Beersmith 3: step-by-step usage

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StoutWolf

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Inventory export to CSV has now been added to the web version, and I'm told it will be included in the next release of the desktop app. Since I generally find web app interfaces to be clunky, my inventory is in the desktop app and the two don't sync asad1. I began trying to get my inventory to the cloud by:
  • creating a recipe with default amount of every single item
  • uploading that recipe to the cloud folder
  • adding each item individually as a custom ingredient
  • going through and setting each inventory amount = to desktop
I was right, the web app feels clunky and so I haven't finished the final bullet above yet, currently I'm about 50:50 as to whether I will or whether I'll wait. Still working through adding my brewday backlog as recipes & sessions, but these go on quite quickly so I'll do that first. Noticing that a few recipes I've added don't tend to match up for:
  • Colour (probably my malts differing from author),
  • OG (likely similar to above, plus, I I've not tweaked potential of malt from default for the closest match malt I could find in BS3),
  • Bitterness (Mostly due to hop alpha's, maybe some suspect calculations / alternative method in some recipes?).
Good news is the 'adjust tools' seem to mostly be able to correct my 'unscaled' recipe for these and the scaling tool means I can then easily scale to either my 15l or 8l Batch equipment profiles.

I'd noticed the grain absorption rate setting, but I hadn't adjusted it yet, might turn that down a bit if I'm over my pre boil volume estimate again on Sunday. Going to try and measure kettle loss a bit more carefully as well. This seemed big on my last brew, but I used leaf hops, which seem to give more loss than pellet hops?

This evening will be my first test of my packaging equipment list... bet I still forget something :roll:
 

-Bezza-

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This seemed big on my last brew, but I used leaf hops, which seem to give more loss than pellet hops?

I bought a big batch of leaf hops as I wanted to give them a try. Found them to be a complete pain compared to pellet:

- Higher losses
- Absorb a huge amount when dry hopping
- Don't clean out of the kettle easily
- Block filters and plugs
- No use with a hop spider as they just fill it up, so probably much lower extraction rates
- Can't just be washed down the sink like pellet crud

I'm going back to pellets.
 
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Inventory export to CSV has now been added to the web version, and I'm told it will be included in the next release of the desktop app. Since I generally find web app interfaces to be clunky, my inventory is in the desktop app and the two don't sync asad1. I began trying to get my inventory to the cloud by:
  • creating a recipe with default amount of every single item
  • uploading that recipe to the cloud folder
  • adding each item individually as a custom ingredient
  • going through and setting each inventory amount = to desktop
I was right, the web app feels clunky and so I haven't finished the final bullet above yet, currently I'm about 50:50 as to whether I will or whether I'll wait. Still working through adding my brewday backlog as recipes & sessions, but these go on quite quickly so I'll do that first. Noticing that a few recipes I've added don't tend to match up for:
  • Colour (probably my malts differing from author),
  • OG (likely similar to above, plus, I I've not tweaked potential of malt from default for the closest match malt I could find in BS3),
  • Bitterness (Mostly due to hop alpha's, maybe some suspect calculations / alternative method in some recipes?).
Good news is the 'adjust tools' seem to mostly be able to correct my 'unscaled' recipe for these and the scaling tool means I can then easily scale to either my 15l or 8l Batch equipment profiles.

I'd noticed the grain absorption rate setting, but I hadn't adjusted it yet, might turn that down a bit if I'm over my pre boil volume estimate again on Sunday. Going to try and measure kettle loss a bit more carefully as well. This seemed big on my last brew, but I used leaf hops, which seem to give more loss than pellet hops?

This evening will be my first test of my packaging equipment list... bet I still forget something :roll:
Thanks for the updates - much appreciated athumb..
Concerning grain absorption rate, I find it's a bit of a variable feast, and I expect it depends a fair bit on your equipment and process.
Personally I mash with a 'bucket-in-bucket' setup - so I keep the grain immersed in the wort throughout most of the (fly) sparge, rather than lifting it out and sparging 'through' it like my friend with a GF does. Anyway I usually drain off all but the last litre or so of wort, because it starts going cloudy once the grain is running 'dry' (ish); and I normally find this occurs at about the expected amount of runoff less the BS 'standard' amount of absorption plus the deadspace.
I also notice that another couple of litres does run out of the grain during the half hour or so when I'm ignoring it prior to the clean-up phase; but I find this tends to be comparatively high gravity. I tend not to use it though, because it's always pretty cloudy and I've assumed it to be at high risk of astringency...
 
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I bought a big batch of leaf hops as I wanted to give them a try. Found them to be a complete pain compared to pellet:

- Higher losses
- Absorb a huge amount when dry hopping
- Don't clean out of the kettle easily
- Block filters and plugs
- No use with a hop spider as they just fill it up, so probably much lower extraction rates
- Can't just be washed down the sink like pellet crud

I'm going back to pellets.
Heh - horses for courses, and it doubtless really does depend on your kit.
Not at all arguing with you, but just to say I've had quite the opposite experience. Leaf hops make a nice filter bed on top of the sieve in the base of my boiler; and I can easily scoop them off by hand into the compost.
In contrast, the sole time I tried them, pellets disintegrated and fell straight through the sieve to make a burned-on mess on top of the element :-)
I must also admit I'm a dead sucker for the smell and feel of whole leaf hops...

FWIW here's a piccy of the sieve in my boiler

IMG_5269.JPG
 

-Bezza-

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Heh - horses for courses, and it doubtless really does depend on your kit.
Not at all arguing with you, but just to say I've had quite the opposite experience. Leaf hops make a nice filter bed on top of the sieve in the base of my boiler; and I can easily scoop them off by hand into the compost.
In contrast, the sole time I tried them, pellets disintegrated and fell straight through the sieve to make a burned-on mess on top of the element :-)
I must also admit I'm a dead sucker for the smell and feel of whole leaf hops...

FWIW here's a piccy of the sieve in my boiler

View attachment 64484

I suspect this is the difference between having a sieve base and using a Grainfather where there's a relatively small filter on the side. I guess part of the difference in relying on the pump to "pull" the wort through the hop bed vs gravity in your case. As you say, horses for courses and I suspect there are plenty here who swear by leaf in a GF.
 

StoutWolf

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I suspect the trub dam in my kettle will prove to be better suited to pellets. Leaf hops may end up getting used up in the stockpot I do 8l batches in, since the pour through the sieve can be problematic with pellets.
 

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