may not need them. but are you saying that per Denny Conn's research he only takes first runnings then waters that down in the kettle? in my case i think i would lose a lot of efficiency because i am trying to collect 17 gallons (17 into my kettle = 12 in the fermentor) from a 40qt cooler. would you agree?

Thanks so much for the help!!
JG
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Postby conman » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:26 pm

are you really boiling off 5 gallons to hit your OG?
I cant imagine losing 25 to 30% of my wort to evaporation, it just seems like a lot.
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evap numbers

Postby river water brewing » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:46 pm

i lose about 1.375-1.5 per hour to evaporation, depending on weather, and i do a 90 min boil, so it comes out to around 2-2.25 gallons of evap.

I also have about 2 gallons of dead space in my kettle that is left behind holding most of my trub.

i lose more than i would like because of this but what can ya do???
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Re: Thanks Bill

Postby slothrob » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:34 pm

river water brewing wrote:are you saying that per Denny Conn's research he only takes first runnings then waters that down in the kettle?

No, he collects two runnings of approximately equal volumes, first runnings and a sparge. Bill's trying to point out that the gain from additional sparges after that is minimal.

Here is a graph from Kai Troester's website showing the effect of 1, 2, 3, or 4 runnings on the theoretical efficiency of a batch sparge at different target OGs.
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Great Read

Postby river water brewing » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:00 pm

Thanks so much Slothrob!!! that was a great read and a great web site, TONS INFO.

Thanks you all very much for the info!!
JG
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