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#1 2014-03-22 23:45:10

Cervantes
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Cervantes, Western Australia
Registered: 2014-02-27
Posts: 24

Grain Absorption?

Hi,

I was wondering what figures everyone was using for grain absorption?

For example how much water does your grain soak up during the mash and then not return when draining.

In Beersmith grain absorption is set to 0.9600 fluid oz per oz of grain for normal sparging methods and 0.5860 fluid oz per oz of grain for BIAB. The reason for the difference is that when the bag is lifted out of the pot it squeezes the grain and returns more water to the mash tun.

I'd suggest that lifting the malt pipe and letting it drain compacts/squeezes the grain to a lesser degree than a lifting a bag would and therefore would guess that the BM absorption ratio would be somewhere between the two figures.

Cheers
Andy

Last edited by Cervantes (2014-03-22 23:59:44)


Please bear with me. I'm a brewing newbie.................

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#2 2014-03-23 00:19:59

whitegoose
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Perth AUS
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 21

Re: Grain Absorption?

I'm working off about 0.9 litres per kg at the moment, but I'm still adjusting my numbers slightly each brew based on the absorbtion rates I see.

I don't think lifting the malt pipe causes much of a squeeze on the grain - that being said, you probably could just press down on the top filters the squeeze the grain a bit.

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#3 2014-03-23 00:35:27

Dicko
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Port Lincoln South Oz
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 151

Re: Grain Absorption?

Cervantes wrote:

Hi,

I was wondering what figures everyone was using for grain absorption?



In Beersmith grain absorption is set to 0.9600 fluid oz per oz of grain for normal sparging methods and 0.5860 fluid oz per oz of grain for BIAB. The reason for the difference is that when the bag is lifted out of the pot it squeezes the grain and returns more water to the mash tun.

I'd suggest that lifting the malt pipe and letting it drain compacts/squeezes the grain to a lesser degree than a lifting a bag would and therefore would guess that the BM absorption ratio would be somewhere between the two figures.

Cheers
Andy

I tend to agree with you Andy.

I found that 0.9600 was way out for my system and it wasn't until I selected "BIAB in the BS software that I achieved anywhere near accurate figures.
I think this anomaly goes a long way in peoples claims that the BM loses efficiency as the grain bill gets bigger. Simple fact is, people are using too much water to allow for grain absorption.

I have made adjustments on my software in this area over 40 odd brews and I have found that 0.6600 is pretty close to what I achieve.
Allowing the malt pipe to drain exactly the same each time is paramount in gaining the same result each brew.
Some sparge the grains, others don't. It will all go to giving you a different set of figures.
I know that some people just remove the pipe from the system without draining while some allow the malt pipe to drain right up until the boil is about to start.

I allow my malt pipe to drain after sparging until the boil is about to commence and I start the brew with 25 litre in the BM and sparge the balance of the volume as indicated by the BS software.
This is my method to achieve my set of figures in the software.

Cheers


The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it

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#4 2014-03-23 00:38:56

Dicko
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Port Lincoln South Oz
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 151

Re: Grain Absorption?

whitegoose wrote:

I'm working off about 0.9 litres per kg at the moment, but I'm still adjusting my numbers slightly each brew based on the absorbtion rates I see.

I don't think lifting the malt pipe causes much of a squeeze on the grain - that being said, you probably could just press down on the top filters the squeeze the grain a bit.

I have done that whitegoose and it does change the figures slightly as well.

Cheers

Last edited by Dicko (2014-03-23 00:40:24)


The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it

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#5 2014-03-23 00:51:46

whitegoose
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Perth AUS
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 21

Re: Grain Absorption?

Dicko wrote:

I have made adjustments on my software in this area over 40 odd brews and I have found that 0.6600 is pretty close to what I achieve.

I'm really interested as to how we are getting such different absorbtion rates!

I have a 20L, I sparge, and I let my malt pipe drip into a pot until the boil is about to start... and like I said I usually get an ansorbtion rate of about 0.9!

Theoretically I would have thought the BM absorbtion rate would be much closer to the standard 3V rate rather than the BIAB rate - when I BIABed I used to squeeze the hell out of the bag to get every last drop out... in the BM it just drips out from gravity. But theory aside - In my 5 or so brews on the BM I have measured between 0.85 and 1.00 grain absorbtion. I guess it could be something to do with the grain I have or the crush or my water?

