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Old 02-08-2012, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Are we working too hard?

So I'm listening to CYBI on process cloning, only to hear the remarkable information that Tasty McDole always uses a 9 gallon strike when he's brewing his standard 12 gal batch. No matter what grain bill--session pale ale or RIS--this master of cloning and creator of Janet's Brown never changes the volume. Then Jamil & the others jump in saying that mash thickness appears to be irrelevant to efficiency and that the key is a good grind and a slow sparge. Tasty's standard runoff is 45 mins.

I don't know about you, but I wish I'd heard this last fall when I started AG... Woulda saved me a lotta math! I'm gonna try this approach next week on 12 gal of my Imperial Red.

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Old 02-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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I don't know about you, but I wish I'd heard this last fall when I started AG... Woulda saved me a lotta math! I'm gonna try this approach next week on 12 gal of my Imperial Red.
Meh. You use what works for you.

On my system I never pre-calc strike volumes. I heat my HLT to strike temp, infuse til I see 2" of water over top of the mash, heat as needed to get back to rest temp, kick on the pump and the RIMS and walk away for an hour.

When it's time for the sparge I note how much I took out of the hlt and sparge with the balance after that. Sometimes it's 1 gallon, sometimes it's 3.

As long as my target numbers hit I don't stress on volumes.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:22 PM   #3
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I don't really calculate my volumes.

I brew 10 gallons, I buy 14-15 gallons of water, mash with enough to cover the grain by a few inches, sparge with the remainder until I end up with about 11-13gallons pre boil, boil down to about 10.5 gallons. Through transfers, grain absorption, dead space, spills, and small inefficiencies in my brew day I lose the few extra gallons.

This is how I do most of my batches as long as the grain bill isn't too small. I like my process and I think I make pretty darn good beer.

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Old 02-08-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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I just multiply my grain # by 1.25 or 1.5 to get quarts. To me that's not a lot of math.

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Old 02-08-2012, 10:14 PM   #5
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@ Gila & H-ost-- both of your ending comments are exactly why I posted this thread. It seems like you both have a straightforward, practical, and effective process.

I always feel like I'm re-calculating, especially because I like to do double batch days sometimes. The idea of a no-fuss approach takes a lot of stress out my brew days and makes me like it even more!

Thanks for posting your processes & experience!

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Old 02-09-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
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The idea of a no-fuss approach takes a lot of stress out my brew days and makes me like it even more!
Thanks for listening. Congrats for "getting it".

Tasty
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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I usually just round to a nice, easy to remember and easy to measure amount. Usually BS sets the strike amount and I round it up and round down on the sparge.

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Old 02-09-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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I used to eyeball everything but recently started calculating strike and sparge volumes and I do find that it saves some time. Less water to heat equals less time and less gas.

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Old 02-09-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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I usually just round to a nice, easy to remember and easy to measure amount. Usually BS sets the strike amount and I round it up and round down on the sparge.
I also do this. What I don't get is why a slow sparge is needed? I get ~80% eff with double batch sparge and that doesn't take me anywhere near 45 min.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:41 PM   #10
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I also do this. What I don't get is why a slow sparge is needed? I get ~80% eff with double batch sparge and that doesn't take me anywhere near 45 min.
Slow sparge would be for fly sparging. Batch is different.
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