Thought it might be useful to put up a brew day thread for me new machine. I've based a lot of figures on the Grainfather, so we'll see how that goes.
Here's how I've set up the system. Similar to the Grainfather I think.
Here's the recipe I'm using. Pretty simple IPA but should be good. I've also added 4g Gypsum, 4.5ml 33% CaCl and 1.5ml phosphoric acid to the water. I use Bru'n water so those aren't included on my Beersmith pic.
I have all the grains laid out and all ready to go. I started heating my strike water at 11:30 starting at 9º, it's now at around 58º. I'm going to mash with 25L and sparge with ~10L to hit my pre boil.
I made a quick YT video last week briefly showing the different parts of the system. I'm probably going to stick with pics today cos I've learned I'm pretty useless at holding a phone and brewing at the same time :D
Those numbers for a grainfather set up are not as accurate as these one. First did you do this,
QuoteWater to Grain ratio should be set at 2.7L/kg when selecting a mash profile
Default grain absorption should be changed in the Beersmith Advanced settings (tools->options->advanced). The default setting is 0.96 fl oz/oz. This will need to be changed to 0.7669 fl oz/oz (0.8 L/kg) to line up exactly with the Grainfather official calulations
Yep I saw that calculation alright. Only issue is that the ACE is a bit wider, so if I used that calculation, I'm worried that there will be loads of mash water under the grain basket, but not a lot to cover the grain fully. If this doesn't work properly, I'll definitely be using the GF calculation to see how that goes.
Strike temp of 70º hit @ 12:14. So that's around 45 mins 9º to 70º @ 2500W.
On thing I've noticed that's love to have is graduation markers inside the grain basket too. I filled my 25L (5x Ashbeck bottles) in without the grain basket but the markers on the inside of the kettle only showed around 23.5L. I was a bit annoyed at that but I realised that maybe they have accounted for the grain basket volume too.
This is the profile set up.
Sorry I though that you were using a grainfather :-[
Ah no worries, cheers though I think it'll come in handy. Just mashed in and the level was right at the top with just over 6kg of grain. I could definitely get away with a thicker mash, so the GF mash calcs sound about right.
I attached a small length of silicone tubing so that the return water isn't splashing down. Seems to be working nicely.
Make and take alot of notes about water additions, absorption,wort pre boil and post boil, shrinkage after boil These will help you to set up a more accurate equipment profile.
Gonna try my best anyway. Hopefully this will save some other people having to do it.
One thing I've noticed so far. The controller has allowed the temp to drop by 2º before clicking on to bring it back up to temp. Would rather it did this sooner to be honest. I wonder if there's a way to set this hmm.
Here's the wort so far, 20 mins into the mash.
Love how portable these setups are. Throw it on the floor and off you go - dead easy and handy.
Quick video of the recirculation in action. Coming to the end of the mash now.
Heating up the sparge water
Quote from: molc on December 30, 2016, 01:52:03 pm
Love how portable these setups are. Throw it on the floor and off you go - dead easy and handy.
Probably the only way I'd have been able to get into all grain brewing. So practical when you don't have your own place.
Took some pH readings at the start of the mash.
05 mins in - 5.31
20 mins in - 5.39
Here's a pic of the pre-sparge wort. Gravity reading (corrected for temp) is 1.074. Lovely and clear too.
Sparge is done and dusted too. I used a jug to gently pour on top of the grain bed. In future I'm going to look into raising the sparge pot high enough to gravity feed the sparge water. Would save a bit of effort.
I ended up taking the top part of the center pipe off for the sparge and slightly pushing the plate on top of the bed. Had no trouble with the sparge running through.
Plate is off here, just before I remove the top pipe.
Top pipe removed and top plate put back on top for sparging.
Here is the volume pre sparge. I took out the malt pipe for a quick look once all the water had drained.
