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Old 02-27-2010, 09:18 PM   #1
pjk49202
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Default 1st all grain boil wort volume trouble

So, I brewing up a pale ale for my first all grain brew.

The recipe is:
9 lbs Pale 2 row
1 lb Cara munich 40 l
.5 dextrine
1 oz perle-60 min
1 oz cascade-10 min
1 oz cascade- o

So I heat up my strike water and add to my grains. The mash temp is 159 so I leave it for 1 hour. I keep thinking that the mash looks a bit like oatmeat, and not fluid enough? The water added to the mash was 13 qts. So I let it sit for an hour. Once that is done the temp is 156, so no big deal with the temp. But, when I vorlauf I get not even two gallons of wort from the first runnings The recipe calls for 5.25 sparge water. So I had barely three gallons in the boil kettle. But, the calculations call for a 6.4 boil volume. What gives? I'm I a ****ing idiot or I'm I missing something as far as how much water to add? All the temps and volumes were calculated using beersmith at 1.25 qt/lb.The temps I was trying to get were hit but nowhere near the boil volume. I am i doing somthing wrong with Beersmith?
Thanks in advance.
I'm quite disappointed in my first all grain and I haven't gotten to the boil yet.....

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Old 02-27-2010, 09:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjk49202 View Post
The recipe calls for 5.25 sparge water.
5.25 gallons or quarts? If its gallons, its seem pretty close to me. Dont forget that a good chunk of your strike water stays absorbed by the grain. Beersmith works well for me, so you may want to double check the info you input. Some Beersmith steps may require topping of boil kettle to desired pre-boil volume (but I doubt it would be 3.4 gallons), so look at the brewsheet carefully.

Also, how much deadspace is in your mashtun?
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:30 PM   #3
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Yeah, you need to pay attention to your measurement units. Strike water is usually measured in quarts, sparge volume often is measured in gallons. It can be confusing. But look at it this way: You'll never make that mistake again!

Keep sparging! RDWHAHB!

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Old 02-27-2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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5.25 quarts was what it asked for @ 1.25 qt/lb grain.

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Old 02-27-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
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I sparged with another 2 gallons at about 155 for 15 minutes so so. Homer, I agree, I will not make the mistakes I made this time again. I'm sure that next time my water volumes will be a bit better. It just seems odd that both the mash in and mash out waters are measured in quarts. I just need to button up my routine for next time and hopefully this batch ends up being ok. Thanks for your responses guys!

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Old 02-28-2010, 06:23 PM   #6
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If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. He goes into pretty good detail about determining your required water volumes, and how to hit your target gravity. For my first few AG brews, I just sort of crossed my fingers and hoped I hit my target OG. The last few, though, I've nailed them spot-on, even though my efficiency has varied from about 65% to about 82%.

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Old 02-28-2010, 06:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjk49202 View Post
5.25 quarts was what it asked for @ 1.25 qt/lb grain.
Sparge volume is 2 quarts (.5 gallon) of water per pound of grain, or up to your boil volume.

1.25 quarts per pound is a good number for the mash, but a bit low on the sparge.

At 1.25 quarts per pound of grain, that would be a bit over 13 quarts, which is what you did for the mash. I'm not sure what you mean with 5.25 quarts.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:54 AM   #8
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Yeah, I totall misunderstood what beersmith was telling me. I did an extra sprage and hopefully that will help. With it being my first all grain, the more lessons i can learn the first go around the better.

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Old 03-01-2010, 08:37 PM   #9
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If we didn't make some mistakes in our brewing process we wouldn't be home brewers.

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