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Old 12-17-2008, 02:30 AM   #1
comj49
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Default First all-grain question..

I am going to be doing my first All-grain very soon, and was just thinking of a couple recipes, but realized something. If i were to choose a Mild with 7 lbs of grain, instead of a Stout with 12 lbs of grain, and keep the same mash volume (1.25 mash, 1/2 gallon per lb for sparge), I will naturally get more wort volume that needs to be boiled down. My question is, how will i know when to start my hop schedule since I will have to boil the larger beer longer?



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Old 12-17-2008, 04:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comj49 View Post
I am going to be doing my first All-grain very soon, and was just thinking of a couple recipes, but realized something. If i were to choose a Mild with 7 lbs of grain, instead of a Stout with 12 lbs of grain, and keep the same mash volume (1.25 mash, 1/2 gallon per lb for sparge), I will naturally get more wort volume that needs to be boiled down. My question is, how will i know when to start my hop schedule since I will have to boil the larger beer longer?
Measure the wort depth with a metal yard stick. Convert inches to gallons. This will get you close. You will loose about 1-1.25 gals per hour of boiling. If you want to end up 5 gallons you need 6-6.25 gal of wort for a 60 minute boil.

Area of kettle = 3.14*(kettle diameter/2)^2 = a set area of inches.

Kettle Volume (cubic inches) = wort depth measurement x area of kettle

Unit conversion of 231 cubic inches = 1 gal.

Kettle Volume (gallons) = kettle volume (cu in) / 231

Make yourself a cheat sheet to have nearby as you watch the boil. I usually know before hand how many inches I should have in the boil at the first hop addition.

If you are handy with spreadsheets make one with 1/8" increments and you will be able to dial in the volume pretty close.

This works well for me.


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Last edited by Schlenkerla; 12-17-2008 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:49 AM   #3
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Yeah, that sparge ratio is just a ballpark. You basically want to collect the amount of wort you'll need based on your boil off and boil duration.

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Old 12-17-2008, 01:09 PM   #4
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You could get a site glass, or make a float gauge.
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:25 PM   #5
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I use Beersmith to calculate my strike and sparge volumes. This adjusts my sparge volume to get the target volume in the kettle for a 60min boil (or 90min if you chose). This ofcourse means I usually get better efficiencies with low gravity beers, but it is not a big difference between 1.040 and 1.060. With bigger beers ofcourse it starts to drop off.

If you instead wish to follow the sparge guidelines then having someway to measure the volume in the kettle is necessary. A yard stick is a good idea. For a Mild you may need to top up before starting the boil while for an IPA you will have to boil for a while to get to your starting boil volume. Then add your bittering addition and start the timer.

Craig

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Old 12-19-2008, 10:53 PM   #6
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My other problem is that i was doing a test run on my new burner, and it takes a long time for water to get to boiling temperatures (1 hour). I have a feeling this is due to the outside temp here in Michigan is in the 20's. Not only does it take a long time to get to temp, it doesn't really give me the rolling boil i am used to on my 4 gallon pot on my stove-top. What to most people that live in cold-weather areas do? I am debating whether to continue with extract or partial-mash brewing until the temps get a little higher. Any suggestions would be great.

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Old 12-19-2008, 11:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by comj49 View Post
My other problem is that i was doing a test run on my new burner, and it takes a long time for water to get to boiling temperatures (1 hour). I have a feeling this is due to the outside temp here in Michigan is in the 20's. Not only does it take a long time to get to temp, it doesn't really give me the rolling boil i am used to on my 4 gallon pot on my stove-top. What to most people that live in cold-weather areas do? I am debating whether to continue with extract or partial-mash brewing until the temps get a little higher. Any suggestions would be great.
Go here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy-stovetop-all-grain-brewing-pics-90132/

It is an extremely easy way to do all grain indoors.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:21 PM   #8
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your mash water, and sparge water temps are going to be much warmer than room temp.

what i did (and there was a thread a few days later) is as soon as ~ 1 gallon of mash water is collected, start your burner. this assumes your first runnings are going into the kettle.... you save time, and have a bit more room for boiling.
it was 26* outside on my last brewday. my biggest oversight, was not having the sparge water preheating early enough!!!
so, do better than i did. have a pot on the bbq burner while mashing, and one in the house preheating so there is no delay...(this assumes double batch sparge, and you have a gas bbq with a burner).



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