And here is the post-sparge volume. Like I said before, I'm not sure ho accurate these marks are without the grain basket in place. I also lost a bit by not being patient waiting on the sparge water to fall. I can see there's an extra ~1.5L in the bucket I put the basket in after I was done.. feck
Pre boil gravity measured 1.058.
Missed a trick with bringing up the boil and it took around 35 mins. I used the manual mode at 2200W to bring it up, but I should have used the auto mode with 2 steps. 1st step to bring it to boiling at 2500W, then 2nd step drop down to 2200W to keep the boil going, but not too vigorous. I'll know next time.
Having a small issue with the boil not hitting 100º. Seems to be getting stuck on 99º despite a nice boil going. So on with the lagging jacket..
Even after putting the lagging jacket on, it was sticking on 99º. So I scraped around the temp probe a bit and voila, we hit 100º. It's still hopping between 99 & 100 now though, but the boil is going nicely so it doesn't really matter.
Hop spider is in and first addition of magnum added.
Could need calibrating or how far up a mountain you live.
If it's boiling, it's boiling regardless of what the display says.
I've checked the temp verses a thermopen on a boiler that schweeny lent me and the probe is 1 to 2 degrees below actual.
It's odd temperature measurement is made at the bottom, the coldest point of the boiler it will be fine if you have a rolling boil
I'd leave your mash basket in until nearly the boil or leave drain in a bucket and just chuck in when stops dripping
Wort looks amazing
Yea I reckon that's what it is too and I'm in Kilkenny so very much level ground. It was boiling nicely on top, although I don't think I boiled off as much as predicted.
My new chiller worked absolutely brilliantly. Here are the times I took down.
16:24 - 99º
16:28 - 35º
16:32 - 27º
16:35 - 20º
16:36 - 19º
That's 12 minutes boil to pitching temp, stirring semi regularly. Must say I'm delighted with that performance.
In the end, I got 23L into the fermenter @ 1.066. I was aiming for 21.25L @ 1.068. My measured BH efficiency is a touch under 80% which is what I would expect (although I entered 75% for the first brew to give me some room for error). I need to boil off some more wort next day or change the boiloff settings in my equipment profile, considering I overshot my pre-boil gravity but undershot my post-boil.
Does anyone else ever have issues with bazooka screens being completely clogged? I did a whirpool with my paddle and drill, but the screen still got fully clogged and I had to scrape the screen constantly until the fermenter was filled :( I'm going to ditch the bazooka screen from now on considering I use a hop spider anyway.
Here's the Beersmith figures I collected for the ACE brewer and some final pics too. Fire away with any questions etc, I hope this helps someone in the future deciding to buy one of these.
New wort chiller about to go in
Drill & paddle whirpool
Final volume of wort inside the boiler
Splashing into the fermenter
Probably the foamiest wort I've ever had in the fermenter. Final volume 23L.
Great chilling this time of year.
So now you can reset your brewhouse efficiency to 79 in your equipment profile as that's what you got. :)
Did you check your end of sparge for both PH and gravity. :-\. You also have 1.33 extra litre going into the boil than estimate,that would change your target SG.
Didn't check for end of sparge pH actually. I never do, but must start now that you mention it. What can this tell me?
My end of sparge gravity was 1.058. Is that the same figure as post-boil yeah? Or do you mean the final runnings?
It's hard to know about the volumes too, because the graduations on the vessel don't appear to be right. When I put in 5 x 5L bottles at the start, I was getting a figure of just over 23L (I estimated 23.3L). You're right though, I probably did collect a bit too much from the sparge.
Really interesting. I have the same chiller as you but I was planning to get a grainfather but this one keeps catching my eye.
You would need to know that your final running don't have a PH higher than 6.0 as then you are X bringing in tannins front the mash. The last running should be around 1010 as that's about right for your efficiency and the PH.
Camping mats and Velcro or bungee straps work well.
