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The Biabacus: my Brewing Calculator of Choice.

Posted by toklas on 7/22/2015 at 09:32:04 AM

Let's brew biab... with a spreadsheet. 

So, as mentioned in my introduction post, I really like using the biabacus. You have to sign up to this forum be able to download it, but the calculator is worth it (it’s free). This post will be about just the biabacus part of my brew day; I will post more about the brew day in a different post. 

Why do I like the biabacus so much? Because this is how I do math if left to my own devices:


Step one: set up the biabacus. Measure your kettle. Mine has a diameter of 42cm, height of 40cm. I enter 23L for the desired final volume into the fermentor: that’s about 6 gallons. I’m aiming for an OG of 1.052.


Step two: set up grain bill in the biabacus.  Since with biab you don’t have to worry about stuck sparges, I generally use a 60:40 ratio of wheat to base. I have some golden promise that I want to use up, so under "grams/ratios", I fuzzily enter wheat, 60% and GP 40%.

The biabacus tells me that I need 7.72lbs of wheat, 5.15lbs of GP and 9.75 gallons of strike water. That’s all! I freaking love this calculator. Under the “mashing instructions” section, I put in 90 minutes for time, it’s about 25C in my basement where I store my grain, and biabacus tells me to hit 156F for a 152F mash. 

Step three: Give’r. Essentially, brew. I’ll make another blog post with some photos about this brew day. I wanted this post to focus on the biabacus. 

Step four: Measure. Mash is done. Take some measurements of gravity and volume to enter into the biabacus. Boil. Measure gravity and volume again when the boil is complete. Enter these numbers into the spreadsheet and pick your jaw back up after you realise how accurate this calculator is.

  numbers match 

 That’s it. Math, done by the biabacus. 

You might be wondering why pre-lauter and GIK are two different things: it's for when your kettle is not large enough to do a full-volume biab. We will definitely run into this problem when winter hits and I use a smaller pot. But again, I rely on the biabacus to math for me so I can just focus on making delicious beer.

Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated in any way with the biabacus, I just like to use it when I brew. 

Cheers and brew well.

Tags for this post: biabacus, biab, brewing, math

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