Anyway, hopefully some others post their grain absorbtion rates for comparison!

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#6 2014-03-23 01:21:30

Dicko
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Port Lincoln South Oz
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 151

Re: Grain Absorption?

whitegoose wrote:
Dicko wrote:

I have made adjustments on my software in this area over 40 odd brews and I have found that 0.6600 is pretty close to what I achieve.

I'm really interested as to how we are getting such different absorbtion rates!

I have a 20L, I sparge, and I let my malt pipe drip into a pot until the boil is about to start... and like I said I usually get an ansorbtion rate of about 0.9!

Theoretically I would have thought the BM absorbtion rate would be much closer to the standard 3V rate rather than the BIAB rate - when I BIABed I used to squeeze the hell out of the bag to get every last drop out... in the BM it just drips out from gravity. But theory aside - In my 5 or so brews on the BM I have measured between 0.85 and 1.00 grain absorbtion. I guess it could be something to do with the grain I have or the crush or my water?

Anyway, hopefully some others post their grain absorbtion rates for comparison!

I can't offer an explanation unless we could be both side by side and actually measure each of our processes and compare.
We could however post our results including losses etc of a fictitious recipe that contains exactly 5 kg of malted barley as a standard and go from there. In this way we would show any differences between two systems.

Might pay to wait on some others comments before going to that trouble. smile


The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it

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#7 2014-03-23 04:21:34

Cervantes
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Cervantes, Western Australia
Registered: 2014-02-27
Posts: 24

Re: Grain Absorption?

Dicko wrote:

I allow my malt pipe to drain after sparging until the boil is about to commence and I start the brew with 25 litre in the BM and sparge the balance of the volume as indicated by the BS software.
This is my method to achieve my set of figures in the software.

Cheers

Dicko,

Do you measure in the 25 litres or just fill to the top mark on the central threaded rod?

I'm still not decided whether that mark is 25 litres total, or 25 litres more than you'll loose to the pump pipework and trub.

It's exactly 25 cm above the spacer/washer thingamabob at the bottom of the rod. So I have a theory that any water below the top of the spacer/washer thingamabob is over and above 25 litres to account for these losses.

I haven't had the time to measure in the water to check this out though.

Cheers
Andy


Please bear with me. I'm a brewing newbie.................

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#8 2014-03-23 05:01:45

Dicko
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Port Lincoln South Oz
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 151

Re: Grain Absorption?

I originally thought that the top mark on my 20 litre BM was in fact close to 26 litres, however, after some talk with another member on here (Dan) we came to the conclusion that the graduated 5 litre jug we were using for water volume was inaccurate.
I weighed my water at 1kg at a time into the BM and found that the top mark on the centre rod was extremely close to 25 litres. I know Dan weighed his as well so he may report on this if he reads this post.

I assumed the same as you for many brews and now the dip stick that I had made originally has been discarded and I have made a new one to suit the volume of water as per the weight.


The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it

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#9 2014-03-23 05:14:38

Cervantes
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Cervantes, Western Australia
Registered: 2014-02-27
Posts: 24

Re: Grain Absorption?

Dicko,

Thanks for that.

I'll do some checks myself when time allows, but for now will work with the top notch being 25 litres.

Cheers
Andy


Please bear with me. I'm a brewing newbie.................

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#10 2014-03-23 08:42:50

Dan
Member
Model: 20 litres
From: Koppio - South Oz
Registered: 2014-01-22
Posts: 43

Re: Grain Absorption?

I haven't checked against the centre rod marks since recalibrating my measuring stick, but am honestly tempted to do it all again and mark every 1/2 litre on the centre rod so that getting the BM exactly level isn't such a big deal (a slight tilt will put the "side measure" method out a bit).
But to answer the OP, my absorbtion figure is not far from dicko's - 0.666 floz/oz = 0.692 L/kg. It may look pretty precise, but if I fine tune that I may end up 0.05 either side? It's just the figure I settled on from measurements over 3-4 brews. Has worked very well since then though, so won't be fine tuning again for some time.
Once you work out your L/kg figure, divide by 1.04 to get the floz/oz that Beersmith needs

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#11 2014-03-24 05:04:55

Nesto
Member
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 5

Re: Grain Absorption?

I'm close to others here. 20l BM. Using 0.700 floz/oz

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