Dump bazooka, I don't know why folks bother with them tbh, if you have leaf use a weighted bag, if pellets a good stir, a 90 degree valve facing up and 20 min wait and you will get clean wort as all the heavy stuff will be on the bottom.
A typical wort boils at about 102C, higher grav. big ones can get to 104C. Cheaper controllers like the one fitted to the old GF or the ATC-800 sound the alarm at 99.9C - but thats just the alarm - all ok assuming you switched to manual boil!
Ah! 90 degree valve is a great idea, very simple too. Like an elbow connector pointing up right? I'm 100% getting rid of the bazooka. Don't know why I bothered. Only reason I'm using the hop spider now is because of the pump inlet at the bottom of the vessel. I don't want to risk getting a chunk of hops caught down the hole.
Will, my old boiler PID would show 102º alright with a good boil going. My thermapen would confirm that too. The new one though, both the controller and thermapen (the thermapen only reading the top of the wort) show 99-100º. It's very strange. I'll have to do a test with water to see what's going on.
@armedcor the build quality, support material (forum knowledge etc), spare parts, future upgrades for the ACE, won't be the same quality as the GF, but for the money I don't think it can be beaten. Especially when you have that chiller too. Still early days but after the maiden brew I'm very happy with the purchase.
Great write up Oisin. Get yourself a good measuring jug and confirm those graduation marks. Wouldn't trust what the supermarkets sell as 5 litres. Certainly those graduation marks are for liquid level without the grain basket in.
Here is a suggestion, why not quickly empty and clean the malt pipe and return it to the boil to use as a hop spider :)
The malt pipe would be a huge heatsink in the boil, so I wouldn't think it's a great idea.
Yep and you won't get aggressive enough boil or max hop utilisation.
Commercial plastic jugs are not accurate use a scales with water to get accurate results
Pyrex jugs would be very accurate wouldn't they?
Yep they should be good. I was around Wills one day and asked him why he had secondary markings on his plastic jugs were, "actual vs indicated" sure enough went home and measured mine and same
Quote from: DEMPSEY on December 30, 2016, 12:29:02 pm
This is the profile set up.
Hi Brian, could you post that picture in a higher quality? I can't see any of the figures on it! :)
Could post a pic if your GF mash profile too please, if you get a chance?
(apologies for thread hijack!)
I will post it in the Grainfather thread.
Hey BrewDorg. Thanks for the write-up.
This system looks good but the issue I see is that you mentioned that it has a two degree swing in temp on the controller before the heat kicks in. Did you find a way to reduce the threshold ?
Also for grainfather/braumeister uers. What is your standard variance in mash temps?
Mash temp might drop 1c initially after adding grain (depends on quantities) but it's back up within minutes
I did 1 step to heat to my strike temp. Then I doughed in and started another step at mash temp.
I'll be doing another brew on Saturday (fingers crossed) so I'll use my thermapen to record actual temperatures inside the grain basket. I haven't looked into changing that setting at all yet. There's very little literature available. The booklet that comes with it doesn't mention anything.
Doing another brew today, a half batch. I measured the space between the bottom of the kettle and the bottom of the grain basket - 6.5L.
So my mash water now will be calculated similar to the Grainfather. (Grain bill in kg x 2.7) + 6.5. Just doughed in and the mash looks fairly spot on.
Also, an update on all the gravity readings I took previously in the thread. I just got a new hydrometer and never checked it in water. It's reading 3 points higher than it should be, so take 3 points away from all reading I mentioned above.
What temp was the water
20º on the button.
Another bit of info for ye. Pressing both the '+' and '-' buttons at the same time will allow you offset the temperature if necessary. The offset is reset every time you turn the system off.
I've updated the Beersmith profile too. Thanks Dempsey, I forgot to check the Grainfather thread until recently for the higher resolution screenshot of your profile. I had never added my 6.5L deadspace (3.5 for the GF) and that threw off my figures. Sorted now though and working well. I'll post a screen of that later on
Making it look easy